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Performance

Wired for Fitness

Gadgets and apps that refine the way you train.

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Sometimes all you need to stoke your fitness fire is new ideas. The Snow Fitness Workouts HD app ($1.99) serves up about 100 five- to 10-minute workout sessions featuring simple, ski-specific exercises. Each exercise includes a goal, a timer, and an animated demonstration by a guy in a weird GS suit. Incorporate your tunes and record your performance to measure improvements.

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Those motivated by peer pressure can tap into OptumizeMe, a free app that allows you to connect with fellow ski or fitness enthusiasts and invite them to challenges—say, a five-mile run or a favorite workout routine. Use the app to encourage other participants—or talk trash, if that’s more your style—and size up one another’s performances, a bonus for competitive types.

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For even greater variety, try Fitness Builder ($4.99 per month; first month free), quite possibly the mother of all fitness apps. It’s brimming with 758 workouts, including eight ski-specific ones. You can create your own routine too, choosing from some 5,600 exercises. The app helps you schedule, time, track, graph, and share your workouts and body metrics, and you can even submit fitness questions to an exercise physiologist. Seems like the only thing Fitness Builder won’t do is actually work out for you.

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The free app EndoMondo uses your phone’s GPS chip to record basic data such as time, distance, speed, average speed, and calories burned. It allows you to set goals, connect and compete with other athletes, and find or create routes. In addition, it features an interval-training setting and can synch wirelessly with heart-rate monitors for more precise training feedback. It even carries over to the ski hill, where you can audit your performance on the snow—which is, after all, the point.

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Make your training count double with the free app Charity Miles, which monitors your mileage and donates to charity—choose from nine organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Feeding America—for every mile of ground you cover (10 cents for bikers, 25 cents for walkers and runners). The catch? You must post your workouts to Facebook or Twitter to increase exposure for sponsors.

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If you take training seriously, meet the Suunto Ambit ($550). This outsize GPS watch gauges it all: location, direction, heart rate, calories, distance, pace, temperature, altitude, and air pressure. Post-workout, upload your data to movescount.com, where you can share it with other Ambit users. The Ambit’s one oversight is the lack of a stopwatch, which means it’s not ideal for interval training.

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If your dryland routine consists of squatting to retrieve your keys, consider the Nike+ FuelBand ($149). This sleek wristband monitors and measures movement and links to the Nike+ website, where you can set daily goals and connect with other FuelBanders. But it doesn’t detect isolated lower-body movements like hamstring curls. If your arm isn’t moving, your FuelBand isn’t either.