What the Tech: App of the Day: Strong
I’ll just bet you have a fitness app on your smartphone. There are hundreds available for iPhones and Android devices but just about every one of them tracks certain types of exercises like cardio, yoga, or HiT (high-intensity training).
For those who enjoy the weight room, there aren’t many choices in either App Store. Oh, there are apps for strength training but most of those just show exercises and how to do them.
That’s great but for gym rats who already have workout routines, those apps aren’t useful. Enter “Strong”; an app that allows you to record and save how much you lift along with reps and personal records.
Any bodybuilder will tell you that keeping track of pounds and reps is critical whether you’re trying to go for bulk or tone.
You’ll see how Strong is different the first time you open the app. It includes workout plans but that isn’t necessarily what it’s best for.
Users can enter their own workout routines by choosing from the exercises listed in the app or create the exercise themselves. I like the fact I can create drop sets, combo sets, and supersets.
When you start one of those workouts you enter the pounds you lifted and how many reps in that exercise. Back in the day, serious lifters would write down that information in a notebook for referencing later. Now you can do that easily in the Strong app. Game. Changer.
You can enter that information in the Strong smartphone app but it’s much better if you have an Apple Watch. Rather than keeping my expensive and somewhat fragile iPhone near iron weights, I enter the information using the watch by turning the crown to increase or decrease the numbers.
If I lift the same weight and reps as last time, I only have to tap the screen since the Strong app saved that information and entered it for the next time.
Strong has timers too so you can set whether you’d like a 2-minute rest break between exercises or sets. You can also skip the break.
Once I finish the workout I can take the “Strong” app on my phone to import all of the data from the watch or set it up so the information is automatically synced on my phone. All of that data gets pulled into the Apple Health app.
The app will show you how long you worked out and even how much total weight you lifted (for bragging rights I suppose). By syncing with the Health app you can also quickly see your heart rate during the workout and which exercises caused your heart to beat faster.
I’ve created 6 workouts or routines from scratch in the app and I haven’t found another fitness app that works as well for strength training.
There are better apps for those wanting to find new workouts and to see someone performing exercises correctly. As for experienced gym rats who already know what they’re doing but need to keep track of it, Strong is in a class of its own.
“Strong” is a free app but you are limited to how many custom routines you can make. To create as many custom routines as you like, the Pro Version of Strong is $5 a month or $30 a year.