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June 9, 2015

Build muscle with Lumia

Amateur and pro bodybuilders alike can get a boost with Windows Phone. Plan a routine, track your reps, and get buff with these apps.

Back in the old days, your best friend at the gym was a notepad. Serious bodybuilders would use pen and paper to record their exercises, repetitions, and weight for each set.

Smartphones have made that process much easier, but most fitness apps on the market (such as the ones mentioned here and here) are designed for cardiovascular or endurance and general fitness goals. As an amateur bodybuilder, I’ve longed for tools that serve my specific need to maximize muscle growth.

Luckily, the Windows Phone store offers several first-rate solutions for gym rats. After much personal research and testing, here’s a list of my favorites to help you get jacked!


TRAINR (free)
If you don’t have access to a professional gym, TRAINR lets you choose from professionally designed multi-day routines that use resistance exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, and yoga poses to build muscle. There are 21 bodyweight and dumbbell-based exercises to work out your upper body, lower body, and core.

The latest update this month added Microsoft Band integration to TRAINR. Your Microsoft Band will now automatically recognize exercise movements such as tracking repetitions. That’s a much-needed feature for folks like me who tend to cheat by “rounding up” when counting reps.


DeekFit Gym (free)
This is an excellent all-around gym tool that lets you enter and track workouts, build routines, monitor your weight and measurements, add custom exercises, and even calculate your Body Mass Index, Basal Metabolic Rate, and pound-to-kilogram conversions.

My favorite feature is that it can calculate the number and weight of individual plates to add to a barbell to achieve a desired overall weight. Very useful for when you’re more focused on lifting than counting.

An ad-free version (DeekFit Gym Pro) is also available for $2.99.


GymACE ($2.99)
This handy app allows you to customize your workouts and track your weight and measurements over time. GymAce boasts a huge database of exercises broken down by muscle group that with drawings showing you how to perform them. GymACE’s predictive algorithm will even suggest weight and repetitions based on your previous sets and sessions—that’s pretty cool!

My favorite feature is that it has three countdown timers to monitor your rest periods between sets. For those of us who get distracted by our phones or socializing with other gym rats, that’s a huge help.


GymBuilder ($2.99)
Create a customized workout based on muscle group or available equipment and track your body measurements with GymBuilder.

The app’s big benefit is that it backs up your data to OneDrive and lets you share your strength records with friends via Facebook or email. After all, going to the gym doesn’t count unless you’ve bragged about it on social media!


Bodbot (free)
Bodbot is a personal trainer, nutritionist, and coach–all in one app. Based on your fitness goals and flexibility, it can develop a customized workout plan that takes into account how much time you have to lift.

The free version of Bodbot includes videos and detailed instructions for each exercise. A subscription to Bodbot Pro ($10 monthly) includes a nutrition advisor that gives personalized food and nutrient recommendations.

And if you act fast, you can still get a free one-year premium subscription ($120 value). This offer ends on June 30 or until supplies last. Go here for more details.

My favorite feature is that you can set Bodbot to craft workouts that focus on specific muscle groups while also training your entire body. It’s helpful when you’re trying to grow a stubborn muscle group (such as calves) that’s plateaued.