iPad and iPhone Fitness Apps Review

I know this is supposed to be a triathlon site where you can come get some amazing information on training and techniques in swimming, cycling, and running, but I need to deviate from that for just a couple of posts. I recently picked up an iPad to review it for a client to determine if it would make the implementation of a project more efficient. I have started to dive into the world of Apps for the iPad and I enacted to pass along my opinion on some of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Now you may or may not agree with me on all of my opinion, and that is alright. You can put a comment on this post and let me know why you think that I am just an idiot with a keyboard. Make sure you have a good argument though, because if you say that your nephew was the designer on the app and that is why I should love it, I may laugh heartily at your expense.

The evaluation criteria that will determine if I give an app a thumbs-up or thumbs-down is simple: Does the app do what it says it will, is it intuitive, and does it actually work? I will focus my thoughts on apps that are related to fitness, health, swimming, biking, and running. If there is an app that you are dying to find a review on but can’t, email me and give me the name and I will buy it and test it for you. Most of my readers want to know too.

Let’s get started.

TI Swimming ($0.99)

I love, love, love Total Immersion Swimming. I literally think it is one of the best systems to use to improve your swimming efficiency and strength. When I saw their app I literally geeked out. But once it was installed and I opened it up, I was very disappointed. The app is designed for the iPhone only and as a result, the best way to view the interface is when it is small. The app is supposed to allow you to download videos that clearly demonstrate drills. I downloaded the free videos and couldn’t figure out how to actually view them. I spent 20 minutes with the interface trying to figure out how to play the skill drill videos and never figured it out. I didn’t even try to download the videos that require that you pay $.99. The content is also available on the Total Immersion website. Because of he crappy interface and poor logic used in it’s design, this is definitely one you should skip.
Verdict: TI Swimming will leave you feeling all wet.

iMapMyRide ($4.99)

MapMyRide.com is a service that I use to help me keep track of some of the routes I take on my bike. I love their site and think it is one of the more innovative sites available. With both free and paid versions, it is someone everyone can use. When I came across their app in the iTunes app store, I bought it just to see if it was as cool as their site. If you have an iPhone and don’t hate the idea of using it as your bike computer, this app is for you. You strap your ozone to your handlebars and this app will do the rest once you push start. It syncs with your Ant+ hardware — power meter, HRM, cadence sensor, and anything else you can think of. You literally can save yourself lots of money by using your iPhone instead of a Garmin if you need GPS based data for your rides. This app is unbelievable and worth every penny they charge for it. The related iMapMyRun program is also fantastic, but carrying your iPhone with you on a run may be a little too cumbersome. If you are running behind a stroller, I could see where this would be wonderful.
Verdict: Don’ leave home without it.

RaboCycling, RadioShack, and Team Sky (Free)

What do you mean Mike, aren’t those pro cycling teams that you just listed? What type of app would be available from them? I am glad you asked. If you like up to the minute updates from your favorite pro teams during the season, you need to look at these free apps. With these apps, you can keep up to date on the race results of your favorite riders, even if they don’t ride for the team because for each stage of a race, both apps publish the results. Tricky…
Verdict: Gotta have this if you are a cycling fan of any of the big names.

LAVA Magazine ($19.99)

If you have done an IMNA branded race in the last six months or so, you know that they now have an official magazine called LAVA. When i got my copy in the mail i devoured it. The writing is fantastic and the information they provide is relevant. Their app brings a copy of the magazine (published six times a year I believe) to your iPad. The interface is good, but could use a little work to help it appear more like a webpage instead of requiring that you pull up individual pages of the magazine. I do think at overall is one is a winner.
Verdict: This app will keep you up to date on our industry, sport, and the athletes that make it up. Buy it man!

There are two more apps that I want to review, but i think it should wait until next week. I will take a look then at MyNetDiary for nutrition tracking and accountability and Pocket Yoga HD. Again, if there is a specific app you want me to review, let me know and i will be happy to download and use it.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...