Whether it’s because of the dreaded coronavirus or because you want options, consider getting an online fitness app to use when you can’t go to the gym. This way you’ll never have any excuses not to work out! There are many apps on the market right now and they are all a little different. Which one is right for you? I have tested seven home workout apps so I can confidently recommend one. Being a personal trainer/group exercise instructor with 20 + years of experience, I’m a good person to evaluate them:) This article will save you time when picking the right fitness app for you (or whomever you want to gift it to.)
Without further ado, here goes:
DAILYBURN 365. Cost: $19.95 per month.
DB365 offers a 30-day free trial
This app is great if you’re a newbie and/or want to get back in shape. The instructors are super friendly and knowledgable. The exercisers in the background are regular people of all sizes and abilities. The instruction is detailed while the background music is low and, in some cases, too slow and soothing for the activity (in my opinion). The app is user-friendly and offers a variety of cardio, strength and stretch video workouts, as well as audio-only for running and walking and a community where you can connect with fellow exercisers. Most sessions are 30-40 min long. If you’re an advanced exerciser and like to push it, this is the wrong app for you. It will not give you an accurate calorie count. DB365 shows you how many calories you have burned after each class based on the information you enter into your personal profile. The calorie counts are consistently low. For example, it claimed I burned 214 calories after a 30-minutes advanced HIIT class. I burned more like 300-400 calories, as I pushed myself like crazy. Check out my article about calories burned to learn more. But the app doesn’t expect the newbie exerciser to push hard; hence, the calorie count is likely correct. You can search classes using filters, including intensity and difficulty. DB365 uses Easy/Slow, Medium, and Hard/Fast. Their version of hard/fast is not hard /fast for the advanced exerciser.
BeachBody on Demand. Cost: $39.99 for 3 months/$59.99 for 6 months/$99 for year.
BBD offers a two-week free trial.
The BeachBody on Demand app is definitely for the advanced exerciser who’s motivated by watching super-fit, beautiful people in tiny outfits pushing themselves to the max. The instructors are high energy and motivating. There are TONS of classes to choose from to avoid boredom, including barre, body-weight classes, traditional strength-training, HIIT, yoga, and hard-core programs such as Insanity Max and P90X. I took one of their 30-minute advanced Insanity cardio classes and it was super hard:) The music is loud, but not so loud you can’t hear the almost intimidatingly fit instructors. BBD doesn’t feature calories burned after each class. Rest assured that that you’ll be burning max amounts of calories when taking their advanced classes, however. The best rule to judge calories burned is how sweaty and tired you get from a workout. If you’re drenched and beat afterward, you burned a lot. I like all the detailed healthy food recipes and meal plans they offer for people who want to know exactly what they eat. BBD offers a variety of support groups with their own coaches to keep you accountable.
JetSweat. Cost: $19.99 per month/$239.99 per year.
If you’re a fan of boutique-style classes, go with the JetSweat app. It offers 30 + of the hottest studio classes, including barre, yoga, pilates, dance, and sculpting. The app has a girly feel and encourages you to create a personal profile. They base calories burned from the information you enter, but unlike DB365, they overestimate the calorie count. I tried a couple of their most popular classes. The first one was from ModelFit named Full-Body Sculpt (no equipment necessary) and lasted 53 minutes. The app claims you’ll burn between 510 and 770 calories from this class, which is not true. It’s more like 350-550 cal. It was very easy and I didn’t break a sweat. The other class I tried was 305 Fitness The All-time Best Dance Workout, 33 minutes long. It was a lot of fun, but, again, I highly doubt you’ll burn up to 470 calories from it. Because these are high-end boutique classes, I expected the instructors to be in better shape. This may have been a conscious choice by the app makers, as they might want their instructors to be less intimidating. Nothing wrong with that.
Peleton App. Cost: $12.99 per month
PA offers a 30-day free trial.
Who hasn’t heard of Peloton by now? It’s the bike from those commercials featuring beautiful, fit people peddling away and sweating in a living room. Well, now Peloton has an app that features traditional fitness classes, including cycling, strength, cardio, yoga, bootcamp, running and more. They also offer audio-only classes. The classes are very streamlined and modern, the instructors very inspiring, the music GREAT. You can choose music based on your preference and even adjust the volume to both the instructor and the music. That’s an awesome feature for someone like me, as I prefer the music loud and the instructor to be in the background. You might prefer it the other way around:) You can see how many people are taking the class at the same time as you and where they’re located. The classes feature the instructor only, which I personally prefer. There’s a calorie counter at the bottom of each screen, but it’s not particularly correct, so go by the rule I mentioned above regarding calories burned. The app is simple and very user-friendly. It’s free if you rent a Peloton bike.
Moms into Fitness. Cost: $14.99 per month/$99 per year.
MIF offers a seven-day free trial.
Like the name suggests, this is a workout app especially designed for mommies of all stages, even ones who have an empty nest. It has 300 + scientifically based home workouts to choose from. MIF offer detailed guides such as the C-section Recovery Guide and The Mom’s Guide to Diastasis Recti, as well as nutrition education and healthy recipes for the different stages of pregnancy. There’s a community where moms share their stories and before and after pics. The classes/sessions are on the gentle side and include strength-training, barre, and running, all tailored to the pregnant and post-natal woman.
AAptive App. Cost: $14.99 per month/$99.99 per year
AA offers a seven-day free trial.
Highly rated AAptive is an audio-based app that you download to your phone. While there’s video for some of the classes, you can’t use AAptive on your laptop or TV. It’s all about listening with your headphones. All you need to do is enter your fitness goals and the app will find the right workout for you. You can choose what music you prefer and what equipment–if any–you have access to. If you need extra motivation, sign up for a program or one of their team challenges that involve a small group of fitness-driven, friendly competition. This app takes healthy habits such as drinking enough water and sleeping sufficiently into account and helps you work on improving where you are lacking. I liked the high-energy, motivating instructors and the HUGE library of all kinds of workouts. It offers thousands of different workouts to keep boredom at bay. Lastly, the app is very easy to use, so, no excuses!
Seven App. Cost: $9.99 per month/$59.99 per year
Seven offers a seven-day free trial.
This is another app meant for your smartphone only. The name Seven refers to the fact that all 200 + workouts are only seven minutes long. All of them are HIIT (high-intensity interval training), so you go all out for those seven minutes. It’s a great app for people who have little time but the willingness to work out hard. There are plenty of filters so you can customize the intensity and difficulty. The hard/difficult levels here are hard even for the advanced exerciser:) You can of course do more than one 7-minute workout a day and target different areas of your body. You can connect with your friends, participate in challenges, and collect badges for motivation. A three-dimensional workout buddy gives you detailed demonstrations of all the exercises. The short workouts are not accompanied by music; instead, you have a drill sergeant announce each 30-second interval. You can enter personal info to get a more accurate calorie count.This may be my personal favorite app:) Enjoy!
Unless otherwise noted, you can stream all apps to any device, including your TV.