10 Jul 2017
It’s a battle with the self above all else, but external factors definitely play a large part. Work, study, family and even the weather all impact our ability to maintain a regular fitness regimen.
It can be difficult to make exercise a part of your routine. However, new technology and evolving training methods are making it easier than ever before. One of the biggest changes to hit the fitness industry recently is the prevalence of mobile apps.
There are a number of benefits to using mobile apps. They can monitor your activity during workouts, track your progress over the long term and help keep your head in the game. There aren’t many things more motivating than looking back and seeing the progress you’ve made, and then getting keen for future fitness goals.
There are plenty of free mobile apps available on both Android and iOS. However, there is also a rising number of online fitness apps that require a paid monthly subscription. It can be difficult to decide whether or not a free app will get you where you want to be, or whether it’s worth paying for a subscription to access a few extra features.
We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular paid online fitness apps to get an idea of whether they’re really worth it.
So, when it comes to paid monthly subscriptions for fitness apps, which ones are really worth shelling out for? Here are a few options. Most come with a basic free version, but allow you to make microtransactions or pay a monthly subscription for additional features.
Most people don’t relish the idea of a cardio workout. Aaptiv’s mission is to turn that around and make cardio fun again. Aaptiv combines high-energy cardio workouts with the type of music that gets you moving.
Aaptiv provides a range of workout options, from standard gym cardio equipment to rapid, high intensity workouts as short as seven minutes long. They cover a bit of everything, including running, cycling and climbing.
Aaptiv has a built-in music library, with a wide variety of playlists designed by their in-house instructors that are specifically matched to the differing levels of intensity in their workouts. Aaptiv also has a stable of athletes working as trainers to ensure that their product is thoroughly aligned with peoples’ needs, providing motivation at pivotal moments during workouts.
The Damage: $9.99 per month.
Sworkit is a flexible training app designed for people of all fitness levels. They’ve got over 50 workouts available, from a daily stretch workout to advanced full body workouts. Getting started, you’ll choose from four basic goals: getting leaner, fitter, stronger or getting more variety in your workouts.
From there, you’ll begin a six week program based on your fitness level. They give you a load of body weight exercise options, which means you don’t necessarily need a gym membership. If you’re fairly experienced, you can develop your own custom workouts using the app.
The premium option offers more features, including guided plans, HIIT exercises, more custom options, and fewer ads.
The Damage: $7.99 per month.
Hot5 was developed by Weight Watchers, but takes a very different direction to the main brand. A large aspect of its focus is still on losing weight, but it adds a whole lot more. They employ a few highly qualified trainers to help you hit goals varying from power conditioning to flexibility and functional strength.
Hot5 has a huge range of workouts available, from five minutes to 45 minutes in length. Hot5 Premium allows you to favourite workouts and create playlists that suit your own particular routine.
The Damage: $1.99 - $7.99
There are some obvious benefits to upgrading to the paid version of many of these apps. Most fitness apps will have a free version that is fairly decent, but they are usually designed to make you sign up for the premium version.
The obvious benefits are the huge library of workouts, music, custom plans and more that become available when you upgrade. If you’re serious about pursuing your fitness goals, having these resources at your fingertips will make things immensely easier.
As an added bonus, most paid versions remove the ads that keep the free versions afloat – which certainly makes workouts a little more bearable.
Of course, it’s not all positive. There are a few significant drawbacks to shelling out for paid subscriptions to online fitness apps.
The most obvious disadvantage is cost. While it usually isn’t an exorbitant amount, it’s also money that could be spent elsewhere, such as some new workout gear or fresh produce to keep your nutrition above board.
Another significant drawback of these paid subscriptions is externalising responsibility. For many people, it’s easy enough to spend money to achieve a sense of satisfaction in the pursuit of their fitness goals. When you go out and buy fitness gear, or sign up for a paid online fitness app, you feel like you’re doing something to achieve your goals.
If you want to get a paid fitness app, make sure you can follow your own plan for a month in advance, otherwise, you’ll be paying for something you won’t even use.
Ultimately, what matters is what works for you. If you need the assistance of an app (and let’s be honest, they can be very handy), then that might be the right path for you. If, on the other hand, you’ve got the experience and know-how to guide your own workouts, then you’ll be fine without a workout designed by a stranger on the other side of the world.
In addition, don’t forget to stay on top of your nutrition! The apps we’ve listed cover workouts, which is only half the battle. There are plenty of other options out there that will help you track your food, caloric intake and macros. If you’re struggling to maintain healthy eating habits, that might be the place to start.
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