Chris Hemsworth rests between sets, sitting in front of a rocky wall and smiling off-camera
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Centr Team

A guide to choosing the best fitness apps for men

Centr Team

Guys, we need to talk about fitness apps. With so many on the market – free apps, paid apps, apps with in-app purchases – comparing features and choosing one that’s right for you can feel ridiculously hard.

So what is the best fitness app for men? It all comes down to you and your goals.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the app store so you don’t have to. Here are the questions you should be asking before deciding which app will work best for you.

What are fitness apps good for?

If a pro athlete can have a team of trainers, physical therapists, dietitians and psychologists backing up their every move, why shouldn’t you?

A quality fitness app can be a powerful tool – placing a world of expertise in your pocket. A fitness app:

  • Can help you improve overall health

  • Keeps you motivated

  • Can help you set goals and stay on target

  • Is convenient: there’s no need for a personal trainer or coach

  • Is relatively low cost (especially when compared to paying a personal trainer)

What makes a good fitness app?

You already know there’s a heck of a lot of workout, health, food and mindfulness apps to choose from. So what features do you really need?

We suggest going beyond the flashy logos and looking out for:

  • An app that delivers workouts designed to help you reach your individual fitness goal. That goal could be something quite general (like losing body fat) or more specific (like strengthening your core to reduce back pain).
  • A variety of training styles – because bulging biceps may be top of the list for you right now, but your goals can change over time!
  • Workout formats tailored to your workout space. Think about how you train at the gym versus at home. When you’re in the gym, it’s convenient to perform a workout exercise by exercise (and machine by machine) at your own pace, checking the video for form. Whereas when you’re at home, you might enjoy the experience of casting the workout to your TV and being coached by a trainer in real time.

Centr trainer Luke Zocchi, wearing gym clothes,  its on a wooden bench with a laptop on his lap. Centr trainer Alexz Parvi stands beside Luke, leaning forward to look at the laptop.

Whether you want to strengthen your core, build serious muscle, boost cardio fitness, increase functional strength, try yoga and Pilates, or you’re starting your fitness journey from scratch, Centr has a specialized workout program for you.

  • Tools that help you build good habits, such as a daily planner that lays out your targeted workouts and rest days for the week ahead. Life is always throwing up obstacles, so you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself to stick to a routine.
  • An app that has your nutrition needs covered, too. Because you know that when it comes to getting results, what you eat is just as important as how you train. Think science-backed nutrition advice, meal plans that are customizable for your goal, quick and easy recipes, and handy features (like an inbuilt shopping list) that will take the hassle out of eating well.

Images of 4 of Centr's low-ingredient meals form.a montage.

Whether you want to lose weight, get fit and toned or build muscle, simply select your goal and Centr will personalize your meal plan to get you there. No need to count calories or macros – we’ve done all the hard work for you.

  • A 24/7 support network to answer those eternal questions (like “what’s the best workout mat?”), hold you accountable and keep your motivation levels high. We don’t like to brag, but our Centr community – an exclusive global Facebook group of likeminded members – is pretty amazing.
  • Workouts that cater to your level of experience and the equipment you have at hand. Does the app offer low or no-equipment workouts for home, as well as full gym sessions? Does it offer beginner and more advanced workouts? Does it provide technique training? Also check that the app can progress with you – because you won’t be a beginner forever.
  • An app that trains your mind as well as your body. Keep an eye out for tools to help you reduce stress and improve focus, or pre-workout fire-ups to get you hyped to bring your best.


Not in the mood to work out? No such thing. Try some of our ultimate mood-changing workouts on Centr.

  • On the flip side, you should also be on the lookout for get-fit-quick claims. If a fitness app is guaranteeing you six-pack abs, or promising incredible weight loss with an all cabbage-soup diet, it’s probably too good to be true.

How to choose the right fitness app for you

Now you know the features you should be looking out for in a fitness app, it’s time to drill down on what really matters to you.

1. Define your goals

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to achieve your goal within a certain timeframe? Maybe your wedding date or soccer season is fast approaching. If you’re not exactly sure what your goal is – you just know you want to feel better – the Centr onboarding journey will lead you through it (and if your priorities shift, you can change your goals at any time).

Need some more help setting health and fitness goals? We’ve got you. Find the purpose you need to carry it through by setting smart goals. And forget those New Year’s resolutions you’ll have given up on by February: try these habit hacks instead.

2. Consider your budget

You want results, but you also need to watch your wallet. We hear that! Once you’ve compared prices, remember to take into account any potential added expenses – for instance, will a particular app require you to invest in new equipment?

Also, consider which payment intervals work for you: are you better able to pay month by month, commit to quarterly payments, or save by paying for a full year in advance?

Don’t forget that investing in your health and fitness can have long-term benefits, including for your wallet. Many Centr members have come to us with concerns such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetic, then gone on to receive a clean bill of health from their doctor.

So think about what that good health is worth to you – you may find cutting back on takeout coffees or one of multiple streaming services isn’t such a sacrifice.

3. Read online reviews

Check the ratings in the app store, or what users are saying on review sites that you trust. Also look out for recommendations from leading sports and fitness publications, such as Men’s Health and Sports Illustrated.

A montage of positive feedbacks and Best-in-show responses for the Centr app, overlayed on an image of Luke Zocchi and Dan Churchill doing push-ups.

4. Take advantage of a free trial

After you’ve done all the research, there’s only one more thing to do: try the fitness app for yourself with a free trial. Maybe you’ve spotted a workout program like 28 Days of Core that you think sounds perfect for your goals. Use the 7-day free trial with Centr to get in there and crush the first week of workouts.

If you love it, you can commit and take it all the way. If you’re not sure, you can cancel any time before the free trial is up without being charged.

A before-and-after image of Centr member Mark, representing his joiurney using the Centr app.

What results can you get using the Centr app?

The best recommendation you can possibly get for a fitness app is knowing that it has achieved real results for real people, just like you.

Maybe you’re a big guy who feels clueless about nutrition and exercise. Maybe you’re an older dad who wants to be there for his kids. Or maybe like Mark, you’ve never had the confidence to make a change. Until now.

“Centr helped me find my inner superhero.”

Mark had always considered himself a benchwarmer.

“Throughout my life, I was always that guy who sat on the bench. I never got a whole lot of playing time for sports in school,” he says. “I was unmotivated and unathletic. I always had big plans and big ideas that I never followed through on.”

Then one year, Mark’s son requested that dad dress as Thor for Halloween.

“I figured, ‘If I’m gonna dress like Thor, I better look like Thor’. I stumbled upon Centr during that time and thought, ‘What better way than to use Chris Hemsworth’s program with his trainers?’.”

Mark began building muscle with Centr Power, the workout program inspired by the training Chris uses to get into Thor shape – with expert advice and technique training from Chris’s personal trainer Luke Zocchi and go-to stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton.

“The workouts are tough, but the biggest challenge was being able to eat the amount of food that is required to gain that level of muscle. One of the best things that Centr provides is Super Smoothies – such a good way to get the calories in without feeling like I was constantly eating.”

“The workouts are tough, but the biggest challenge was being able to eat the amount of food that is required to gain that level of muscle. One of the best things that Centr provides is Super Smoothies – such a good way to get the calories in without feeling like I was constantly eating.”

The other benefit Mark didn’t expect was the 24/7 support he found in the Centr community.

"Through that community I have made new friends who have helped me throughout my journey. I’ve listened when they had hard times, they’ve reached out to me when I was struggling – it’s an amazing way to push each other to be better than we were yesterday.”

Over 18 months, Mark shed more than 25lbs (11kg) and transformed his body composition by adding lean muscle. And he’s since followed through on all sorts of big ideas, from competing in obstacle course races to powering through a half marathon.

And when his son told him he had “Thor arms”, Mark knew every drop of sweat had been worth it.

“Centr worked out great for me. I am the strongest I have ever been, and I have a completely different mindset on how to accomplish anything in life.”

Get inspired by the full story of Mark’s transformation.

Luke Zocchi and Ingrid Clay look at the Centr app on Luke's phone while sitting on a bench eating tasty Centr lunch bowls

Your fitness app FAQ

Still have questions about finding the best fitness app for you? Not a problem – we’ve answered some of the most common for you here.

1. Do fitness apps really work?

Yes, by choosing a quality fitness app that is suited to your goals, you can get real results. But just like that gym membership you shelled out for but never used, you need to turn up for yourself!

Fortunately, having the tools you need in the palm of your hand removes a lot of the obstacles to working on your health and fitness. Can’t get to the gym? Select a no-equipment home workout. Too busy to work out? Jump onto the Centr app to squeeze in a 5, 7 or 10-minute workout whenever you can.

To set yourself up for success, we recommend following Centr expert Da Rulk’s three rules for motivation.

  • Purpose: “You need conviction and purpose to carry it through,” says Rulk. Your purpose is not just your goal, but also your why. That ‘why’ will help you power through.
  • Discipline: For Rulk, discipline is the will to “do it day in, day out, even if you feel like not staying with it”.
  • Perseverance: As Rulk says, this is the act of “applying discipline over time, over and over and over again ’til you reach your goal”. If you fall down, get back up. If you can’t do it, practice and try again. If the road to your goal seems long, take it one step at a time.

Remember to be realistic with your goals. You’re not going to achieve Thor muscle overnight – but by following Da Rulk’s rules, you will get there.

If you have been inactive for some time, also know that the first week is going to be a struggle – but that every little bit of movement helps. “I want you to understand that you can do it,” says Rulk. “There are guys that are stronger than me, guys that are faster than me, but it's that ability to stick to it (that helps me succeed).”

2. Do I have to change my nutrition to get results?

You may have spoken to guys who swear by intermittent fasting or others who carry an entire pharmacy of supplements in their gym bag. Or maybe you think reaching your goals is going to require depriving yourself of all your favorite foods.

Yes, good nutrition is crucial to fueling your body and performing at your best, but take it from Centr’s resident sports dietitian Angie Asche: you are allowed to treat yourself.

“Healthy eating is about finding balance in your diet, including these treat foods that you love every now and then so you’re not depriving yourself,” Angie says. “A healthy lifestyle is one that you can stick to. And what is life without chocolate?”

Angie – who has worked with NFL, MLB, NHL, ultramarathon runners and Olympic figure skaters – is all about “nourishment over numbers”. And that’s what you’ll find on the Centr app, too. With a personalized meal plan, you can get on with your training knowing that you are getting the nutrition you need.

And if you want tips on taking it to the next level, Angie has the expert advice to get you there.

3. How many times a week should men work out?

There is no set amount of workouts you should be completing each week. It all depends on your schedule and your current level of fitness.

If you’re busy, the best thing you can do is find a routine that suits your schedule and allows you to be consistent. This may look like squeezing in 10 minutes of exercise every day, or 30 minutes every second day.

If you’re new to working out, you’ll likely require more rest days than someone who has been training for several years. The Centr Power in Gym program includes 3 muscle-building workouts per week for beginner lifters, 4 for intermediate, and 5 for advanced lifters. This allows extra recovery time for new lifters, who are likely to experience more DOMS.

Don’t forget that behind every goal-crushing workout schedule, there’s a killer recovery routine. So make sure you’re giving your body time to rebuild and repair, and not pushing yourself to burnout.

4. How long should men’s workouts be?

Once again, there isn’t a specific time you should work out for – it depends on the type of training you’re doing and your goals. But here’s a tip: you don’t need to spend countless hours in the gym to get real results.

Luke Zocchi’s entire training philosophy is built around short, effective, high-intensity workouts. And research has shown that even seven minutes of exercise can help improve strength and endurance. If you’ve got seven minutes, why not give Luke’s quick HIIT EMOM workout a go right now?

5. What are the top exercises to reduce belly fat for men?

We’re just going to break it to you straight up: you can’t spot-reduce belly fat. No matter how many crunches you do, or what piece of equipment you buy, you can’t zoom in on one area of your body for targeted fat reduction. It’s just not how fat loss works. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get results, including in your targeted area.

If shifting weight is your goal, you need to burn more calories than you consume – and the balance between these numbers comes down to diet and exercise.

Centr has you covered with Power Shred, the 14-week workout plan designed to cut body fat while building or maintaining muscle. The program comes with a comprehensive nutrition guide to help you transform your body composition safely.

6. How can I tone my body at home?

For a strong and toned body, the aim is to increase muscle definition and reduce body fat in order to reveal that definition. You can do that at home with the Centr app using a variety of training styles.

Centr Unleashed is a bodyweight workout program that gives you the freedom to train anywhere – no equipment required. Over six weeks, trainers Luke Zocchi, Ashley Joi and Dan Churchill will help you lose weight, get lean, boost your cardio and unleash a new level of fitness.

Centr Circuit: Elevate gives you the option of working out at home using only dumbbells, or adding small sand bags and a slam ball for a different challenge with Elevate+. As you layer compound movements with trainers Luke and Alexz Parvi, you’ll build functional strength, increase cardio fitness and burn fat.

Or you can opt for the muscle-building route with Centr Power at Home to achieve serious definition and tone without leaving the house. The only equipment you’ll need for the Beginner and Intermediate program is a set of dumbbells, a bench (or box or chair) and resistance bands (with secure anchor points). To complete the Advanced program, you’ll also need a barbell, weight plates and a pull-up bar.

Luke Zocchi and Dan Churchill stand back to back, arms folded, looking at the camera.

7. Who are the trainers on the Centr app?

Centr began with Chris Hemsworth’s go-to team of health and fitness coaches, and has grown to include experts from around the world.

Luke Zocchi is a HIIT HIRT Strength expert. As Chris’s longtime personal trainer, he’s designed the workout plans that led to Chris’s big-screen transformations for movies like Thor and Furiosa. He can also whip up a mean stir-fry and smoothie.

Bobby Holland Hanton is Chris’s stuntman, and a former British gymnast. His HIRT, strength and plyometric workouts will take your fitness to new heights.

Ingrid Clay literally wrote the book on HIIT, and as a former competitive bodybuilder, knows what it takes to sculpt a strong body and mind. Meanwhile, Dan Churchill is a New York-based Aussie chef, strength and conditioning coach, and serious marathon runner.

Alexz Parvi is a fitness studio founder based in Byron Bay, renowned for bodyweight HILIT circuits that shape, define and tone.

New to fitness? Californian college athlete-turned-trainer Maricris Lapaix will get you started with beginner workouts, then help you take it to the next level with programs including Centr Sculpted and the Functional Movement Challenge.

If you’re curious about Da Rulk’s Raw Functional Training, Tahl Rinsky’s dynamic yoga, Michael Olajide’s boxing workouts, conditioning your body with Sylvia Roberts’ Pilates, or trying MMA with the guy who trained UFC legend Georges St-Pierre – Jorge Blanco, you can meet the full Centr team here.

Ready to start getting results? Discover everything the Centr fitness app has to offer by starting your free trial today.

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