For the ill-prepared, January’s melancholy is only heightened by the pressure to get yourself to the nearest gym and start sculpting a more god-like physique.
If that wasn’t dire enough, it comes with a conundrum that many of us are familiar with: you can’t afford the luxury of a personal trainer, yet you need motivation to get out of bed in the morning and throw on your trainers.
But if you blew all your fitness budget in the January sales and you’re now desperately waiting for pay day, then don’t sweat it, because there are plenty of cheaper options out there.
These days, meeting a trainer face-to-face isn’t always necessary. Thanks to technology, some of the world’s best PT’s can sit right in your pocket, motivating you through your headphones to push past the pain barrier.
Here we’ve picked out some of the best workout apps to optimise your fitness routine, track your success and help you smash your New Year goals. No gym membership? No problem.
1. Nike Training Club
Nike’s enviably chiselled trainers guide you through challenging workouts from yoga and strength training to boxing. One of its best features is its bespoke training plan tool: simply plug in your fitness goal and it will draw up a routine over a number of weeks, based on your personal schedule. Loaded with over 100 workouts, there’s a level of difficulty here that that anyone will find a challenge – whether you’re new to exercise or a stomach-crunching pro.
2. Sweat With Kayla
Instagram’s most famous female trainer, Kayla Itsines, gained masses of followers for transforming women’s bodies with her Bikini Guide Programme. Now she’s converted the cult guide into an app that promises to give you a summer-ready body in just three months. The 12-week programme sets daily 28-minute strength and cardio workouts that can easily be completed at home, alongside a virtual Kayla who visually guides you through each circuit. You can also track your progress and whip up an impressive ‘before and after’ shot with a weekly photo journal function.
£14.99 per month; kaylaitsines.com
3. 7 Minute Workout
For people who easily get bored of fitness, there’s 7 Minute Workout. This pocket rocket app packs in blistering, high-intensity workouts that can be speedily completed anytime, anywhere. Each workout consists of only 12 exercises, each to be done for 30 seconds, with 10 second wheezing breaks between each exercise. All you need is a chair, a wall and a whole load of stamina.
4. Pocket Yoga
One of the best things about yoga apps is that you can reap the physical and mental benefits of the practice, even when you’re not in the studio. This illustrated app sets you a series of postures to stretch your way through and can be synced with your heart rate monitor to display a live counter of the calories you’ve burned off. If you’re a total beginner to yoga, there’s even a handy pose dictionary that can show you the correct way to hold each position.
Press ups are all well and good but if you’re gorging on pizza and chips every night, your hard work is going to waste. That’s where 8Fit comes in. The app serves up exercise plans as well as daily meal suggestions for fuelling your workout with healthy and nutritious ingredients. There’s also a handy feature to filter out certain foods – so if you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or gluten-free, I’m afraid there’s no excuse.