It’s a normal day, you’re strolling down the street, what do you see?

You will see countless people with their faces glued to their smartphones, drifting up and down the high street completely oblivious to anything and everything around them.

The digital era

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Personally I quite enjoy it if somebody almost walks into me as it gives me the opportunity to retort with Dustin Hoffman’s classic “I’m walking here!” from Midnight Cowboy.

But joking aside, this trend for people being obsessed with their gadgets is not limited to the streets, but coffee shops, restaurants and now, even the gym has not remained immune to this ever-spreading pandemic.

This brings me nicely onto the theme of today’s post:

Are fitness apps effective when it comes to planning your workout?

When you set foot in the gym, you are there to work.

Granted that for many there is a social aspect to pumping iron but the primary objective of your mission is to push yourself  and work towards your goals whatever they may be.

Now, there are many fitness apps available to download off the google play store and can seriously help people who lack a little know-how in routine programming, but a personal rule of mine (and many other lifters I know) is to never bring your phone into the gym.

Leave it in the locker or the car, as it is a severe distraction.

How effective are fitness apps at shaping your workout plans_2How to utilise fitness apps

What I recommend you do is, download your fitness app, pick the routine or series of exercises which appeal most to you, then study each and every exercise if you have never done them before, there are many great instruction videos online, or you can even seek instruction from the resident gym instructor.

Once you are familiarised with all of your exercises, write out the plan in a notebook. This notebook is going to become your brand-shining-new workout diary, or your own personal bible!

Keeping a diary will allow you to monitor your progress over time and highlight any areas which may be lagging and require additional attention.

Best app for fitness?

There are many great free apps out there, too many to list, but I will briefly review several which I have found to be helpful:

1. Gym Coach

This is a very crisp and easy to navigate app. It provides plans for a variety of goals including; bulking up, leaning out, general fitness, 6-pack abs and in addition to these, there are 2 diet plans – one for bulking, one for getting lean.

Each exercise has easy to understand diagrams, with the number of sets and reps clearly set out. One problem with this app however is that it is plagued with advertisements and pop-ups, but this is the case with almost all free apps unfortunately.

2. Workout Trainer

Like Gym Coach, it is a very well laid-out app. There is a comprehensive exercise library, divided into the various muscle groups i.e. chest, back, shoulders etc.

Additionally, you can create your own custom routine by sifting through the library and manually adding exercises of your choice. This app however does not come with pre-programmed routines.

3. Perfect Body

It contains a comprehensive exercise library and comes with a progress plan, essentially an exercise diary, but you have to buy the premium version to get more than the first 2 weeks of recording.

This app also comes with a “Tips” section, which is extremely helpful for the inexperienced trainee, additionally it comes with an information section, explaining the basics of all the most popular and common training supplements such as whey protein and creatine etc.

 

4. WatchFit

Right here! A fantastic selection of plans covering all requirements and subjects delivered straight to your phone and devices. Everything from 3-day smoothie detoxes, to pre-ski holidays conditioning, bulking up, shedding fat, marathon running – plenty more too and being added to all the time. These plans are detailed, contain film, many are interactive and community based  and they have been created by great experts from around the world. As you are already on a WatchFit page I’d urge you to check out the Plans section!

So there you have it, fitness apps can definitely be highly useful and helpful for many individuals, they can provide all the information required to get an individual on track with their training programs, but as I mentioned earlier, use the app to design or obtain your program, then write that program down in a notebook, that way you do not rely on your phone and can leave it in the locker where it sometimes belongs!

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