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Best Fitness Apps for iPhone

Chances are if you are thinking about trying to get fit and you have a smart phone you have downloaded a fitness app or two and tried them out. But when there is a 25 Billion dollar market out there, there is going to be a lot of competition. What does this mean for you? This means choices, lots and lots of choices. This can be a good thing because variety is the spice of life. It can also be a bit disorienting and troubling as you struggle to find which one is best.

I am a 2 time Ironman finisher. This is a long distance triathlon, (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) Not that this makes me an expert, but I can say in my hours of training I’ve given a number of Apps a whirl and these are the ones that in my opinion come out on top. This article is intended to go over a few of the Apps that I have found to be very beneficial in my goal to fitness.

Before we begin let’s briefly discuss the three body types:

  1. Ectomorph – Typically long thin limbs with lean muscle, those with this body type typically have trouble gaining weight with a very fast metabolism.
  2. Mesomorph – Usually have large bone structures, with large muscles and have athletic body types.
  3. Endomorphs – Mostly consists of a body type that is thick and soft. Endos put on fat very easily and have a difficult time getting rid of it or keeping it off.

Now that we have the basics covered let’s talk about what makes it all work. Diet & Exercise, this is the key. But let’s break it down to how important it is to your specific body type. If you are an Ectomorph probably 30% is Diet and 70% is Exercise. For the lucky few Mesomorphs it is 50% Diet and 50% exercise. For the Endomorphs it is 70% Diet and 30% Exercise. So use these numbers as a baseline for what you should be targeting most to get the biggest bang for your buck. This should make it clearer which Apps you should use most.

For ease of understanding I will break these Apps down into categories.

Category 1: Motivation

App: MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspal

Based on your body type, and how easily you gain weight This App can be very beneficial especially for the Endomorphs. Why? This App employs the use of integrated Social Media and a really active community to support you in your goals. The App is essentially a calorie counter. The beautiful thing is that when you start to set the App up all you have to do is enter in some key data, and it does the rest for you. Conveniently when you go to enter in a food item if you type in McDonald’s for instance, the entire menu comes up and you just click the food you eat.

Simply by seeing what you are eating and how many calories that favorite bag of Doritos is adding to your diet, it is life changing. When you add to this the integration of Social Media and allow the App to post your daily food diet so that people on your friends list can encourage you or comment on how maybe eating that half gallon of Ice Cream was a bad idea, this is one powerful tool to help you stay on track. Simply put, Peer Pressure works wonders.

Category 2 Activity Trackers:

App: Runtastic Pro

runtastip pro best fitness apps iphone

runtastip pro best fitness apps iphone

This is a Great App for tracking and logging your miles. There is a setting where you can run the same course you have previously recorded against a ghost. This is essentially the pace you ran the course the last time. In this way you can compete against yourself and work on getting faster.

App: Strava

Strava

This App is used for cyclists. The interesting thing here is that you can create courses. For instance in my home area there is a rather long steep hill, and many of the local cyclists use the App to compete with each other. They will log into the App, their GPS shows them that there is a course nearby, they will select the hill and attempt to be the fastest up it. If they win, they become king of the hill. The previous record holder gets a message telling them that they have been beaten. Simply put, competition works for a lot of people.

I am sure there are a number of other Apps out there that are beneficial. But I can tell you first hand that these Apps are very good, and well worth the while. Remember the shortcut people. Diet & exercise.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High Intensity Interval Training is a simple concept. Using short intervals of MAXIMUM EFFORT, followed by intervals with low intensity or all out rest, then repeating the process is the key. These exercise sessions can be accomplished in as little as 4 minutes. HIIT is a good alternative for a person with a busy schedule, because it doesn’t take as much time as traditional exercise routines do. Notice I did not say it would be easier, it just doesn’t take as much time.

Let’s take Two different athletes, and the way they train to get an idea of what HIIT can do.

 

 

 

 

The Marathon Runner: Training at a long and steady aerobic pace will burn calories, but at some point the body starts to consume itself, and muscle loss occurs as well. The majority of the caloric burn takes place during the exercise phase.

The Sprinter: A Sprinter’s sole method of training is HIIT because, well that is what sprinting is all about. As the Photo shows, the sprinter does not seem to be eating his muscle away, if anything he is piling muscle on top of muscle. The benefit of this is that his body will burn fat long after the exercise phase has ended, his metabolism is increased due to his HIIT

 

So all of this sounds good. Is it too good to be true? Can it really be that I can exercise for 4-20 minutes a session for just 3 times a week and see dramatic results? That is absolutely true. So what is the catch, is there a catch? The only little snag is that it is HARD WORK! If you have cardiovascular problems, or other health problems that limist your ability to exercise at very intense levels, or you are not already i pretty good shape, the HIIT may not be for you. That is at least for now. Speak with your doctor, start getting ready for HIIT and once the program starts the benefits are truly amazing.

Benefits of HIIT:

1. Efficient – The low amount of time required is appealing for HIIT, and the work produces superior results.

2. Burn More Fat – A traditional diet and exercise program shows weight loss quicker as the fat and muscle starts to melt away. With HIIT the scales may move slower but the fat percentage shifts very quickly, and all that muscle you are keeping is hungry to burn more fat.

3. Healthier Heart – After 6 weeks on a HIIT test subjects could bike twice as far as they could before starting the program at the same intensity. Resting heart rates had dramatically fallen as well.

4. No equipment necessary – Simply doing calisthenics at a very intense level can do the trick, no need for gym memberships, this can be done on lunch break, or in the back yard.

5. Increase Metabolism – HGH levels rise as much as 450 percent, this hormone is key in aiding the consumption of fat for fuel in the body. You will be burning fat while at rest.

6. Challenging – The variety is unending with HIIT. There are bootcamp programs and CrossFit programs all over the country. Both are HIIT based workout regimes.

Start hitting the HIIT and you won’t regret it. Well you WILL regret it the first few times, but then….you won’t regret it.


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