What is the one thing that everyone strives for in fitness? And no, I do not mean to finally lose that stubborn belly fat or to pack on slabs of muscle, but something even more basic: to make progress.
Transforming your body or getting stronger, no matter how small the change may be, is what everyone looks for and is usually the addictive aspect of training that gets people hooked. A great tool for anyone in this position is fitness apps and I myself have found them to be very beneficial for long term progress. The top two out today that I and many others use on a daily basis are the well-known apps, MyFitnessPal and RepCount.
The Benefits of MyFitnessPal
For those who consider themselves to be a “flexible dieter”, MyFitnessPal is something that should be adopted early in your fitness journey. For anyone who doesn’t know what it is, it is an app that is used on your phone that is basically a food diary. It allows you to log everything you consume on a daily basis and has features that allow you to see your macronutrient breakdown to ensure that you hit all your numbers for the day.
Another useful part of MFP is that most restaurants have estimated macros already loaded on that app which is convenient when you aren’t able to weigh and cook all of your own food – however, be sure to use common sense because there are instances where the macros were severely under or overestimated. Now, here’s how it ensures you make progress for months on months on end: someone who knows exactly what they are putting in their body has a significant advantage over others who do not and that is the fact that they will know immediately what is or isn’t working.
For example, let’s take someone who is trying to gain weight and eating 3000 calories: if this person is tracking day after day with accuracy and the scale isn’t going up, they will know immediately that they aren’t eating enough and can add calories accordingly. Essentially, it takes all of the guesswork out of your nutrition which can prove to be invaluable.
The Benefits of RepCount
Similar to MFP, RepCount is an app that one can use to track their progress, but this time, in the gym. It allows you to basically map out your workout before you go into the gym and log all of the weights and reps that you actually hit for that day. Now, why would someone find this to be useful? For the same reasons as MFP is useful: it takes all of the guesswork out of what you’re doing in the gym, allows you to make a set plan for you to attack, and you can see what is and isn’t working for you over time.
It’s vital that you know how your body is responding to training if you actually want to make some serious strength or size gains; if at the beginning of the year you’re hitting 50 pound dumbbells for 8 reps on incline bench and still are come the end of summer, you know that whatever you’re doing isn’t working and you need to adjust to ensure that your progress is continuing.
Neither of these apps are necessary to make gains in and outside of the gym, but they can be useful tools. All successful people in the fitness game have one thing in common: they all track their progress which enabled them to figure out early on what worked best for them and even more so, what didn’t work. One specific example that comes to mind is Brandon Carter who is popular on Instagram and YouTube; he has tracked everything that has entered his body and every workout for the last number of years… yes, years! His results speak for themselves and he accredits a lot of that to tracking all of his progress.
Aside from all of that, both are apps are free in the app store and adding to them takes only a few short minutes out of the day, so I encourage you all to give it a try for at least 6-8 weeks and see how if it works for you.