Weight training is a no-nonsense endeavor and if you don’t have a gym or training program available, whether that be down to location, cost, or pandemic-related closures, there are some fine alternatives available via your smartphone. While some fitness apps may be a little too casual for your workout goals, specific strength training apps for iOS and Android focus on realizing gains and stacking more muscle the right way. Here are the best weightlifting apps for iOS and Android devices.
Note: Most of these apps also work with smartwatches, but their capacity is limited and unless you are primarily interested in logging results, you will get better content on your phone.
Simple and straightforward, Strong is a great choice if you have set routines to work through. Strong offers a vast database of exercises to choose from, including the best arm workouts, and you can add each exercise into a number of workouts. The app features a range of cardio and strength exercises and the ability to add your own, detailed instructions via an expanding library of animated videos, advanced stats to chart your progress, and more. A new Workouts Per Week widget is available for iOS 14. For $5 per month or $30 per year, you get additional custom routines and other pro features.
Fitness Point (free)
When it comes to hardcore, down-to-details workout apps, few are as complete as Fitness Point. It helps you to create your own personal workout or select from one of the app’s preset plans. Professional trainers assisted in developing an artificial intelligence algorithm that automatically creates a customized bodyweight workout based on your fitness level. It goes exercise by exercise, breaking each down into images, descriptions, and muscle groups. You can build your own workout based on the muscle groups you want to target, and log each exercise that you do with notes for weight changes, calories burned, and so on. There’s also a pro version without ads for $5.
Simple Workout Log (free)
More time lifting weights and less time poking your phone is always better, and that’s where Simple Workout Log comes in. Its simple logging method works exactly as you’d expect: Enter your exercise, weight, and number of reps, and the app will track that information, allowing you to monitor your progression over time. You can rename and export your routines, and there’s a website version of the app available, so you can work out without your phone. There’s no iOS version yet, but it’s in the works, and Apple users can consult the website until their app is ready.
Jefit features a free fitness database that helps you make progress and expertly leverage your gym or home fitness routines. The app accommodates everything from beginner programs like 5×5, 531, Stronglifts, three- or four-day splits, bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, or kettlebell routines, with a full exercise library, workout tracker, timer, and shortcut workout routines. Jefit also dives heavily into analytics and social media, with a workout profile that allows you to see your progress and share workouts with others. Updated versions include improved routine details screens, a better onboard experience, and more workout routine flexibility. It can get a little data-intensive, but if you’re into that, you should also check out these fitness trackers.
Stronglifts 5×5 (free)
Stronglifts 5×5 is a personal trainer and logger, but pared down, with a minimalist interface focused on 5×5 workouts. It’s designed as a weight lifting program, planner, and tracker for beginners and new bodybuilders. Plug in your starting weights and sets, and the app tells you how long to rest between sets, and what weights and sets you should use in sequence. There’s a lot less thinking and profile management, and a lot more weightlifting with all information and progress added to the cloud. A Pro option with more features costs $20 a year.
Beginner Workout — Your First Month at the Gym (free)
Just getting into weightlifting for the first time? Or perhaps you’re returning to the world of pumping iron after an extended break? Either way, Beginner Workout might be your pathway into lifting. This Android-only app challenges you to follow a four-week training course specially designed to be demanding, but not so much as to cause burnout or injury. It’s completely free, and it promises to give you a great start to lifting weights — and a good buildup of muscle too.
Workout Trainer (free)
If you seek at-home bodyweight workouts, Workout Trainer is there for you. If you like working out at home using just your body or minimal equipment, the app offers thousands of free workouts and custom training programs led by expert coaches. There’s something new for you to do every day in categories like weightlifting or bodyweight moves or exploring various preset workout routines. These are rated by time, intensity, body part, and so on. New versions let you play YouTube workout videos and track your heart rate as you do them. Workouts are created by verified trainers, and there’s an option to link up with an online trainer and explore your fitness progress together — for a subscription fee of $7 per month or $60 per year.
This Fitness22 app is the full package of workout plans that double as a personal trainer to start your bodybuilding odyssey or improve your weight lifting techniques and accomplishments. The app lets you create a custom workout plan and full exercise tracking for complete beginners as well as for weight-lifting experts, with over 3,000 exercises available. Photos and videos are available for many of the exercises, and it even mixes in a little cardio to make sure you’re getting a full workout. Updates feature an improved workout experience, faster weight logging, reminders, and a larger workout screen.
You Are Your Own Gym ($3)
This app is based on the book, You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. and emphasizes strength training for runners and swimmers, workouts for military prep, exercises for triathletes or endurance sports, and workouts at home for strength and endurance. It features a comprehensive library of over 200 different bodyweight exercises and integrates with Mark Lauren’s DVD series of apps on Google Play, available for purchase separately, which lets you access full video workouts. Quick workouts are available that can fit any schedule with as little as 2 minutes a day.
BodySpace is a social fitness platform that’s part personal trainer and part online fitness community, complete with workout tools, trackers, original content, and social features. First, pick a training program from dozens built by the pros or from among thousands of top-rated community programs based on your goal, experience level, gender, age, duration, or the number of workouts per week. Then, apply the program to your calendar and get a daily to-do list with reminders. There are also tips, videos, and other resources for you to use to perfect your workout or find the right advice.