No need to spend a fortune to keep fit. Gain muscle, stay lean, strong, and focused with these popular fitness apps that will cost you nothing but sweat – and maybe a few tears.
1. NTC: Nike™ Training Club www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nike-plus/training-app
A brand synonymous with fitness for decades, it comes as no surprise Nike's app is one of the world's most downloaded. NTC keeps workouts simple with audio cues, video guides, and step-by-step images from Nike master trainers. Choose from strength programs, 15-minute workouts to target problem areas, cardio for weight loss, or interval training to get ripped. You're able to set your own pace and goals, and most of their 100 custom workouts include transition times - so you know just how much time to rest between sets. The app counts calories burned and also measures Nike Fuel™, an innovative metric that determines how much energy your body is expending. Check in with friends to see their workouts, and post your own to inspire others. Motivation comes not just from your online crew, but also athlete pros such as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
2. Zombies, RUN!™ www.zombiesrungame.com
What better way to keep the heart pumping than being chased by hordes of hungry Walking Dead-style zombies? The app lets you Pick from dozens of missions, put on your headphones, and become a hero for the human race. As you run, music and audio instructions let you know how you are doing with ammo, water, and getting supplies to build up your base. Most importantly, you'll be alerted when a zombie horde is hot on your tail and it's time to run for your life. Select the pace and intensity of each mission, frequency of attack, and how you'll be tracked (using GPS, or, if on a treadmill, try step counting). Each mission's distance, time, and pace are all logged - even if you don't manage to evade the horde. Users praise this fitness survival game for getting them through solid runs without ever stopping, slowing down, or even realising they are working out!
3. PACT™ www.pactapp.com
Got the willpower? Put your money where your motivation is. Make a time-sensitive pact about gym workouts, veggie intake, and/or food logging, and then make money from the users who fail! GPS, photos, and other technology promises to verify things are honest. Pact was created by two behavioural economists who know people don't like to lose a bet… and the healthy fitness and weight loss results they have inspired are priceless. You can pair Pact with MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com/) to log food, caloric intake, and to track nutrition. MyFitnessPal is also free and can be paired with this and other fitness apps, such as the next entry, Sworkit.
4. SWORKIT™ http://sworkit.com/
Sworkit’s point of difference is that it makes all the decisions for you (although it doesn't have to, if you prefer to customise). Simply pick which part of your body to work (choose from full body, upper body, core strength, lower body, or if you like surprises, anything goes), and certified trainers take it away with a pre-built video workout. No equipment is required so you can workout anywhere, at home, in a hotel, or during your lunch hour. One handy feature (shhh!) is the ability to pause workouts or even skip certain movements. Sworkit also makes it easy to encourage and challenge your community by sharing results online through social media. One excellent alternative is to not broadcast your workout to the world, as Sworkit allows you to send it privately to a training buddy or mentor.
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