The Daily App: A Personal Trainer in Your Pocket
Workout apps are becoming a dime a dozen, but Skimble's "Workout Trainer" still heads the class with the sheer variety of workouts, exercises and features.
Some people like to focus on one major activity or goal when they work out, such as running a 10K or even just training for a triathlon. Others need to mix it up a bit in order to stave off boredom. The Workout Trainer app is perfect for those with workout ADD, offering thousands of workouts in a variety of physical disciplines, making it an ideal on-the-go personal trainer.
What's the App?
Workout Trainer, developed by Skimble and available for free on both iOS and Android, promises to help you get and stay fit with thousands of free workouts. You can choose between structured programs that span over a period of time, or smaller, discrete workouts. There's everything from yoga to calisthenics to weight lifting to interval training, offering an almost bewildering selection of workouts with varying levels that range from casual to intense. The workouts are coached by expert personal trainers, many of which come with detailed instruction though audio, video or photo multimedia, explaining moves in detail and emphasizing proper alignment and form.
Beyond the plentiful fitness instruction, what's nice about Workout Trainer is how you're able to play your own music while the exercise's audio instruction runs. It also emphasizes workouts with no or little equipment, such as resistance bands or hand weights, making it a great accompaniment to at-home exercisers. And of course, there's a social media component to the app, so you can share your workouts on Facebook and Twitter as well as the Skimble community.
You'll Want It If...
You like to switch it up a lot when it comes to exercise, and don't have access to a big fancy gym with lots of heavy-duty equipment and a wide array of classes. Workout Trainer's thousands of free workouts guarantee there's always a new routine or exercise waiting for you, and the variety caters to many tastes and ability levels.
At first navigating your way through the extensive offerings can be daunting. But the cheerful, clean design make it easy to filter through the selection by choosing duration, target areas, equipment used and intensity. For those who absolutely are paralyzed by the massive amount of choices, there's a nice Shakerciser option that lets you select a few options, shake your smartphone and offer up a tailored workout for you.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Workout Trainer distinguishes itself with the breadth of its workouts, but there are some grating and inconvenient aspects with it as well. Most of the instruction is rendered in a weird robo-voice that many users find particularly irritating. (It's a little funny, actually: the app offers two free digital trainer avatars, but neither are really distinguishable from the other.) The reliance on photos and text for the free app can be annoying, too, causing you to interrupt your workout to pause and look at your phone to read the instructions at times.
But as the truism goes, "you get what you pay for" -- and upgrading to an in-app subscription of $3 a month or $25 a year gives you actual, real human voices talking you through a workout, as well as video instructions that many subscribers find much more useful.
The app also isn't for more advanced athletes with concrete goals or those looking to push at a higher level of fitness. Those at this level who want a demanding program might want to investigate the lauded P90X workout, which also has an app. Those looking to make progress in specific endurance activities like running should download the RunKeeper app, which also works well for bikers, swimmers and others who prefer exercise that pushes at their limits of distance and duration. ♦
Categories: Healthcare & Fitness | The Daily App