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Top 3 Fitness Apps

David McCourt looks at apps for iPhone and android phones to keep you and your wallet fit and healthy

Written by . Published on July 20th 2011.


Top 3 Fitness Apps

GYM memberships can be expensive by themselves, never mind a session with a personal trainer. Thankfully, there are plenty of useful apps for iPhone and android phones that offer a cost-effective way of planning and executing your fitness regime, without the headache of a monthly direct debit.

But with so many fitness apps available, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth your time and effort. I’ve been testing a few out and whittled it down to my three favorites to help you decide…


Run Keeper (free)

Run Keeper AppRun Keeper AppSummary: If you have friends who run, or you’ve been to your local running club, chances are you have already heard of this app. Run Keeper is popular because it’s actually good. Now on version 2.4.6.0, the app has enjoyed a long life of refinement and tweaking, but the basic premise has remained the same. You turn it on, you go out and run, and when you get home you have a wealth of GPS powered data to analyse your performance and assess your fitness levels.

You can also get mid-run data on whether you are ahead or behind your target pace, activate your run playlists or post your best times and distances on Facebook, if you’re into that kind of thing. I used this app when training for a marathon last year and found that just knowing how and when to increase my run by an exact number of miles, allowed me to improve my running fitness significantly.

In a sentence: The best run counter out there, and it’s free.


Hundred PushUps (£0.59)

Hundred PushUps AppHundred PushUps AppSummary: If you’re anything like me, you will struggle to find the motivation to do resistance exercises at home. Unless you’ve splashed out on a well stocked weight bench (and have the space to house it) there is little you can do at home that feels like a proper work out.

Hundred PushUps goes someway to changing that, with a huge boast. ‘Follow the hundred pushups programme, within six weeks you will be able to complete 100 consecutive pushups.’

It was the challenge that kept me interested. As I completed the three-times weekly sets of varying reps and rest periods I was exercising in fascination, desperate to discover if the app would live up to it’s claim. I completed the six-week programme, took a rest day and got down on my bedroom floor ready to drop and give it the big 100. Unfortunately, I collapsed in a pile of disappointment after 68. Despite this, I’d still recommend the app. As a man who could barely do 10 pushups, I’d noticeably improved my upper body strength and in six-weeks could do more than six times the amount of pushups I previously could. It only takes about 15minutes, three times-a-week, to complete the exercises and it’s easy not having to plan anything, you just do as you are told.

In a sentence: A bold claim provides much needed motivation, but I’ve just ruined all that now haven’t I?


iBelly Workout (£1.49) – for iPhone only

iBelly WorkoutiBelly Workout AppDefinitely one for home rather than the gym, unless you don’t mind the awkward stares you’ll surely receive whilst squirming around on the floor. The app works by putting your iPhone on your belly whilst lying on your back. To see the screen you naturally have to arch your back, forming a sit-up position.

The app is essentially a series of puzzles, games and challenges, involving the user twisting, turning and arching their stomach to move the phone into different angles. Games usually involve getting a ball from one end of a course to another using a tilt mechanism. As you play through different levels you unlock further stages including puzzles that are designed to target certain areas of your core.

‘Love handles’, ‘ripped tide’ and ‘pot belly’ are examples of puzzles you can unlock. This is an app for new fitness fanatics. Those looking to achieve elite performance or cover mag six-packs are going to be disappointed. But for those who just want to tighten up their stomach a little and not take things too seriously, then this is a great way to do it.

In a sentence: A fun way to get a light workout without having to calculate your BMI or count reps.

 

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AnonymousFebruary 21st 2012.

If you are a cyclist then check out Strava. You can log your rides and then your times are ranked for specific segments such as climbs.

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