If you’re a social media junkie, we’ve got the perfect fitness class for you.
In the Klout Workout—inspired by the company that uses a point system to measure your influence across social networks—participants rack up points based on their own performance in the gym.
But here’s where things get weird: The class, which was created by fitness trainer Alexandra Williams and recently debuted at San Diego’s IDEA World Fitness Convention, requires you to fiddle with your phone during an actual workout. For example, at one station that takes its cues from Reddit, you actually hold the plank position on a stability ball while reading emails and texts on your mobile.
If you truly want to make big gains at the gym, though, you probably shouldn’t be tweeting in between sets and reps. But there are still plenty of ways that technology can enhance your workout. Download these six apps to help ignite your muscles and fry away fat—with the swipe of a finger.
Upgrade Your Hoops Game with Nike+ Basketball
Designed to work exclusively with shoes that contain the latest Nike+ Sport technology, this app syncs your kicks directly to your mobile and allows you to measure your athleticism. Not only can you record the height of your vertical jump, the app also tracks how quickly you can move up, down, and around the court. (Free for iOS)
Be a Better Runner with RunKeeper
You won’t find many apps—especially free ones—more versatile than Runkeeper. It covers all the basics: GPS tracking, tools that measure distance, speed, and calories burned, and it’ll keep your workouts archived. Upload everything to runkeeper.com to track your progress over the weeks, months, or years and share your newest running routes with friends. (Free for iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.) And for more running apps that will help you burn calories and slash minutes off your mile time, check out The Best Apps for Runners.
Track Your Heart Rate with BeatMeter
Sure, you can feel the sweat dripping down your body during a workout—but how hard are you really working? Here’s an app that helps you find out by recording your measured heartbeats per minute. All you have to do is locate your pulse—try pressing your carotid artery at the base of the neck—then tap the screen each time you feel it. After 60 seconds, your results will be ready.
Pump Up the Jams with Music Interval Training Tool
Whether you’re hitting the track or pounding out sprints on the bike, this app helps take your intensity to the next level. How it works: Create a high intensity and low intensity playlist to accompany your interval training, then set the number of seconds you want to exercise at each intensity. When you’re going hard, the music will sync with the upbeat tunes. Then once the interval is up, the music switches to something more low key. (Want to upgrade your cardio routine? Check out these killer Interval Training Workouts.)
Gain Flexibility with Authentic Yoga
Brought to you by Deepak Chopra and yoga master Tara Stiles, this app comes equipped with killer visuals designed to help you develop strength, flexibility, and balance. Authentic Yoga allows you to choose between instructional lessons, individual poses, or special routines assembled by Chopra and Stiles. So whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s suitable for all levels.
Plus, try our newest app! The Men’s Health Pushup Challenge blasts your upper-body with over 30 awesome variations of the classic pushup. As the most comprehensive pushup training app ever designed for the iPad, this is the only program powerful enough to help both pushup pups and pushup pros score more on the floor. Click here to try the Men’s Health Pushup Challenge.
Additional reporting by Brian Dalek