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Cardio exercises are great, but if you want to look like you’re working out, you gotta lift some heavy things. Regardless of how you look, though, lifting weights can be dangerous if you don’t know the proper techniques for doing so. Fortunately, the bevy of apps below offering more than enough information on your body’s various muscle groups and the way you should interact with the equipment lining the walls and floor of your local gym.
I love this app. The interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, the workout tracking features are great, and it uses exercise animations instead of videos, so they play/repeat automatically and don’t require you to pause and watch a video if there’s something you’re not sure how to do. The app also doesn’t assume you have kettlebells and yoga balls coming out of your ears, and asks you what equipment you have before it formulates a workout routine.
With so many different muscle groups and weights to choose from, lifting can be an intimidating world. Pumping Weight lets you track your workouts within a well-designed interface, with an onslaught of instruction for targeting specific muscle groups using a melange of everyday exercises. Additional workout logs ensure you vary your exercise routine, and the app even tracks your weight, body fat, BMI, and more.
Though Gym Buddy looks like something from 1998, it gets the job done with minimal effort. The simple app records the numbers of reps you do and how much weight you’re using, but it also lacks the pre-loaded workouts common to other lifting software. Still, a calendar and graph component allows you see what you’ve done over the course of the month, while a countdown timer gives your body proper rest breaks it needs to stay healthy.
Beginners beware, though the 5×5 workout is one of the best ways to gain muscle and lose fat, it can be extremely strenuous for inexperienced lifters. The whole idea behind the workout is to do three 45 minute workouts a week, focusing on the largest muscles in your body for optimal effect. StrongLifts 5×5 acts as a virtual coach, providing alternating instructions on a range of exercises that gradually tack on weight once you’ve perfected the proper form.
Fitocracy knows working out isn’t the most fun activity. Keeping motivated week after week is hard, so Fitocracy made it into something that uses the most basic of human instincts: competition. The personal trainer lets you track and save the app’s various workouts or your own, and more importantly, it encourages you to work toward real-life goals through a leveling system and in-game achievements you can share among your friends and the Fitocracy community.
Despite sounding like something from an informercial, PumpNLog is simple and easy to use. The app doesn’t suggest mundane exercises or provide cheesy encouragement of any kind, but more so, it acts as a simple log for detailing your progress in the gym. You can also use the software to create custom workouts and exercises, log photos, and enable notifications conveniently design to inform of your latest achievements and record-setting days.