How To Get The Most Out Of Fitness Apps
I suspect a lot of us turned to fitness apps when lockdowns started and gyms closed.
Peloton, Nike, Adidas, Asana Rebel, Echelon, Fitbit, and loads of others really started to grow in prominence as we searched for inspiration when we couldn’t access gyms.
A lot of people have gone back to gyms since they reopened.
So the hype and buzz around fitness apps have dropped off a bit, but a lot of us have also grown to prefer them.
The Problem With Using Fitness Apps From Home
The thing is a lot of us are working out at home with these, which means we don’t have the same equipment, the same space as we would in the gym.
It also means we don’t have the same separation between home life and going to the gym.
And we also don’t have the same resources as someone doing a workout in a gym, or maybe even recording that workout.
They’ve probably got a great air conditioning system in their studios. They’ve got sprung flooring or padded flooring which means that it’s more supportive for the joints.
So we might be able to do the same workout, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be getting the same experience.
With all those things in mind, there are a few things to consider to make sure you’re getting the most out of these apps when you’re using them.
How To Get The Most Out Of Fitness Apps
First up is to have a purpose. It sounds militaristic, but try to have a purpose for each and every workout you do.
It’ll help keep you focused and give you more motivation to block out distractions.
Also, FYI doing a workout just because it’ll be fun is still technically a purpose.
When I was subscribed to the Peloton app, I used to commit to doing three cycling and three running workouts a week for no other reason than I felt like I should be doing three of each. That’s a target, but that’s not really a goal. And that’s not really a purpose to those workouts.
Next up is to have a plan and the best way to do that is to try and structure your training week ahead of time.
Apps do have a lot of workouts available, both live and on demand. And it can feel like you’re supposed to do some of everything or all of everything, but that isn’t true.
Give yourself some structure based on your training goals. That’s going to give you the right level of frequency, the right level of intensity and the right level of recovery.
Number three is to have some backup exercises. It’s always good to have some backup choices when a workout moves to an exercise that you can’t do safely or that you don’t enjoy doing, or that you, for whatever reason have some other limitation on doing.
High impact and plyometric exercises are a really good example here. Remember that most gyms have padded flooring or sprung flooring, so it’s, so it absorbs the impact. And so when you do something like jump squats, it’s nowhere near as stressful on your knee joints.
But you won’t necessarily have that luxury at home. So it might be good from a safety point of view and enjoyment point of view, and a pain point of view to think of alternatives.
And don’t be afraid to go for a completely different exercise at that moment either.
That’s what I used to do when I was doing a HIIT workout or something, and it moved to jump squats, I’m training on hard flooring, and I don’t want to put that pressure on my knees.
I would go for either kettlebell swings or a kettlebell clean and squat. I was giving myself some variety, I was still working on the same muscle groups, but I was changing exercise to something that suits what I have available.
Having a few go-to options for that also means that when the workout does change to one of those exercises, you don’t have to pause in the middle of your workout and try and think of another option.
Remember to focus on safety.
You won’t have live or real-time feedback from a coach or a trainer or instructor that you’re seeing in person would be able to give you. So you need to be a bit more mindful of your own technique and make sure that you’re sticking to good technique and doing exercises safely.
It can help to start slowly and with a mirror nearby. So you can check your form, check your technique and make sure you doing it safely before you start to increase the intensity.
Don’t Overdo It
And of course, don’t overdo it. This ties in with what I mentioned about planning and safety and structure.
But especially when you’re at home, it can be tempting to blur the lines between your training time and your downtime.
And then when you start to over-exercise, you’re gonna increase the risk of injury, both mental and physical burnout, and maybe even actually starting to hate or dislike your workouts or the app you’re using, because it starts to feel like a burden.
You have to judge the right point for you where you feel like you’re getting a good workout, getting the workout you want, you feel challenged, but not to the point of completely draining yourself. Or at least you shouldn’t come away from every workout every day, feeling like that.
Getting The Most Out Of Fitness Apps
So those are a few basic tips on how to use fitness apps and how to get the most out of them.