Aaptiv Review: Customized Home Workouts Done Right
Let’s get real about something: a lot of us don’t have a ton of motivation to work out right now. Honestly, I’m feeling it too. Home workouts have always been my jam, but after a month in isolation, it’s hard not to let the psychological effects weigh you down.
Yet, for that very reason, it’s more important than ever to keep up with exercise. Not only is it great for boosting your mental health, it’s also key to maintaining an optimal immune system, even if you’re isolating.
But for me, following something too structured or intense is a little out of reach right now.
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That’s why I couldn’t have found Aaptiv at a better time! This audio-guided fitness app offers workout plans that are only as structured and customized as you want them to be. I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and I simply had to bring you this Aaptiv review to spread the word!
(Looking for more fitness app reviews? Check out my shortlist.)
(Note: I am an Aaptiv affiliate, but this review contains my honest thoughts and opinions from using the app.)
What is Aaptiv?
Aaptiv is a highly customizable audio-guided fitness app that’s basically like having your own personal coach guiding you and cheering you on, no matter what kind of workout you’re doing.
You can follow a structured plan or create your own weekly routine.
You get to do the workouts you want, when you want to do them, for however long you feel like doing them.
Aaptiv offers workouts for running, strength training, stretching, indoor cycling, elliptical, stair climbing and pilates. You can also use it for other health-related pursuits like meditation and sleep.
You can incorporate any equipment you have on hand into your workouts, or stick with bodyweight-only exercises. But if you do have kettlebells, dumbbells, or resistance bands lying around, you can let the app know and it will add them into your workout plans.
If you own a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical, you can utilize the app’s workouts for this equipment as well.
But the only equipment you really need is a quality exercise mat. (As with any home workout app, really!)
How Much Does Aaptiv Cost?
You can subscribe monthly for $14/month or pay $99.99 upfront for a year. These costs are in line with other apps in the market and considering its wide variety of uses, I would call it a bargain.
Another awesome thing about Aaptiv is that they offer a 30 day free trial, while most competitors usually only offer 7 days.
The Coach Calendar
The Coach and daily planner is where your preferences and goals come together for a seamlessly customized fitness plan. When you log into the app for the first time, you complete a survey about your goals and fitness level, as well as how long and often you like to workout.
You also get a say over which days you like to workout on.
If you hate workout out on Mondays (like I do) you can program Mondays to be a rest day.
It even asks your preference on what kind of music you like to work out to!
Once you finish that, you’re brought to the app’s “Coach” dashboard with your weekly schedule.
But the customization doesn’t stop there. At any time you can change your workout preferences or edit your current plan. For example, if I want to do a shorter cardio workout on Tuesdays and a longer one on Thursdays, I can edit the individual sessions accordingly. If I need to change workout days, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping scheduled workouts around the planner.
When you’re happy with your workout schedule, you can look under each day for the color-coded tasks for the day.
For example, today, my app has me scheduled for 15 minutes of walking or yoga, 30 minutes of full-body strength training, and a meditation for sleep.
To complete the day’s items, you simply tap on the item you want to do and then choose from a list of suggested workouts.
The marriage of structure and customization here is a beautiful thing. I feel like it’s what the Centr app and Freeletics tried to do, but fell short of achieving. This way you get to work out exactly the way you want to while still having a sense of structure and goal-driven purpose.
Browse an Extensive Workout Library
If you feel like something different than what’s on tap for the day on your dashboard, all you need to do is toggle over to the “Browse” category to gain access to thousands of workouts.
The library will only continue to grow, with more than 30 new workouts being added each week.
You can select whichever workout category appeals to you and then find the perfect workout using the filter function, which can narrow down your selection based on workout duration, difficulty, equipment, body part, trainer, and music genre.
(There is one thing I would have liked to see that wasn’t there: some rowing machine workouts! I recently wrote about how effective rowing is for a full-body cardio workout. But it can be a little repetitive to keep up for an extended period of time. A killer Aaptiv would be perfect for rowing! So if you’re listening, Aaptiv, please add some rowing machine workouts!)
Programs & Challenges
If you are in the mood for something more structured, you can choose a program or challenge from Aaptiv’s extensive library. These programs seem to range anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks on average.
You can choose programs based on your fitness goals, whether that’s to stay in shape, get stronger, lose weight, run faster, or reduce stress. There is even a 27-week fitness program for pregnancy!
Once you find a program you like, you just tap to join and it adds the workout schedule to your Coach planner.
The meditations were something I was surprised to see on a fitness app, but I love that Aaptiv includes them.
There’s a good selection of guided meditations here that focus on better sleep, restoration, perspective, and relaxation. I did try one for sleep and found it relaxing, trainer Nicole S., in particular, has a very soothing voice.
Now, are there better apps for meditation out there? For sure. But it definitely does the job and negates the need to have a separate app just for meditation, in my opinion.
One of the first things I noticed and loved about using Aaptiv for the first time was the importance they place on music. So many other fitness apps I’ve tried either don’t offer music at all, or it has repetitive music you get tired of quickly.
But having the right music for your workout really can make all the difference!
Each workout is accompanied by music, which is great if you are getting tired of your own playlist (as I have certainly been).
But even better, each workout lists the style of music so you can choose the workout based on the type of music you like most.
Music genres include pop, electronic, hip hop, rock, indie, chill, R&B, classic rock, country, funk/disco, hard rock, reggae, Latin, and world.
I counted 29 trainers in this app, which is definitely more than enough variety! If you really come to like a particular trainer, you can use the filter function on the Browse tab to find more workouts by then.
Honestly, I liked the trainers I tried. Instructions are clear, everyone has their own fun personality, and the tone is always enthusiastic and encouraging. Some even made me chuckle now and again – I always appreciate personality and humor in a trainer, and Aaptiv delivers on that front!.
“Team”, Aaptiv’s In-App Community
Aaptiv has an in-app community called “Team”. This global feed is where you can upload a sweaty selfie or post about your progress. If you are part of a program or challenge you can share your progress updates with others who are doing the same program.
You can also comment on posts and cheer others on by slapping the “confetti” button on posts, which is kind of fun! I love that Aaptiv made something specifically for their community that can be accessed in-app.
If you prefer a platform you’re more familiar with, Aaptiv also has a members-only Facebook community with over 30,000 members.
My Experience and Results with Aaptiv
I already lost all the weight I needed to lose in 2018 (Thanks to Bodyboss, the fitness program that started it all for me!) so my fitness goals these days are to maintain my weight and get more toned. Here are is my Aaptiv review for each type of workout I’ve tried so far:
Right away, I fell in love with Aaptiv’s indoor cycling classes, as up to this point I have been winging those workouts on my own.
And I find the temptation when cycling on your own is to maybe not go as hard as you could, and lapse into steady-state cardio. While there’s nothing wrong with steady-state cardio, it’s been fun to finally mix up my indoor cycling workouts.
I find I even burn more calories with these guided workouts because the music and trainer’s encouragement pushes me to try harder.
Outdoor Power Walking
Although I am not much of a runner anymore, I was also delighted to find there are lots of outdoor walking workouts.
So now my twice-a-week walk to the mailbox (Which is more than half a kilometer away) has become a power walk exercise with some uplifting beats and words of encouragement.
This is an example of how Aaptiv can help you maximize even just 10-15 minutes of time for exercise!
The one thing I was wondering about with Aaptiv was their strength-training workouts. Audio-guided workouts are great for cardio when guidance is mostly limited to intensity and speed. But I worried that the strength training workouts might be hard to follow without visual cues
I was pleasantly surprised to find that you do get visual cues with the strength workouts. Each workout has a number of slides along the top, each with a short video loop of each exercise.
This makes it way easier to follow along. However, it’s worth noting that the guided exercise is not always exactly the same as the video clip.
For example, in a kettlebell class I tried, the first move was a one-legged squat with a kettlebell. But the video clip was just a regular squat.
So you do have to pay attention closely to what is being said in the workout. Once you get going though, the workout is both enjoyable and challenging.
Like the strength-training, the yoga workouts offer visual cues in the form of slides along the top. I like these classes and if you like to add a little yoga into your routine now and then, these classes will definitely do the trick.
However, if you’re a beginner, you may have trouble keeping up with the faster flows without having a video to follow along with. If you’re a beginner or looking to form a more dedicated yoga practice, I would highly recommend you try YogaDownload as they offer video classes that help you see better if you’re doing the poses correctly.
As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of other types of workouts for treadmill running, stair climbing and the elliptical. I don’t own any of those exercise machines and I don’t go to the gym. (Especially not these days.) But if I will continue to update this review with my thoughts!
Aaptiv Review Summary
Aaptiv is where customization and structure come together with beautiful functionality.
As someone who has always used videos or some other visual medium, I was hesitant about an audio-only app in the beginning. But I am pleasantly surprised that audio-guided fitness comes with many advantages, particularly for cardio-type workouts like indoor cycling, walking, and running.
But after using it, I agree with their claim that they’re the #1 audio-guided fitness app!
What did you think of this Aaptiv review? If you have any questions, go ahead and drop them below in the comments!
- Highly customizable yet still structured for your success
- 30 Day free trial
- Considerations are made for musical preference
- Use the app’s detailed filter to find the perfect workout in seconds
- Includes guided meditations
- Audio guided workouts make it easy to work out anywhere
- App is super easy to use
- If you prefer workout videos this isn’t the app for you
- No meal plans (if you’re into those)
Aaptiv is a highly customizable audio-guided fitness app that’s basically like having your own personal coach guiding you and cheering you on no matter what kind of workout you do.
$14 per month or $99.99 per year.
Absolutely. It’s the best customizable fitness app out there and can help you reach any fitness goal from losing weight to running further.