iOS Apps for Training
Strength and conditioning is an important area of training that triathletes typically ignore. But, ignore SC at your peril, because you will be more likely to pick up injuries if you have a weak core and posterior chain. In this age of smart phones, there is always “an app for that” so there is no excuse not to include SC into your training. There are many apps available to help with motivation, instruction and structured training plans.
Every weekday morning at 05:20 am, I do a 30 minute workout using the following apps: -
- Monday - Kettlebell
- Tuesday - Butt Trainer
- Wednesday - Six Pack
- Thursday - Kettlebell
- Friday - Leg Trainer
You don’t need to go to a gym, you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment, all I use is a yoga mat and 2 kettle bells.
Runtastic (now owned by Adidas) have produced a great set of apps, three of which I’m currently using in my off season training. The apps all upload your workouts to the Runtastic website, where you can log in and track your progress, however, there is limited integration into other platforms. Runtastic does not sync with apple health, garmin connect or strava for example. Only Facebook, Google+, Jawbone up and Myfitness pal will sync with Runtastic.
Back in 2014, I picked up a running injury, I strained my Tibialis Posterior which is the key stabilizing muscle for the lower leg. I used the Leg Trainer app to build up the strength in my legs and once I got back to running I felt so much stronger, it made me a much better runner.
Runtastic - Leg Trainer
When you first us the app, you will start at Level one, which at first is quite easy, but don’t be deceived, it does get every difficult as you move up the levels. You can choose either a male or female trainer, but it makes no difference to the exercises or intensity.
Fire it up and hit go!
During the work out you get an animated trainer showing you how to perform each of the exercises, there are also audio cues with a countdown to start and number of reps. The Leg Trainer app is a must for runners.
Runtastic - Six Pack
The Six Pack app works in exactly the same way, but the exercises concentrate on your core strength, with plenty of very tough exercises.
I really struggle to complete the reps, this is really difficult. Maybe its just highlighting my weaknesses! I certainly feel the pain with this app and I’ve only just got to level two!!!
Runtastic - Butt Trainer
The Butt Trainer is a good addition to the Leg Trainer, it works on similar areas of your body, but has a different range of exercises. Again, I really recommend this for runners.
With all of these apps, once you have completed all of the levels, you can then go back and do any of the workouts, you can even create your own routines. If I have time for a longer work out, I tend to start with level 1 as a warm up, level 3 as the main set and level 2 as a cool down.
Lolo - KettleBell
Kettle Bells are a great way to get a whole body workout and as we get older, we need to do a lot more lifting, more weight training. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to end up build like power lifter with legs so big that you can only waddle rather than run. To get that big you need hours of intense heavy lifting and maybe some chemical help ;)
A kettle bell workout will help with your overall strength and the extra toned muscle will help with burning away fat.
The Kettlebell app from lolo works much the same as the Runtastic apps, with an animated trainer to show you the moves, audio cues, music, and a training plan. All of the setting are customisable.
Work outs are uploaded to the Lolo site, and this app will sync with apple health.
You can use any weight of kettle bell and the app also gives you the option to use either 1 or 2 kettle bells. Its best to use 2 kettle bells to get the full range of exercises. Unlike the Runtastic apps, the sets are time based rather than number reps, so you can go as slowly or as quickly as you like, although I would recommend trying to keep the same rhythm as the virtual trainer.
If you have a range of kettle bells, you can tailor your workouts further, maybe using heavier kettle bells during a build phase then using lighter ones for maintenance.
If you are lacking motivation or like me, you just can’t remember all of the different routines, then these apps are invaluable, certainly worth the few quid that the apps cost.