Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
When it comes to getting our sweat on, fitness classes are a top pick. They check all the boxes.
- Organized: You don't have to spend time thinking about your workout because someone else plans it for you. All you have to do is show up ready to rock it.
- Inspiring: Want to challenge yourself? Look around the room at all these amazing humans crushing their goals, and we dare you not to be inspired to go further and push harder.
- Focused: Between changing movements and constant encouragement, there's literally no time to let your mind wander or check incoming texts.
- Curated: Leave it to your instructor to bring the perfect playlist to each class, perfectly designed to get you moving and pump you up.
The result is 60 minutes of pure heart-pounding, endorphin-boosting euphoria. Oh wait, is that just us? Yes, we might be fitness junkies (or at least aspiring), but you can see the appeal. However, it's not all pros.
Boutique fitness classes can easily run you $20+ a pop, or $150 for a monthly membership. Yikes! And sometimes, if you're juggling work, child care and the general shenanigans of life, the class times don't always fit with your schedule. Lucky for you, the internet exists and a number of apps can give you that group fitness high when and where you want.
We reviewed four popular fitness apps so you know what to expect in terms of time commitment, investment and the type of workout you'll be getting.
A personal trainer in your ear
Ever download a workout and take it to the gym only to spend more time on your phone reading than actually working out? Not anymore! Aaptiv uses audio-based coaching so you can maximize your time at the gym — or at home or outside. All you have to do is put on your headphones and go! Plus, whether you're into yoga, weightlifting or running, there are over 2,500 workouts to choose from. The nonstop encouragement and perfectly curated playlists are just the thing to help you break past barriers and push yourself to the next level.
Free Trial: Yes, 30 days
Cost: Unlimited access to all classes for $14.99/month or $99.99/year
Short on time, not work
Think you can't break a sweat in under 10 minutes? Think again. 8Fit gives you a series of exercises to perform as a circuit in 5 to 15 minutes and it breaks down each move for you. Sometimes it's based on reps, sometimes each move is timed. Either way, you're working. The best part is that most moves require nothing more than your body weight to bring the heat. Although the app is free, it offers a pro plan for hardcore users who are willing to receive customized meal plans, help from a personal coach and additional workouts.
Free Trial: Yes, 7 days
Cost: Pro plans are $25 every 3 months or $60 annually
Sweat by Kayla Itsines
See true fitness gains in just 12 weeks
Kayla Itsines is nothing short of an international fitness phenomenon. The Australian-based trainer has built an empire out of her Bikini Body Guide (BBG, for those in the know) — a 12-week program designed to whip you into shape right at home. But don't let the word "bikini" fool you, this program is no joke and it's not just about vanity. You'll jump squat and squat hop your way to a leaner, stronger you in roughly one hour per day — swimsuit or not.
Free Trial: Yes, 7 days
Cost: $19.99/month or $119.94/year
Nike Training Club (NTC)
Moves for any space, any time
Boost strength, endurance, flexibility and more all from one app. With NTC, choose from 100+ workouts (and new ones coming every month) that give you easy-to-follow videos for each move and a built-in interval timer. It syncs with your music apps, like Spotify and more, so you can bump whatever tunes get you in the zone. Workout lengths range from 15-60 minutes, so you can choose whichever routine fits your schedule for the day.
Looking for more cardio? Download the sister app Nike+ Run Club to get more out of your pavement-pounding session. Perfect for any athlete and data nerd, dig into data from your runs to help you set goals and achieve every one of them.
Free Trial: Nope, they're both always free!
This list is far from exhaustive, so we'd love to hear from you! What apps do you use to get you moving and grooving on a daily or weekly basis? We'd love to add a few more to our own repertoire.