Aaptiv App Review
Exercise enthusiasts seeking a trainer need to consider the audio-oriented Aaptiv App, which brings professional coaching to the ear and eye alike. With more than 200,000 active members, users can engage just about any kind of fitness style they choose with professional coaching and music in real time.
Launched in 2015 by a developer seeking an app to use while traveling on business, Aaptiv has grown from an audio-based guide to include dynamic video as well. Highly sought on the Apple App store, the last six years have seen an increase in the diversity of workouts offered even within the numerous categories. With more than 2,500 workouts already programmed into the system, more are added each week, with routines designed to last anywhere from minutes to months.
The app is free to download and users can experience an introductory trial of 7 days before having to choose whether to remain on the program for either $14.99 per month, or $99 per year. Compatible with both Android 5.0 and above, as well iOS 10.0 and above, the app also works on the Apple Watch.
We’d heartily recommend this app for those fitness fans who want structured workouts as part of a dynamic community, and appreciate the audio coaching, where professional instructors give verbal directions in terms of mileage run, or repetitions performed. Video instructions and technique guides are available, and the program does offer technique support for the drills. That said, a novice seeking instruction on the techniques associated with Olympic weightlifting might be disappointed, and the strength workouts are strongest in the bodyweight and dumbbell/kettlebell category. This app is perfect for runners of any type, whether it be outdoor running for distance, or those seeking High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on a wide variety of machines. The same holds true for equipment workouts.
What You Need To Know
- The app can be downloaded for free for 7 days, but the subscription is $14.99 per month, or $99 per year.
- The app works on both iOS and Android devices.
- Users can select from a wide range of music lists to accompany their workouts or bring their own.
- Workouts include video instruction for form, time counts, and high-quality motivational audio from certified trainers and top tier athletes.
- Aaptiv users are connected to a 200,000 member community and receive regular email updates with personalized health information.
- Aaptiv itself does not track biometrics such as heart rate, but it does sync with Strava and can be downloaded onto an Apple Watch. Other devices would have to be used for specific biometric tracking.
Getting Started — What Equipment Do You Need?
A very comprehensive app, workout categories include: Treadmill, Strength Training, Outdoor Running, Sleep, Walking, Stretching, Pilates, Meditation, Elliptical, Yoga, Indoor Cycling, Barre, Stair Climber, Boxing, and Rowing. Curated playlists of background music are offered in 18 different categories from funk to rock, country, or easy listening. Or, users can create their own playlist. With more than 2,500 workouts already in the system and new ones generated routinely, the only equipment one really needs is a device on which to utilize the app. While there is dynamic video with instructions to go along with, the real strength of the Aaptiv program is the audio coaching with music. This means a good set of headphones or some other device is critical, unless one is going to utilize a screen or smart television set.
Strength training workouts range from bodyweight to those involving kettlebells and dumbbells. Barbell-lovers or hard core powerlifters can certainly use the app for its other functions, but this is clearly a program designed to be used anywhere, any time, not just a gym. That said, treadmills and other conditioning equipment programs come in their own categories, and kettlebells and dumbbells are also good to have around if those programs suit the fancy. Because the programs offered are so numerous, users can pretty incorporate whatever they have into the mix.
Aaptiv also offers a Heart Rate Zone Training program, but users will have to utilize an Apple Watch to access that. The Aaptiv program is audio-oriented and while users can participate in team or group contests, their specific biometrics are not tracked with this program. It does sync with Strava, but going into it folks should know they’ll need another device or app if they’re wanting heart rate tracked.
What to Expect From an Aaptiv Workout?
Not as large as some other workout communities, the Aaptiv family is strong nonetheless with 200,000 members and strong reviews. For those that have ever been to a commercial gym’s fitness classes, with music pumping and a trainer leading the class with a wireless microphone strapped to themselves, the Aaptiv experience will be most familiar. Once logged in with the profile established, members can join any number of programs which may be daily by the minute, weekly, or long-term. Examples include the Kickstart Your Weight Loss, 4-week program, with 21,847 members participating. Participants will be guided through daily workouts pre-programmed by professional, certified trainers with video and audio guidance every step of the way motivating them to music of their choice. Workouts are categorized by time, intensity level, community points available, and an equipment list.
Members can be as active or inactive as they choose within the community’s social media, and for those simply seeking a solo experience Aaptiv really shines. Members can follow a set program, or browse through thousands of workout options such as Train to Win, a 32-minute treadmill workout which includes warm-up and sprint work. A diverse cast of professional trainers and their voices can be sampled and users can stick with favorites or shop around. The audio-oriented nature of this app means that users will get used to the trainer’s style of motivation, speech, and workout plan. It really is just like being in a gym with a trainer calling out instructions to music.
Clearly conceived of for cardio fans, the app does lend itself to hard core bodybuilders and iron addicts seeking HIIT and other bodyweight drills. While there’s little by way of powerlifting protocols per se, most powerlifters know the value of stretching, sleep, and cardio bursts. Strength training workouts tend toward the bodyweight, kettlebell, and dumbbell side of programming, which is perfect for home workouts or those on road. Anyone interested in health and wellness will like the guided meditation series under the category of Sleep, which includes meditation and yoga, as well as stretching for sleep.
The app also features a nutrition section full of articles on topics ranging from meal prep to ketogenic diet planning. Not a calorie-counting app per se, the Aaptiv program is designed to work well with the Apple Watch and Strava and others which do. Membership also brings with it access to the online magazine and competitions for apparel. Articles concerning diet, sleep, health, and wellness, are a big part of the community. The company also seems to be actively recruiting corporate partners for employee wellness plans. The statement, “You’ll never be bored with an Aaptiv membership” is very true.
Competitive team-oriented personalities will like the community element, while lone wolves who simply need an extra push to get motivated will find equal value. As a competitive bodybuilder in the NPC community who has participated in Strongman competitions, I can see unlimited value in this app, particularly in terms of warm-ups, cool-downs, stretching and cardio in general. Getting iron junkes to hit the cardio is harder than pulling trucks with a harness and this could be a big help there. For distance runners, whether indoor or outdoor, the verbal motivation and music will also be of great value. One of the biggest complaints of fitness fans during the COVID-19 quarantine was the loss of their Fit-Family at the gym. Doing HIIT or Bootcamp style workouts solo just isn’t the same for the lack of verbal motivation. Whether watching the videos on a screen, or simply putting the earbuds in and hitting the streets, Aaptiv has brought a solid answer to that conundrum.
The annual subscription being only $99, the app’s weekly cost breaks down to about $1.90, which is cheaper than most of its competitors. Overall, a solid deal.
Aaptiv Workout Types
The Aaptiv workouts are quite diverse, and individualized programming is available, but one can generally categorize the offerings into: Treadmill, Strength Training, Outdoor Running, Sleep, Walking, Stretching, Pilates, Meditation, Elliptical, Yoga, Indoor Cycling, Barre, Stair Climber, Boxing, and Rowing. Background musical playlists from be chosen from those provided or users can create their own.
Treadmill Workouts are very diverse with everything from Long Slow Distance to HIIT. An example is the 20 Intervals program offered by trainer Ackeem. A level 5 in terms of intensity, the 45-minute the workout includes two sets of 10 intervals. The program contains a 2-minute warm up before bursts of 90-second, 60-second, 40-second, and 30-second bursts, with a 60-second walking rest in between each. The workout is estimated to burn 300 calories and cover the equivalent of three miles. From a video standpoint, users can visibly see a clock count-down, while Ackeem coaches and motivates along the way. The audio coaching includes very detailed instructions about times and course details, as well as personable commentary designed to keep folks moving. At the end of the program users can rate, save, and share the workout.
Strength Training Workouts
Strength training workouts are categorized by time, intensity, and body part. Routines can be purely bodyweight or light equipment oriented. The 10 Minute Torture workout with trainer Kenta is a level 3 in terms of intensity and lasts roughly 10 minutes. Designed to burn about 100 calories, no equipment is needed, and participants will be coached by Kenta through jump squats, burpees, high knees, planks, and mountain climbers. With background music of the user’s choice and Kenta’s instruction, this workout was very reminiscent of an in-gym Bootcamp class. Courses with kettlebells and dumbbells are also quite prolific throughout this category. For those seeking visual instruction, video of the trainers goes along with.
We know, the term Sleep Workouts may raise more eyebrows than it shuts, but studies affirm the importance of sleep and the value of guided meditation. The Breathe for Rest routine offered by Nicole is a level 1 in terms of intensity and lasts 17 minutes. Music selection would lend itself to the more ambient end of the spectrum obviously. Nicole guides participants through a series of parasympathetic breathing drills while completing a full body scan to prepare oneself for sleep. From a visual standpoint, the user can watch the clock or simply plug in their earplugs and participate. Nicole coaches the breathing and stretching movements every step of the way, counting out the breaths and instructing the holds and exhales.
For fans of rowing, the Aaptiv program has a great group of routines broken down into time, intensity, and trainer style. The Tabata Row with trainer Candice is a 6-minute program at level 5 intensity. A short program, participants are expected to burn 100 calories through eight rounds of 20-second bursts and 10-second recovery periods in between. For those seeking a little more, The Body and the Machine workout with trainer Amanda is a 27-minute workout at a level 3 intensity. In addition to the 5-minute rowing intervals, participants will also hop off the rower and perform push-ups, body squats, hollow holds, reverse lunges, and arch-ups. Dumbbells can be incorporated into this workout, which does come complete with instructional pictures and videos for the movements.
- Workouts are quite diverse and the app does offer multi-week programs as Cross-Train 10K to Half for those seeking long distance running. .
- The app also allows users to set specific goals, such as healthier eating, with regular reminders and advice about how to achieve this.
Aaptiv Members Boutique
Members also have access to an online store with a wide variety of swag, from weighted jump ropes and earbuds, to bathroom scales and compression socks. Shopping categories include Audio, Healthy Home, Apparel, Restoration, and Fitness Equipment. Members also have access to the nutrition section of the app which includes a library of articles on healthy eating for any goal. Whether building muscle or burning fat, chances are the app has an article on the topic.
Our Experience With the Aaptiv App
Our experience with the Aaptiv program was entirely positive. Its unique approach to audio-based training is quite novel and very reminiscent of being back in the gym. Health and wellness fans will undoubtedly like the guided meditation and sleep tracks, but any other kind of workout is offered as well. Whether a home fitness fan or back in the gym, there’s very little one cannot do with this program. Going forward, we imagine there might be some more room to grow within the strength workouts category in terms of barbell workouts, but frankly the program is pretty solid in terms of bodyweight and dumbbells.
A big plus is no annoying pop-ups and the playlists are sufficiently diverse that users might just use those provided. The trainer’s unique styles and personalities come across very well in the programs, and irrespective of what type of approach one favors – soft and gentle or hard core – the audience will certainly develop favorites.
Is the Aaptiv App Worth It?
Overall, we’d give Aaptiv a big thumbs up. The annual package at $99 breaks down to about $1.90 per week, which is cheaper than the competition. That said, to really get into it one should probably use an Apple Watch or some other heart rate tracker. The audio styling reminds us a little of the iFit Coach program which is pre-loaded onto many machines and allows live trainers to physically control the machine while coaching. Here, the app’s trainers verbal instructions and allow the users to work on their own. But for the price, it’s tough to beat Aaptiv.