I’m on the hunt for the perfect weightlifting app. Weightlifting has emerged as my fitness activity of choice in my war for mental health. Some days it’s the only hour that I can get out of my head — particularly if my anxiety and depression are trying to come out to play.
I don’t want to have to spend half the workout trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. When I started lifting seriously I tried StrongLifts and Starting Strength. I’ve decided to use Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 instead and so I need an app that works well with this program.
Ideal App Features
Need to Have:
- Cross-platform (Mac OS and Android) capability
- Easy access to previous workouts
- Easy current workout entry
Like to Have:
- Fancy charts
- Ability to preprogram workouts
- Any signs that it’s meant to be used by women (not just men)
- Plate calculator
- Warmup calculator
Apps I’ve Tried
I’m a big fan of the StrongLifts 5×5 app. Although it didn’t give me the cross-platform capabilities I wanted, I could easily flip between current and previous workouts. The app even has fun progress charts and intelligently asks if you want to drop the weight after a workout hiatus.
For a fee you can access the plate calculator and warmup calculator, but those weren’t really necessary. Practicing basic arithmetic is probably good for me. The app also includes easy access to videos demonstrating form.
I stopped using StrongLifts was because I decided to change my programming, but this app is designed specifically for StrongLifts.
I should also note that, as anyone who’s been on the StrongLifts website knows, it’s not exactly women-friendly. I didn’t let that deter me, but it is something to note.
I also really like the Starting Strength app. I think there’s some cross-platform capability if you join the forum, but I wasn’t interested in that.
It was relatively easy to access previous workouts, but I felt that it could be a little buggy.
The StrongLifts UI is a bit cleaner and easier to navigate in my opinion.
Starting Strength’s selling points include the plate calculator and warm up guides. I didn’t realize how much better that was to have until I got it.
The app also contains a ton of great information from Mark Rippetoe on not just form, but all of the steps between walking up to the bar and reracking the weight.
One drawback is that this app is not free. Still, if you generally know what you’re doing you could arguably by this app and forgo buying the Starting Strength book.
Once again, I decided not to stick with this app because I didn’t want to use this program.
I recently started using Fitocracy, but the app (Android and iPhone) just really isn’t doing it for me. I can’t seem to access my previous workouts on my phone and that’s a must have. So I’m not going to continue. Of all of my list above it only has easy entry of current workout on the phone and cross-platform capability.
I’m Still On the Hunt
I’m still searching for a great app to track my weightlifting program and progress.
For now I’ll have to keep working in Google Sheets with my homemade spreadsheet.