How Aaptiv Works
For $14.99 a month (or a discounted $99.99 a year) subscribers have access to over 2,500 workouts (with 40 new workouts added each week), 20+ trainers and over a dozen fitness categories (5K Training, Boxing, Yoga, Stretching…). Workouts range from short 5-10 minute options to hour long calorie blasting sessions. Some workouts have clever names, like “Cardi B Cardio” or the “Dua Ellip-A” ellipticle workout.
A few of us here at That’s Normal pulled on our sports bras and yoga pants and gave Aaptiv a 30-day trial.
I am reasonably fit so I mostly tested intermediate level workouts. I mean, I could stand to lose a few pounds and banish the middle age spread that is happening, but I wasn’t all that embarrassed when this pic showed up on Facebook.
Yup, that’s my butt. Not the most flattering angle but I have to say the hammies and glutes don’t look all that bad. With Aaptiv I focused on strength training and cardio that didn’t involve jumping since my joints are crap. Now my husband on the other hand, is very athletic. He is Mr. Marathon, Spartan Racer, surfer dude.
He sampled the advanced level Aaptiv workouts so I could get a look at just how tough they are without actually having to try one myself.
- Variety: variety of music, trainers, activities, and length of workouts.
- Levels: the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels seem appropriate as far as intensity of the workout. My intermediate workouts were challenging but doable. The advanced workouts left my husband a panting, water gulping, sweat dripping, mess.Source
- The trainers overall seem motivating without being cheesy.
- The app is easy to navigate, allowing users to search activities by length, type or specific trainer. The app also suggests follow up workouts to the ones just completed. For example a short stretch program may be recommended after a cardio session.
- This is purely an audio app. There are no videos. If you don’t understand a move or terminology used, you may be left scrambling for Siri to tell you what a “bird dog” is in the middle of your workout. This interrupts the smooth flow from one exercise to the next and makes it tough for beginners to follow along and keep up.
- The balance between the trainer’s voice and the music seems off at times. It can be tough to distinguish the trainer’s instructions from the soundtrack, especially when a song includes rap or other spoken words.
- I didn’t feel the drive to return to the app again and again. The workouts are challenging and it’s nice to have someone tell you what to do, but I’m kind of into my own dog walking, Zumba, elliptical while I watch tv thing. Aaptiv just wasn’t a game changer for me.
Overall I would rate Aaptiv a 3 out of 5. I would recommend it for those already familiar with fitness lingo and looking for a change.
I’m just gonna say it. I failed Aaptiv.
About 2 years ago, I got on a bit of a health kick. I got a shiny new gym membership, committed to some weekly Zumba classes, cut back on my 5-night a week bar habit, and lost enough weight to be proud of myself. Then I got preggo and went on a 9-month, eat-whatever-the-hell-I-want bender, but I also went to a weekly prenatal yoga class. I LOVED that class. I especially loved the milkshake I got at the shop down the street afterward. #treatyoself. So, here I am with an 11-month-old baby girl living outside of me, but looking like I have 3 more of her living inside of me.
I mainly wanted to try Aaptiv to get back on my yoga kick without having to leave the house. It turns out my brain dumped pretty much everything I learned in those classes. Without a video, I was completely lost trying to follow along. I tried a couple of different trainers, but each time I was left in their dust, trying to remember what a sun salutation is while concentrating on my breathing, and doing my best to make my body match the verbal directions provided. I ended up looking up some of the positions on YouTube as a refresher and had an easier time. However, that left me wondering why I didn’t just watch the YouTube class I looked up and do their routine. I would probably not recommend this app to beginners and would ask the creators to consider adding video or eliminating types of exercise that involve more visual guidance.
I can see the benefits for people who are training for something like a marathon or those who enjoy jogging or spin classes. There seemed to be a lot of great options for that crowd, providing them with their favorite style of music whil:e keeping them motivated.
I was hoping to find an app that would finally give the motivation I needed to exchange the comfort of my chair and Instagram scrolling for a more fit lifestyle. Like Nikki, I failed.
Is that the fault of the app? Probably not. But without offering a way to “power up” (I am of the Mario Kart generation.) I didn’t feel the need to return to the app day after day to continue with a program. I am also a visual person so the lack of visual stimulation left me confused at times during a workout.
If you have some fitness knowledge and just need a voice in your ear to help you move from exercise to exercise then Aaptiv is a good choice. I did really like the walking programs as I couldn’t really stare at a screen without walking in to a fire hydrant anyway. Those programs were a good tool to keep pace during a walking or hiking trip.
I wish there was a way to play my own music within the app because, to be honest, their choice of tunes were not my cup of tea. I found that distracting.
Aaptiv: Yea or Nay?
The proof may be in the profit. The company currently has a rumored valuation of 200 million dollars and has gained over 200,000 subscribing members in the past two years. Calling itself the “Netflix of fitness”, with numbers like these, Aaptiv may be onto something. For our testers however, reviews are mixed. Variety seems to be the biggest plus for Aaptiv, but for home or gym use, Aaptiv seems best left to those who already posses a thorough knowledge of fitness. Aaptiv is currently offering a 30-day free trial to new app users, which is a great opportunity to see if it’s right for you.
Have you tried Aaptiv?