Guest Review: Top Five Fitness Apps

Can’t afford the luxury of a personal trainer (neither can we) then here is a run down from Abnormal Yak of fitness apps to turn your smartphone into your very own trainer and nutritionist for less than a carton of Vita Coco.  

I’m addicted to fitness apps. Can’t get enough of them. If I had to choose the best five, I’d probably start with:

1. Fitocracy []

Platforms:  iOS, Android

Price: free

Fitocracy lets you log your workouts and earn points, level up, and get achievement badges for being fit and active. It’s hugely fun and motivating and very social, too. You can add other users as friends and give each other “props” for a good workout, you can chat and comment in groups about health and fitness topics, and even challenge each other to duels.



2. Zombies, Run! [ ]

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: £2.49

Zombies, Run! is a progressive running training programme wrapped in an immersive story and game about running away from zombies. It’s much more exciting and motivating than a regular running programme. Prompts though your headphones tell you when to run and to walk, and gradually unfold the story. You better be ready to run when the zombies start chasing you!


3. MyFitnessPal  []

Platforms: iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7

Price: Free

MyFitnessPal is mostly targeted at people who want to lose weight. Its core function is to allow you to easily track what you eat and drink. Unlike some other similar apps, it has a huge database of British foods so you don’t have to laboriously type in all the nutritional data of your Jaffa Cakes. I especially like the facility to scan the barcode on your food with your phone’s camera. But MFP is more than just a calorie counter. You can also log your exercise or activity, and the calories you burned get added on to your calorie allowance for the day. You can add friends and give each other encouraging comments and support. And there are forums where you can ask for help and discuss diet and fitness topics.

My Fitness Pal

4. 100 Pushups []

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: £1.49

I could have chosen any of SoftwareX’s excellent series of apps, such as 200 Situps, 200 Squats, 150 Dips etc. They all follow a similar pattern: 1. show you how to do the exercise in question 2. get you to do as many as you can in one go 3. design a personalised progressive training programme that aims to take you from wherever you started to being able to do the number of exercises in the title. I started out able to do just 18 good-form pushups, and by following the programme I can now do 100. You still have to put in the actual work, but the app handles everything else for you.

Push ups

5. Runkeeper []

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Runkeeper describes itself as a “personal trainer for your pocket”. It uses your smartphone’s GPS capability to track you whilst running, walking or biking. When you get home you can see where you went, how far, how fast, where you sped up, slowed down or stopped to puke in some bushes. There is also an online social network so you can share your workouts and compare personal bests.


So that’s my roundup of the top 5 fitness apps. Thanks to Charlotte and Emma for asking me to write this guest blog. If you’d like to read more about tech, apps and gamification for fitness and weight loss come along to [

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