Have you ever thought of baking a cake without a recipe? You get your eggs, your flour, your butter... but without the right steps, what are the chances you'll get a real cake out of it?
Pretty low, right?
Same goes for your workouts. Stepping up from pen and paper to digital logs was a leap forward, but only if you've got the right knowledge to back it up.
Just like our example, you've got all the ingredients but no recipe. Meet "Strong", a gym log that asks you for monthly cash but rarely updates its features.
Intrigued? Stick with me.
In a nutshell
- Strong is a basic workout log with a hefty price tag
- It lacks guidance, leaving beginners and intermediates at sea
- The design is outdated, and bugs are a common complaint
- While it's rated highly, many reviews come from inexperienced users
In essence, this article casts a critical eye over Strong.
While it may suit experienced lifters, most will find the app lacking in guidance and sophistication. The price is high for a simple log, and bugs mar the user experience. And while its ratings seem high, these may be skewed by inexperienced users or influenced by post-workout endorphins.
Strong key features
Strong sits in your pocket like a gym log. It’s a neat tool if you’ve got every move figured out. You walk into the gym, you know what's next, how much to lift, how many times. It’s all there in your head. But if you’re any less than an expert, logging random workouts on Strong is as good as owning a smartphone but not connecting to the internet. The power's there, but you're just not using it right.
Program efficacy: 0/5
Bring your own workout. Here, you're the chef in an unfamiliar kitchen, expected to whip up a Michelin-star meal. No plans, no programs. If you're a lifting veteran or an exercise science scholar, maybe you’ll manage. But for the rest of us, it's a swing and a miss.
User interface: 2.5/5
Dated but clean. It's not going to win any design awards soon, but it gets the job done. You won’t waste time hunting for the exercise you want. It's like an old house, everything creaks a bit, but at least you know where the bathroom is.
Barely replaces pen and paper. Honestly, a notepad and a good pen could give you almost the same value. Sure, it's easier to carry around, but the price tag? For a few features more than a 50-cent notebook? I'm not convinced.
User experience: 2/5
It's a trip back to 2015. In the world of fitness apps, five years is a lifetime. Strong feels like an old friend from high school - comfortable, familiar, but not someone you'd take to a fancy party. It does the basics, but don't expect any bells or whistles.
How we rate and review products
In reviewing workout apps like Strong, our approach is pretty straightforward. We lean heavily on our expertise in exercise science and our years of hands-on experience with various training methods.
Our first step involves using the app and simulate a few workouts. This hands-on test helps us understand the functionality and layout of the app, the nature of the training programs it offers, and its overall ease of use.
Next, we put ourselves in the shoes of begininers or people trying to get back into the game. We consider if the app in question can provide the right guidance and support to help them get back on track.
We also analyze the value that the app offers. We believe that an effective workout app should provide more than just a digital platform for logging workouts. It should guide users through well-structured and scientifically-backed training programs, offering personalized guidance and ongoing support. It should be more than just a digital version of free workout programs available on the internet.
Our review team consists of an experienced trainer with 20 years in the field and a PHD in public health, along with a seasoned writer with extensive knowledge in bodybuilding. We leverage our combined expertise to provide a well-rounded evaluation of each product.
Lastly, we think it's important to be upfront: we are the creators of a competing app, Dr. Muscle. We believe that our app offers a more comprehensive and effective approach to fitness. However, our reviews are always fair, balanced, and honest. Our goal is to provide our readers with the information they need to make the best possible decision for their fitness journey. We're committed to evaluating all apps against the same set of standards, using our extensive knowledge to deliver honest and insightful reviews.
First impressions using Strong
Straight out of the gate, I download and launch Strong. My first glance takes in a UI that, to be frank, feels like it was coded when flared jeans were in fashion. A bit dated, sure, but I’ll give it credit: It's neat and orderly. You can search for your favorite exercises and find them right where you'd expect, tucked away neatly under their muscle groups.
Now, if you’re new to the gym or maybe you're an intermediate lifter back from a break, Strong might leave you feeling a bit lost. The app seems to make the assumption that you're already well-versed in gym jargon and workout programming. You can log sets, reps, weights, but what exactly should you log? It's like being handed a detailed map without a planned route.
The app throws a few basic workout templates your way. Standard stuff, nothing that will make your eyebrows shoot up in surprise. Mostly, it's the bread-and-butter exercises you'd find in any beginner's guide. That said, if I'd stepped out of a time machine from 2005, holding a flip phone in one hand, Strong would seem like the future. But in our world of advanced fitness tech? It leaves me wanting.
Strong training program analysis
Let's circle back to the training programs. Wait, scratch that, because there aren't any. The crux of the matter is this: How well-versed are you in exercise science? If you're a scholar or a lifting veteran, maybe you could craft a solid routine. But for the rest of us, trying to work out with Strong is like wandering in a forest without a map.
Working out randomly, without any proper guidance or program, can be a dicey proposition. You may see some gains initially, but these often plateau quickly. Worse still, you run the risk of imbalances, overuse injuries, and hitting a wall in your progress. Why? Because a haphazard approach doesn't consider elements like progressive overload, recovery, and balanced muscle training, all key ingredients to a successful and safe workout routine.
On the flip side, following a well-structured program, one that evolves with you and keeps you challenged, brings a heap of benefits. You'll see steady progress, lower risk of injury, and better overall health. The right program isn't just about lifting more, it's about a balanced approach that takes your whole body into account, from strength to flexibility to cardio. It's the recipe to a successful cake, so to speak.
With Strong, the responsibility of creating this perfect program falls squarely on your shoulders. It's a hefty task and one that may leave many lifters floundering, unsure of their next move. And in the long run? That's time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere. Like, say, on actual workouts.
The main problem with Strong
Strong is like a classic car with a rusty engine. Sure, it carries some charm with its outdated design, but it falls flat when you need it to perform. There are no workout programs or solid guidance. You're on your own in a world of sets, reps, and weights, do you know what it takes to create a program that will put you back in shape? Plus, the best bits of the app are locked away, hidden behind a paywall. And even if you cough up the cash, you're stuck with an app that's rarely updated and often buggy. Strong's like an old roadster that hasn't seen a garage in years. It needs a tune-up.
How much does Strong cost?
Strong offers a basic free version and a paid PRO version. Let's dig into the differences.
The free version of Strong lets you log as many workouts as you want. It's a decent option if you're an experienced lifter who just needs a digital replacement for your paper log. However, it's limited to saving just three custom routines. If you like mixing up your workouts or want to plan ahead, you might find it a little restrictive.
Ready for more? That's where Strong PRO comes in. For $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year, you can upgrade to PRO and unlock the other features of Strong. With PRO, you get an unlimited number of routines, letting you customize and vary your workouts to your heart's content. So if you're a gym junkie who knows your way around the weights, PRO might just be the upgrade you need.
Strong value analysis
If you're a seasoned lifter who knows their squats from their deadlifts, maybe Strong will fit you like a worn-in lifting glove. But for the rest of us? A more personalized approach would work wonders. Learning, support, and faster results. That's what you want. As for the cost, the one-time fee feels steep for an app that's a bit behind the times. And the monthly price? For an app this basic, it feels like they're asking for a steak dinner in exchange for a burger.
Strong red flags
Let's flag a few issues here. Strong is like a caution sign on the side of the road.
- It's barely updated. It's like a road that hasn't seen a maintenance crew in years. Bumpy and full of holes.
- It's clunky. Using it feels like lifting with a rusty barbell. It works, but it's far from smooth.
- It looks dated. Aesthetics aren't everything, but we do live in a world of sleek design and modern appeal.
Despite being average, why does Strong receive numerous good reviews?
How does an average app rack up rave reviews? The answer lies in the nuances of app development and marketing strategies. Big-budget developers splash out on ads, drawing in heaps of users. But here's the twist: many of these users review the app after just a few hours of use. They're not evaluating long-term workout plans, just the initial impressions.
Additionally, consider this: ever noticed how apps often prompt for reviews post-workout? That's when you're basking in the glow of endorphins, feeling good about your sweat session. It's no surprise that reviews at this time might be a touch more positive than they otherwise would be. It's all part of the game.
Review from the App Store
Strong has its fans, but one issue keeps popping up – bugs. Frustrating, unexpected, and far too common. We've included some screenshots below to give you a clearer picture.
Real user comments from social media
But what about the people using the app day in, day out? We've collated comments from across social media platforms to give you an unfiltered look at Strong. Screenshots incoming.
Why Strong may not be for you
Strong's like a blank canvas. Great for an artist, not so much for the rest of us. Without a plan, most lifters end up quitting. It's like trying to sail without a map, you just end up going in circles. Unless you're packing a degree in exercise science, Strong might leave you high and dry.
A better alternative to Strong
That's where Dr. Muscle steps in. Think of it as the autopilot of workout apps. It takes the load off your shoulders, crafting the perfect plan for your goals. No more guesswork, no more endless research. It's like having a personal trainer in your pocket, available round the clock to answer your queries. Plus, this trainer's got a PhD under their belt. Top quality training, without the hefty price tag.
Why Dr. Muscle is the best workout app
Dr. Muscle isn't just a workout log. It's a complete, personalized training solution. You don't need to fret about reps, weights, rests, or routine changes. That's all With the multitude of fitness apps out there, why should you choose Dr. Muscle? Simply put, it's all about intelligent design and personalized training. Dr. Muscle isn't just an app, it's like a personal trainer who is always by your side, keen to offer the perfect advice tailored just for you.
Every aspect of your workout – the weights, the reps, the rests, and the frequency of your workouts – is calculated meticulously. And these calculations aren't just plucked out of thin air. They're derived from decades of experience and a strong foundation in scientific research. Imagine having a seasoned 20-year trainer and public health PhD guiding your fitness journey. That's Dr. Muscle for you.
But it's not just about experience and credentials. It's about how these are implemented into your daily routine. Dr. Muscle applies the core principles of fitness training to maximize your results, principles such as:
- Progressive overload: Gradually increasing the amount of stress placed on the body during exercise, ensuring consistent progress.
- Specificity: Tailoring your workouts to your specific goals, whether it's bulking up, losing weight, or building endurance.
- Recovery: Balancing exercise with adequate rest periods to allow the body to repair and grow stronger.
- Consistency: Creating a sustainable routine that fits into your life, keeping you on track towards your goals.
- Variation: Mixing up workouts to avoid plateaus and keep things interesting.
- Individualization: Understanding that every body is unique and needs a tailored approach for optimal results.
Plus, it also considers factors like time under tension, training frequency, intensity, volume, exercise selection, and periodization.
Dr. Muscle isn't about generic workout plans or one-size-fits-all approaches. It's about designing a fitness program that fits YOU, evolves with you, and gets you the results you want.
With Dr. Muscle, you're not just doing a workout; you're embracing a science-backed path to fitness. It's the best way to ensure that every drop of sweat contributes towards your goal, making your fitness journey efficient, effective, and rewarding.
Try Dr. Muscle today—it's free.
Is Strong the best workout app?
For seasoned lifters with a solid understanding of workout science, Strong may be a useful tool. But for beginners and intermediates, it's a miss.
Is there a better app than Strong?
Absolutely. For one, Dr. Muscle offers a personalized, scientific approach to training, providing a plan tailored to you and adjusting as you progress.
How much does Strong cost?
A month of Strong PRO costs $4.99, a year is $29.99, and lifetime access is $99.99.
Who is Strong best for?
Strong is best suited for experienced lifters who are knowledgeable enough to create and follow their own workout plans. If you're a beginner or intermediate, you might find it hard to get the most from this app.