I’ve been lifting weights on and off for quite a while but got in to power lifting more seriously around two years ago when I joined a boxing gym. I went to box, but ended up lifting weights.
The most common New Years Resolutions are based around diet and weight loss. It’s January, the gyms are packed and salads are flying off the shelves.
I’ve been a long time gym go’er, but never managed to get into the shape that I want due to a poor diet and not always being consistent. However this year, that is going to change.
I’m sure there are a million articles out there telling you what the best fitness apps are. But I thought that I’d add my tuppence to the pile.
I’ve tried quite a few different apps, paid and free, but most have in app purchases for increased functionality.
I used to track my weightlifting progress on pen and paper with a book. It has a template, you write in the exercise and what you’re lifting. But its 2019 now and there are some great apps out there to digitise all this for you.
Strong Pro –https://strong.app/
I wear an apple watch, but the Apple Watch workouts have zero functionality when it comes to any kind of weightlifting. I’ve tried a few different apps to fill the gap and found that Strong Pro is the best. I dabbled with StrongLifts 5×5 but there wasn’t enough flexibility in their programs and it didn’t allow me to change the workouts and do the kind of 5×5’s that I wanted to do. That being said, Stonglifts is far simpler.
Strong Pro isn’t cheap at £13.99 per year but allows you to build your own workouts from the ground up. It will calculate warm up sets, allow you to add in drop and fail sets and you can set custom rest timers that automatically start when you mark a set as done. It also has a pretty big database of different exercises for you to pick from. It’s well thought out and the interface is simple and intuitive to use.
It brings a satisfaction to your workouts and does all the maths for you, it produces graphs and charts to show your progress. It also links to apple health so you can use it to track your macronutrient intake if thats a thing that you’re into.
Apple Watch integration is in beta but works as you’d expect most of the time. It essentially just tracks your heart rate for a more accurate calorie burn count.
You can’t out-train a bad diet.
After many years of going to the gym and eating badly, I’ve learned that nutrition is probably the most important factor when it comes to weight loss or gain. You can’t out-train a bad diet.
MyFitnessPal is the easily the best food tracker i’ve used. I just use the free version, and I can add foods or build up recipes manually as i’m cooking food by searching their enormous food database or scanning the barcode. The barcode scanning is accurate 95% of the time, but sometimes it’ll find a pack of biscuits rather than what you asked.
I haven’t come across anything even close to MyFitnessPal. I dabbled with Eat This Much which is an excellent app for meal planning and grocery shopping, but unfortunately it was a little too American when it came to imperial weights and recipes. You should check out their site as well though as its a good resource.
I do two cardio days per week. I mostly do HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training which can be performed in a bunch of ways. Maybe I’ll go into more depth about my workouts in another video but intervals is a fully customisable interval timer that allows you to program your work and rest cycles, you can even customise it further to tell you exactly which exercise you should be doing. I tend to go with 20 seconds on 10 seconds off cycles for 8 rounds with a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
Intermittent fasting can be a really effective way to lose fat fast. There is a really simple free app called Zero. You can set your start time and end time and it track how long you’ve fasted for each day. You could just use the built in stopwatch or timer app, but this keeps it separate and drops you a notification when its time to eat. There is also a science section where you can learn more about the benefits and science behind intermittent fasting.
Ok, thats it… Those are the apps I use on a daily basis. Obviously its down to you to do the really hard work, but these apps can definitely help you along the way as they have helped me. Let me know in the comments what apps you use and if you know of some better ones, and i’ll check them out.