Knowledge is power, even in physical fitness.
Whether walking, running, cycling, lifting, or swimming, it’s good to know how far you’ve gone in strengthening your body. After all, science has shown that people who track their progress toward goals are more likely to achieve them.
You’re more likely to get fit the more you know where you’re at in your fitness journey.
And fitness tracker apps know how to effectively help with this endeavor.
Some fitness tracker apps monitor your heart rate and other vital signs, while others record your distance traveled or repetitions. To assist you in finding the most valuable applications for your fitness quest, we’ve compiled a selection of the 6 best fitness-tracker apps for different kinds of exercises (remember to consult your trusted health professional or fitness trainer to get the best results).
Read on to learn more about the pros, cons, pricing, and unique value propositions of the following innovative fitness-tracking apps (click on any app below to go directly to our reviews):
- Strava – Best app for social and competitive users
- MySwimPro – Best app for real-time swimming performance monitoring
- Nike Training Club – Best free fitness app
- MapMyFitness – Best app for tracking diverse fitness activities
- Beyond the Whiteboard – Best app for hardcore fitness enthusiasts and gyms
- Fitbod – Best app for muscular development
Now, to be clear, fitness is not the same as health. Unsure about the difference? Check out the next two sections of the article to learn more. Otherwise, you may click any of the links above to go straight to our app reviews.
Physical fitness is one’s capacity to execute daily activities optimally without undue fatigue. It’s a holistic approach encompassing various areas beyond running swiftly or lifting heavy weights. Ultimately, physical fitness aims to develop bodies that allow people to enjoy and function productively, regardless of their station in life.
Given that physical fitness is a good thing to have in almost any work or activity, you don’t need to be a gym enthusiast or athlete to develop the following components or areas of physical fitness:
- Cardiovascular endurance. The ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to the body well for an extended duration during moderate to vigorous exercises or activities.
- Muscular strength. The force exerted by muscles or the amount of weight they can lift.
- Muscular endurance. The capacity of muscles to sustain exercise or activity over a period of time.
- Flexibility. The range of motion that muscles and joints can achieve.
- Body composition. The ratio of fat mass to fat-free mass, incorporating elements such as muscle and bone.
Collectively, these elements contribute to a body that can perform work or recreation-related activities for as long as possible without getting tired or damaged.
Physical fitness and health are not the same, but they are interrelated. Health is a broader concept that encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being. Fitness focuses more on the physical aspect. However, like fitness, health is a resource that enables people to enjoy life and contribute productively to their loved ones and society.
Given that physical fitness and health are different in terms of scope, the apps that track each of them vary. The next section of this article talks about the best fitness tracker apps. We have another blog that highlights the best health-tracking apps, in case you’re curious.
Our list of the 6 best fitness tracker apps is meticulously crafted by our team of Silicon Valley founders, strategists, and specialists renowned for developing apps with millions of users and generating billions in revenue. Our selection criteria encompass app innovation, uniqueness, functionality, performance, security, practicality, ease of use, industry recognition, and overall user satisfaction.
Without further ado, here are the apps that made it to our list:
1. Strava: Best app for social and competitive users
Source: Strava official website
Strava is the best fitness tracker app when it comes to robust features and strong community emphasis.
The app caters to competitive individuals, offering a rich set of features that record not only runs and bicycle rides but also foster a sense of competition among users sharing similar routes. The incorporation of community-driven leaderboards and the ability to explore popular geographical segments and nearby clubs enhance the social aspects of fitness tracking.
Strava’s use of social media technology closely resembles that of EvrSo, a social media app that encourages users to pursue meaningful goals.
However, Strava faces notable drawbacks, primarily in the realm of privacy concerns. There have been issues of data exposures that could endanger runners. However, if you’re keen on taking advantage of the social and competitive aspects of Strava, you can mitigate the security risk by not using your real name or including any genuine information that could help hackers identify you.
Another downside of the app is that it requires users to share significant personal data and pay subscription fees to fully engage with its features.
Despite the issues, Strava’s user base currently numbers 100 million. Overall, it all boils down to weighing the compelling features versus privacy concerns and knowing how to strategically share your data and assess the right pricing package.
- Monthly: $11.99
- Annual: $79.99
- Comprehensive tracking for runs and bicycle rides
- Community emphasis
- Stats on popular geographical segments and nearby clubs
- Some privacy concerns
- Subscription fees required for full engagement with features
📲 Android, iOS
2. MySwimPro: Best app for real-time swimming performance monitoring
Source: MySwimPro official website
The MySwimPro app is an essential companion for swimmers aiming to enhance their technique, endurance, and speed.
The app’s ability to sync with smartwatches for real-time guidance during workouts, along with its detailed analytics like lap splits, strokes per lap, and SWOLF score (a measure of swimming efficiency), adds a level of sophistication to the user experience.
Other standout features of the app are personalized training plans, intervals, and daily workouts, which you can tailor based on your preferences and goals. The expansive library of stroke-specific workouts, drill and technique videos, and educational content from expert coaches also contributes to the app’s effectiveness for swimmers of all levels.
However, some downsides include the necessity of a subscription for access to most features, potentially limiting the app’s appeal to budget-conscious users. The auto-renewal feature might also be a concern for those who prefer more control over their subscription.
Despite limitations, MySwimPro has achieved respectable ratings in the app stores. The app garnered 4.1 stars from around 2,000 Google Play reviews and 4.2 stars from about 300 App Store ratings. The user testimonials, particularly one highlighting a significant weight loss journey through the app, make it a noteworthy tool for swimmers dedicated to achieving their fitness goals.
- Free for the first day of training plan
- Monthly membership: $19.98
- Annual membership: $99.99
- Smartwatch synchronization for real-time workout guidance
- Detailed swim stats and analytics
- Personalized training plans
- Comprehensive content resembling expert-coach advice
- Many features require a subscription
- Auto-renewal feature may be a drawback for users who prefer more control over their payments
📲 Android, iOS
⌚ Apple Watch, Garmin, Strava (smartwatches)
3. Nike Training Club: Best free fitness app
Source: Nike Training Club official website
The Nike Training Club app offers a highly comprehensive and quality user experience for a free fitness app.
The app caters to a variety of fitness levels and preferences by offering the option to customize the pace of programs and the availability of individual workouts. This makes Nike Training Club a highly inclusive app.
Another feature that sets the app apart from other fitness apps is the database of nearly 500 on-demand workouts, all of which are available for free viewing. What this means is that as an app user, you get the best value in terms of fitness education without paying a cent. The workouts in the database range from yoga to high-intensity interval training.
While the app is commendable in many aspects, there are a few drawbacks to consider.
First, the app’s tracking features are limited to tracking the amount of workouts users do and how long they do them.
Though the app can’t monitor vitals like heart rate, one workaround is to integrate this app with a wearable like Apple Watch, which can track metrics like heart rate and steps. Another fix is integrating the Nike app with Apple Health to sync workouts and record metrics like heart rate data.
Another limitation of the app is it allows you to follow only one program at a time, making the experience unpleasant if you’re interested in concurrent fitness programs.
The Nike Training Club app may not offer the diversity of measurement tools that other fitness-tracking apps have. But for a free app, Nike Training Club offers a lot of value for anyone seeking to stay fit.
- Completely free
- Comprehensive and quality user experience
- Customizable programs for various fitness levels
- Large and diverse database of free workouts
- Limited tracking features
- Lack of stand-alone vitals monitoring
- Limitation of one program at a time
📲 Android, iOS
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⌚ Apple Watch
4. MapMyFitness: Best app for tracking diverse fitness activities
Source: MapMyFitness official website
MapMyFitness, which has passed ownership from Endomondo to Under Armour, is the best fitness app for almost any type of exercise.
This app offers many benefits. For one, you can leverage the app for a variety of workouts like walking, yoga, cross-training, running, cycling, gym workouts, etc. It can measure distance, duration, elevation, pace, calorie burn, and heart rate (when selected).
MapMyFitness’ ease of use is also commendable, making the app accessible for both new and experienced users. The quick installation and straightforward sign-up process, particularly with the option to use Facebook credentials, contribute to a hassle-free onboarding experience.
Lastly, the app’s background tracking during workouts allows you to multitask on your device, a valuable feature if you’re among those who enjoy listening to music, using navigation apps, or even taking photos during workout activities.
However, the app does have some drawbacks. Most notably, the app occasionally suffers from slow startup time, which is a minor inconvenience for users eager to begin their workouts promptly. The app also has a relatively limited set of metrics for more stationary or indoor workout activities.
While minor improvements could enhance the user experience, the app’s overall functionality and features make it a strong contender in the fitness tracking app market.
- MVP Membership (Monthly): $5.99
- MVP Membership (Annual): $29.99
- Diversity of workouts ranging from slow and relaxed to rapid and intense
- Comprehensive vitals and exercise metrics
- User friendliness from signup to actual usage
- Background tracking that enables users to use other apps
- Occasionally slow startups
- Limited metrics for stationary workouts
🖥️ 💻 Desktop, laptop (web version)
📲 Android 9.0 or later, iOS 14 or later
⌚ Apple Watch OS 7.0 or later
5. Beyond the Whiteboard: Best app for hardcore fitness enthusiasts and gyms
Source: Beyond the White Board official website
Beyond the White Board (btwb) offers a comprehensive fitness tracking experience that goes beyond the standard features of even the best fitness apps.
Among its most noteworthy features are the Tempus system, which provides a workout timer, movement and round splits, and friend or team leaderboards, which improve team performance by fostering a spirit of competition.
The metrics of btwb also go deeper and broader than many similar apps.
For instance, on top of the usual heart rate monitor, btwb also measures and checks imbalances between strength and technique, tracks movement volume, assesses fitness levels across eight categories, and monitors training days. Hence, btwb is the right workout app for users who are into really serious strength training.
Despite its rich feature set, some users may find the app’s interface overwhelming due to the abundance of options. In case you have difficulty using the app, you can join a gym that has subscribed to btwb to get the best results. Some gyms that have availed of btwb’s subscription packages get access to tools that allow the creation of virtual gyms, enabling remote tracking of gym members’ fitness metrics no matter where they do their workouts.
- Free 30-day trial for individuals
- Free 60-day free trial for gyms
- Monthly (Individual): $7.99
- Annual (Individual): $87.00
- Monthly (Gym): $15 to $250 depending on the number of gym members
- Comprehensive tracking of multiple fitness categories
- In-depth metrics that are useful for the hardcore enthusiast
- Accommodations for the creation of virtual gyms
- Overwhelming number of features may cause difficulty in app navigation
- Dependency on gym subscription for full access to features
📲 Android, iOS
6. Fitbod: Best app for muscular development
Source: Fitbod official website
Fitbod has an extensive exercise catalog accommodating all types of equipment and proficiency levels. But it stands out in one particular aspect: developing muscles sustainably.
The app enables users to set specific goals, such as toning muscle or improving strength, along with the option for powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting practice. The inclusion of a Recovery tab, which tracks muscle freshness after workouts, adds a unique element that enables users to plan their routines strategically.
Whatever exercise you choose, Fitbod leverages generative AI that tailors workouts based on your goals, equipment availability, and time constraints.
Though you can download Fitbod for free, you can only log three workouts. After that, you have to pay a monthly or annual fee to track more fitness routines.
Some users also find the fees are higher than average. However, the app offers a cost-effective solution for achieving muscular fitness without the need for personal training services. Overall, the app’s design and cutting-edge features provide a lot of value for the money invested.
- Free for the first three workouts
- Monthly: $12.99
- Annual: $79.99
- Extensive exercise catalog for various equipment and proficiency levels
- Focus on sustainable muscle development
- Generative AI to tailor workouts based on user preferences
- Limited free version
📲 Android, iOS
⌚ Apple Watch
Whatever dreams you may have, physical fitness is a good baseline asset. After all, a fit body can take you places no matter your station in life. And all the best fitness tracker apps we’ve just laid out before you could help you work towards that worthy goal.
Now what if I tell you that from the solid foundation of physical fitness, you can go high and build your life beyond mere existence? If you have a business, would you like to see it grow? If you’re currently employed, would you desire to free yourself from your 9-to-5? If you love your planet, would you like to leave it better than you found it?
There’s one thing that can make all these dreams come true: App design and development.
Now before you dismiss this idea, please hear me out. You may be shocked to hear that this space is not just for techies like Bill Gates. In fact, any person with a big idea has a fighting chance at creating the next big app that will generate revenue while making the world a better place.
Think beyond measuring your fitness and estimate your chance of success in the app business. We can help you get started if you book a free consultation with us.
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Jesus Carmelo Arguelles, aka Mel, is a Content Marketing Specialist by profession. Though he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he also took courses in fields like computer troubleshooting and data analytics. He also has a wealth of experience in content writing, marketing, education, and customer support. Outside office hours, he finds deep joy in reading, traveling, and photography.
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