So if you’re one of the 69% of all Americans who are on some social media site or another… you’ve likely seen those fitness and weight loss ads pop up on your newsfeed.
And that means you’ve also likely thought to yourself, “how on earth do they know I am thinking about a new workout or diet?”
The internet is so smart!
Well, algorithms help.
All joking aside, though, if you’re on the internet… someone is keeping tabs on you.
But, that’s an article for another time.
The plus side to Big Brother watching is “he” can point you in the right direction… provide guidance when you’re not necessarily even asking for it.
And, as luck would have it, Aaptiv is being heavily liked on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… etc. these days.
These voice guided workouts promise to help your reach your fitness goals… whether that means you want to lose weight, improve your run or increase strength.
If you color yourself curious… keep reading my Aaptiv fitness app review. I’ll do my best to answer all of your burning questions.
Questions such as…
Is Aaptive Free?
While some fitness apps are free these days, like Under Armour’s Map My Run and My Fitness Pal, most of them do look to charge a fee once they’ve reeled you in with a free trial period.
Some offer 7-day trials, others 14-day… some 30-day. After which, they expect a membership fee to keep your subscription going.
Apptive is no different.
You have 30 days from the point to cancel the annual membership for a full refund, no questions asked.
There is also a Lifetime Membership option of $399.99.
The other option is to just sign up with a monthly plan, 30 days for $14.99. Which I did.
Personally speaking, the app takes a little getting used to. You need time to explore… and so I wasn’t confident that 7 days was enough to get a true feel for what Aaptive had to offer.
So I played it safe and coughed up the cash for a 30-day stint… making sure I set a reminder in my calendar to cancel if it came down to it.
Does Aaptive Target All Fitness Levels?
So as soon as you click on the “Start your Free Trial” link, you are greeted by Jaime. She’s one of their lead trainers.
Jaime takes you through a series of questions, including:
Once you answer these questions, you will be directed to enter how often you work out (or wish to work out), so that Aaptiv can come up with a plan for you via it’s “Coach” feature. These plans are updated every Monday.
And your profile can be edited at any time, should your workout type or availability change.
The app’s “Team” Feature is great for a bit of extra inspiration… as you can elect to post your workouts for other Aaptiv users to see.
This, of course, is optional.
Now, if you’re like me and looking to dive right in to all that Aaptive has to offer, you need to be aware of one thing: the app will not allow you to browse or complete any of the other fitness activities until you complete one of your coaching goals.
I tried to just do one of the runs out of the gate, and the Coach decided it was a strength training day for me. So I needed to complete one of my assigned daily workouts before I could go “rogue”… so to speak.
Once you check a coach’s activity off of your to-do list, you can add extra workouts via the “Browse” feature. You can also elect to say “I worked out on my own” and add your customized workout, such as outdoor cycling or swimming.
These workouts are not currently offered via Aaptiv.
What Makes Aaptiv Workouts Different?
So the Aaptiv workout regime is heavily based on two things:
- Continuous Personal Training Prompts
Music is at the heart of everything Aaptiv wants to be.
Each workout is set to music, based on your preferences. The music is meant to keep your motivated and feeling energized.
The other crucial piece to the Aaptiv puzzle is continuous personal training.
And when I say continuous… I mean continuous.
Unlike the popular app, C25K, that utilizes occasional trainer voice prompts… the Aaptiv instructors are in your ear non-stop.
Pushing you. Getting you pumped.
It is literally like having someone running alongside you… or screaming over a headpiece in the spin studio…. spotting your weights in the gym… channeling your inner piece in a yoga class.
For this article, I tried out one strength training workout via my coaching plan… and one outdoor run via the browse feature.
Guetta Betta Body with Kenta
This was a 22 minute, intermediate strength training workout, set to electronic music.
It required dumbbells (or heavy cans of soup work too), and had me working through a circuit of four exercises… each for 30 seconds.
Exercises such as squats, shoulder presses, sumo swings, static sumo squats, bicep curls and pendulum lunges.
Kenta even snuck planks in.
Now, if you don’t know what some of these exercises are (sumo swings tripped me up), it’s no problem. The workout includes pictures of each exercise you’ll be doing, as well as the option to click on video examples of each move before getting started.
This was extremely helpful.
As for the instructor… Kenta was loud.
In your ear.
He made me want to smile… even through the tough moves.
And, in the end, it wasn’t your typical strength training workout.
It was infused with cardio and pace… I was sweating.
Definitely a worthwhile workout.
Feels like Intervals with John
So, this intermediate level outdoor run featured four “gears”… steady jog, quick jog, tempo run and sprints.
There were three circuits, each with three songs…. making this workout all about the music.
And John’s motivation. Or JJT, as he likes to be called.
The music immediately floods the background, as JJT explains the workout.
He assures us it’s ok to modify the workout, even walk or slow down if necessary… but also encourages you to open up your body and mind.
The first song is dedicated to the “warm up”… so I was encouraged to engage in a steady jog while loosening up. He then explains as the music speeds up and slows, I should switch gears to match.
He also uses a lot of analogies to keep your form in check throughout the workout.
Stepping on breaks.
A string pulling your sternum forward.
There is a lot of imagery mixed into the workout… and the music is in full control of your motion.
Raindrops falling beneath the balls of your feet.
Palms up in the waves.
I found Aaptiv’s approach to cardio workouts to be as contagious, as they are effective.
The instructors and music really do keep you moving forward, without torturing you.
Whether you are walking, cycling, running, on the stair master… it’s as if the trainers are right there with you.
And if you don’t have a workout partner, it’s ok. Aaptiv makes it feel as if you do.
I fully enjoyed both workouts.
Can You Save, Schedule or Share Workouts with Aaptiv?
The answer to this one is “yes”.
Aaptiv allows you to save any of the workouts you browse through, so that you can do them at a different time.
It also allows you to schedule a workout, which is really cool feature that links the workout directly to your smartphone or computer calendar.
For instance, when I clicked on “schedule”, I was asked to select a date and time… and google calendar popped up and said “Aaptiv workout – outdoor with John”.
If you think a friend might like a workout, simply click “Share” and voila! They have access as well.
Can You Set Longer-Term Fitness Goals with Aaptiv?
Aaptiv does have featured programs, which they base on your profile preferences.
For instance, “Train for a Half” 12-week program was suggested on my page.
There, I am shown a week-by-week breakdown of what workouts I will be doing to prepare for a half marathon.
Some on treadmill. Others outdoors.
There is also a printable .pdf option of the training plan available… if you’re more the visual type.
My only issue with this is that I don’t have access to a treadmill. Which brings me to the next topic.
Are There Any Limitations with Aaptiv?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “stick with what you know?”.
As with all great products, companies, talent, etc… Aaptiv has found something it does well, and sticks to it.
After all, would you rather do one thing really well… or do everything mediocre?
Nobody ever says “hey, I want to fly on that airline that only has a 50% luggage loss rate!”. Do they?
So here is the downside:
Aaptiv only offers built in workouts for: outdoor running, treadmill, stair climber, meditation, yoga, strength training, stretching and elliptical.
This means that if you don’t have access to some of those things, your workouts are restricted.
Like I said, you can log in “non Aaptiv” workouts, but you’re losing the musical motivation that is the app.
I don’t belong to a gym… so I personally would prefer to use the app while cycling outdoors, swimming or kickboxing for instance. But for now, I’ll just have to make my own playlist and go.
Aaptiv doesn’t integrate with weight watchers or my fitness pal just yet.
And I couldn’t find anything about it syncing with a fitbit, Garmon or the like.
In fact, I didn’t see a way to sync it at all from the app’s end… which means you’re forced to do it the old fashioned way by using the workout’s description to manually enter your duration and calories burned.
If you need to stop a workout, Aaptiv won’t close. The app is almost stuck on pause, running in the background.
I needed to restart my phone each time I attempted to stop or cancel a workout.
Aaptive won’t work out of wi-fi range.
If you plan on going for an outdoor run, you will need to actually download the workout to your device first. I didn’t know this the first time I tried running with John… which frustrated me a tad.
It also brings me to the next glitch.
Aaptiv isn’t saving all of my downloaded workouts.
When I click on my saved workouts, of the 6 I selected for download, only 1 was there.
I also can’t view any of the workouts I tried to save.
I’m not sure if it’s a temporary bug in the app, but it makes me taking the app outside of wi-fi range impossible, which isn’t ideal.
Final Thoughts on Aaptiv App Review
You take the good… you take the bad…
It’s a fact of life (see what I did there?) that nothing and nobody is as perfect as it seems… but Aaptive is working towards perfection.
If you enjoy working out in a gym, as well as the outdoors, Aaptiv may just be your perfect match.
Their mix of motivational music and trainers is one of the best I’ve come across… I only wish I could figure out the download workout thing for my runs.
Still, Aaptiv’s customer service assured me they investigate each and every issue… taking them all seriously.
I also know that it could be an issue with the android version and not the iPhone’s.
Here’s the bottom line…
With an annual membership cost of only $8.33 per month, you get access to:
Access 2,500+ trainer–led, music–driven workouts anytime
Refresh your routine with 30+ new classes added every week
Workouts from 7 minutes to complete training programs
Fitness classes for every level ranging from running, cycling and elliptical to stretching, yoga and strength training
High intensity interval training (HIIT) to help you more effectively burn calories, build muscle, and lose weight
Amazing playlists filled with the music you already love
Full marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K training programs
No wifi? No worries! Download classes to listen offline
Apple users can enable Apple Health to track calories burned
Imagine hiring a personal trainer for $8 per month… never going to happen.
Aaptiv is awesome and worth the risk.
Try it for 30 days and see for yourself… you’ve got nothing to lose but a few pounds and some bad habits.
And if you’re looking for more articles on workout apps, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- The 15 Best Running Apps
- 5 Best Rucking Apps for iOS & Android
- 11 Best CrossFit Apps for iOS & Android
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 25 years. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs.
She is an avid runner and incorporates walking, hiking, golfing and kickboxing into her weekly workout routine to keep things fresh and maximize calorie burn. She lives in the beautiful Sourland Mountain area of New Jersey, which offers many challenging and scenic trails.