With the onslaught of wearable tech, from the Fitbit to the soon-to-be released Apple Watch, there is a plethora of devices and apps that aim to help us all getting healthier and fitter.
Many of the apps claim to be a “Personal Trainer in your pocket”, and they use either your phone or another physical device to measure your activity over time and offer suggestions.
With the multitude of fitness apps out there, users have lots of choices. But using an app as a training guide all by itself does not always yield the best results. Fitness apps and devices are often purchased and used a few weeks, then the user either lose interest or motivation, or both.
What these devices and apps often fail to provide us with is actionable and personalised feedback that is relevant to our goals. An app will typically generalise based on some set parameters such as fitness level, gender and age, but usually can’t properly take into account our individual needs.
While some apps and most wearable devices are great at collecting data, few give you actual, personal and relevant advice on what to do with the collected data.
So what should you do?
This is where a real-life Personal Trainer or coach comes in.
The best Trainers are now using this same technology in tandem with their knowledge of you combined with their training expertise. They use the technology to save time, motivate and help you. And with another human being on the other end, not an algorithm, Trainer/client apps tend to yield a lot better results than just an app by itself.
Recognising this, popular apps such as Fitocracy and Endomundo, have started adding online trainer classes with specific trainers at a very low rates compared to face-to-face training. Although pioneers in their respective fields, they seem to have found that the tech/human combination works best.
Combining best of both worlds: Personal Trainer & Fitness App
Both PT’s and clients find apps and wearable technology can help them towards their goal. There are now also more specialised apps out there for Personal Trainers, such as PureLifeStyle and Trainerize. These apps enable the trainer to assign workouts, chat with their clients, plot goals, and they also help both the trainer and client to keep track of progress and motivation. Normally a tedious and time-consuming task, apps are now able to track and plot virtually anything in seconds.
In fact, the technology has become so good and cheap that an increasing number of Trainers now offer online Skype consultations. It’s typically cheaper than a 1-on-1 session, and the use of mobile and online apps as a means for communicating with their client outside of their scheduled time boosts client motivation while still offering the personal touch.
So, if you’re well versed in what you need to do go get fitter, and are able to motivate and push yourself, an app may very well help you on your way, and there’s plenty of apps out there that can help you with that.
But if you struggle with motivation and staying the course, and if you’re looking for the best, safest and most impactful results, a great local Personal Trainer is still the way to go.
Just make sure the PT is using an app to keep you motivated and on course even when you’re not in session.
Carl is the CEO of Pure Lifestyle Solutions Ltd. Carl’s company has designed fitness apps for both individuals and personal trainers. Individuals can track their diet and exercise as well as accessing information on workouts and keeping in touch with their personal trainer, gym, or other gym users like themselves. Personal trainers can use a Pure Life Style fitness app to build their client base, as well as motivating their clients and keeping track of their progress.