The world of exercise and fitness has gone into "full tech mode," and now more than ever people are using various apps and wearable tech devices to help them optimize their workouts. Whether you're an avid fitness fan or a rank beginner, the following list of five workout apps will give you plenty of help and inspiration for your sweat sessions in the gym.
This interval timer app allows you to accurately time your circuit, interval or Tabata training sessions. You can also combine timers, or create your own customized timers to suit your particular workout approach. Seconds Pro also offers text-to-speech functionality that will "read out" your interval names, so that you don't even have to stop to look at the timer to know where you are in your workout. In addition, its music integration feature allows you to match your song selections to the intensity level of your workout. If you're a fan of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Seconds Pro is right up your alley.
PaceDJ is the perfect workout music app for people who already have a pretty hefty library of MP3s on their phone, and would like to organize them in a way that will sync with the pace of their workouts. PaceDJ features a BPM (beats per minute) identifier that scans the music files on your phone, identifies their BPM, and then guides you through a playlist curation process for your walking, cycling, running, or "other" workouts.
It starts by choosing a median BPM based on your workout choice (e.g., 130 BPM for running, 75 BPM for cycling, etc.), and then choosing songs that are within 10 BPM (on both sides) of your target workout speed. It can also select double-tempo or half-tempo songs as well. If the music library on your phone is a little thin, that's no problem--just visit the PaceDJ website to discover new exercise playlists, along with links to purchase the MP3s.
Argus is a multi-faceted fitness app that helps you quantify your day-to-day walking activity, along with other important life metrics such as meals, calories, heart rate, hours of sleep, and a whole lot more. The pedometer in Argus is much more than just a step-counter; it also keeps track of distance traveled, approximate calories burned and the total amount of time you've been physically active during the day.
With the help of some handy visual aids, you'll be able to view your activity in a graph format, which helps you better identify the times throughout the day when you were most active, and times when you were basically sitting still. As a comprehensive fitness app, Argus also features a handful of "gamification" elements including setting and achieving goals, and the ability to share your achievements with fellow Argus users.
Also by Azumio, Instant Heart Rate is widely hailed as the first, fastest, and most accurate heart rate monitor in the mobile app marketplace. All you have to do is place the tip of your index finger onto your smartphone's camera, and Instant Heart Rate will display your real-time heart rate, along with a chart that tracks each heartbeat. Exercise and fitness experts will tell you that the lower your resting heart rate is, the fitter you are; Instant Heart Rate enables you to keep a good pulse on your resting heart rate using nothing more than your smartphone--no external hardware needed.
Fitocracy utilizes the power of friendly competition in order to push you to achieve your fitness goals. The app not only provides you with countless expert-built free workouts to try, but it also functions much like a social network in that it allows users to share their achievements with other "Fitocrats" in the online community. You'll earn points for every workout that you complete, and you'll also have the opportunity earn badges for unlocking certain special achievement levels. The Fitocracy app is a great way to increase your fitness level through challenging workouts and the support of a positive community of fitness fanatics.
The digital revolution has opened the floodgates of knowledge and highly useful workout tools for exercise enthusiasts of all stripes. Keep the above apps in mind to help you take your health and fitness game to the next level.