Sweat into the home screen

11 Fitness Apps for Any Athlete

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with our selections for 2015. Additional contribution by Tucker Bowe.

You’ve seen him. He waits in line staring at his phone, pushing numbered blocks together. His thumb streaks grease across the screen while he chops imaginary fruit during lunch. He checks his pockets before going to the bathroom. He has slowly lost the ability to just sit there and be by himself. He fills the gaps in between work and sleep staring dreamily into the eyes of Siri. But he’s not you.

You use technology to get better at being a person. You have mobile apps to help organize your personal and professional life. You have a folder labeled “procrastination”, and you only sometimes open it. Your phone’s next frontier? Your physical health. Taking advantage of today’s data-heavy environment, these apps are squarely focused on everything from your diet to your mind to your core. They’ll help get you to the gym or the trail, then make the most of whatever exercise your heart (and lungs, and muscles) desires.

Individual Workouts: FitStar Personal Trainer


Times have changed since the boom of instructional DVDs, and this personal training app is a prime example of that. With HD video instruction by former NFL superstar Tony Gonzalez, this free app builds individual workouts that align with your personal fitness goals (both losing weight and building muscle). And it’s not a one-and-done plan. The app allows users to enter feedback — if an exercise was “too easy”, “just right” or “brutal” — and continually changes up workouts depending on how well you do. The app is easy to use and free (though a “Premium” upgrade is available), and it’s also worth noting that none of these personal workouts require weights or any instruments besides your body.

Outdoor Training: Mountain Athletics


The date of your adventure is set and your flight is booked. Whether it be rock climbing in upstate New York or backcountry skiing in British Columbia, this app will help you train for your specific outdoor activity. Mountain Athletics is a collaboration between The North Face and Rob Shaul, the founder of Mountain Athlete, designed to help extreme athletes and military personal get specialized training. It sets up a six-week training program consisting of high-intensity workouts build endurance, power and skill.

Weightlifting: StrongLifts 5×5


For some, hitting the gym is a time of self-reflection. We toss on some beats and push ourselves to our limit. This app is for those folks who don’t want someone else yelling instruction in their ear — specifically, weightlifters who want to quickly build muscle and burn fat. The free app virtually coaches users through one 45-minute workout, consisting of three different exercises. It tells you how much to lift, along with the number of reps. And if you find yourself under- or overwhelmed, adjusting a workout is a simple tap away.

Lifestyle: Fitmo


A $40-per-month subscription is steep, yet it’s a fraction of what a personal trainer would actually cost — which is exactly what you’re getting. Each user gets assigned a certified fitness trainer, who creates a workout regime aimed to achieve specific goals. The app connects with most wearable devices to relay all the information to your coach, including quality of sleep. With a simple touch of your iPhone, your trainer will answer any questions you have (via texts or video calls) and provide extra motivation. And it’s more than simple workouts; each trainer will suggest healthy and safe diet plans that’ll help you to achieve your goals.

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