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The best things in life are free

Especially, it turns out, when it comes to fitness apps. Let your phone be your trainer

The best things in life are free

The mighty mobile phone. Is there anything it can’t do? It keeps you connected and entertained, distracted and informed – but can your phone help you get fit for free?

We’ve found 15 apps that say it can. From schemes that blackmail you into going to the gym, to planners that create bespoke workouts, these free downloads are the ultimate training companions. So dig out your gym shoes, dust down your dumbbells and stretch those hamstrings… it’s time to apply yourself.



Silently tracking your every footstep, this cunning app works as a high-powered pedometer. A daily 10,000 steps are recommended, but if you don’t hit your target, you can see where you went wrong with a summary of the places you went, the transport you took and exercise you did.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch

Endomondo Sports Tracker

Record and log your runs/walks/cycles with the GPS-reliant Endomondo. As well calculating distance, time, speed and calories burned, this easy-to-use application also maps user routes to create a searchable library.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, Nokia

MyFitness Pal

Whether you’re looking to get shot of your gut or bulk up, this calorie counter keeps you on task. Set a goal to receive a target, and log what you eat via a database covering everything from a Pret pastry to a ketchup squirt.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows


One of the most popular GPS trackers on the market, RunKeeper accumulates the usual stats (distance, pace and calories burned), but also offers effective and specific exercise plans, as well as an online database of suggested running/cycling/walking routes.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android

Withings Health Mate

Taking a holistic approach to your overall health, this helps you keep tabs on your weight, exercise, sleep and heart. Once you’ve entered your stats, it’ll send you tips and reminders, and hook you up with partner apps such as RunKeeper.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android



Fancy having the likes of Andy Murray tell you what to do? His voice (and others) are available on this app – and believe us, there’s nothing more surreal that hearing Murray mumble “good job” post-run. There’s also a function to tell you when you need to replace your trainers.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia

Reebok Fitness

Avoid routine boredom with this app’s workout creator, which allows you to design a 6-12 week exercise schedule made up of varied activities. Tips and video tutorials by leading experts are also thrown in for free.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android


Perfect for days when you need to be told what to do, Sworkit takes the place of a barking circuit-training instructor. Choose between the ‘strength’ and ‘yoga’ settings, hit the area you want to focus on (upper body, stretching etc) and a diagram of the exercise will appear with a ticking timer.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android


Interval training is currently king, but checking a timer while working out can be distracting. This timer does away with the hassle by letting you programme intensity routines with alerts. You can even match music to intervals.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android

Six Week Training

Improve a feeble record by completing a six-week plan to achieve 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 200 squats, 150 dips or 20 pull-ups in just one session – then head back to the gym for a bit of bragging.

Compatible with: Windows



Employing a bit of carrot and a lot of stick, GymPact promises a small cash reward if you reach your workout target – and slaps you with a minimum $5 penalty if you fail to show up at the gym. It keeps tabs on you via GPS, but non-gym members can log runs and home sessions.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android


Staring blankly at your gym mat? Swiftly banish creative workout fatigue with a library of more than 800 simple exercise routines – or ‘quests’ – based both in and out of the gym. For each quest you complete, you earn points, and points add up to… well, fitness glory.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android


Turning exercise into a team game, Teemo aims to motivate you into filling spare minutes with bursts of interval training. Just enlist your friends to embark on a ‘virtual adventure’ (say, climbing Mount Everest) and then complete the challenge by doing the required exercise.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch

Nike+ Running

If you’re prone to flagging mid-run, or need a little lift to get going in the first place, this GPS app proffers a boost. You can create a peppy playlist and hit the PowerSong button to help spur you on, or use a Facebook link to build a ‘Cheer Squad’ to applaud you.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch, Android


Download this smart app and you’ll never run alone again. Yog connects you to fellow runners around the world and allows you to invite friends (or unknown members) to join you in a real-time jog. It then plots your pace and speed, meaning you can have a virtual race with a virtual stranger.

Compatible with: iPhone/iPad Touch