I’m gonna date myself here, but there were no iPhones in existence when I started running and working out in college. Which meant there wasn’t a single fitness app available. Crazy, right? Thankfully, technology has come a long way and there are more workout, lifting, nutrition, and running apps than I could ever need. In fact, it can be tricky to decide which apps are worth downloading (or purchasing), and which aren’t all that great. So I’m sharing the best fitness apps that I have found, used, and loved during my 10+ year fitness journey.
Each app has a slightly different purpose, and they are divided up by running, workout, and nutrition categories. Some apps allow users to workout more efficiently, others help us stay safe, some give amazing data and feedback, and others are designed to keep us entertained while we workout. So here are the best apps for workouts, running, and nutrition.
2020’s Best Fitness Apps
Running & Hiking Apps
Whether you have a GPS watch or not, there’s an app to help you meet your running goals, and make running a little more exciting.
Garmin Connect – This app is designed to pair with Garmin watches, but it can technically be used without. It has so many features, it should probably have it’s own post (maybe some day). When paired with a Garmin watch, the Connect app can give a ton of useful data on details like elevation gain, graphs that compare heart rate and pace, data around training efficiency and effect , and your workout history. It also has some social components that allow you to see how your friends are training as well.
All Trails – All trails is an app for trail runners that is super helpful in finding and navigating trail run routes. It shows what trails are nearby, allows users to search a map of trails by level of difficulty or activity (like hiking, mountain biking, and camping). It also gives great information on how kid friendly, stroller friendly, or pet friendly different trails are. Users are also encouraged to rate trails and give insider information. My favorite feature is that the app can show you exactly where you are on a trail to help you navigate efficiently. I wish it had a little more functionality to pre-program routes, but the free version currently does not.
MapMyRun – MapMyRun is basically the All Trails app for road runners. It gives great information on possible running routes near the users current location. It also allows users to record a run similar to a GPS watch, and then provides information on distance, pace, elevation, and calories burned. It’s a great option for creating running routes or tracking runs for users who may not be interested in purchasing a GPS watch.
Strava – Strava is another app that allows users to record and track workouts, from road running to mountain biking, and road cycling. It gives users the ability to see segments (or other routes that are created and rated by other users) that are nearby. This app is most well known for it’s social features, which allow users to see data from other users efforts and compete against them in segments. If you have a competitive nature, this app can be incredibly fun and motivating. Users can also give kudos and leave comments on their friends runs and rides as well. The paid version has features like personalized training plans, the safety feature Beacon, and more workout analysis data.
Zwift – Zwift is an app that is designed to keep stationary bikes and treadmills interesting and exciting. It combines video game-type graphics with beautiful destination courses to keep things fun. Like many other apps, Zwift incorporates a social component and allows you to compete and interact with other users on the platform.
RunMeter – RunMeter is somewhat similar to other running apps in that it allows users to track and record data from their runs such as pace, maps, and graphs. What sets RunMeter apart is that it allows the user to lap or create interval workouts easily. Most other running apps require an in-app purchase or subscription to utilize these kinds of features, but RunMeter does not. Additionally, RunMeter can sync with an AppleWatch, which can be great for those who are not interested in changing their watch in order to gain the data of a sport-focused wearable.
If we’ve learned anything in the past couple of months, it’s just how possible it is to get in a great workout at home. Here’s a few apps for workouts to help you do just that.
Beyond the Whiteboard– If you’re looking for an app to track your workouts and help you remember what your 3 rep max deadlift is (because who the heck can keep track of that unassisted?), Beyond the Whiteboard might be a great option for you. It is available for both boxes and individual athletes and allows users the ability to track and create workouts directly in the app.
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WOD Genie – WOD Genie is a handy little app that can help you design a workout when you don’t have programming to rely on. You can select how much or little equipment you have available. The app comes ready to go with videos and tutorials for different movements, as well as a timer directly in the app.
Peloton – Aside from questionable taste in commercial creation, Peloton offers quite a robust array of options for fitness enthusiasts. The Peloton app isn’t just for spinning, either. The app has thousands of workouts available, from strength to yoga to outdoor guided running programs. The app has a little bit of something for almost everyone, and allows users to workout with and compete against others, track progress, and is compatible with the Apple watch. For a monthly membership lower than $13, it’s pretty versatile.
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Nike Training Club – Similar to the Peloton app, Nike Training Club is most well known for being a cardio focused platform. And just like the Peloton app, it has so much more to offer. NTC has tons of classes like body-weight strength, Yoga, and equipment-based strength classes. Of course the app also offers running programs and tracking, and unlike other platform it also has a huge library of health tips on subjects like nutrition and sleep.
FitOn – FitOn offers users an incredible repository of digital fitness classes. The Netflix style platform has Pilates, HIIT, dance, and barre. They even have pre and post-natal focused classes, which I find amazing. The app is always free, and workouts can be streamed on your phone, laptop, or tv.
You Are Your Own Gym – This app offers one kind of workout, and focuses on doing it really well. YAYOG offers on demand training and training plans that utilize only bodyweight exercises. If you’re looking for a way to develop an impressive physique with no gym equipment, this app was made for you.
Tabata Stopwatch Pro – This app is simple and effective, just like a good Tabata workout. These workouts stick to the 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off tabata style, and will leave you redlining for the full 4 minutes. Pair a couple of workouts together, or just get in one when you’re in a time crunch. Who doesn’t have 4 minutes?! The app allows you to create customized workouts, gives you timing queues, and can even help you select movements.
Because if we’re going to all the trouble to workout consistently, we need to fuel our bodies appropriately.
MyFitnessPal – This app is the OG of making nutrition tracking just a little bit easier. If you have any concerns that your fueling isn’t optimal for your fitness plans, taking a few days to track and just see where you’re at can be very revealing. I shared in my Running Nutrition post that I utilize MyFitnessPal to ensure that I eat enough to support my high mileage training, as I haven’t always been able to trust my hunger queues historically. MyFitnessPal allows users to set goals, adjust macros as desired, and makes tracking a little less difficult with the option to scan barcodes directly into the app.
Tone It Up – The ladies from Tone It Up are well known for their beach-focused workout plans and routines. The Tone It Up offers tons of free workouts, but also has a huge library of delicious and whole-food focused recipes. From smoothie bowls to sheet pans meals, there’s tons of options for even the pickiest eaters. They also offer meal plans and programs based on your goals.
Mealime – This full service app offers just about anything you can want in nutrition. With Mealime you can create or utilize programmed meal plans, recipes, and even a grocery list creator based on your selections. The app has created over 200 ways to personalize your meal plans based on your goals and preferences, and delivers everything you need directly to your device. It doesn’t get any easier to eat healthy, delicious food.
Tasty – Tasty is the food-focused brainchild from the creators of Buzzfeed. It gives users access to thousands of amazing recipes and step by step videos showing you exactly how to prepare the meal of your dreams. Now, not every recipe offered up is what would traditionally be considered “healthy,” but if you can’t find room in your diet for birthday cake french toast, you need to reconsider your diet. Tasty has so many options for just about any dietary preferences.
What fitness apps are you loving right now?