Everybody and their neighbour now has an Android phone. Time to make use of it for fitness, cardio and workouts and look at the five best free Android fitness apps out there.
When it comes to an app for bodybuilding and workouts, there is no way around JEFIT. It features a detailed exercise database and a workout planner with pre-built and customizable workouts, where you can set time between sets and the number of sets and reps. The calendar and log function comfortably let you keep track of your workouts.
What isn’t so great are the animations that explain the different exercises and the pre-installed beginner’s routine, that in my opinion is too heavy on machines and needlessly incorporates (machine) isolations.
Out of the multitude of cardio apps on the market, CardioTrainer easily is one of the best. It can be used for jogging, biking, spinning, aerobics and many more and is also available in more than one language, although the localizations are a little rough. Via GPS CardioTrainer also tracks your location, will count your steps and the calories burned, gives you voice notifications of your progress during the session and lets you keep a log of your past workouts.
The two downsides are that in the free version you can’t race against your own previous times and that your mileage may vary with the GPS. In urban areas it is rather accurate, but if you are in a forest, for example, trees may block the signal – on one occasion it placed me on the Dutch coast and was convinced that my session ended about a mile into the North Sea.
If you don’t get along with CardioTrainer, then have a look at Endomondo. Its functions are similar (GPS, feedback, log etc.) and the limitations as well (some functions only in pro version, loss of GPS). The major difference is that the user interface is very simple.
HIIT Interval Training Timer
Simple, yet totally sufficient: If you want to do HIIT, then have a look at this app. It lets you set a warm-up time, how long you want each high intensity and rest interval to be and how many rounds of that you want to do in total. Each interval is given with a whistle.
Instant Heart Rate
This one I originally took to be a joke, but found out it is correct enough to be useful: The app uses your camera and it’s LED and has you place a finger on the former’s lense. Through the changes in light reflection caused by the blood flow in the finger, it will then measure your heart rate – similar to how infrared heart rate monitors work on some fitness machines.
It’s only too bad that the free version neither lets you keep a history nor simply store the readings in a file.
Android Does Fitness
Of course, these are just those that strike me as rather useful. If you have others you would like to share or have experience – no matter if positive or negative – with those above, let’s hear it!