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8 free fitness apps that can help you get in shape — and what they’re best for
That’s why no app in the study scored more than 35 points out of 70 in the evaluation scale that the researchers devised
2. Second highest overall: Nike+ Training Club
What it is: The Nike+ Training Club app includes more than 100 workouts designed by Nike trainers, with video and audio guidance for workouts of different lengths. You can also log your other fitness activities on the app.
Best for: Full-body strength training. This app doesn’t perform as well in the aerobic exercise portion (Nike has another app exclusively for running which is worth checking out). But it did well in the strength section. Reviewers noted that both the individual workouts and the multi-week training programs were good.
Nike+ is great for tracking overall fitness and offers good strength-training options. This app is a promising choice if you want a varied selection of workouts using anything from simple body-weight exercises to gym equipment. And unlike most apps, there’s no pressure to upgrade to a premium program.
Relevant scores: 10 out of 30 for aerobic training; 19.5 out of 30 for strength training; 3.1 out of 10 for flexibility
3. The app with the third-best overall score was the only aerobic fitness app that scored highly: Weight Loss Running by Verv
What it is: This app was named Running for Weight Loss: Interval Training when it was reviewed for the study, but that’s since changed. It’s specifically focused on interval training, with runs that alternate between easier and harder levels of intensity. There’s also a meal-planning component, which is important for weight loss.
Best for: Aerobic training and running. This app is targeted towards people who want to lose weight, but it’ll also help you build endurance and speed as a runner. Interval training is one of the best ways to get in shape, so no matter what your aerobic fitness goals are, plans that incorporate this approach are worth considering.
The app also includes training programs for specific runs: one helps you prepare for a 5k within seven weeks, and another is a 16-week marathon training program (which assumes you already run a fair amount). Another program is designed for those just starting to run.
To get to the free version, you need to sign up for a free premium trial and cancel the auto-renew. Some users report that the pop-ups asking you to sign up for a paid membership are intrusive.
Relevant scores: 26.7 out of 30 for aerobic training; 3.5 out of 10 for flexibility