Follow those New Year’s fitness resolutions with these homegrown workout apps.
If you’re after a complete fitness overhaul, 8Fit offers free customised workouts and meal plans and even (for €59.99 per year) personalised coaching from its in-house trainers and nutritionists. Once you’ve downloaded the app and tapped in your height and weight, you can determine your goal, whether that’s to lose the Bierbauch, build muscle or keep fit. From there, you get training plans built around 8Fit’s 15-minute workout videos, filmed in their Kreuzberg offices and comprising high-intensity, no-equipment-needed moves like burpees, squats and lunges. Meal plans can be set for all dietary requirements (including vegan and paleo) and culinary abilities – a typical menu could include a seed and nut porridge for brekkie, three-ingredient pea soup for lunch, and a chickpea salad for dinner, plus snack suggestions to help you steer clear of the Ritter Sport. BEST FOR: Beginners looking for all-round fitness and long-term results.
If you’re keen to find your inner yogi, the Asana Rebel app (iPhone only) claims to be “the world’s first yoga-inspired fitness app”, with short video yoga workouts for every fitness and experience level designed by the team behind yoga shop and blog Asanayoga.de. Free users can choose from a selection of single workouts listed by goal, such as the 13-minute “cleansing detox” or the 16-minute “flexibility hangout”. Coaching and extended programmes, such an eight-week fat burn or six-week relaxation plan, are available with a subscription (€10/month, €60/year or €99.99/unlimited). While the videos do demonstrate poses such as Downward Dog or Warrior II, as anyone who’s been to an IRL yoga studio can attest, it’s often easy to think you’re in the right position, only for your instructor to pull you into something different (and usually harder!). In this case, the app is good for home fitness and perhaps a morning boost, but no substitute for a class if you’re looking for the full mind-body experience. BEST FOR: Yoga bunnies looking for a quick burst of relaxation and strength.
If training indoors bores you to tears and you want to unleash your inner competitive beast, Racemappr might be just the thing. Launched in November by running enthusiast Jon Sykes, the free-to-use site lists running, cycling and triathlon events throughout Germany and the UK to help you search for your next sporting challenge. Just think, while you were nursing your Silvester hangover, you could have been running the Neujahrslauf (4km) along Unter den Linden! But don’t worry, there’s still time to train for May’s Big 25 Berlin (10km, 22km or 25 km) which finishes on the track at the Olympic Stadium. Once you’ve found a race, Racemappr’s blog and social media plug-ins can help you to find friends to go with or compete against – an app and future features are in development. While it might not be a site you’ll visit on a daily basis (unless you’re really hardcore), it’s a good source of info and inspiration. BEST FOR: Competitive amateurs looking for the next challenge
Instead of replacing a gym membership, this German-only app helps gym rats take advantage of theirs by creating workout plans according to goals and starting level. The workouts, which take around an hour, are based on standard equipment such as cross-trainers and weight machines. If you do already go to the gym, but are more McPaper than McFit and want to shake up your routine, the free app gives detailed workout suggestions, and you can analyse and track your progress by logging the activities completed. It’s less intuitive and lacks the motivational messages of 8Fit or Asana Rebel, however, so some degree of self-motivation is needed to achieve those Strandbad-ready abs.
BEST FOR: Gym-goers looking for tailored programmes and Arnielike muscles.