** This post is a the first of a series, you can see the next one here.
So I’m not a fitness buff, I’m just realizing that my body needs to be doing things pretty frequently if I want to do high action sports. My real thrill comes from kiteboarding , skiing, rock climbing, or surfing. And every one of those activities are inaccessible to most people who sit at their desk 8 hours a day.
So I started looking for an ios app that would help me make the most of my physical activity time. I was looking for one that will help me achieve my goals to be fit enough to be able to do those sports mentioned above for hours on end, and without injury. As I started to use these fitness apps, I realized these where the feature I wanted:
- Lots of types and variety of workouts – I don’t want something that is running or weights only.
- The ability to navigate those workouts easily – I’m not in a gym frequently, and I don’t know what all the exercises are called. I need to be able to understand them quickly
- A good interface during the actual workout – video is key because I need to know how to do the exercises with good form. I also need to be able to see the important information like reps or time while doing an exercise.
- Some sort of plan that helps group these workouts together and build towards more advanced workouts.
- The ability to listen to music while I workout.
- Free would be nice, but I’m happy to pay if it really gives me a more tailored experience and better workout results.
The Apps I reviewed
- Nike Training Club
- Fitbit Coach
Nike Training Club
Summary: This is the app to beat. Seems like most other apps copy Nike.
What I liked: The user interface puts everything I want to see within a tap , and the workout categories and filters make finding good workouts possible
What I didn’t Like: – I can never get the audio from Spotify loud enough without the coaching voice over being way too loud. I also wish they added more new workouts with higher frequency.
Who’s it good for: someone working out a few times a week in a gym or at home and wants some variety and the ability to do more serious workouts
- Types and Variety of workouts (5/5)
- Grouped into Edurance (89 workouts), Mobility ( 23) , Strenth (65), and Yoga (17) for a total of 194 workouts.
- Ranges from stretching to barbell squats and kettlebell swings.
- Really hits the sweet spot for my personal interests in working out.
- This would be a 6/5 if they released more frequent additions and updates
- Navigating Workouts (5/5)
- Can filter by skill level, duration in minutes, equipment, and intensity
- Each workout has a landing page where you can preview all the exercises and see the equipment needed.
- Completing workouts (4/5)
- Video downloads quick and is high quality. The multiple angles help you really understand how to do the exercise.
- Talk track is helpful, and gives guidance on form that I find relevant
- Has both repetitions based exercises (do it x number of times) and time based workouts (for 30 seconds , etc) that automatically count down.
- Only negative point is that I struggle to balance the spotify audio with the coaching audio. Nike Training club reduces the volume of background apps, so I have to crank things up which makes the coaches voice too loud.
- Workout plans (4/5)
- Will automatically build a plan for you based on your goals
- Has the ability to move workouts from one day to another, when life gets in the way
- Tracking / Motivation (3/5)
- Has social features, but they are super confusing and not a priority for them
- Gives you badges and counts how many times you’ve worked out. This has been good enough to help me know when I’m building momentum or not.
- I’d pay to get access to more workouts, and feedback tailored to me by a specialist