The five best fitness apps for 2015 – no matter how short your time or wide your waistline
January 6, 2015 | By:
Whatever body part you want to target, whether your goal is muscle tone, stamina or weight loss, there’s an app for that. From five-minute videos to a 5k run, these have all bases covered
Fitness.-Best-fitness-apps-for-2015. Couch to 5k. Hot5. Pocket WOD.

An app can get you motivated to exercise, with how-to videos, daily workouts and connection with other users

Resolutions are like Christmas decorations. Each year we get the same old ones out, dust them down, show them off for a couple of weeks and then quietly put them away for another year. If that sounds familiar and you’ve once again resolved to get fit, get active and get a diet you can stick to, it may be time to get real and to accept that you’re going to need some help to stay on track.

What you need to help you is your own personal trainer, someone who can advise on any or all of your goals, who can put you through your paces whether you’re skipping, running or walking them, someone who is available any time of the day or night and who is, above all else, as cheap as those forbidden chips and as readily available.

How do you find this trainer? Through your smartphone, and the hundreds of fitness apps it gives you access to, that’s how.

Of the thousands available, here are five of the best to get you started.

1. Couch to 5k: change4life
Much has been written about the NHS’s Couch to 5k progamme, which promises to get even the most entrenched sofa butts running 5km in nine weeks. It’s an easy-to-follow, easy-to-stick-to regime: all it takes is three 20–30 minute training sessions a week, with rest days in between, and you’ll reach the 5km goal.

You start by alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for the first seven days, and gradually increase your jogging time over the course of the next eight weeks.

The programme was devised by novice runner Josh Clark for his 50-something mum, who hadn’t done any exercise for years. Keep that thought in mind whenever you feel disinclined to go out for your “jolk”. (Free, iOS and Android.)

2. Hot5

Hot5 has got its sights set firmly on those of us who claim we have no time for exercise. Filled with pages and pages of training videos, each one just five minutes long, it brings the whole gym, and every available form of exercise to your home.

The videos are grouped by specification: abs and core, butt and legs, cardio and agility, yoga and flexibility, and muscle and strength. There’s also a partner workouts category if you want to train as a couple. Each video includes a set of five one-minute exercises, each one demonstrated by a personal trainer.

It’s up to you how many videos you work through when you exercise. You can stop after one or you can group several together to do a full-body workout. The Hot5 app includes loads of free content to keep you going, or you can upgrade to the premium service for even more exercises and more in-depth advice. (Free, or £1.99 a month for premium, iOS.)

3. Strava

Working on the principle that people are more likely to stay motivated when they’re part of a community, Strava has built an app that connects cyclists and runners from all over the world. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be able to compete against other users, compare notes on new circuits and follow friends – virtually if not in reality.

Strava will track you through your phone’s GPS, enabling you to “race” against other people who have run or cycled the same route. It also measures your distance, speed and elevation, analyses your performance and encourages you to take part in different challenges to help you improve.

Really, though, it’s that sense of camaraderie, that idea that you’re part of a club, that’s key to Strava’s and its users’ success. (Free, £3.99 a month for premium, iOS, Android.)

4. Pocket WOD and WOD Genius

CrossFit training is quite the thing now, incorporating a range of exercises that includes weightlifting, jumps and high-intensity interval workouts, with a lot of mind-over-matter work. The Pocket WOD and WOD Genius apps have been designed to support CrossFit enthusiasts become even better and stronger even faster.

Pocket WOD (Workout of the Day) sets you a new daily workout (obviously), tracks your progress and provides you with a terrific library of healthy recipes. There’s also a particularly good ‘movement’ library, which is essentially video links that take you through the various exercises, showing you how to do them correctly.

WOD Genius creates a workout for you using the equipment you have at your disposal. This could be nothing more than a hotel room wall or your bedroom floor, so there’s no dodging your training. It’s a clever app that keeps you on track – no more excuses about not having the equipment you need to exercise. Like Pocket WOD, it includes timers and stopwatches and demonstrations to show you how to do the exercises properly. (Pocket WOD, free, iOS; WOD Genius, £1.49, iOS.)

5. Fitocracy

If you need something more than your diminishing waistline to keep you motivated then you’ll perhaps like Fitocracy, which uses social and gaming elements to keep people going, Like Strava, it encourages users to connect with others, so you’ll be able to join groups that focus on the training you’re doing, be that yoga or running, for example, and to get support from group members when you’re flagging.

Fitocracy feels highly personalised; when you first log in, it asks you a number of questions (your gender, how fit you consider yourself, whether you want to workout in a gym or at home) and then filters your workouts accordingly.

You’ll be rewarded with points each time you complete your workout and once you reach certain milestones, you’ll be taken up to the next level.

There are trainers on hand to help you, but if you need more intensive training, you can ‘hire’ a trainer through the app for one-to-one coaching. Prices vary depending on who you choose, but are from $14 (£9) a week. (Free, iOS, Android.)