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Tech Crunching

The best apps and platforms for building your body in the new year.

By Amanda Burrill, MS


No matter what kind of motivation or daily prodding you prefer to inspire you to meet your fitness goals, there's an online aide to push you in the right direction. Pu-push it real good, whether you work out at home, at a designated gym, or all over the world.


Cost: Free
Available on: iTunes and Google Play
Best for: Those who like variety, travel often, and have hectic schedules
MINDBODY, named one of Apple’s “Best New Apps of 2016,” has over four million registered users around the world, and the app gives them easy access to local fitness and wellness classes. Furthermore, you can use the app to find places to work out and read others’ review of the facility—perfect for when you’re comparing several gyms trying to figure out which to join. MINDBODY also recently partnered with the folks at Under Armour and Myfitnesspal. Can you say empire?


Cost: App is free; plans from $40/month
Where to buy: iTunes, Google Play
Best for: Those who like variety, travel often, and have hectic schedules

ClassPass is a monthly membership that connects users to more than 8,000 fitness facilities in 39 cities worldwide. You establish your initial membership by entering your own zip code. For example, in Los Angeles a base membership costs $60 and gets you five classes. Not feeling up for a circuit class or organized yoga? Just book an hour of gym time instead! The app gets to “know you” and will recommend classes and gyms it thinks you will like.


Cost: Free; $10 power pack unlocks more features
Available on: iTunes, Google Play
Best for: Weight lifters who want a trainer on the cheap



StrongLifts is a straightforward strength- and muscle-building app for folks who want an athletic body with functional strength—which is all of us, so it’s perfect for beginners but still excellent for seasoned lifters. The simplistic app presentation and workout approach is what attracted me most, especially coming off a major injury that had me out of the gym for a while (i.e., feeling a little “let’s get this over with”). The uncomplicated and time-efficient workouts utilize compound movements and take the guesswork out of the workout.


Cost: Free
Available on: iTunes, Apple TV coming soon
Best for: Those who want to stream, love studio workouts and a feeling of community

 I love my gym community. When you can’t get there, try Qinetic, a new app providing access to live, interactive fitness classes filmed in their own NYC studio, led by renowned trainers and instructors. For those with a competitive spirit, Qinetic gamifies its variety of workouts (strength training, barre, HIIT, prenatal) with Apple Watch and Healthkit. When you’re done with the workout, Qinetic records a summation of your activity and tracks it with a custom “Hustle Score.” See your activity over time, and compete with other Qinetic users on the leaderboard.


Cost: Monthly subscription service (cost TBD)
Available at:
Best for: Those who want to stream, love studio workouts and a feeling of community



The best idea since sliced (Ezekiel, P28) bread. FORTË is a tech company that installs hardware and software in studios, usually four or five cameras per locale, to stream live classes to users signed in to the platform. Suddenly a small boutique class has the entire world as an audience. The streamed classes then go into an on-demand database, which equates to the “Netflix of fitness.” FORTË soft-launched a while back and I’ve had a chance to play. This morning I attended a yoga class in Salt Lake City from my home in chilly New England. This platform is mobile adaptive and works flawlessly in iPhones, iPads, and tablets.


Cost: 30-day free trial; $5/month or $30/year
Available on: iTunes
Best for: Those who love to incorporate music into their workouts

Tired of your playlist and hitting shuffle is no longer cutting it? Spring is for you! This app has been called “Pandora meets Fitbit” and has playlists to cover a broad range of genres and styles. Spring utilizes the connection between body movement and music rhythm, analyzing factors like beats per minute, mood, and beat intensity through an algorithm, to create a unique playlist for each user. Did you know that when the body is synchronized to the beat, we subconsciously feel we are working less? Happier workouts with fresh tunes and not feeling as tired sounds like a good way to start the year.



Cost: Free
Available on: iTunes, soon to Google Play
Best for: Independent trainers or those looking for one

This app, now in 22 cities, helps you locate a qualified trainer who fits your time and budget who, with the tap of your screen, will come to your desired location and customize your session based on your user profile. On the flipside, if you’re a trainer, apply for a “specialist” account. You can focus on training while TRN manages the sales, marketing, and administrative process. Clients whose desired time frame matches availability in your schedule will be able to check out your bio and per-session price. The awkward, “How much do you charge?” exchange is a thing of the past.

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