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The 8 Best Fitness Apps To Maximise Your Workouts

18th November 2020

18th November 2020

By Shivraj Bassi

Left, right, left, right - swiping through Instagram, Hinge and BBC News is basically an Olympic sport at this point. Sadly, you can’t achieve your fitness goals through thumb movements alone. Innermost have tracked down the best apps for fitness and health that will keep you on track to smash all of your workout goals and leave you feeling healthy, happy and on the best path for you. 

Couch to 5k NHS

Ok, so this might not be the sexiest-sounding app out there. However, if you’re new to fitness or have previously concentrated on sports other than running (weightlifters, we’re looking at you) it’s a free, simple, well designed and effective place to start. 

Pick the voice of your trainer and they’ll talk you through a series of runs and walks designed to gradually build up your stamina. The app will automatically dip your music  to tell you what’s coming up next. By the end of week nine, you’ll be running for 30 minutes without stopping. Look at you go! 

Free on iOS and Android

Nike Training Club

If you’re time short but desperate for abs that could shred cheese, the Nike Training Club is a great choice for short, sharp workouts which need little-to-no equipment. You can choose to target certain body areas and switch up the difficulty level depending how much you’re looking to challenge yourself. 185 free workout videos make this one of the best fitness apps around. 

Free on iOS and Android

Down Dog

The name of this fitness app might scream yoga, but Down Dog offers a wide variety of workouts. What makes it stand out is how it lets you customise what you want to work on. You can choose the type of workout, what to focus on, the difficulty level, the music and the pace, and the app will create a workout tailored exactly to you. 

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the endless customization will keep you coming back for more. There’s a free version of this fitness app, but the paid for version has more options to choose from.

Free, with the paid version costing £7.99 per month for iOS and Android

Body by Blogilates

The popular Cassey Ho rose to fame with her Blogilates videos on YouTube, which focus on an accessible yet effective form of at-home pilates. This app is a must for fans of Blogilates or those who want a reliable and exceptionally cheerful instructor to guide them through workouts. 

One of the best fitness apps, it makes the list thanks to the access it gives to all of Cassey’s videos, a monthly workout calendar and an online forum, plus inbuilt challenges to keep you motivated. 

Free with optional in-app purchases on iOS and Android.

Strava: Ride and Run

For anyone who has moved beyond a casual lunch break run or cycling to work instead of getting the tube, Strava is a must-download. The app tracks distance, elevation, speed, heart rate, calories burned and more, which it then synthesises into easy-to-comprehend graphics. No other app is as easy to use or as comprehensive, and it’s useful for keeping all of your fitness data in one place. 

Free with optional in-app purchases on iOS and Android.


This fitness app is an audio-based model. With thousands of available workouts covering outdoor running, gym sessions, marathon training and yoga, among many others, all you need to do is pick your poison, plug in your headphones and get training. 

You can filter by trainer, duration and difficulty level, and every workout is accompanied by a curated playlist

Free with optional in-app purchases on iOS and Android.


You’ll definitely have heard of MyFitnessPal, and for good reason - it’s one of the best fitness tracking apps out there, and it’s been going strong for 13 years. If you’re looking to monitor what you’re putting into your body, warts and all, it’s a solid choice. 

The database contains the calories and nutrients of more than six million foods, from homemade protein bars to packaged snacks and takeaway coffees. You can set diet goals and track your macros, and the community feature allows you to connect with other users. 

Free with optional in-app purchases on iOS and Android.


You can’t smash your weightlifting goals in the morning if you don’t sleep well the night before. Health encompasses more than just workouts, making Calm one of the best fitness apps on the market. It has guided meditations, music and courses that promote a sense of calm and relaxation. 

Famous for their bedtime stories which are designed to get you to snooze off quickly, you can choose from a number of celebs to guide you into slumber, including Harry Styles, Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley.

Free with optional in-app purchases on iOS and Android.

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more