Fitness apps have surged over the last few years, helping to make fitness easier and more accessible than ever before.
From tracking exercises to recording providing daily schedules, there are many apps available to help make tracking exercise, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle effortless. For people with CMT, the requirements from a fitness app have to be slightly different due to the limitations caused as a result of the condition, but there are still many choices to choose from.
CMT & FITNESS APPS
CMT adds a level of complexity when trying to use fitness apps. Rigid exercise programs may contain exercises not possible, or potentially dangerous for people with CMT, and an app with a limited amount of exercises may not contain specific isolation exercises that can be important when attempting to strengthen weak muscles. Below are a few specific aspects to consider when choosing a fitness app with regard to CMT:
CHANGE OUT EXERCISES
Several exercises may not ideal or safe for people with CMT to do, such as weighted squats, or deadlifts. Being able to replace exercises in a program with similar exercises that are more viable is important, otherwise, an injury may occur, or muscles may be missed.
RICH DATABASE OF EXERCISES
Having a detailed database of exercises is important due to people with CMT having specific needs. Due to atrophy, certain muscles may have to be exercised more frequently than others in different ways. An app with a detailed database of exercises can help provide inspiration and show new ways of exercising these muscles.
If you are new to exercising, having guided programs is highly recommended in order to prevent injury, optimise time and to make sure your fitness routine is adequate. However. it's worth noting that most programs are for people without CMT, and therefore not all programs found in an app may be suitable.
Below is a list of several exercise apps that may be useful for someone with CMT. This list is not exhaustive as there are many to choose from and ultimately the best fitness app is the one that helps you exercise in a safe, effective manner. Before starting any exercise program, please consult with a medical professional to assess your fitness capabilities and needs.
BodyFit is Bodybuilding.com's solution for helping people need their fitness needs, whether they are completely new to fitness, or experts looking for advanced workout plans. BodyFit is provided as a paid-for subscription app and comes in two packages: Plus and Elite, Plus contains 2,500+ workouts created by experts and 3,500+ how-to exercise videos to help guide people in their workouts. Elite is the premium tier that, on top of the content found in Plus, contains 90+ premium workout plans, a 5% discount in the bodybuilding.com store on all purchases and other benefits. The major advantage of the Elite workout plans is that they also contain full nutrition and supplement plans, taking the headache out of figuring out what and when to eat, making it both a nutrition tracking and exercise app wrapped into one offering, While there is no free option, there is a 7-day free trial, allowing you to explore what is on offer.
+ Great option for anyone new to a gym
+ Professional programs ranging from beginners to advanced
+ Entire fitness solution that includes meal planning
- No free option
- Mainly gym-focused
- Unable to change exercises in a program
Below are a few programs available in the BodyFit app:
Beginner: 6 workouts per week / 45-50 min. workouts
Transformed is the workout program that corrects the flaws in every other program that hasn't worked for you. It's customizable, simple, effective, and doesn't demand too much of your time. You'll alternate full-body workouts with fat-burning cardio to achieve major results. And there's a video demonstration for every move.
8fit is a fitness and nutrition tracking app that has less of a focus on gym workouts than some other apps and includes exercise plans that cover HIIT, Tabata, yoga, boxing and other types of exercise, providing enough variety for most people to find an exercise program that suits them. A unique difference with the app is that it is based around long-term results, rather than short programs that are designed for a couple of weeks, trying to build good habits, including better sleeping and healthy living on top of providing exercise routines. While the basic functionality of the app is free which includes the ability to swap out exercises for a suitable alternative, extra workout plans, recipe and meal suggestions are only available on the paid plan, which is significantly cheaper when bought on a yearly subscription rather than monthly or quarterly.
+ Great option for people looking for home workouts
+ Sleek, modern app with a good user interface
+ Entire fitness solution that includes versatile meal planning
+ Free trial available
+ Able to substitute exercises based on your ability
- No true free option
- Mainly home-workout focused
CHOOSE YOUR GOALS
Building a healthy routine based around your needs
While 8fit cannot adjust itself automatically for people with CMT, it does the structure itself in such a way that the exercise routines, frequency, and recipe suggestions are built around what you personally want from the app, allowing for a useful level of customisation.
Jefit is an exercise tracking app that contains a large database of exercises that are not limited to a gym and allows exercises to be added either on the fly or pre-set routines to be created. There are basic instructions and animations showing how an exercise should be done and a progress calendar that tracks your workouts, what muscle groups have been exercised, the length of workouts and body goals e.g. weight, body fat %, with basic exercise programs available to choose, and customise if need be. One of the main highlights of this app is that all of this is available for free, with non-intrusive adverts running in the app. There is a paid-for tier (Elite), that removes adverts and adds in extra functionality, such as more detailed workout reports, the ability to quickly swap exercises out for similar ones and other benefits. However, while there are many exercise programs to choose from, many are created by the Jefit community and not experts, therefore please be aware if you choose a program, it may not have been created by an expert.
MACHINE ONLY BEGINNER WORKOUT
Beginner: 3 workouts per week / 60 min. workouts
This is a machine-only beginner workout for those who are just starting to get into the gym or only have machine equipment. There are 3 separate whole-body workouts that an individual can use on the days that they work out. Cardio is not included in this plan, therefore adding a warmup on a low-impact cardio machine is recommended.