The clothes may make the man, but you can’t ignore what lies beneath. Yes, being fit will make you live longer, feel better and, you know, happier. But more importantly, it also makes that overcoat you just dropped a paycheck on look fire. There’s a reason Tom Ford asks Lucky Blue Smith to model, not John Goodman.
But an enviable body doesn’t come from being screamed at before sunrise by a wallet-bruising personal trainer. These apps have everything to help you look amazing in your clothes – and out of them.
Nike+ Running – Free
At first, running is horrific. Then, satisfying. Until you discover you’re evangelising about your new barefoot shoes to a cab driver who’s long since shut off the rear microphone. That transition comes courtesy of the Nike+ Running app, which makes those early miles more bearable by putting a cheerleader and coach in your pocket.
The app tracks your burned calories, times and routes, plus syncs with with your music, so you can get a push from Diplo (or Britney – we’re not judging) to get you through that final mile.
For sneakerheads, the app can even track your Nike collection and how far you’ve travelled in each pair. Although we’d advise checking resale prices before tackling that 10K in your Air Yeezys.
StrongLifts 5×5 – Free
Sick of not even lifting, bruh? If you’d rather fill your clothes than be a human hanger, you need to hit the bar. StrongLifts 5×5 explains the weightlifting basics better than that incomprehensibly angry dude in the gym, walking you through the five key moves – squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press and barbell row – to take you from flab to firm.
You also get a built-in schedule, to chase you when pizza and Netflix seem more tempting than steel, and in-depth form videos, to ensure injuries don’t send you straight back to the sofa. Neck braces are not a trend this season.
Fitness Builder – Tiered Payment Options
Ever find the juice bar that much more tempting than the second exercise on your gym programme? Or sign up for a marathon, then decide on your first long run that cardio just wasn’t for you? Fitness Builder will help rest your indecisive mind.
It packs in over 1,000 workouts, covering everything from strength training to pilates, ensuring you finally find a regime you can stick to. The app even taps PTs for custom-built plans, which tick off the things you actually enjoy.
It also integrates with your iPhone’s Health app, making it easy to track your progress and see where you need to focus. And the price tag’s justified by the money you’ll save on smoothies.
Endomondo – Free
If your day encompasses a dawn run, bike to work, lunchtime weights session and evening game of five-a-side, then Endomondo is the app for you (also, stop showing off). Aimed at the fitness freak looking to step things up – rather than couch potatoes after slimming down – Endomondo is a supporter for all your workouts, tracking everything from duration to heart rate and calorie expenditure across a range of activities.
Competitive sorts can challenge friends, or compete for community records like most weight lost or distance covered. And those who prefer private sweat sessions can build plans to hit bespoke goals. The app also plays nice with MyFitnessPal and Under Armour apparel, ensuring you always look as good as you feel.
MyFitnessPal – Free
One fitness cliché deserves attention: you can’t out-train a bad diet. Hours in the weights room won’t undo that post-workout Big Mac meal. Enter MyFitnessPal. The app tracks everything you consume, keeping you on track of your calorie, macronutrient and hydration goals, and the database is all-encompassing enough to log that McDonald’s favourite, making cheat meals harder to stomach.
One of the biggest benefits of the app is the MyFitnessPal community. Losing weight is as hard on your brain as your body, but other app users provide a much-needed willpower boost when you’re flagging. And at the end of every day, the app tells you how long you’ve got left until you hit your ideal weight. Because seeing progress is the best motivation.