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13 Digital Trainers, Trackers, and Guides for Better Workouts

13 Digital Trainers, Trackers, and Guides for Better Workouts

13 Digital Trainers, Trackers, and
Guides for Better Workouts

There’s a ton of tech that can help you design your workouts, analyze your progress, and set goals. But choosing a tool that really works for you can be as personal as finding a trainer you like: You might be most motivated by a stern coach, your own personal records, encouragement from a community, or a quiet trail. We put together a list of our favorite apps that offer different approaches to optimizing your routine—or to making it more fun—organized by type of exercise, so you can choose what you might be into.

(And if you’re looking to stream a workout session at home, we’ve compiled the good ones for you here.)

Gym

  • Progression

    Progression

    Unlimited, $4.99

    Progression is exactly what you need in the weight room: a streamlined logging tool that skips the bells and whistles. You set your full workouts ahead of time, customizing sets, rep ranges, rest times, and weight increments. If you deviate from the plan in any way—say, you’ve bumped up the volume on your dead lifts since your last workout or added a couple extra reps—you can update with just a few taps at the end of a set. (The free version allows up to two set workouts, and a one-time purchase gets you the unlimited plan.)

  • Kudos

    Kudos

    $95 a month

    Your Kudos trainer isn’t an audio recording, a video, or a bot—it’s an actual person. You’re matched with a coach who learns about your lifestyle and goals, and they prescribe a mix of strength and cardio activities for the gym (or your home), plus a realistic plan for healthy food habits. You can check in with your trainer daily through the app or via text, which means you get regular feedback and a chance to ask questions—and an accountability partner.

  • SHRED

    SHRED

    $12.99 a month or $99 a year

    Training programs from SHRED are optimized for the equipment available at your gym, so you get workouts designed for your specific environment (including body-weight workouts for when you’re at home or on the go). You can choose from a number of training styles—like classic HIIT, athlete, tone, bulk, or lean—according to your goals, and opt in to competitive workout tracking with other Shred members. And one of our favorite features: You get to pick between friendly coaching or something a little more intense, depending on what works for you.

  • Fitbit Coach

    Fitbit Coach

    $39.99 a year

    Fitbit offers a training service focused largely on body-weight workouts. Which means that aside from the occasional chair or set of stairs, you’re prop-free. You don’t need a Fitbit device to use Fitbit Coach, but if you do have a Fitbit Versa or Ionic, you can access some workouts directly from your watch. Otherwise, video or audio routines play through your phone or tablet.

  • Sworkit

    Sworkit

    $9.99 a month

    Sworkit is a streaming program designed to align with training guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine. It offers cardio, strength training, and yoga—but what really sets Sworkit apart is its comprehensive stretching guide. You can pick from individual stretches for targeted flexibility training or select comprehensive programs for balanced muscles and injury prevention.

Running and Cycling

  • Strava

    Strava

    From $2 to $6 a month

    There’s a reason this running and cycling company has a cult following. It’s seamlessly designed, syncs with fitness trackers and small watches, and encourages friendly competition within local running and cycling communities. It’s definitely a social platform: Strava shares your rides and runs automatically, and it’s easy to see what your friends have been up to. Subscription add-on packages provide instruction and insight for goal-based training, safety, and workout analysis.

  • TrainingPeaks

    TrainingPeaks

    From $9.92 a month

    TrainingPeaks is designed with endurance sports in mind: You add your goals—maybe it’s a charity 10K, or maybe you’re Ironman-bound—and structure your training around workout intensity, duration, or overall fitness leading up to race day. The app syncs with a number of fitness wearables, records your training data, and spits out charts and graphs to help you analyze your progress.

  • Peloton Digital

    Peloton Digital

    $19.49 a month

    Peloton’s made its name with high-tech stationary bikes and treadmills that stream live and on-demand studio classes into your living room. But you can also subscribe to its digital platform—without the hardware. With Peloton Digital, you get access to Peloton’s library of spin classes and treadmill workouts—plus strength, yoga, and audio-only outdoor running classes—led by the same team of elite instructors available through the bike or treadmill subscriptions. (The classes just stream through your phone or tablet instead.)

  • Aaptiv

    Aaptiv

    $14.99 a month or $99 a year

    Aaptiv’s audio-only platform is a good match for cardio, whether you’re inclined toward the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, or the pavement outside your door. You can pick a program based on a certain event, like an upcoming half marathon, or choose classes à la carte. It’s especially nice for new runners building mileage; a coach in your ear helps with motivation and keeps things interesting. Aaptiv also offers yoga, stretching, and strength training—but keep in mind there’s no visual aid, so it’s good to have a basic knowledge of what you’re doing.

Swimming

  • MySwimPro

    MySwimPro

    From $9.99 a month

    Besides the fact that it’s a very well-designed swim log, MySwimPro syncs with water-resistant smart watches to provides analytics after every workout, including heart rate, strokes per lap, splits, and SWOLF score (a measure of swimming efficiency). You can tap into its library of workouts or customize your own, plus you’ll have access to video classes to work on technique. For something a little more structured, the app also offers specialized plans for speed, endurance, and technique, as well as twelve-week programs for Olympic-length triathlons and 1,500-meter open-water swims.

Hiking, Biking, and Outdoor Exploring

  • Hiking Project

    Hiking Project

    Free

    Like REI’s other “project” apps, Hiking Project is a free map resource that works as well in the backcountry as it does for urban outings. Meaning: no cell signal, no problem. Really. Just you, a great network of trail maps, and a little blue dot showing that you’re on the right path.

  • Mountain Project

    Mountain Project

    Free

    Mountain Project, the rock-climbing app from REI, is an excellent climbing resource, covering nearly 200,000 routes in the US alone. You just search by state and download specific areas to use offline at the crag, whether you’re at New Hampshire’s Rattlesnake Mountain or California’s Lover’s Leap. (And if you’re not ready for all that: Mountain Project also has a guide to climbing gyms worldwide.)

  • MTB Project

    MTB Project

    Free

    MTB Project provides maps to 135,845 miles of mountain biking trails across the US and around the world, crowdsourced from a worldwide mountain biking community and reviewed by the MTB Project staff to ensure that the trails are accurate and legal to ride. The mobile app is easy to navigate, and its maps are downloadable for offline access.

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