The Aaptiv app offers something we don’t see every day in the fitness world — audio workouts. Some claim that Aaptiv is the world’s best fitness experience, and since its launch back in 2015, the app has been used by thousands across the world.
But is it any good? Well, here’s what I think.
What is the Aaptiv App?
It’s safe to say that fitness apps have become increasingly popular, and there are now thousands available online for you to choose from. Some have different workout programs, and others offer workouts for every fitness level.
But each one wants to be special. To be different.
The Aaptiv app offers something quite a bit different than the others — audio-guided fitness.
Like other apps, Aaptiv offers different workouts based on your fitness level, and a few training programs are also available. You get unlimited access to their library of exercises if you wish to create a personalized workout as well.
The premade strength training and cardio workouts include the following (among others):
- Stair climber
- Indoor cycling
- And many more
Aaptiv Details & Features
Because the app is so vast, it’s hard to encapsulate everything it has to offer into a single review. Regardless, of whether your goal is to run a half-marathon or simply lose weight, you can find something on Aaptiv to help you.
So let’s start at the beginning once you’ve downloaded the app.
First, you’re met with really great UX and UI, which might seem moot but really makes a huge difference when looking at the full picture. I can appreciate a company spending the funds to make their app easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.
You’ll then see a series of questions to give the app more information about you, such as your goal, gender, the tools you have to train, how long your average workout is, if you prefer strength training workouts, etc.
Once that’s completed, you’re offered some plans…
‘Personalized Workout Program’
Once the app has all the information it needs from you, it offers you a few different workout plans that were designed specifically for you.
In my case (choosing free weights and building muscle as the goal), I got the following:
- 10-Day Reboot Your Strength (2 weeks)
- At-Home Total Body Training (6 weeks)
- Holy Mary, Mother of Abs (9 weeks)
If you decline, you’re offered the different plans they have — for payment (more on this later).
Now, they do offer a 7-day free trial period for you to get to know what the fitness app offers. Plus, unlike some apps that would give you restricted access with a free trial, Aaptiv gives you complete access across all of its workouts.
Then, the whole app opens up.
You’re met with a homepage with several different workouts and exercise routines for you to choose from. These workouts range from high-intensity interval training programs to those that just effectively burn calories.
The personalized term here is used somewhat loosely. As more experienced trainers and fitness enthusiasts will know, anything that’s predesigned will always have some limitations based on your own biology.
For example, you might not be able to move in a certain way or might not be able to follow the training plan precisely due to some other reason. Where in-person certified personal trainers might change the workout program on the spot, the app can’t do that.
Unique Aaptiv Workouts
Once you choose your personalized program created by certified personal trainers, you get to see what the program is all about. For instance, who would benefit, what to expect, how long it will take, and everything else you’d need to know.
The strength training classes or workout programs are then laid out below. This is something that’s a rather nice feature in the app, as you don’t find this with every paid app.
There’s a clear layout for each fitness class you’re about to take, including the following information:
- Calories you might burn
- Who the trainer is who’s taking you through the workout
- A breakdown of what to expect
- What equipment you’ll need
- And a breakdown of what you’ll do
You also have the ability to schedule, save, and share the workout. Since the app has a community function (more on this in a bit), you’ll be able to share it with other app users with similar fitness goals… or those who might even be doing the same workout type!
One huge feature I’ve never seen on any other popular fitness app is the addition of a Maternity program. Scientific literature would make us believe that expecting mothers who train experience a host of benefits, so this is incredibly nice to see.
Other fun additions to the workout programs include:
- Various weight loss programs, varying in fitness journey experience
- Reduce stress workouts focused on yoga and mobility
- Challenges — like the “25 Days of Madness” — to help you push your limits of personal training
As hinted at earlier, you have the option to share your workout programs and progress with other users on the app. It’s very similar to Facebook. You can share photographs or comment on and like (confetti) others’ posts.
This encourages members to exchange healthy habits, workout ideas, and other fitness-related content. Also, if the person is following a certain plan and they do share it, you’re a simple click away from following the same workout classes!
Who is Aaptiv Good for?
This really is the big question, whether you’re using in-person workout classes or an audio fitness app. Who would benefit the most from this app?
The short answer is everyone.
The Aaptiv app is incredibly robust and well-designed. Unlike other apps that leave some workout categories lacking, it feels like the developers spent a lot of time perfecting the different fitness classes.
With the vast array of different workouts available, the app can be used by most people independently of their fitness levels. Your workout history will play a role, sure, and you also have to give the app a bit of help in choosing the best option for you.
At the end of the day, the app can be used by most people to help them create and stick to an exercise routine. The free trial also allows you to try things out if you’re unsure of the whole audio-only workouts, which makes the Aaptiv fitness app a very compelling one.
Who is Aaptiv Not for?
There will always be some who don’t find the app perfect, which is completely fine. Nothing ever is. But depending on your personal type of workout plan prior to using Aaptiv, there is one kind of person this app is not for:
But, then again, hardly any app is. Once you progress to a certain level, your needs become very niche and precise, meaning that you’d need daily and even hourly input on training, recovery, and nutrition.
Because the app is, well, an app, you’re limited by adjustments. You’ll have to make personal calls on volume, weight, and other factors relating to the workout.
If you’re experienced, this is very easy. If you aren’t, this can be very difficult — but more on this when we get to the cons section.
How Much Does the Aaptiv App Cost?
You have two options when it comes to paying the fees — a monthly or yearly plan.
The annual fee is $99.99 plus tax, while the monthly fee is $14.99 plus tax. As you can see, the yearly subscription offers a far better deal on the Aaptiv platform.
This is similar pricing to other apps you’ll find online, but the fact that Aaptiv offers something no one else does makes it a good value.
Is the Aaptiv App Worth It?
Absolutely, but it depends on whether or not you actually like listening to audio instructions. Now, they do have a huge library of different workout categories and exercises, but if you don’t like the audio workout type, then it won’t be for you. Otherwise, the app is well worth it.
Can You Listen to Your Own Music on Aaptiv?
Unlike other apps, such as the Nike Training Club, you can’t use your own music with the Aaptiv App. That said, they do provide motivating music from the appropriate music genres. But you don’t get to choose your own, unfortunately.
How Many People Use Aaptiv?
It’s estimated that more than 230,000 fitness enthusiasts use the Aaptiv app to improve their health. The app (on the iStore) has more than 270 reviews, and most people seem to love the app. At the time of writing (February 2023), it’s rated 4.6/5.
One thing to note before we look at alternatives is that not many other apps use the audio feature like Aaptiv does. Here are some of the best Aaptiv alternatives:
Fitbod is another fitness app that will design workouts and strength training plans for you to reach your goals. Fitbod is lacking a bit when it comes to the number of options it has compared to Aaptiv, seeing as Aaptiv has 13 different workout categories for you to choose from.
Aaptiv also has a feature that offers you a program based on your goals. Sure, Fitbod does have similar functionalities, but Aaptiv takes it to another level.
Freeletics will put up a more significant fight against Aaptiv, seeing as more than 500 million people have used Freeletics over its lifespan. It offers a similar amount of workout plans and different exercises, and the only thing that Aaptiv has to put up a fight is the audio quirk.
Freeletics is a great app, and in the end, it’ll come down to which one feels better for you. Personally, I prefer Freeletics purely based on cost, UX, and UI.
As many would, we go to the newspaper of the internet to find out what the people think — Reddit.
Here’s part of a very long review by a Reddit user:
“At some point, Aaptiv introduced the coaching aspect, as well as the group support aspect. You could now fill out a questionnaire with your goals, and the app would make recommendations for your daily workout, as well as help you track a daily habit, and other goals. You could also join others in group challenges, as well as share your workouts on the built-in forum on a social media feed.
Honestly… that’s too much. This is an app trying to be all things to all people, rather than focusing on the ONE thing they do so well – audio-guided workouts for many modalities, and many levels.
I don’t need a coach, and I don’t need an app to remind me to drink water. And if I do, surely, there is a better app out there, focused on JUST the water consumption.
With all the added functionality, I started feeling overwhelmed.
Hope that helps!
For more clarity, here’s another review from a Reddit user:
“In my experience, this kind of app is best for people who like a) pop b) a good mix of interval training/cardio, stretching, yoga, and strength training; and c) need a little extra motivation pushing through your workout. I would never recommend it for people who like to get on the elliptical for thirty minutes and do the same pace the whole time unless they were getting bored with the gym. I honestly never used it for weights, but plan to try some at some point. I always do a couple of the classes (usually a beginner 15-minute as a warm-up and then a harder 30-40 minute class).
It’s still cheaper for me than group fitness classes and I loved the yoga and guided stretching before and after workouts as well. The audio is also very high quality, which is a major plus! I tried the free trial of studio and while it was similar, the audio was a major deal breaker.”
You can also hop on over to YouTube to look at the following review.
2 Aaptiv Pros
The App Offers a Whole Lot of Versatility and Workouts
The one limiting factor of most fitness apps is the fact that they don’t cater to all fitness levels. Aaptiv offers workouts for most people, and unless you’re a professional athlete, there’s a workout plan for you. Also, with the free trial option, you can try a lot of different workouts prior to actually deciding if you want to invest.
The Community Function Seems Quite Popular
While it may seem like a small quirk or something that’d make your eyes roll, the users of the app seem to love this function. It creates a fitness environment that isn’t toxic and builds companionship around getting healthier — which is what the fitness community needs.
2 Aaptiv Cons
There’s No Nutrition Information
Like most other apps, there isn’t any real fitness-related nutritional information available. This is somewhat expected, as most people have very specific nutritional needs. That said, a bit of information about the different foods and macronutrients would be very welcoming.
A good idea would be recipe guidance similar to how there’s workout guidance. After all, the nutritional needs of most people are similar, especially when they’re trying to lose weight.
Not Everyone Appreciates the Audio Option
Yes, it wouldn’t be smart to use this particular app if you’d find the audio guidance a bit limiting. That said, some users have reported that the audio files don’t always line up perfectly… or that the music can sometimes blur what the coach is saying.
Also, if you’re hearing-impaired, then it obviously wouldn’t be the best option. Either way, the app is still filled with a lot of great workouts that you can use every single day.
Writing this Aaptiv review was actually a lot of fun. This is a rather nicely done and sweet (sentimentally sweet) app. It offers something new to you (the consumer), and for that, it deserves credit.
There are one or two drawbacks, such as lacking nutritional data and the fact that the app would limit professional athletes. But the thing is, most apps lack these things.
Nutrition has become so precise that most companies just ignore it and double down on creating better workouts.
Aaptiv does a great job of blending video workouts, the audio theme, and a great user experience. When combined with a few YouTube videos about nutrition and perhaps a calorie-tracking app, you’ve got everything you need.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5