Freeletics App Review
For fans of high-tech fitness, Freeletics brings a diverse range of workouts and nutrition coaching. Born March of 2013 in Munich, Germany, the company has successfully raised millions in venture capital in recent years as it advanced into the realm of AI-based (artificial intelligence) fitness and lifestyle coaching.
By 2020, the company had a community of 51 million users and is available in 10 languages, across 175 nations. The app has a free version as well as a paid subscription option with premium content and features. Currently there are more than 900 variations of the bodyweight workouts alone, with AI-style coaching and routines (with and without equipment), that are customized to the user.
The app itself is free to download, and this version brings a library of workouts designed around bodyweight, cardio, and light equipment. This free version also provides audio training and Mindset Coaching. The premium version is $2.21 per week, and brings a hefty assortment of goodies, including custom training journeys, AI coaching, and a separate nutrition app complete with macro-nutrient-based menu planning.
We’d recommend this app for tech-friendly fitness fans who like to travel and have access to basic equipment, even if that’s just running shoes. Originally designed as a traveler’s gym-mate, Freeletics has evolved into a program which can incorporate any scope of equipment, using bands, benches, dumbbells, kettlebells, and more. Powerlifters or bodybuilders could use it for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Frankly, the nutrition app alone would be worth considering for those seeking solid diet advice, whether for weight loss or muscle-building.
What You Need To Know
- The app can be downloaded for free, but full access to the premium program is $2.21 per week.
- The depth of the nutrition program alone is worth the added cost.
- There is no music accompanying the workouts, but Spotify Premium users can link their account to the Freeletics app.
- Workouts include video instruction for form, tracking metrics, as well as estimated time to complete.
- Freeletics users are connected to a 50+ million member community and receive regular email updates with personalized health information.
- Freeletics does not use heart rate as a metric, so there’s no serious need for a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor.
Getting Started — What Equipment Do You Need?
One of the great things about Freeletics is its inclusive programming. Runners and sprinters can choose from programs including Free Run, 40-meter and 100-meter sprints, up to 800-meter runs, and 1-kilometer up to 42-kilometer, or a little more than 26 miles. To that extent, users really don’t have to go out and buy any special equipment, but any they have can be incorporated. As a general rule, dumbbells and kettlebells are always good to have as there are lots of ways to utilize them in Freeletics. HIIT is a specialty of the app, so jump ropes, bands, pull-up bars, and boxes can also be used. That said, there are more than 900 bodyweight-only routines here. So, whether at the gym, home, or in a hotel while traveling, the Freeletics app can be used effectively. We would say this app augments whatever style of workout one presently enjoys, while opening them up to new ideas about other forms.
The Freeletics app currently works on both iOS and Android devices, but as a rule, one should also check out their particular device prior to purchasing the app. In our own testing, we found using an Apple iPad as a screen to watch while performing the exercises was optimal. That said, the app is also compatible with Chromecast, so if you have a Chromecast compatible TV in your workout space you’ll be able to follow along on a larger screen. Freeletics does not use heart rate monitoring as part of its key tracking metrics, however you are currently able to connect Freeletics to your Apple Watch in order to track workout progress if you choose to. If you intend on completing some of the Freeletics running workouts, having an Apple Watch will give you the slight advantage of being able to glance at your overall progress without interrupting your run.
What to Expect From a Freeletics Workout?
One of the largest fitness communities in the world now, using Freeletics is an experience in diversity. That said, the original intent of the company was to provide interactive workouts on the go, for folks with limited equipment and time. Users of Freeletics should be tech savvy enough that they can utilize either an Apple Watch, tablet, or smart phone while working out. To fully engage the community, members can engage social media platforms like Facebook and invite friends to participate. The program also features a leaderboard where athletes can follow one and other, share workouts, and post results. Workouts are worth a score, or number of points, toward individual goals.
Serious fans of barbell workouts, whether Westside Barbell style powerlifting or bodybuilding, can certainly use the app for conditioning work, and fans of the CrossFit style of exercise would also like it. But Olympic and powerlifting movements aren’t the app’s specialty. Where Freeletics really finds its niche is with folks who have busy lifestyles with little time. The HIIT crowd seeking overall health and wellness is certainly a target, with muscle-burning bodyweight drills as a core specialty. The mindset coaching element finds a good deal of crossover with this group, although some folks might like it just for that. While not marketed as a runner’s app per se, the program does contain running programs from sprints through marathons.
Competitive personalities will like the leaderboard and interactive nature of shared workouts, while the lone wolves of fitness can just as easily focus on their own self-improvement, or perhaps just get a great 15 minute workout in while staying at a hotel. Time-based workouts run anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, which is plenty of action for anyone familiar with bodyweight circuits that can incorporate any equipment from jump ropes and bands to pull-up bars and boxes.
That said, a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or anyone interested in serious diet counseling could really get into the nutrition component of Freeletics, which actually comes as a separate app altogether called Freeletics Nutrition. The Nutrition app is quite deep and comes with a coaching component, daily and weekly planners, and interactive shopping lists. Hundreds of pre-programmed recipes are available, complete with macronutrient profiles measured to the gram. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are all offered, and recipes can also be shared amongst users. Whether one needs a diet with 247 grams of protein daily or 64, vegan or keto, there’s considerable variety and the ability to personalize. This is key for folks with a busy lifestyle seeking to dial in their diet. One of the biggest challenges in planning macronutrient-specific diets is the time involved in calculating weights and other metrics. Freeletics takes this out of the equation.
As a competitive bodybuilders in the NPC community, I could see great value in the Freeletics program, particularly during the period leading up to a contest. Most bodybuilders have their weight training routines down, but HIIT and conditioning is more self-directed. The strict diet leading up to a contest is also tricky to manage as competitors maintain specific macros throughout, and figuring out how to prepare food that matches these can be not only time-consuming but expensive. Competitive powerlifters are also in need of HIIT and general conditioning techniques, and more than they’d like to admit, diet assistance. Sprint workouts are also great for lifters or general fitness fan alike, and for those in need of motivation, this app provides that.
The regular email notifications can be turned on or off, and users can be as active or passive in their participation as they’d like. Overall, for $2.21 per week, it’s a pretty solid app relative to the competition.
Freeletics Workout Types
The Freeletics workouts are quite diverse, but can be generally categorized into: Featured Workouts, Equipment Workouts, God Workouts, Muscle Group Specific Workouts, Runs and Sprints, and Single Exercises.
A Featured Workout could be from any of the above groups. A sample running workout will include the GPS feature and Google Maps of the device being used, and could start out with a 200-meter run, followed by a 30-second rest, and repeated for 10 rounds. With the GPS feature, the app is able to track the time elapsed, average pace, and let users know how far the distance run is. Training data is saved as part of the user’s profile, with performance metrics, and used to generate future workouts. Data can also be shared amongst the community. Goals and durations vary widely with the Featured Workouts section.
Equipment Workouts are categorized into those with dumbbells, benches, poles, kettlebells, jump rope, resistance bands, and foam rollers. Routines can range anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, with goals including muscle-building, weight loss, and general conditioning. The 15-minute Kettlebell Circuit 360 is AMRAP-style, meaning As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible. And so, in 15 minutes, which is timed by the app, participants will complete 10 repetitions of a Goblet Squat, 10 of Kettlebell Sumo Pulls, 10 Kettlebell Snatches Left, 10 Kettlebells Snatches Right, and then 20 seconds rest. Equipment workouts, like the others, feature videos and graphics to explain each exercise, as well as a body map to show which parts worked.
The Freeletics community’s signature workouts, God Workouts can run the gamut from 5 to 24 minutes, depending on structure. Named after mythological gods and goddesses, the workouts are designed for body sculpting. The Achilles Workout is tabbed as an Intermediate, full-body, with between 17-24 minutes. Designed for five rounds, participants complete 10 pull-ups, 20 burpees, and 30 bodyweight squats. As with the other workouts, the app maintains times and records personal metrics for later use.
Runs and Sprints
Runs and Sprint programs are selected based on distances and past performance: Free Run, 40-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, 1-kilometer, 1.5-kilometer, 3-kilometer, 5-kilometer, 8-kilometer, 10-kilometer, 12-kilometer, 15-kilometer, 21-kilometer, 42-kilometer. Using the GPS and Google Maps component, runners can map their run and have their average pace and time recorded for future reference and scoring. What’s interesting about Freeletics is it offers sprint drills as well as distance, again keeping with the diverse audience is seeks.
- Workouts based on individual exercises can also be generated, with graphics and videos for instruction.
- Mindset Coaching is also a part of the premium package which includes sessions designed for focus and anxiety relief.
Freeletics Nutrition App
The Freeletics Nutrition app also presents a customization component where users enter a profile and goals. Both Coach Recipes and Eating Out options are available. Menu options are categorized as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and various snacks. A sample dinner menu item is the Cauliflower Rice with Tofu, tagged as vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, and creative. In addition to an ingredient list complete with measurements, and instructions, the app allows users to sync with a shopping list. This particular item contains 508 calories, 27 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbohydrates, and 29 grams of fat. Users can log whether or not they’ve completed this meal and share with other users.
Our Experience With the Freeletics App
Our experience with the Freeletics program was largely positive. Hard-core lifters should be advised that it’s designed more for bodyweight, running, and HIIT workouts, but that doesn’t negate its value. One big plus is the graphics and video quality were excellent. One downside, the app isn’t universally compatible with all devices—we’re hoping to see Airplay compatibility in the future, as well as the integration of heart rate monitoring via wearables. Cyclists and rowers should also be advised this would be for cross-training, not for those sports in particular. As with all things, let the buyer beware, but if quick workouts are the goal, Freeletics is good.
For those who like having a soundtrack to go along with your workout, things are a bit limited here. Freeletics workouts do not include their own playlists of any sorts. If you’re a Spotify Premium user you’ll have the ability to link your accounts and run your own playlists while working out, but otherwise you’ll have to throw music on elsewhere if you want a backing track to your workout.
Another positive is the app doesn’t contain annoying pop-ups. We had no problem with crashes, but as with most running programs, make sure the WiFi is strong and able to keep up wherever the run may take one.
Is Freeletics App Worth It?
Overall, we’d give Freeletics a thumbs up. The premium version at $2.21 per week is a bargain compared to others on the market, and the programming fits just about any fitness-oriented person. That said, if equipment-based workouts are of interest, then the Fitbod app is a very comparable program. These apps stand in stark contrast to the iFit Coach program which is pre-loaded onto many machines and allows live trainers to physically control the machine. Here, the app gives instruction and allows the user to work on their own. In addition to bodyweight and HIIT, users can generate personalized lifting sessions as various as Push, Pull, or Upper and Lower Body, with barbells included.