Training is one thing in life that we know we must do but sometimes we just have a hard time knowing where to begin, what to do and, probably the hardest, how to stay motivated. We all know there are many groups out there all wanting us to join them or buy their dvd off TV but maybe we aren’t looking or are physically ready for the insane, ripped, cut, obliterated body they show us how to achieve. Maybe we are just looking to start to get in better shape, to find a way to begin and get the ball rolling.
Part of the series here on Supermoto Racer Magazine is to examine and explore tools and techniques for the beginner looking to improve all the way to the seasoned athlete. Let’s take a look at a few products currently on the market that can help you start a new program or add diversity to your existing routines.
FITBIT - www.fitbit.com/
Fitbit is a wearable device that tracks your steps. One of the greatest advantages of having a pedometer is it can show you just how active or in some cases inactive we are on a daily basis. Our bodies burn calories all the time but adding in a few extra steps a day to reach a goal will definitely have an effect. Fitbit Flex comes with a mini tracker you wear on your wrist. It interfaces with your mobile phone and pc. It can be linked to other fitness apps to keep track of normal walking in addition to more strenuous activities. Fitbit tells you how many steps you walk in a day and keeps track of your overall mileage. It is awesome when you hit a milestone of 100, 200, 500 miles! You can also set it up to track your sleep patterns which is a great tool to really see how much sleep you are getting. For most of us, it is not enough. Add in a food plan and you are on your way to tracking caloric intake and being able to monitor with ease your overall burn rate. Pretty sleek little device for all it does and the app interface is clean and simple. Pretty cheap as well for the basic version $99 and the app is free as is the custom web-based dashboard.
DIGIFIT - www.digifit.com/
Digifit is an activity tracker, GPS tracker, heart rate monitor if you add one, and overall telemetry tracker. Think of it as a “black box” for you and your activity. Download it and open it up and you are presented with a quick-start. It tailors its tracking to hiking, biking, running, walking, cardio and whatever you set as a custom activity. Once you select an activity and press go, the app tells you when you hit certain heart rate zones, mile markers, pace, you name it. So far, there isn’t anything it can’t track. Add in the use of a heart rate monitor and you have an advanced training partner helping to keep you in specific zones during activities. Running too fast or too slow, this shows you where you need to be to really maximize your cardio. No more running for an hour and feeling like you have not worked out. If done right, you could get more results in 30mins! One of the best features on Digifit is the GPS. When out in the woods or running on a track, being able to see pace, route, laptimes, you name it is essential. Just as we track times on the racetrack, this shows where we need to step it up, where we slow down and is very helpful. There are many add-on sensors available for purchase. If you want to add one on, you will have to pay for the “add a sensor” function but it is well worth it. Digifit has soo many extras that we could spend a ton of time talking about it but the core of it is telemetry tracking. It ties into Fitbit as well! The app is free to download and it too has a slick web-based dashboard but you do not have to use it. Overall this is a solid go to app for pretty much any activity tracking. Highly recommended.
SWORKIT - www.sworkit.com
Sworkit is a personal trainer app that has taken many of the “workout in 5, 10, 15, 30mins” fads and made it into something one can actually do and accomplish. Sworkit combines, body weight movements, cardio, flexibility into a customizable program that can get anyone started or add in an extra challenge or mode to training. As a beginner tool, it shows every exercise and talks you through the process with clearly defined examples. One of the best features is the ability to select what and for how long. Say you want to do just core exercises for 15mins, select that and go. Maybe you want to do a total body including cardio, select and go for 30mins. Maybe you want to do yoga and stretch for 5 mins, there is that as well. Sworkit has proven to be another go to choice. It divides up strength from cardio and yoga which is helpful for those looking to begin and focus on flexibility. Do a 15min cardio and watch the sweat pour off your face. Do a 15min core strength and feel the burn later. For those of us looking for new ideas and inspiration, this is definitely one to check out. It is free as well which is always good. There are some pro features like adding and logging into a tracker site but only if you want the added tracking functions. Sweat puddles should be enough!
AZUMIO/FITNESS BUDDY - www.azumio.com/apps/
Fitness buddy is from a company called Azumio. There is a lot of buzz about this company right now and rightly so. When we first stumbled on Azumio it was for a pulse rate monitor for the phone. It worked well but also had an ad for free “Instant Abs” which who can pass up free abs? After checking out Instant Abs and seeing the level of detail and complexity that went in to cataloging pretty much every exercise under the sun for working out your abs, it was clear there was something here. Fitness Buddy takes the level of detail and does the total body 360-degree approach. If you want to work out using weights, kettlebells, body-weight only, resistance bands, you name it, Fitness Buddy has an option. Now there is no more excuse of “I don’t know where to begin or have the right gear.” This makes it so easy even we could do it! Plus the choices are endless. One of the favorites is the arms and ab program. And with names like “Hercules Abs” or “Gun Show,” well who could pass that up right? If you are looking to just learn how to work out, this is great as there are a ton of examples, each with a video showing proper form and technique. When you do a training program, the video and pace allow you to keep clued in on what to do. With so many choices there are endless possibilities but the results are the same, this app can definitely work as a stand-alone for training or give variety into an existing program. Instant Abs and Instant Arms were both free, Fitness Buddy is $1.99. Given how much trainers cost, having a solution like this at this price is well worth it. And if you start it and slack off, it will flash a reminder to train which sometimes is all the motivation you need.
With all the apps out there, these are just a few useful and productive examples that get worked into existing routines. From tracking steps, to routes and heart rates, to finding new routines and adding to existing ones, these apps help keep us in shape while not being too in your face. In fact they aren’t in your face at all which is very refreshing given some of the tools and programs out there. There will never be a complete replacement for a personal trainer and learning proper technique and form, but give these a try and see for yourself. Do a 15min core workout, run and track your pace, do a “Gun Show” routine and see how you feel. Chances are, and this is where the science comes in, a change in modality will wake your body up where you can rise to tackle new challenges. Even if just starting out, try something and see for yourself, there is something for everyone.
Enjoy and happy training!