Whatever happened to the days when you’d head out the door with your favorite cassette tape in your bright yellow walkman ready to kick that day’s workout?! Today, there are hundreds of workout apps, gadgets to hold phones, wireless headphones, nutritional supplements… and I’m HOOKED!
So to save you some time and money researching and trying everything out, I’ve been asked to share a few of my favorite things in regards to workout gear, supplements and technology.
Flip Belts rock! Now, I got this at the runner’s expo for the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon and figured it was just for ladies. Not the case. Men were buying these up too. I figure if they can pull off tights, wrestling singlets and biking shorts… then more power to them. And, frankly, anything beats a fanny pack. I digress. The Flip Belt holds keys, money, ID, phone, gel packs, etc… It was perfect for race day and I use it in the gym when I’m lifting or rowing or whatever. It stays in place and doesn’t inch up and doesn’t make you look fat. I consider it a win/win.
Next up, workout/nutrition/music apps. Unfortunately, I haven’t found one that I like for all of that combined. So let’s start with the easy one. Music. Spotify!!! You can follow playlists, make your own and with an upgraded membership (hell to the yeah), you can listen to them offline. I know, loads of apps have this feature. Spotify just has the best selection, and it’s constantly updating! Plus, it works every time for me! I used it during a half marathon, I used a high bpm playlist and dropped over a minute/mile off my best pace. Now I’m not giving all the credit to Spotify but a definite kudos is in order!
On to tracking my workouts – mapmyfitness rocks at this. I started using this fitness app for my runs and now use it to track everything. I love the friends feature on there so you have accountability partners. A friend and I shared a training plan for the half marathon and tracked our runs in the mapmyrun app (part of the mapmyfitness family). It added some serious accountability and competition. It’s like a virtual workout partner. I highly recommend it. Now, it can also track your meals and calories, etc… but it’s glitchy on that piece and doesn’t always work.
So, for nutrition, I use myfitnesspal. Yes, they sound alike but they’re very different. myfitnesspal has a feature where it remembers what you have logged in the past and since many of us eat a lot of the same things, it’s super efficient and easy to use. And let’s be honest, if it’s difficult, you stop using it… and when you’re not paying attention to it, you can go back to bad habits. With that said, once you’re in maintaining mode and have developed good habits, I don’t think you need to keep up with the tracking. It’s more for those looking to increase muscle (tracking protein), lose weight, etc…
That’s it for the apps in this post. Moving on to supplements. I’m an Advocare junkie. I use Spark before HIIT and any cardio. For heavy resistance training, I prefer Arginine Extreme. Click on those links to see what’s in them. As far as protein supplements go, as I mentioned in my post called What Should I pack to Stay Fit When I Travel, I love Pure Protein bars for breakfast or one of the 5 meals. After a workout though, I’ll use Post-workout recovery in a nutribullet or just shake it up in some water. It’s a great balance of carbs and protein that your body needs to recover. Also, when you blend it in a vitamix or nutribullet, it doesn’t get all foamy like most other protein powders. Ladies, usually a half dose will do the trick for you (cuts cost). Men, sorry. You need a full serving, typically.
So those are a few of my favorite things. If you have questions on anything I recommend or why I use it, just comment below. Plus, I would love to hear some of your faves too. I’m always on the look out for some cool apps, gear and supplements.