Nowadays, many people need help to stick to a fitness plan. For some, the problem is a lack of time. Others need help to stay motivated long enough to make a change. But we all know that working out consistently is incredibly beneficial for us.
With the rise of fitness apps, the good news is that tracking our workouts and staying consistent has become easier than ever. Let us see why that is.
The different Types of Fitness Apps
In general, there are three different types of fitness apps. Their main difference among them is the way they store and process the fitness data you add:
- Workout Apps
- Activity Tracking Apps
- Nutrition Tracking Apps
Of course, some apps can do more than one and offer a combination of two or even all three types. However, they usually fall into one of these types where the app has its specialty.
In this article, we are focusing on the best Workout Apps. To make it easier to find the best apps, we added a second-level structure and introduced the Workout App Categories. And these categories are:
- Workout Tracker: replaces your pen and paper and log your exercises in the simplest way possible.
- Workout Planner: uses technology, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), to build personalized workouts to help achieve your goals.
- Weightlifting: focus on muscle-building, optimizing routines to help maximize gains and get fit using weighted resistance.
- Online Classes: provides access to online courses spanning everything from cardio to strength training to meditation.
- Bodyweight: types of training where you use your bodyweight only. Often in combination with "High-Intensity Training" (HIT).
Your all-in-one Fitness Tool
Replace your pen and paper and log your exercises in the simplest way possible.
Hevy is one of the most straightforward and intuitive workout trackers. It allows you to track your weight training sessions easily and even use a smartwatch to log your workouts. Thanks to its clean interface, Hevy is a fantastic option for seamlessly tracking your training without wasting precious time. However, the little features make Hevy a genuinely great and one-of-a-kind app. Read our opinion on Hevy.
The Strong App is another workout tracker we have been fans of for a long time. It shares many features similar to Hevy and does a great job of helping trainees track their workouts. It also has a clean interface and works well on a phone or smartwatch. In addition, the app provides some good features that elevate the training experience. You can learn more about it here.
An underdog in the workout tracker plays Liftin'. Liftin' claims to be the easiest way to keep track of your gym sessions. The app adjusts the weight automatically depending on your previous results. Supports RPE/RIR, statistics, and exercise history. Unfortunately, the app is only available for Apple iPhone and Apple Watch. You can check out Liftin' for free for one year if you use an Apple device.
Use of technology, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), to build personalized workouts to help achieve your goals.
Another excellent choice, particularly for those who travel frequently, is Fitbod. The app builds workouts from scratch based on your available equipment and similar details. Telling the app what goals you have, how experienced you are, and how frequently you want to train allows is to generate customized plans in seconds. Again, Fitbod stands out with the machine-learning capabilities that make it a great travel companion. The app also provides options for in-room and (hotel) gym workouts. If you want to know more, read our detailled Fitbod App review.
Focus on muscle-building, optimizing routines to help maximize gains and get fit using weighted resistance.
Alpha Progression is probably the best muscle-building app worth considering. The app offers a clean and simple interface that helps you put together great workouts, track your progress, and much more. The pro version of the app also comes with built-in deload recommendations, a plan generator, and suggestions for pushing yourself to improve. Unlike some apps on the market, Alpha Progression also offers custom charts that show how your performance changes over time. The best part is that you can export your data should you stop using the app. Check out our full in-depth review of Alpha Progression.
Provides access to online courses spanning everything from cardio to strength training to meditation.
Apple Fitness+ is a subscription-based app providing access to thousands of pre-recorded workouts. The classes support different fitness levels and have been designed for typical home workouts, with minimal requirements on equipment (in most cases). The app includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, indoor cycling, treadmill running, yoga, strength, and pilates. Unfortunately, this great fitness app is for Apple devices only, and you also need an Apple Watch to get the most out of it. An addition, the yearly plan costs $79.99. Check out our Apple Fitness+ review to learn more about this app.
A great alternative is FitOn. A genuinely fantastic workout app that offers exercise videos and resources. The digital platform provides access to a vast range of workout videos in different categories and with different timing or level of intensity. Different from Apple Fitness+, FitOn is available on all major platforms and devices. Another difference, FitOn streaming workouts are 100% free. However, you can upgrade to FitOn Pro, which includes a customized diet plan, recipes, streaming music playlists, and integration with your favorite fitness wearables. For 12-month FitOn Pro charges $29.99. Soon we will also publish our in-depth review.
Types of training where you use your bodyweight only. Often in combination with "High-Intensity Training" (HIT).
Freeletics creates customized training sessions that you can do anytime, anywhere, with or without equipment. The training system combines "High-Intensity Training" (HIT) and "High-Intensity Interval Training" (HIIT) methods which generally take around 30 minutes. In some ways, Freeletics is similar to Fitbod. For instance, it is excellent for tracking your performance, asking questions, and generating customized training plans. In addition, the clean interface of the app makes the entire experience pleasant. You can learn more about the app in our full review.
A good App will keep you accountable and motivated.
While it may sound a bit superficial, it is not. Tracking your performance and training often are two of the best ways to keep yourself accountable. If you do not train consistently, the lack of progress is apparent and tells you something: You need to get serious about this.
Apps are also valuable because you see results immediately when you put in the effort and make progress. This creates a positive feedback loop where you see results, keep pushing yourself, and see even more progress.
Plus, thanks to social features like the ones Hevy and Fitbod offer, you receive even more accountability and encouragement from others. Of course, that works for you, too. When you are done with a workout, you can share it with your followers and hear what they have to say. The extra layer of accountability can be a fantastic way to stay motivated and achieve your goals.
How to get started
The great news is, getting started is incredibly simple. All you have to do is download an app and set it up. The process takes no more than ten minutes, and you are ready to go. Typically, the app will ask some personal questions like:
- What are your fitness goals?
- How often can you train, and for how long?
- What kind of equipment do you have access to (if any)?
Then, you let the app create a workout plan for you or add yours to your profile. The best part is that your phone is with you in 99 percent of cases. So, you can stay on track, input your data, and change your training with just a few clicks. Input:
- Sets, reps, and weights
- Exercises you have done
- How your performance is changing
- How recovered you are
Simply put, if you want to simplify your fitness, manage your workouts, and track your progress effectively, you need an app.
Which App to choose?
Okay. You understand the benefits of using a workout app and are on board to download one and set it up. The question is, which app should you pick? All five apps share similar features, and each can help you train effectively and make the most of your gym training. You would not make a mistake with any of them - however, there are some nuances you might prefer one workout app over the other. Let us dive into this:
Hevy is the cheapest of this selection of apps, with a monthly subscription cost of only $3.99. The app has slightly different features from Alpha Progression and Fitbod, but its simple interface makes it a joy to use.
Fitbod, Freeletics, and Alpha Progression are more complex and useful for people who need to learn how to put together effective routines or prefer someone else do it for them.
The great thing about all five apps is that they offer a free (or trial) version, which allows you to dip your toe and see what you like. If any of these apps grabs your attention, you can get the pro version for a month.
What others are saying
Our top five are Alpha Progression, Freeletics, Fitbod, FitOn, and Hevy. Let us make a quick on the social proof:
With over 134,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.9/5 on Google Play and the App Store, it is safe to say that people enjoy Strong. Many people love the flexibility of putting together and tracking workouts. The app also allows trainees to easily see their past training numbers, which can help with improvements and lead to more seamless progressive overload. Users also love the option of exporting data into a spreadsheet, which prevents them from being tied to the app forever.
The only potential issue with Strong is that the app does not seem to get updated as frequently as before. According to Google Play, the most recent update occurred on July 23, more than three months ago. Plus, we have yet to determine when the next update might come. In contrast to Strong, Hevy and the other apps get updated every two to three weeks, bringing new features to the table and fixing bugs to ensure the best user experience.
Hevy (Best Workout Logger)
Hevy is an impressive app that has made a big splash in the fitness world. Despite its simplicity, or perhaps precisely because of it, Hevy has become a fan-favorite. Over 700.000 athletes use it to track their workouts, customize their routines, and communicate with like-minded individuals.
One of the app's greatest features is workout logging. Putting together a workout takes only a couple of minutes, and logging your sessions happens in a few taps. Plus, the app is full of excellent features that set it apart from many competitors. Some notable options include:
- Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale for measuring how hard you train
- Record body measurements inside the app (chest, arms, thighs, waist, etc.)
- Use a plate calculator that tells you exactly how to achieve the desired weight
- Include supersets and drop sets in your workouts
FitOn (Best Online Classes)
What stands out with FitOn are two things, their free access to all their online classes and their cross-device accessibility. While Apple Fitness+ is an excellent app, its price and restriction on Apple devices limit the community. Their celebrity trainers are another aspect the 10+ million FitOn users love. You will get to work out with Gabrielle Union, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Jonathan Van Ness, and many more. You can even do your workout listening to The Chainsmokers.
Also, the ratings in both App Stores are very positive, with a 4.9 from combined 300k users. An impressive achievement, especially considering the app was founded in January 2019.
Fitbod (Best Workout Generator)
Fitbod is slightly more popular than Strong and has a fantastic review profile. With nearly 187.000 reviews and a rating of 4.8/5 on the App Store, Fitbod has proven itself to be great among people. The app is still relatively new to Android, which explains the lower review count on Google Play.
Many people love the app's sheer versatility, allowing them to set available equipment and other preferences using different gym profiles. A feature that is amazing if you work out regularly in various gyms. One of our favorite features which make Fitbod very travel-friendly!
One thing that sets Fitbod apart from most competitors is the excellent workout generator tool. The app continuously checks how an exercise feels, which allows Fitbod's algorithm to provide a tailor-made training program that works for your goals, needs, and desires. As such, the app is also fantastic for traveling because it provides you with practical and effective workouts, regardless of circumstances.
Freeletics (Best Bodyweight Training App)
Freeletics is the final app on our list, and we consider it the best option for bodyweight and cardio-based training. With over 255.000 reviews on Google Play and the App store and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, Freeletics provides a customized training experience. You can check out the training journeys before committing and switch your plan if you find that it does not work well for you. Alternatively, if you enjoy your training, you can repeat a journey once it is done.
Freeletics features a friendly interface, information about each exercise, and instructions for each training journey.
Alpha Progression (Best Lifting App)
Alpha Progression has a more modest review profile as it is relatively newer. Still, the app has over 3.500 reviews on Google Play and the App Store and an average rating of 4.8/5. Many people love the built-in progression, plan generator, and other features that make the training experience more fun and effective.
Alpha Progression also comes with a workout generator that provides customized training plans. However, you must first answer a few questions that allow the app to understand you better.
The market offers many fitness-related apps, and some of them are amazing. Alpha Progression, Apple Fitness, Freeletics, Fitbod, FitOn, Hevy, or Strong are prime examples because they allow us to track various aspects of the fitness thing. The choice is all yours.