What is a simple app/website that will give me a list of gym exercises?
April 29, 2021 12:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a workout app or website that will easily and concisely provide me with gym workouts for three or four days a week. Ideally, it would give me arm workouts for twice a week and leg workouts for twice a week. What should I use?

I have downloaded a bunch of apps and they are full of all of these bells and whistles, and also seem to think that I am looking for ideas of what exercises to do, as opposed to just telling me what to do.

I'm imagining an app or website that will have Arms 1 and Arms 2 for each week, and also Legs 1 and Legs 2. Then it will say

Machine 1 - 10 reps X 3 sets
Machine 2 - 12 reps X 3 sets
Machine 3 - 10 reps X 3 sets

I have a fully furnished gym, but I go there and I don't know what to do with myself. I'm hoping I can find a reasonably simple website or app that will give me a list of machines/exercises to do during my visits.

Any suggestions or ideas?
posted by andoatnp to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I like the Strong app, and it comes with some templates you could use for those workouts.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:29 PM on April 29

When you are starting out, there isn't a lot of value doing the kinds of 'targeted' lifts that only use a single set of muscles. Your whole body needs work, especially core muscles.

I'd recommend doing something like Stronglifts 5x5 for a few months. Know that these are all compound exercises involving the barbell or dumbbells. If you need to, you can replace them with the appropriate weight machine, but generally weight machines are regarded as worse because they don't exercise all the stability and accessory muscles that you would get from moving loose weight. But some of these (especially the deadlift) require proper training and the right use of safety equipment in order to not hurt yourself.
posted by meowzilla at 12:38 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]

The best book I've found was New Rules of Lifting. It has a bunch of different programs with exercise lists, it's got a lot of information but it's pretty well laid out, and I like the balance between machines, barbell, and bodyweight exercises. Unfortunately I don't know if there's an app.

Stronglifts 5x5 is an ok program, and there's an official app. But that one relies mostly on barbell exercises so it can be intimidating. But I think it's totally worth pushing yourself to do! You start with an empty bar and focus on form, add 5 lb each session, and before you know it you're very strong.

Personally, I'd rather push you towards Starting Strength. I've read both, and Rippetoe has far more coaching experience than Medhi. But it's also a much more intensive bunch of information, so not only are you intimidated by the barbells, you've got to read 50 pages about squatting. That's a lot of pages. Totally worth it! But again, if all you're looking to do is get exercising, maybe pretty tough to push your way through. And there's a Starting Strength app for $27.

Whichever way you go, I think you'll be pleased with the results. The most important thing you can do here is pick something and train with it for 6 months.

Memail me if you want to chat more. I love this stuff.
posted by disconnect at 1:32 PM on April 29

Perhaps this may help?

posted by LOOKING at 2:12 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I was coming here to recommend Darebee too!
posted by Kitteh at 2:37 PM on April 29

I am a fan of the Boostcamp iOS app. I am participating in one of their at-home bodyweight programs, but they also have programs for use at a gym. The programs are set up for three workouts a week, and the FAQ mentions it's fine to add a fourth workout to your week by working ahead.

What I like:
--The app is free, with no ads and no in-app purchases
--It's friendly! User-friendly, beginner-friendly, friendly in appearance
--In my program, a trainer demonstrates each exercise with a short, repeating video at the top of the screen for you to imitate, with variations often available (it looks like the gym programs are set up similarly)
--For each of my workouts, the exercises are displayed by name in a list format that I can scroll through, and I can check off sets as I complete them
--Few bells and whistles, but simple tracking of workouts on a calendar, "streaks" (one workout per week is enough to continue a streak), and tracking of your progress in a program and your total number of workouts
posted by Carouselle at 2:43 PM on April 29

For quite a while I used ExRx.net, specifically its workout templates which link to its directory of exercise explanations. It took a bit of work to actually put together the specific routines from that.

disconnect mentioned the New Rules of Lifting book - after using ExRx I tried the New Rules of Lifting for Life book which is aimed at the middle aged. I really liked it, and would still be using it if I was currently going to the gym. Loads of exercises explained well, a template for routines, and a couple of example filled-in templates to get you started. It’s more all-round strength and fitness rather than pumping iron and focusing on individual muscles though - I’m not sure what your aim is.
posted by fabius at 5:45 AM on April 30

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