Fitness Apps for Strength Training: The Pros and Cons

It's 2019, the barrage of apps can make your head spin, so we decided to put together the best fitness apps for strength training.

 man with fitness app for strength training

One of the largest benefactors of the digital boom has been the fitness industry. How individuals interact with their fitness has been completely revolutionized, whether it’s by new age equipment, heart monitoring technology, or creative group classes born out of technology.

In terms of fitness, there is no shortage of apps designed to help us attain our fitness goals. Wearable devices that track our calories burned and daily movement are so common that most smartphones have them as one of the basic functions the phone comes with.

More sophisticated wearables, like Fitbit, Apple watches, or Garmin Vivosports, synch with mobile apps to provide users with detailed reports of daily activity, goal tracking, and can even provide additional incentive to get up and move throughout the day. Similarly, applications like MapMyRun and Runkeeper offer affordable cardio tracking alternatives to wearables that anyone can access.

 smart watch

While fitness apps have had great success in terms of cardio-based training, apps for strength training have not developed the same widespread notoriety. The reasons are obvious: strength training can often be difficult to track with similar technology, especially when considering the exact style of weight training, varying body types, and personal experience weight training. Similarly, tracking exact muscle gain or strength is significantly more difficult than merely calculating calories in compared to calories out.

Despite these innate problems, utilizing fitness apps to maximize your strength training should not be ignored. Here’s why you should consider using mobile apps to enhance your lifting routines and keep overall health and wellness goals on track.


A major component to consider in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is consistency. Applications are a great way to keep momentum high by tracking your workouts either during or quickly after your session is completed.

For example, the app JeFit is an easy-to-use comprehensive application that keeps track of your work out splits, telling you what days to work different muscle groups or when to take rest days. You also can easily track all the exact details of your sets, by logging exact weight and reps per exercise.

 JeFit fitness app for strength training

So even if the app is not giving you an exact account of muscle gained, it will give you succinct direction as to what you should be doing to achieve optimal results.


A considerable amount of available fitness technology can be extremely expensive, the more intricate the higher the price. Similarly, the costs of specialty work out classes or personal trainers also add up quickly. While fitness applications may lack the sophistication of an Apple Watch or motivation of a private trainer, they still provide great resources that could fit any budget.

With varying mechanisms and functions of different applications, users can access private trainer caliber information or training insights at a fraction of the price. Fitness applications can customize lifting plans detailed to your body in addition to providing step-by-step routines to ensure that you are completing the exercises correctly.

Subscription-based Applications

Given the level of personal instruction and continual modifications to strength training workouts, some of the most popular and effective applications require users to pay by month. On average, most of these applications cost about 5 dollars a month but do provide guidance similar to that of a private trainer.

Some of the leading subscription-based apps are:

fitstar strength training app

On the more expensive end, FitStar, led by famed virtual trainer and NFL legend Tony Gonzalez, creates customized workouts that you can give immediate feedback to gauging if the routine was too difficult or too easy. The app will internalize your feedback in order to enhance the workouts it outlines for you in the future, just as a personal trainer would.

Another application that focuses on helping motivate users to hit weak spots and to not skip leg day or otherwise, is Sworkit. You can easily select which part of your body you want to focus on building, and the app will customize workouts that emphasize that muscle group.

Sworkit strength training app

With the focus in mind, the workout regimen is still designed to tackle all parts of the body, and only promises results if whole body workouts are included throughout the week. This degree of accountability, however, is intended to push you to try exercises that you may avoid if merely going to the gym by yourself (me and lunges).

Whether subscription-based application or a one time fee, the benefits of these applications are hard to beat. If you attend a fitness club with gym software that supports its own mobile app, like Equinox, for example, most of these applications can also be integrated to store all your data from different applications in one place



As any experienced weightlifter knows, there is no way to out-train a bad diet. In fact, many individuals don’t see the results they want because of their nutrition. While consistently working on gaining strength every day is important, there is no shortage of mobile applications that can help you stick to your particular diet or coach you through what type of diet will work worst best for your body.

The functionality of these applications can include macro-tracking, managing a bulk vs deficit diet, or simply keeping you aware of the nutrient density of the foods you are fueling your body with. You also can link other applications that monitor your exercise to easily compare your calories in vs. calories out ratios.

Like other fitness apps, many healthy eating applications offer advice or diet plans from professional dieticians at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-person dietician. This can include personalized diet plans based on your supplied data to educate its users about what foods they should be consuming to reach their specific health and fitness goals.

fitness app for eating

Popular food-tracking applications include: MyFitnessPal, Lose It, My Diet Coach, and Fooducate.

The Downside of Fitness Applications

With these benefits in mind, fitness applications can cause some negative consequences. As mentioned before, strength training reports from applications, unless used in tandem with a heart rate monitor, should be perceived with a grain of salt, knowing that the exact output will be subject to errors or discrepancies. Of course, you are not likely to have the same experience using a mobile application as you probably would with a professional trainer or dietician. The key is to focus on the big picture.

fit women on phones

Additionally, as many of us are victims of passive screen addictions, using a mobile application throughout your workout could diminish your training returns. Often times without even recognizing it, when I open my phone to check one thing I end up distracted for five minutes looking at something completely different. Weight lifting and working out collectively are great escapes from our insanely hyper-digital world.

In extreme cases, over-reliance on applications or tracking macros can take away from the other natural endorphin-fueled happiness that comes with regularly exercising. Like all things, look at this technology as an added perk, not a lifeline.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to our fitness goals, don’t be afraid to utilize every tool to help you achieve your goals! Using applications to keep your motivation high to push your limits can be a real difference maker to reach your goals or even get out of the dreaded fitness plateau.

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