Apps

While most of my training is fairly low-tech, I do make use of some high-tech tools in the gym. I use my iPad and/or iPhone as a timer, video recorder and jukebox. Below are a list of the apps I use for each of those items.

Timers

Tabata Pro from SimpleTouch

Tabata intervals are a proven conditioning method. I highly recommend working them into your routine.

Timers Pro

This app works well for CrossFit style workouts, and includes a built-in rep counter. This is the app that was featured in all of the 2012 CrossFit Open videos.

Chronolite from Treeness, LLC

I use this app as my primary stopwatch. Any time I see an AMRAP or For Time workout, this is the app I use.

Seconds

This app is nice for its ability to create custom HIIT timers. I used it recently for an every-30-seconds workout, and it gave a nice three-second beep cue for every rep.

Video

Ubersense

Coach’s Eye (not free) gets a lot of publicity, but I’m not sure it provides anything that Ubersense (free) does not. I use Ubersense to record video so I can confirm proper form on my lifts. It has the ability to tag videos by movement, play back in slow motion, and draw directly onto the video. And it’s free.

Music

Spotify

You can hear anything form Amon Amarth to Skrillex and almost anything in between in my garage, all thanks to Spotify.

Pandora

Pandora radio is another great alternative, and is free if you don’t mind the advertisements.

Training Log

Evernote

Jerred Moon did a full write-up on using Evernote for your training log. While I prefer the narrow scope of my handful of charts and spreadsheets, those who want to be able to recall and analyze a wider selection of metrics may find Evernote to be very helpful.

What apps do you use in your home/garage gym? Post in the comments or tell us on Facebook!

 

Advertisements

Recommended Reading

Your journey to strength and fitness should not be one of blind faith. There is an incredible wealth of knowledge available to you on the topics of strength, fitness, athletics and nutrition. I’ll list a few that I think are particularly helpful, and that will hopefully set you off on a course to knowledge.

On Nutrition:

The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant

I had the pleasure of meeting John at a CrossFit event a few years ago. He’s a witty and engaging conversationalist, which shows through in his writing. His book presents a compelling case for a diet based in real, whole foods to accompany an active lifestyle. While it has plenty of substance, the concepts are presented in such a way that any reader can understand them.

Paleo for Lifters by Justin Lascek

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time at all, you’ll notice I’m a big fan of Justin’s work. This book takes the principles from Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” and applies it directly to strength trainees. The framework is nearly identical to the recommendations Power Athlete HQ and CrossFit Football have for their athletes.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

Along with Mark Sisson and Mat Lalonde, Robb Wolf is a torch-bearer of the paleo movement. His book is a little less geared toward athletic development and more toward the simple healthy lifestyle. It’s an easy read that provides plenty of information to anyone interested in cleaning up their diet.

On Exercise:

These are a handful of strength, fitness and athletic training books that I would immediately recommend to anyone seeking to learn more about those topics:

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Fit by Lon Kilgore, Michael Hartman, Justin Lascek

Periodization Training for Sports by Tudor Bompa

Science and Practice of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky

Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes and Coaches by Greg Everett

Advances in Functional Training by Mike Boyle

There’s no shortage of training, coaching and nutrition literature available. What books have made an impact on your training? Leave a note in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Charts and Spreadsheets

As you progress on your journey to improve your fitness, it’s good to have and keep metrics. A rule of thumb from business school: if it can’t be measured, it can’t be improved.

training log

Gym Metrics

I like keeping metrics for a few reasons. First, certain metrics are a good indicator of how well I stack up against the competition and/or my peers. Second, having the right metrics lets me know if there’s a particular gap in my training. Finally, there are metrics that indicate whether I’m ready for more advanced training methods, or whether I should stick to the basics.

Here are a handful of charts and spreadsheets I keep handy:

Basic Strength StandardsRippetoe, et al.

This chart is great for keeping a handle on my overall strength progress, as well as identifying whether I have a strength imbalance. For example, if I’m near the Advanced level for all lifts except Power Cleans where I’m at a Novice level, I know there’s something about the Power Clean that needs attention.

Olympic Lifting Strength ChartGreg Everett of Catalyst Athletics.

This is similar to the Rippetoe chart, but has a focus on the olympic weightlifting movements.

Linear Progression Spreadsheet – Garage Gym Guy

LP Chart (pdf) LP Chart (xlsx)

I put this spreadsheet together to keep track of both progress, and to know when it was finally time to graduate from the LP. (The general consensus is that you stay with the LP until you stall on all major lifts at the same time. Individual stalls and resets do not indicate a need for more complex training.)

Rep Max Spreadsheet – Garage Gym Guy

RM Chart (pdf) RM Chart (xlsx)

I put this sheet together as a way to keep track of 1RM, 3RM, 5RM, etc. for the CrossFit Football Collegiate program. It’s faster than digging through my training log to find the right number for a given lift.

Percentage Chart – Garage Gym Guy

Percentage Chart (pdf) Percentage Chart (xlsx)

When your training progression requires it, I’ve also put together a spreadsheet for working with percentages.

CrossFit LevelsCrossFit Seattle

This is a handy chart to help track and monitor progress in the sport of fitness. Some of the biggest critiques of CrossFit relate to pushing too hard, too soon. Having charts like this to help tailor training to individuals can help limit the risks associated with pushing inexperienced athletes in over their heads.

If you found any of these materials to be helpful, please share them! Leave a message in the comments of head over to Garage Gym Guy on Facebook, and let us know what reference materials you keep with you in the gym!