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Review Gym Hero Smartphone App
Gym Hero Background
I am often asked what applications I am using on my phone to help achieve my diet and fitness goals. This article is the first in a series which will cover each app and provide an overview of how and why I use and recommend them.
So to kick this first article off… One of the tools that I am currently using is an app called Gym Hero. This app provides an easy way of: planning, scheduling and recording gym session progress. If you are engaged in a resistance exercise programme and looking to achieve progression, it is key that you record the lifts that you achieve each session – more on this later…
Review Gym Hero Smartphone App – History
Gym Hero has been around since 2011 and I’ve been using it myself for over 3 years. In this time it has improved significantly and is now a stable and useful application. The latest offering (v2.4 at the time of writing) is the best to date and has stopped me even considering looking at other apps to take over this function.
iPhone Platform Only
I personally run the app on my iPhone under iOS 9.2 and at present Gym Hero is only available for the iPhone platform. The vendor website mentions that an Android version will be developed at a later date, however bearing in mind the development timescales of applications, I wouldn’t expect this any time in the near future.
Gym Hero Functions That I Use
My current resistance training programme is built on the Reverse Pyramid Training protocol, using Progressive Overload to cause muscle growth. This means that I need to be able to review a previous gym sessions progress to allow me to attempt to improve on it at the next session. The key elements that I use the application to record are:
- Workout name.
- Exercises that make up the workout.
- Number of sets that I will perform of each exercise in the workout.
- Number of target reps that I am ideally looking to achieve in the Reverse Pyramid.
- The number of reps and weight that I managed to lift the last time I performed the workout.
You can use Gym Hero to display all of this information and on the same screen, enter the details of your current workout. With all of this information available in a clear, easy to read format on a single screen, it avoids any wasted time in the gym.
Here is an example of the workout log screen, where you can easily see what exercise is being tracked (Bench Press), the number of target sets planned (4), the reps (10) and weights for each and slightly dimmed is the information recorded for the same workout the last time it was performed.
Gym Hero comes with a super large (full screen) timer which is great for timing your rest periods. It is simple to use and can easily be reset in-between sets. The timer is part of the app and can easily be displayed or hidden with a quick swipe. Even with your phone on the floor the large display of the timer makes it simple to read and an extremely useful feature.
Review Gym Hero Smartphone App Advanced Features
Workout Data Export
The app is also capable of allowing the export of workout data in common data formats such as CSV. This makes it easy to upload your workouts into Excel and manipulate the data in ways that aren’t available directly in the app. The limit would only be your Excel skills and imagination!
All workout data can be synced back to your personal area which you can analyse via a browser and also allow your PT to access.
Once you’ve created your workout programme within the app you are able to assign each exercise to a body part. This is then used to provide a ‘heat map’ of workout activity shown across the body parts. The summary screen is also really useful for seeing reps and weights for each exercise without having to flick in and out of each exercise individually.
You can also link the app to a Facebook account to allow you to easily ‘publish’ the results of a workout.
The basic app is FREE! This gives you a good chance to try out the framework and user interface to see if it is right for you. The more advanced features can be purchased for a small fee. I unlocked the full app several versions ago and that purchase has been honored through the upgrades.
Review Gym Hero Smartphone App – Summary
Gym Hero is one of the key tools that I use each time I am in the gym. Even just popping in for a quick Abs session is made easy. By using the workout logging function and built-in timer, the whole gym session becomes a lot more efficient and productive.
As the app in it’s basic form is free, there is nothing to lose from downloading it and giving it a trial run. Once you’ve gotten through the basic setup of adding a workout routine I think you’ll find the interface easy to use and quick to update – allowing you to concentrate on your lifts and gains!