Aaptiv Review: Are Their Virtual Workouts Worth It?

The Aaptiv fitness app features a vast library of virtual workouts to fit you with a personalized routine — but is it worth it? We seek to give you an honest review.

 

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By: Chris Riley

Medically reviewed by: Erik Rivera

Last Updated: August 10th, 2021

 

Aaptiv Journey | How Aaptiv Works | Types of Workouts | Trainers | Pricing | Pros and Cons | Verdict

The exercise and fitness industry is a booming market in the global economy. The reason for this is simple: daily exercise improves your health.

The question is not, “should I exercise,” but rather “how should I exercise?” There is no shortage of exercise programs out there in the world. Some people prefer the classic cardio that comes from jogging around the block, others opt for extra strenuous forms of high-intensity interval training.

We aren’t here to dissect which form of exercise is best — that varies by person and preference. However, the thing that derails the good intentions of exercise — in all its forms — is routine and consistency.

Aaptiv is one fitness and technology company who is looking to help. This fitness app seeks to help you work out when you want, where you want, and how you want. They provide unlimited access to thousands of audio-based fitness classes led by certified personal trainers, and their workout library offers a wide selection of categories, including running, yoga, strength training and more.

But, in a world saturated with fitness apps, what makes Aaptive unique? Are the virtual workouts they offer actually worth it?

Stick around as we seek to provide you with an honest review. 

The Aaptiv Journey

In a nutshell, Aaptiv is a fitness app that meshes structured workout programs with music.

Ok cool. How is it any different from hitting the gym while uploading your favorite tunes? 

Well, Aaptiv uses a personalized approach to fitness. It offers more than a mere calorie or distance tracker. But more on that in a minute.

Health and fitness app users peaked at over 87 million in 2020, current forecasts project this trend to keep up steam.

Aaptiv is the brainchild of Ethan Agarwal and it first hit the fitness app scene in 2016. Discouraged by the lack of fitness app options, Ethan developed Aaptiv as an audio and video-based fitness app, complete with personalized fitness instruction.

It provides a unique opportunity for those looking for extra motivation without having to break the bank on a personal trainer. It is made for all sorts of fitness levels and workout types, from the early morning runner to the after-work yoga devotee.

It offers something for fitness novices and experts alike.

What We Like:

  • You can choose from thousands of workouts among multiple workout categories.
  • They are constantly adding more workout classes.
  • The Aaptiv Coach feature tailors workouts to your preferences.
  • Expert guidance from real personal trainers is available.
  • Strong user community helps build and keep motivation strong.
  • Convenience; workouts can be accessed anytime and anywhere. 

What We Like Don’t Like:

  • Trial period defaults to a yearly subscription, rather than monthly.
  • Background music can drown out trainer instructions.
  • Lacks a strong focus on nutritional aspects of health.

Let’s take a closer look at this popular fitness app. 

How Aaptiv Works

Aaptiv relies on a personalized approach to fitness. Users of all stripes can enjoy what it has to offer, whether you are looking to crush weight loss goals, run longer distances, or simply maintain your level of fitness — you worked hard on those abs and you intend on keeping them around.

The app is built to help meet you where you are in your fitness journey. Your workouts are tailored around your goals and your workout preferences. It provides a wide range of workouts, from beginner to advanced, and offers a wide selection of workout routines from complete training programs to short mini-sessions.

Workouts are trainer-led and coupled with motivating music to keep you firing on all cylinders.

Between the Aaptiv community, the coaches, and the workout challenges, we found no lack of motivation and moral support.

Getting Started with Aaptiv

We found the fitness evaluation to be painless. It required three easy steps: 

Step 1. Fitness Goals

You start by providing a little information about your fitness goals, this is to better personalize the right workout programs. We had three options: Lose weight, run farther, or get stronger. Next, we were asked about our fitness level: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

We did feel that this question could use a little more explanation. But, it is subjective for a reason. At the end of the day, select what you feel best describes you. We went with Intermediate.

You will also be asked about average workout time and your favorite types of workouts; e.g. outdoor running, treadmill, yoga, strength training, and more.

Aaptiv also asks about your music preferences, ranging from pop to rock and nearly everything in between.

Don’t worry, you can choose more than one — we did!

Step 2. Choosing Workouts

After you have officially signed up you are able to choose your workouts. These are based on trainers, duration, music, and workout preference.

Step 3. Start Sweating

The last step is easy (well, maybe not easy). After you’ve chosen your workout, it’s time to slap on your headphones while the trainers guide you.

Types of Workouts

These workouts are audio and video-based, so make sure you have a decent set of headphones. Each is guided by a professional trainer. If you come across a workout that you aren’t familiar with, don’t sweat it, most feature helpful video demonstrations to set you on the right track.

The Aaptiv Coach program creates workouts based on your fitness level, taken from the information you provided during the initial fitness evaluation.

We found it easy to browse the workout library, too. This is a great feature, especially if you feel the need to take your workouts up a notch. What’s great is the fact that these are workouts you can take with you anywhere.

Stuck on a business trip? No worries, these workouts can be done indoors or out, at home or on the road. Well, not on the road (unless you're running) — but you get the point.

What type of workouts does Aaptiv offer?

With the Aaptiv app you have access to a vast library of workouts. They can be filtered at any time based on preference. 

Here are some of the categories:

  • Treadmill
  • Strength training 
  • Outdoor running
  • Elliptical training
  • Indoor cycling
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Stair climbing 
  • Pilates
  • Meditation
  • Barre

Some of these workouts can be targeted to individual muscle groups or the full body. They range in duration from 3 minutes all the way up to 2 hours or more.

We found the 30-minute workouts to be the sweet spot for just starting out.

Specialty Workout Programs

What we really loved about Aaptiv is the fact that they also offered specialty programs, tailored to specific workout goals:

  • Maintain Your Weight Loss
  • Intro to Weight Loss
  • Maternity workouts
  • Cross-Train to 5K
  • Walk to Run One Mile

The last option is really neat, especially for those that are new to working out. Crushing your first mile run is a huge milestone for many (pun intended).

Tracking Statistics

The app also tracks your fitness statistics, such as duration, frequency, distances, and calories burned. But, keep in mind, calories burned are merely estimations.

Who are the Aaptiv trainers?

All instructor-led trainers are professionals. According to Aaptiv, their trainers hold various certifications from organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the International Sports Science Association (ISSA). They feature five Master Trainers, resident trainers, and guest trainers.

Enjoy Team Challenges

One of the biggest obstacles to working out and exercising consistently is motivation. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re on your own, which is why we love Aaptiv’s Team Challenges.

Simply put, you are more likely to reach your goals when you have accountability — and friendly competition.

Their team challenges usually began on Monday for each week. Once you join the challenge it will show up as a weekly goal. We found it easy to join straight from the app. You will be divided among teams, each competing against one another for the week.

These challenges include:

  • First 5K
  • Fastest 5K
  • 20 for 20 (20 workouts that completed in 20 minutes)

We found the Team Challenges to be both fun and supportive. It feels good being part of a team striving towards a common goal. 

Oh, and good news for all you overachievers out there: You can join more than one Team Challenge for the week.

Pricing and Subscription

Aaptiv is a subscription-based app that is available for both Apple and Google Play. You can sign up through the app or on their website.

You have two options for subscription:

  • Monthly at $14.99
  • Yearly at $99.99

The yearly subscription boasts 45 percent savings in case you missed it.

These subscriptions renew automatically, but you can cancel at any time without having to pay — as long as you do so 48 hours before the renewal date.

Aaptiv offers users a 7-day free trial before committing, which is typical for fitness apps (and just about everything nowadays, are we right?). We personally wish the period were longer —  14 days allows much more time to get into the swing of things, especially a workout-based experience.

But a word of caution, once the trial has ended, you will automatically be subscribed to the yearly plan. So, make sure you cancel by day 5 if you don’t want to continue.

Benefits and Drawbacks

We understand that no service is perfect — with all things, there were things we really liked and things we think could be improved. Here are a few of the benefits and drawbacks that stood out to us.

Benefits

We love how Aaptiv is both personalized yet adaptable. The initial setup is made to fit your fitness level and your goals. It does this pretty well. The algorithm seemed to hit the mark nicely for us, but the real beauty is the fact that you can modify your workouts whenever you choose. You’re not locked in, and that’s a nice feature.

Also, the Aaptiv community is very welcoming and supportive — shoutout to you, Dave, we appreciated your kind words at our less-than-impressive running stats.

The app features a community feed where you can post fitness updates and give encouragement to others. Plus, if you want accountability, this app has it. It even allows you to set notifications on your phone to remind you of your fitness goals.

What’s great too is the fact that these workouts are always changing. They release about 40 new workouts a week — no need to stagnate. We agree with the research that fitness apps help promote physical activity. Overall, we found the Aaptiv app to be a great motivator.

These customers were certainly happy with their experience:

The app is fantastic. I absolutely loved the free trial and will definitely be signing up for a full subscription. Go for it, you won't regret it :)

—    Natasza, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

This app has all the right ingredients to help develop new fitness habits and support movement toward goals. I'm in my fifth week and still feeling refreshed and motivated beyond the novel, honeymoon period. Trainers are encouraging and the sessions fit EVERY combination of time, frequency, level, type of exercise. I highly recommend giving it a try!!

—    Julie, 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

Drawbacks

Now, for all its benefits there are a few things that we felt could be improved upon. While the workouts do provide video demonstrations, the workouts themselves are audio-based (you aren’t staring at the screen). This takes getting used to. Plus, referring back and forth to the workouts and the demonstrations can get a little annoying — at least initially. 

Also, although Aaptiv does feature some nutritional-related content (e.g. coaching you to drink enough water) it lacks a comprehensive nutritional focus. We understand that this app may not be made for this, but it would be nice to mesh it with some sort of nutritional tracker to make for a one-stop shop. 

Bottom Line

So, is Aaptiv worth it? Are these virtual workouts all they’re cracked up to be? 

We think so, but a fitness app like this will mostly be up to your personal preference for how you like to workout and maintain your fitness routine. For reference, we had 4 team members that really enjoyed the app, 2 that thought it was lacking in certain elements compared to other apps they have tried, and 1 that was indifferent. All in all, though Aaptiv isn’t perfect, it did deliver on its promises. 

We felt the personalized workout approach, the vast library of music and workouts, and the Aaptiv community set a high bar — making this fitness app more than worthy of consideration. 

Sources:

Workout App: Fitness Classes & Training Programs | Aaptiv 

• US. fitness app users 2022 | Statista

Find out how our audio and video guided fitness programs and workouts work | Aaptiv

Estimating Accuracy at Exercise Intensities: A Comparative Study of Self-Monitoring Heart Rate and Physical Activity Wearable Devices | Pub Med Central

About National Academy of Sports Medicine | NASM

Apps to promote physical activity among adults: a review and content analysis | Pub Med Central