Five Handy Apps For Managing Training And Nutrition

 

Mobile phones can halt your progress in the gym. You don't want to be that person who tags themselves 'at the gym' on Facebook, takes a quick selfie for Instagram and then texts their way through four sets of leg extensions before heading home and posting #legday on Twitter.

However, if you play it smart, you can actually make you training and nutrition a little bit easier and more productive by using the right mobile applications. Here are my top five applications to help you get better results from training and nutrition.

 

1. Gym Buddy – workout log.

Gym buddy is my preferred app for tracking workouts. It isn't the prettiest and it certainly won't win any design awards, but it is ridiculously simple and easy to use. It also dominates from a functional perspective and provides highly useful data analysis from every set and workout.

Did I mentioned it is awesomely simple??.. Just create your workout from the exercise list in there or you can quickly add your own (personalised program from Integrated Fitness & Nutrition...). Each time you record a set, it gets logged in the exercise and workout history, and gets ranked compared to your previous efforts. This means you can look back at every single set you have ever recorded, which keeps you honest and training hard!

Even the emoticons lift on the Gym Buddy app!

Even the emoticons lift on the Gym Buddy app!

My favourite feature is the estimate 1 rep max (1RM) it creates for each set. Let’s say you complete you complete 3 reps of 90kg on bench, your estimated 1RM will be 100kg. This allow you to gauge 1RM without lifting to the point of technical failure, and also ensure training intensity across a variety of rep ranges. There is no longer an excuse for not training hard enough when you know exactly what you are doing!

 

2. Easy Diet Diary – food tracking.

When I am tracking food intake or macros, this is my go to app. Simply scan the barcode or enter your food then input the serving size and you’re done! It provides macronutrient breakdowns (carbohydrate, protein, fat) and micronutrients (sodium, etc) for each meal and the cumulative totals for the day.

I don't use this application daily, but it's my go to when I am bringing in a new meal plan or trying to hit different nutrient targets. It's easy to see if you are on track for your daily goals and work out which foods fit into eating plans. It's also useful if you get stuck without food and have to resort to a fast food option. You can alter meals later in the day to ensure daily targets are still met!

Easy Diet Diary is uses an Australian database of foods, so you don’t need to waste time trying to find an American food with similar nutrient breakdowns. Most food you can buy from major supermarkets are in there too! But if they aren’t, just scan the barcode, enter the food details and it will be saved for next time.

Easy!

 

3. Spotify – music streaming.

Music can be essential for gym goers who need to get in the zone. Not only can music block out the guy who keeps asking what you are training and then what you are doing on the weekend, but it can also improve performance! I like Spotify because I can tap into other playlists that people have created, instead of just listening to the same songs (Levels – Avicii) on repeat. This keeps the training a little more interesting and helps avoid workout monotony.

I opt for Spotify Premium ($11.99/month) because you can download songs to your phone and listen offline. This is essential if you’re in a gym without WIFI or walking about outdoors (first world problems, I know). Premium also has no ads, so you don’t need to worry about an advertisement for Lady Gaga’s new album distracting you when you have two reps left for a PB!

 


Exclusive: My top 5 workout playlists on spotify

Integrated Fitness & Nutrition email subscribers will receive my top 5 workout playlists in their weekly exclusive email, sent on Friday. So make friends with an email subscriber or you can join the list yourself.



4. Runkeeper and Fitbit – exercise tracking.

I’m no longer a big runner, but I am partial to the odd walk. Using these Runkeeper ('Strollkeeper' would be more accurate) allows me to record distances, speed, incline and anything else of interest. Voice updates are available for those who like updates while on the go

The Fitbit app is awesome for seeing how active you have been for the day. I train hard at the gym, but if I spend the rest of my day sitting down at the computer and working, my steps can be quite low. Seeing this on the app motivates me to go for a quick walk and listen to a podcast, which has actually been great for my productivity!


5. Forest – time management.

I find that my smartphone is awesome, I can pretty much run my business, stay on top of my fitness and just generally organise my life… all from my pocket. The downside is it can be quite hard to put it down, and checking for new notifications can become addictive… and slightly egotistical.

This can creep in at the gym between sets, when I think I’ll just check some emails and see what has come in. Next minute, I’m adding things to my calendar and forward content that in reality, is not as important as training then and there!

Enter Forest! This is a time management app that stops you from using your phone for a certain period of time that you decide. The cool feature is that instead of locking your phone completely, a small tree begins to grow over your selected duration.

If you make it without using your phone, then a tree grows and is planted in your forest. If you don’t make it, a dead tree joins your forest to remind you that you couldn’t quite get there! I don’t know why, but the growth of a virtual tree seems to be more important to me than checking my emails for thirty minutes. In fact, I have never had a tree die on my watch!

Whether you are exercising or not, download this app today!