As athletes, by now we’re all familiar with the benefits of using fitness apps and performance monitors to supplement our training. While the likes of Nike+, Strava and Map My Run have a proven track record when it comes to helping users reach their full potential, there are always new fitness apps popping up that can be equally as efficient, if not more. Here’s a list of some of the newer athlete apps on currently on the market, ranked.
Best for: Motivation
By no means should you turn to Pact if you’re looking to amp up your workouts. Rather, the app (formerly known as GymPact) is geared towards the average consumer looking to lead a more healthy lifestyle and get paid to do it. Say what?
Well, technically you’re more likely to lose cash rather than earn it since users make “pacts” by putting money on the line as a source of motivation to meet the expected goals. If you don’t follow through, you lose your money. What we like about Pact is its compatibility with performance tracking devices like Fitbit and Jawbone Up, as well as the app’s ability to track workouts via GPS and an accelerometer. Unfortunately, the latter doesn’t always provide accurate information.
Best for: All-purpose training
From bodyweight training, to dance aerobics, to even yoga, the DailyBurn app definitely has a lot to offer to athletes in terms of variety. The app’s library features over 100 full-length (some of which are an hour long) workouts, allowing users to switch it up from time to time to stay motivated. What we like about the app is its compatibility with heart rate monitors, as well as its easy of use. However, the downside to DailyBurn is that most of the workouts can only be accessed by upgrading to a monthly membership, which will cost users $10. These days, you can get a legit gym membership for that much.
Best for: Tech-savvy athletes
Where many fitness apps act as personal trainers, rubiTrack 3 is more of a training journal, allowing athletes to keep closer taps on their performance. The app works by downloading training sessions from various tracking devices from brands like Garmin, Suunto and Polar and plugs the data into charts that can be used to analyze progression. This app isn’t ideal for the average athletes, especially those who despise data overload. Rather, it is geared more towards tech-savvy athletes who want to see their training broken down to the numbers.
Best for: Marathon training
There’s no shortage of running apps available to athletes, but what sets My Asics apart from the rest is its adaptive workout programs designed to help runners train for races (from 5k’s to marathons and everything in between). It’s more than a way to track your performance; the app lets users learn and improve from the results.
For example, My Asics marathon plans range in length from 12 to 33 weeks, with workouts spread across two to four days a week. Users can view the routine, different phases and upcoming runs to keep on track with training. The app has a built-in compass that helps runners navigate their way back home. Additionally, the app features a gear tracking option, which lets you track the mileage on your shoes and gear.
Best for: Cardio
Pumatrac gets high marks for its user-friendly design and in-app features. Designed to motivate athletes both outside the gym, the cardio-based app uses elements like weather conditions and personal behaviors to give users a fully immersive running experience. Tracking distance, pace and calories burned are just the basic features; the app features a Spotify option for personalized music, as well as an indoor mode to take the training indoors for some treadmill action during extreme weather. Runners can also log their favorite for later use. Well done Puma.
Best for: Cross-training
You don’t have to be an aspiring boxer to take advantage of the intense training involved with the sport. Boxercise is an app that lets athletes “train like a boxer without getting hit.” Not to be intimidated by its nature, the app is geared to a wide range of users, including children.
The app’s step-by-step video demos train you on the in’s and out’s of boxing. Learn how to throw punches safely and effectively, as well combinations and proper footwork. Boxercise (apparently) even has the approval of Muhammad Ali, as it allows you to learn moves used by the legendary boxer. Ever want to learn the Ali Shuffle? Here’s your chance.
Bottom line: A great app for athletes who want to add some cross-training to their routine.
Runtastic Six Pack Abs Trainer
Best for: Core training
These days, getting a personal trainer is as easy as picking up your phone or tablet and downloading an app. Case in point, Runtastic Six Pack.
Designed to help athletes improve by targeting the core, the app features over 50 HD instructional ab workouts, including sit-ups, planks, mountain climbers, hip drops and many more. Users can create custom workout plans that cater to their needs, with personal trainer avatars ready to help take you through the training step-by-step. Since there is no equipment required, the app can be used basically anywhere, anytime. Sure, the animation videos are slightly on the cheesy side, but in terms of functionality, the app gets high marks. It gives you plenty of recovery time in between sets; you can skip to the next exercise at will.
Best for: Beginners
Designed for athletes on the go, Hot5 features high intensity video workouts that can be done virtually anywhere. The app itself is simple to use and has a well-designed interface that lets you monitor your results. Users can choose their preferred difficulty level, with nine different personal trainers to choose from depending on your workout regimen—there’s even a yoga option.