• Jay Campbell

Top 10 Must-Have Apps for the Fit & Productive

Ah, technology. You either love or hate that iPhone’s, droids, tablets and computers run the world. More than ever, I notice people doing more to disconnect from their screens rather than to create more reasons to be on them. The gym or kitchen can be a great escape from mindless IG scrolling of Facebook trolling, so why add more clicking to your day? Read along to find out.

Here are some of the best apps I’ve found (and use!) for increased productivity in life, in the kitchen and in the gym;

Strong App (Weight Lifting)

Strong is the simplest, cleanest, and most easy to use workout and exercise tracker I’ve found for any fitness routine, especially weight lifting.

Used by over 3,000,000 beginner, intermediate and experienced lifters, Strong provides everything you need to record your workouts as effortlessly and as quickly as possible. Not that there’s anything wrong with a Note app or old-school pen and paper, but its 2020, get with the program.

Strong is optimized for a progressive barbell routine such as Starting Strength, Bigger Leaner Stronger or StrongLifts 5x5, but it is easily adaptable to any other routine of your choosing, including programming by an expert personal trainer.

Rack Math (Weight Lifting)

This free and easy to use app is strictly for lovers of the almighty barbell.

You can customize your inventory of weights and quickly determine the amount of plates needed to hit your next PR.

Chronometer (nutrition tracking)

Easier to use and cheaper (free!) then My Fitness Pal.

Set and track your daily calories and macros, create recipes, set a fasting timer (if you’re into that kind of thing) and get a detailed “Complete Nutrition Summary” with just a few scrolls. This is my go-to during cuts, lean bulks and when working with clients.

Seconds (HIIT Timer)

Set custom timers to create the perfect HIIT workout.

IE; For 25 minutes of intense training, set;

5 Minute Warm Up

30 Seconds of Work

10 Seconds Rest

30 Rounds

Total Time- 24 minutes, 50 seconds

Audible (maximum productivity during training)

For $14.99 a month, you can download and stream pretty much any audiobook in the world, regardless of the author's MSRP ($). I like to use Audible when warming up and when my energy is good, switching to music only when I need a boost in energy. I'll only make that switch towards the end of my workout, when pumping myself up for a heavy compound lift or going for a PR. I realize this might not be for everyone, but viewers of my blog and podcast tend to value high-productivity, so it totally deserved a spot on this list.

Brain.FM (productivity, sleep)

I’m literally using Brain.FM as I write this post.

Brain.fm holds patents on key processes for creating functional music, including technology to elicit strong neural phase locking—allowing populations of neurons to engage in various kinds of coordinated activity—and technology to remove distraction in sound. This makes their music unique and purpose-built to steer you into a desired mental state. In other words, they’ve found incredible ways to create music that helps you do what you need to do. My favorite are the “Focus” tracks, engineered to help you get sh*t done. Tied for 2nd are their “Sleep” tracks (self-explanatory) and “Chill” tracks, designed for unwinding at the end of a long day or meditation.

Calm or Headspace (stress relief, meditation)

Outside of eating the right foods, getting quality exercise and great sleep, a huge and often underrated form of excellent health is stress management.

Calm and Headspace are two, very similar meditation apps, both of which offer a free trial to test the results. In my opinion, both apps are excellent and should be at the very least, tried out. It all comes down to preference, and my favorite of the two, based on a slightly wider variety of meditations, happens to be the Calm App. I know many who prefer Headspace. Try both.

Prime Now (rapid delivery from the world’s #1 health food store)

I’m assuming you or someone in your household has an Amazon Prime membership and if I’m right, it means you also have access to Prime Now.

Prime Now is Amazon’s Whole Food’s delivery service. Fast and convenient, Prime Now delivers Whole Food’s groceries directly to your front door, same day unless otherwise noted and within a two-hour window. Whole Food’s, once known as “Whole Paycheck,” has lowered their prices significantly since being purchased by Amazon and some of their sales are amazing. Like Prime, Prime Now is easy to navigate and pretty glitch-free. I tend to save a few of my favorite items, periodically check for sales and press “checkout,” when my expensive-ass hot sauce (see TRUFF) goes on sale

OneNote (productivity/notes)

Well this isn’t directly related to health or fitness, I believe it’s important to have some sort of one-on-all notebook.

OneNote updates my notes in real time on my MacBook, iPhone and iPad making it a perfect notebook to jot down blog ideas, recipes, client notes, workout ideas and even organizing my finances. There’s nothing wrong with “Notes” if you’re an Apple user like me, but OneNote is slightly more computer friendly/ Microsoft Word-esqe.

Canva (creating content)

If you’re a fitness professional, influencer, business owner, or just like making the pictures on your Instagram look dope, Canva helps you design social media graphics, design presentations, info graphics and more.

They have a simple to use drag and drop interface with millions of images, photo filters, hundreds of fonts as well as free shapes & icons and logo creation. You can navigate around Canva mostly for free with a premium membership available for even more graphics and features. I’ve made most of my content using the free platform.

Honorable Mentions:

Digits (finance)

Digits links to your bank account and monitors your monthly withdrawals and deposits withdrawing a few bucks here and there and automatically putting them into a “Rainy Day” account. You can create as many accounts as you want and adjust the priority accordingly. With overdraft protection and an excellent sense for weeks you might need to hold onto your money, Digits makes adjustments on the fly and will never leave you for broke. Awesome way to save some cash for your next adventure without really feeling it.

FamCal (calendar)

If you’re a wife, husband or part of a team, FamCal is an excellent way for multiple people to manage a schedule. It’s a shared calendar app that syncs well with other common calendar apps like Google and Apple Calendars.

Headliner (podcast sharing)

Headliner makes it easy to promote podcast clips to social media as well as full episodes to YouTube. After a certain number of videos created in a month, Headliner rudely inserts a watermark onto your posts unless you toss them a couple shekels

If you enjoy hacking your fitness, I host a podcast every week with my boy Blake called The Primal Lifestyle Podcast as well as a YouTube channel called "Primal Lifestyle Media."

You can follow me on Instagram @JayCampbellFitness and hire me for 1-on-1 coaching here.

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