Thinking of fitness applications for the latest action-packed, fully hand-sanitized society we now live in is all due to COVID-19 continuing to tear across the land like it’s late for an important meeting with a group of other life-threatening diseases. All things considered, I had to partially refocus my rundown on the home environment, as all responsible citizens attempt to flatten the infection curve.
Indonesia’s eye-wateringly high coronavirus mortality rate has been hitting headlines the world over, leading many to conclude that things are liable to get rather nasty here over the next few weeks. Indeed, many years here have led me to the theory that possession of a Jakartan Y chromosome itself can be considered an underlying condition. Certainly, a lifetime of kretek abuse and pea-soup pollution is not the best way of surviving a pandemic of this nature, but I digress.
And so, as streets across the globe are empty and gyms shut up shop, people are being forced to wail on their packs and go for that deep burn in the comfort of their own bedrooms and living rooms. Although I wouldn’t advocate going as far as to brave Chinese amateur athlete and mental case, Pan Shancu, who was reported to have run a 66-kilometre ultramarathon in his flat during the recent lockdown.
My own personal fear vis-à-vis my physical condition is that, as a cyclist, if I’m prevented from enjoying my pedalling for too long, then by the time I get back on the road, I’m likely to be burned off at the lights by Stephen Hawking. However, for now, I’m continuing to do some solo runs around town and enjoying the much lighter traffic.
Alas, if you enjoy a good gym session or swim then you’re going to have to accept the fact that, along with many other public facilities, gyms and pools the world over are now closed for the foreseeable future. This is undoubtedly a sensible move as the coronavirus can thrive in the humid environment of a public gymnasium. Home workouts, on the other hand, offer a safe and perhaps more palatable alternative to all of that testosterone-fuelled public grunting and sweating.
Moreover, many workouts, including bodyweight exercises and yoga, require little or no equipment at all. However, you may find a few cheap basics to be useful, including resistance bands, yoga mats, and dumbbells. Many gyms and personal trainers are also moving to online classes and sessions too as huge swathes of the population face lockdown or self-isolation. And so, here’s a rundown of a few apps to help you get a pumpin’ and a sweatin’ from the comfort of your own boudoir.
FitOn (Android and iOS – Free)
FitOn is kind of like a Netflix for exercise and offers a huge selection of video exercise classes that address a wide range of training techniques and objectives. Pilates, HIIT, and dance all feature full voice and video instructions. FitOn also features a huge library and best of all it’s all free!
JEFIT (Android and iOS – Free)
JEFIT.com has put together a superb application for those looking to engage in strength training and bodybuilding. JEFIT’s exercise database is packed with literally thousands of routines that address different targeted body parts.
Couch to 5K (Android and iOS – Rp42,000)
Designed to transform couch potatoes into hardened middle-distance runners, Couch to 5K will gradually build up your stamina and distances in gentle increments. Audio cues should keep you motivated and the application keeps track of your overall progress (or lack thereof).
Yoga Studio (Android and iOS – Rp56,000)
Yoga Studio features a library of more than 70 yoga and meditation classes ranging from ten to 60 minutes in duration. Strength, flexibility, relaxation, and balance all feature while the application allows you to search by ability level, focus, and duration. Moreover, class instructors can use Chromecast, Apple TV, and AirPlay to synchronize to the application.
Strava (Android and iOS – Free
Strava is by far the world’s best-known cycling application; however, triathletes, runners, and swimmers are also big fans. The application measures distance, average speed, times, calories burned, and some neat competitive leaderboards over pre-programmed segments. Moreover, Strava also connects to turbo trainers, which are used by cyclists to pedal away indoors whilst annoying their neighbours. More recently, the wonderful virtual cycling world of Zwift has been introduced. Simply stick your television in front of your bike and turbo trainer so you can enjoy an immersive, virus-free, virtual-reality cycling experience in competition with other pedallers around the world.
StrongLifts 5×5 (Android and iOS – Free)
Based on the well-known strength training program of the same name, StrongLifts 5×5 covers five sets of reps of five free-weight exercises: squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and barbell rows. These exercises are to be enjoyed in three 45-minute workouts per week. Video tutorials along with weekly and monthly progress statistics features are available, while you can sync the app to Apple Health and Google Fit.
Map My Fitness (Android and iOS – Free)
Under Armour’s Map My Fitness application offers an amazing selection of 600 fitness activities where you can sync with over 400 devices. Plenty of local jogging routes are featured and recorded data including pace, distance, and calories burned are displayed if you are on a GPS workout. Communities and challenges are also on hand to keep you interested and motivated. This application is also fully compatible with Android Wear and Apple Watch.
Nike Training Club (Android and iOS – Free)
Nike Training Club adopts a so-called “freemium” app approach, offering a vast workout library with exercises aimed at body parts or fitness goals. Workouts for full or light sets of equipment feature, while the premium side of the app offers guided four to six-week programs, as well as nutrition and wellness guidance.