Based on my highly-scientific Instagram poll, most of you have never tried Aaptiv. If you’ve also never heard of Aaptiv, let me start there. It’s a monthly subscription fitness app that makes it easy for you to workout anytime, anywhere.
I am a cheapskate, so I’m always skeptical of paying for anything that I could ostensibly find for free elsewhere on the internet. Lord knows there is no shortage of free workouts, and I’ve tried a lot of them. Tone It Up didn’t work for me (read why here), apps that just gave me a series of moves to do were too boring, and I could never find an app with enough variety.
In the spirit of full disclosure, they reached out to me to see if I would be interested in blogging about the app after giving it a 30-day trial. Anyone can sign up on the website and get a free trial so it’s not like I got a screaming good deal. And more importantly, I’ve actually used it for the last three weeks and really love it.
So what’s so great about it? Three things, above all.
1. Super-customizable search.
Sometimes, I want to work out for 10 minutes. Sometimes I want to do some yoga that’s difficult enough to “count” as a workout. Sometimes I want to workout without going to the gym but I want to focus on arms and I want to work out for 30 minutes and I want to listen to rap while I do it.
With Aaptiv, you can get that specific thanks to the app’s really well-done search function.
You can filter by duration and difficulty level, plus there’s tons of categories to choose from – outdoor running, indoor cardio, strength training, etc. All of the classes are recorded by personal trainers who are really engaging. My personal favorite is Ackeem, who has almost convinced me to delete my blog about there being no way to avoid treadmill boredom because his treadmill workout was THAT good.
2. Beginner actually means beginner.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by an activity designated “for beginners.” *Raises hand*
Before using Aaptiv, I had been working out and running regularly…until a week off for vacation turned into a month off for bronchitis. I wanted to ease back into things, so I tentatively tried a beginner treadmill workout on Aaptiv. It was the perfect amount of challenge and I finished the class feeling triumphant instead of the classic “oh wow I flushed all my running ability down the toilet while I was sick.”
The same goes for the beginner yoga classes I tried. Not only were they truly beginner-appropriate when it came to difficulty, but the trainers suggest further modifications while also encouraging you to push yourself.
On the other hand, the upper levels are no joke! I tried an intermediate class and finished it feeling like death was imminent. That was three days ago and I’m just starting to be able to walk normally again.
3. Positive reinforcement only.
I loved that Aaptiv tracked how many minutes I worked out that week and suggested other workouts I might like…but they also never sent me one of those “Hey, you haven’t worked out in a while!” notifications, which I hate.
I already struggle with a lot of self-imposed guilt and negative thoughts about working out “enough” each week, and any time an app is like, “Hey we haven’t seen you in a while!” it just makes me feel like 💩 and actually motivates me to not use the app (out of spite? I don’t know).
DuoLingo isn’t a fitness app, but there is actually no worse feeling than when I get the “These reminder notifications don’t seem to be working so we’ll stop sending them” message. Their little green owl says that and suddenly I’m questioning who I am as a person and how I could have possibly become such a failure.
Deep dive into my anxiety aside, I love that Aaptiv keeps things positive. Even during workouts, especially the beginner ones, there’s an emphasis on doing what’s right for you and being proud of yourself for working out that day, no matter how long or short the time.
Aaptiv is available to download in the App Store and Google Play. The subscription is $14.99 a month, or you can save a bit by paying annually. I think the subscription is worth it because they’re constantly adding new classes, and the quality of the app is just far and away better than all the others I’ve tried. Plus, my gym membership is hella cheap (thanks Denver Parks and Recreation!) which made it an easy choice to spend a few more bucks on working out.
Aaptiv also helped me try a few new things, like yoga to the tune of Destiny’s Child’s greatest hits (I love DC, but I actually find it really weird to be trying to zen out while Survivor blasted). There’s something for everyone on Aaptiv, but most importantly there’s something for beginners.
This post contains affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything extra. It means Aaptiv gives me a very small cut of your subscription cost, which helps support this website (hosting the OB ain’t free). Happy Aaptiv-ing!