Do you find that most fitness apps are a little too casual for your workout goals? Check out these serious downloads with a focus on realizing gains and putting on more muscle the right way. Here are the best weightlifting apps around for iOS and Android devices.
Note: Most of these apps are updated to work with smartwatches too, but their capacity is limited and unless you are primarily interested in logging results, you tend to get better content on your phone.
When it comes to a hardcore, down-to-details workout app, few are as complete as Fitness Point. This app is primarily a collection of workout instructions that go exercise by exercise, breaking each down into images, descriptions, and the muscle group affected. You can then build your own workout based on the muscle groups you want to target, and log each exercise that you do with notes for weight changes, calories burned, and so on. Common workouts also include animations to help you keep your form, although full video training is a little lacking — this app is primarily for experienced gym rats who want a good app to build their own regimens.
The biggest downside is that the selection of workouts is limited to basic options. There are still quite a few, but for very specific exercises or for rarer moves, you may need to purchase more workouts, so some cost may be involved. There’s also a Pro version with no ads for $5.
Fitted Lifts is an iOS fitness app designed to track your performance over time by making it easy to log your sets and reps while you do them. The layout is based on simple sliders that let you update your record while you work out. You can customize workouts and see what specific exercises you are doing (and how long it’s been since you did that move). You can also view charts to track your weight and performance over time. It’s a great app for dedicated muscle builders who know exactly what they want to track and don’t mind using an app for a bit during their workouts.
More time doing lifty-weighty and less time poking your phone is always great, and that’s where Simple Workout Log comes in. It works exactly as you’d expect: Enter your exercise, weight, and number of reps, and the app will keep track of that information, allowing you to see how you’ve progressed over time. You can rename and export your routines, and there’s a website version of the app available, so you can keep track even if you forget your phone. There’s no iOS version yet, but it’s apparently in the works.
Jefit is similar to Fitness Points, but with a greater focus on photos and real images, which is excellent if you aren’t sure how to do some of the exercises and would like a more in-depth look at the moves. In addition to the exercise library, there’s also a full workout tracker, timer, and shortcut workout routines for those who don’t want to customize. Jefit also dives heavily into analytics and social media, with a workout profile that allows you to look at your progress, share workouts with others, view your progress picture, and more. It can get a little data intensive, but maybe you’re into that — in which case, you should also check out these fitness trackers.
If the complexity of apps like Jefit does nothing for you, this Stronglifts app, called 5×5, should be much more your style. It’s a personal trainer and logger, but one that’s pared down, with a minimalist interface focused on 5×5 workouts. Plug in your starting weights and sets, and the app will tell you how long to rest between sets, and what weights and sets you should use next time. There’s a lot less thinking and profile management, and a lot more weightlifting, so what’s not to like? There’s a Pro option with more features, and it costs $20 a year.
Looking to get into lifting weights for the first time? Maybe you’re returning to the world of pumping iron after an extended break? Either way, Beginner Workout might be your pathway into lifting. The app challenges you to follow a four-week training course that’s been specially designed to be demanding, but not so demanding as to cause burnout or injury. It’s completely free, and it promises to give you a great start to lifting weights (and a good buildup of muscle too). Unfortunately, it’s only available on Android.
Skimble’s app is more suited toward fitness newcomers who want to build muscle and get into shape, but need some guidance on how. You can choose categories like weightlifting or body weight, explore different workout routines that are premade for you, and pick the one that you want to try (they are rated by time, intensity, body part, and so on). The workouts are created by verified trainers, and there’s an option to link up with an online trainer and explore your fitness progress together — if you’re willing to pay a subscription fee.
This Fitness22 app is more hands-off, with fewer tracking features and more options for watching training videos to learn new workouts and expand your exercise options. There are more than 3,000 exercise options (including variations), and videos of each. You can search them by muscle group, equipment type, or keyword, which is particularly gym-friendly. There are also beginner, intermediate, and expert routines you can jump right into.
Maybe you want to build muscle, but you hate using weights. This is the app for you! It focuses on more than 200 bodyweight exercises for you to get the gains you want without weights. There’s also a free video pack that you can download for exercise demonstrations if you aren’t sure how to do a particular move.
BodySpace is a “personal fitness platform” that offers professionally created programs and a “BodyCalendar” for you to follow. The daily reminders for workouts help you keep a schedule, and the stats support frequent logging and checking. There are also tips, videos, and other resources for you to use to perfect your workout or find the right advice. The social aspects are largely optional.