Ditch the pen and paper, and take your workouts to the next level with Alpha Progression
Whether you’re just getting started at the gym, or you’re an experienced lifter, new technology to elevate your workouts becomes available seemingly every day. With so many new products, services, and apps constantly hitting the market, it can be hard to know what’s worth checking out, and what’s best to skip.
That’s where reviews, like this one, come in. We recently got the chance to test out Alpha Progression, a muscle-building app that allows you to intelligently track and plan your workouts. The app came at a perfect time for me, as I was dealing with a quad injury that required me to make a few alterations to my usual leg days.
In need of a new split and some fresh exercises, I dove straight into the Pro plan.
One of my favorite features of the Alpha Progression app is the level of customization. Unlike a lot of workout plans, Alpha Progression personalizes your workouts to match your goals, so you’re not just getting a one-size-fits-all type of split. Not that there’s anything wrong with a workout plan like that, but if you really want to get serious about seeing gains and making progress in the gym, it’s smart to make sure your plan is built for you.
Upon signing up, you’ll be prompted to choose the muscles you want to focus on, as well as any muscles you want to neglect. I thought this feature was particularly helpful, as I was trying to avoid hitting my quads. I loved being able to remove them from the equation and just receive exercises that would work for me.
You’ll also be prompted to choose the number of days you want to work out per week, the amount of time you want to spend training, and the equipment you have available. I thought this was helpful, as not everyone that lifts does so at a fully-equipped gym. You’ll also be able to add any specific goals you want to work toward like gaining strength, building muscle, etc. All in all, adding in my preferences and information took me about three minutes, so it’s definitely not an intensive process to get set up.
The app will then generate a plan for you based on your preferences. Of course, if you want to skip all this, you can customize your own plan, adding in exercises from Alpha Progression’s library of over 550 different lifts.
Once your program has been created, you’re ready to get started. Alpha Progression makes it clear and simple to see which lifts you should be doing that day, as well as a recommendation of how much weight and how many reps to go for on each set.
Each exercise is also accompanied by a short (optional) demonstration video. If you’re not sure how to perform the exercise, simply click the image, and away you go. The app also provides a ton of useful information as far as how to set up the exercise, how to execute it, the muscles that are used, and similar exercises. I personally have been lifting for over a decade, so I didn’t find myself using this feature too often, but I think it would be incredibly useful for someone just getting started. I remember having to YouTube every single exercise when I was new to the gym, and I can tell you this feature would’ve saved me so much time.
As you continue to use the app and input your lifts, the algorithm will intuitively analyze your performance, and create new recommendations for you to ensure you’re progressing in accordance with your goals.
While an app like this might originally be looked at more for beginner lifters, this feature alone makes it worthwhile for those of us that have already spent years in the gym. I sort of felt like Alpha Progression was a personal trainer in the palm of my hand, pushing me to lift more than I might’ve typically gone for if I was planning my own workout in my head or on a notepad.
Speaking of notepads, you’ll be able to toss yours in the trash now. Alpha Progression makes it even easier than pen and paper to track your sets, reps, and the amount of weight you used. There’s even a handy timer built-in to each exercise, so you can track your rest between sets, too.
Once you’re finished with your workout, Alpha Progression then takes all your information and plots it on a graph. I found this feature to be particularly neat if you’re more of a visual person, as you can actually see your strength increasing over time.
I enjoyed all of this app’s features, but I will say, the app only works as hard as you do. If you’re not consistent with using the plan and tracking your lifts, you’re really not going to get all the benefits that app has to offer. So while it’s easy and effective, it does still require some effort on your part to see the best results.
The app relies on your information input to continue programming the most effective plans for you, so if you feel like it’s too much work to track your lifts, this probably isn’t the best app for you. I personally have never tracked my lifts before in over 10 years of lifting, but I found it rather easy to make the transition and record my progress. Alpha Progression is really user-friendly, so inputting your reps and weight in between sets only takes seconds.
Alpha Progression is a great app for everyone from beginners looking to learn some new lifts to experienced gym goers wanting to push past a plateau. It’s comprehensive, easy to use, and clear to see why it has thousands of five-star reviews.
Overall, I’d definitely give it a thumbs up based on these key takeaways:
As I mentioned before, consistency is key here and you’ll need to get in the habit of tracking your lifts to make the most of this app. If you’re down to make that a new habit, or if that’s already something you do with a physical notepad or on your phone, Alpha Progression is a total home run.
Alpha Progression offers a free version, but you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version for access to the plan generator, progression recommendations, and graphical analytics for either $9.99/month or $59.99/annually. The app is available for both Android and iOS.
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