I am a huge data nerd. I love analytics and so when the “quantified self” movement started years ago I was onboard. However, if you have read Gretchen Rubin’s phenomenal, Better Than Before, I am a questioner, so I had a lot of reticence trying all the apps, gadgets and gizmos. After fairly extensive use, minus the Athos gear (it is enroute), here are the eight apps that I think can help you become super human.
Let me know what apps you guys use on your quest towards total human optimization in the comments.
So this isn’t actually an app, but a feature within the new Spotify App. Music is a huge part of any massive gainz sesh. So why not listen to music that mimics your workout. It just so happens that is exactly what Spotify Tempo does. It will match the speed of the music to the speed of your movement. Running a little slower, cut on some Arcade Fire or Tom Petty. Starting to feel it and begin that sprint home, Jay-Z or some Girl Talk will start roaring through your headset, all without you having to take your phone out. It is pretty epic.
This is by far my favorite workout tracker. It has two modes in which it can track your workout. One, is GPS mode so if you are running, biking, hiking, riding, whatever it will follow you and keep track of time, distance, elevation, and mile/km markers. The second mode is stopwatch mode. Basically, you choose CrossFit or Cardio or whatever activity you want and it will keep a running clock. Runkeeper also syncs with a plethora of other apps, like Sleep Cycle, MyFitnessPal, and more. It can also accommodate a bevy of heart rate monitors, like my favorite the Polar H7.
3 • Headspace
This is where I might lose some people. Meditation is amazing. Literally, a shower for your mind. However, a lot of people find it really inaccessible. At least, I did. That is where Headspace comes in. This app is the perfect way to start cultivating your meditation practice.
4 • Sleep Cycle
Sleep and breathing are the two most underserved areas in strength and performance. If you aren’t sleeping your Gainz factories are closed for business. SleepCycle is a really clever app I have been using since 2013. What it does is activates the accelerometer in your phone and uses that as a proxy for sleep quality. I absolutely love it and find it incredibly useful. One downside is you have to keep your iPhone in your bed. I guess that is the price you have to pay for sleep analysis.
5 • MyFitnessPal
Much like the aforementioned Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal is my go to app for nutrition logging and I think it is the best out there. It has a crowd-sourced database of food and makes logging meals and reviewing data very pleasurable. If you aren’t food logging and are serious about performance, you aren’t serious about performance. Get a food log or download myFitnessPal and start today.
6 • Muse Headband
I use this app in conjunction with Headspace. What the muse app does is let one know how well one can calm their mind. The app does require one of the Muse Headbands. Once, the headband is connected you can choose the length of your session and then you will hear a calming beach and as your mind calms birds come. If your mind gets loud and noisy, as does the beach with crashing waves and thundering storms. It is a really cool way to see progress in your meditative practice.
7 • Athos Gear
This is the first piece of tech I haven’t personally used, but a co-worker has Athos shorts in the office and loves them. This is the future. As sensors, get cheaper and cheaper data will be easier to collect and insights will be inferred quicker. What a wonderful world we live in!
8 • OmegaWave
The OmegaWave is as close to sorcery as it comes. It is basically HRV monitoring on steroids. It provides Central Nervous System metrics, Heart Rate metrics, Hormonal Metrics and more. Crazy what 3 minutes every morning can tell you. Before you can start, you need an individual OW sensor and monthly subscription. Once you have that you can test to your little heart’s delight.
Pro-Tip: I have been testing for 2 months everyday now and I would highly recommend teaming up with someone like http://trainadaptevolve.com, who can provide a more extensive explanation of the OW’s benefits and limitations.