It’s no surprise that there have been a ton of apps created for the fitness professional or fitness enthusiast. The science of training has come a long way over the past decade, and so has the technology. We now have more gadgets, programs, and apps that can help us with our training then we know what to do with. Here is a rundown of my top five apps I use on a regular basis in my training:
1. Bioforce HRV or Omegawave – The verdict is still out on which one I like better. I’ve been using the Bioforce for quite some time now, but recently, I’ve been looking into Omegawave as another Heart Rate Variability resource. I haven’t personally used the Omegawave app yet, but the data it gives you will come in handy with your training. Both of these apps are designed to test your Heart Rate Variability (HRV). This is not the same as heart rate training. Using an app like Bioforce or Omegawave, you’ll be able to accurately monitor your stress levels and how your sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) are interacting with each other. In order to enhance performance and have optimal recovery, we want to have plenty of parasympathetic activity going on. Using something like Bioforce or Omegawave to monitor your nervous system activity can help take your training to a whole new level. With this technology, you’ll be able to train at the upper limits without ever having to worry about overtraining. This is one of the coolest apps I’ve used in quite some time.
2. Coaches Eye – This is an awesome app that allows you to take video footage of whatever you want. Trying to pick apart a clean or snatch…no problem. Use Coaches Eye and shoot the exercise on video. This will allow you to play it back in front of the client to visually show them what they are doing wrong. Video footage can be a huge advantage and really help clear up little technical issues. Also, with Coaches Eye, you can add circles, lines, and other features to help point something out on the video. Simply run a line down their spine to show them neutral or add a circle around the knee, and then it becomes very easy to show your client what you want them to do. This also comes in handy because it has an option to replay in slow motion. Taking video, slowing it down, and analyzing with your clients can help out tremendously. Give it a shot. I guarantee you’ll get quick results with this one!
3. Workout Muse – Interval training is a huge part of most group training programs. With the use of Workout Muse, I’m able to play any music I want while having an interval timer going on in the background. This has been a life saver. I coach a lot of groups and semi-private sessions, so finding a timing solution was a necessity. This is where Workout Muse came into play. At first, I just downloaded a random, free interval timer, and it worked. However, after trying Workout Muse, I’ll never go back. There are two distinct things I like about Workout Muse over any other interval timer app I’ve tried. First, Workout Muse actually says Stop and Go. Most free apps will only give a horn or buzzer. I definitely like having the commands of start and stop being verbally spoken. Second, Workout Muse has a feature that gives you a half-way point. This is great for unilateral work, or at least giving you an idea of where you stand time wise.
4. Trigger Points by Real Bodywork – Have you ever had a nagging pain you just can’t seem to get rid of? Trigger Points is an awesome app designed to help identify common trigger points within the muscle. This app has been designed based off of peer reviewed literature for common trigger point sites. It can help identify the painful areas and specific trigger point sites that may potentially be creating the pain. Use this information while foam rolling, using a lacrosse ball, massage stick, or other form of self-massage to help treat common aches and pains. Simply identify your painful area, find the trigger point associated with that area, and get to work. It doesn’t work all the time, but I’ve found it to be rather useful for identifying some tough to find trigger points. It’s well worth the $3-5 investment.
5. Pandora Radio – I’m not really going to dive much into this one. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Pandora radio is my go to solution for finding music. I hated creating playlists that tried to keep everyone happy. Now I let my clients choose by letting them pick the music and play DJ occasionally. This has taken the playlist creation out of my hands (thank God!) and lets them enjoy the music they want to hear. This works better in a personal training scenario, but still works well with group training. Just be sure to get online and set the settings to block the explicit content. I personally pay the $4/month to upgrade, but that’s up to you. It’s worth $1/week to skip commercials in my opinion.
There are my top five apps I use for training. I use them often and couldn’t imagine training without anyone of them. Outside of the HRV, these apps can all be purchased for less than $15. The HRV option will run you a little higher on the cost to implement, but the info is amazing! Give these options a shot and take your training to the next level!