SUNNYVALE, CA, United States – I don’t know about yours, but at my gym there’s always someone hassling me to sign-up for $40 personal training sessions and quite often it’s a guy with a bigger beer belly than my own. Not to disparage that worthy trade, but surely at that price we could expect Kate Upton or Ryan Gosling to be taking the class… and then taking us for dinner afterwards?
After all, it’s getting to that time of year where we’re looking to bronze up and flash some flesh. Here are five of the best apps to ensure you’re striding across that beach looking photoshopped.
Livestrong Calorie Tracker
Free (usually $2.99)
This app helps you keep track of those little indulgences and decide whether you really want that full-fat Venti Mocha Frappuccino. With a database of 625,000 foods and restaurant items, it’s easy to stay in-line with your caloric goals. Livestrong will also calculate what you burn through activity, while weight-loss (or gain) progress is tracked through attractive charts and graphs. The app, which is a mobile companion to the MyPlate service, is usually $2.99, but is free for a limited time. Thanks, Lance!
6 Week Training
The problem with some virtual coaching apps comes as many don’t know your start-point and have little means of tracking how fast you’re improving. 6 Week Training overcomes this by gauging how adept you are on day one and testing your progress through ‘exhaustion tests’ that inform next week’s schedule. The idea is to reach a goal, say 200 sit-ups, in six weeks. It works with you in real time, giving you a 90 second break in between sets, or combining activities for ‘super sets’, if you’re a total badass. There are five activities for you to conquer – push ups, dips, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats.
When it comes to eating well, nothing quite gets the message across like the outline of a man becoming fuller as you plough through your allotted calories. As well as your dieting goals Livescape tracks your workouts on a map through GPS and has a built-in pedometer. Unlike similar apps the value of unconventional, but equally taxing, activities like washing the car, can also be accounted for. The comprehensive (it even has a fertility calculator) Windows Phone-exclusive app, lets you track injuries, blood pressure and mood over time, is fully Integrated with Live Tiles, and will run in the background while you play music and multitask.
You don’t need a doctor to inform you that a heavy workout and healthy eating schedule has to be supplemented three things: Hydration, hydration and… hydration. Waterlogger for Windows Phone is a really cute Live Tile-based app, which offers a visual representation of your water intake throughout the day. Once you’ve reached your fitness goal, it could also be used for beer. We won’t tell.
Yoga Studios are popping up all over the place, but it can be a hugely expensive hobby. My studio wants $18 for a 90-minute class. No thanks. Now we’ve perfected our flow, we can rely more on free apps like Yoga-pedia, which offers images and instructions for over 100 poses and a free audio lesson every day. Namaste.
How do you know of any great fitness apps or services? Let us know in the comments below.