Our relationship with fitness can sometimes feel like a never-ending soap opera — full of sweat, tears, and, hopefully, less drama. Whether you're a seasoned gym rat or the kind of person who considers moving the TV remote a workout, this post is for you.
From the magic of AI personal trainers to virtually breaking a sweat with strangers, fitness apps have revolutionized our workout regimes and made excuses like "the gym is too far" sound even lamer than they were in 2010.
In this article, we'll take a peek into the world of some seriously game-changing fitness apps in 2023, specifically tailored for those in yoga, combat training, and strength training that let you work on your fitness goals wherever you are and keep your workout routines feeling fresh and exciting.
The Overview of the Best Fitness Apps in 2023
- For the Athletic Overachievers: Nike Training Club
- For the Budget-Conscious Fitness Buffs: FitOn
- For the Mindful Movers: Alo Moves
- For the Apple Aficionados Who Flex: Apple Fitness Plus
- For the All-Rounder Fitness Seekers: 8fit
- For the Audio-Loving Athletes: Aaptiv
- For Aspiring Avengers: Centr, by Chris Hemsworth
- For the Anywhere, Anytime Athletes: Shred: Home & Gym Workout
- For your Mind: Headspace
- For Unleashing your Inner Warrior: AKA Thailand
1. For the Athletic Overachievers: Nike Training Club App (Free)
From the company synonymous with athletic achievement for decades comes an app that brings their expertise straight to your smartphone. The Nike Training Club is designed for fitness enthusiasts of all levels, whether you're a beginner who can't tell a squat from a lunge or a seasoned athlete looking for a high-intensity sweat session.
The best workout apps without cost? It's this one.
Yes, you read it right. Nike Training Club offers an extensive library of over 200 workouts at absolutely no cost. They've nailed the whole 'just do it' ethos down to the pricing with this intuitive interface that help keep workouts fun.
The app offers a comprehensive list of features that can make even the most crowded gyms jealous:
- Workout Library: Over 200 workouts, ranging from strength training and endurance to mobility and yoga. And they're all led by Nike Master Trainers.
- Personalized Plans: The app adjusts to your schedule, progress, and preferences. It's like having a personal trainer who’s always on call but minus the sweat-soaked high fives.
- Guidance & Tracking: Every workout comes with step-by-step visual and audio guidance. Plus, you can monitor your fitness activities and progress over time.
- Sync Your Workouts with Your Apple Watch: You can start workouts from your Apple Watch, and track your heart rate, calories burned, and other workout stats.
- Community: The app allows you to share your achievements and get motivation from the global Nike community.
However, as with everything, there are some cons to this free workout app. Here are some potential drawbacks you might want to consider:
- No live classes: While the app boasts a vast library of on-demand workouts, it doesn't offer live classes, which could be a letdown for those who crave real-time interaction.
- Limited advanced workouts: The app primarily caters to beginners and intermediate fitness levels. Advanced athletes might find the workout variety a bit lacking.
- Nutrition Guidance: While the app provides excellent workout plans, it falls short when it comes to providing nutrition advice, which is a crucial part of fitness.
- Basic tracking: The app offers basic fitness tracking features, but it's not as comprehensive as some other apps on the market.
2. For the Budget-Conscious Fitness Buffs: FitOn (Free)
Let's stick to highlighting the best free fitness apps with FitOn.
One of the highlights of FitOn is its wide array of workout options. From soothing yoga and pilates classes to heart-thumping HIIT, strength training, and even dance. Here, you've got a variety of fun workout videos to keep you motivated from week to week.
The app tries to cater to all fitness levels, from beginners just starting their journey to seasoned gym-goers looking for a new challenge — but we think this fitness app is more geared for beginner to intermediate workouts.
FitOn further ups the game by offering workouts led by celebrity trainers and even a few famous faces.
Who wouldn't want to get fit with Halle Berry or crunch abs with Kenta Seki? It’s like having a star-studded personal training session, all from the comfort of your living room.
Now let's dive into some of this app's features:
- Diverse Workouts: FitOn boasts a comprehensive library of video workouts for a wide range of fitness levels led by professional trainers and even a few celebrities.
- Personalized Plans: The app offers customized workout plans based on your goals, making it feel like having a personal trainer at your fingertips.
- Live & On-demand Classes: With FitOn, you can either join scheduled workouts live or select workouts on-demand to suit your schedule.
- Community: The FitOn community lets you invite friends to virtual workout parties, fostering a supportive and motivating fitness environment.
Despite the above pros, FitOn has its share of cons as well:
- Advertisements: While the app is completely free, it does come with in-app advertisements, which some users might find interruptive.
- Limited Advanced Workouts: Similar to other free apps, the advanced workout variety can be limited.
- No Offline Mode: Workouts are not available offline, which means you always need an internet connection, which isn't always ideal if you're someone who likes to take their fitness apps on their travels.
- Basic Nutrition: The app provides basic nutritional information, but it lacks detailed meal plans or diet advice, which could be a drawback for those looking to overhaul their eating habits along with their workouts.
3. For the Mindful Mover: Alo Moves (Paid)
If your fitness journey is more about mindful movements and achieving zen while breaking a sweat, then welcome to your nirvana: Alo Moves. This fitness app aims to create a holistic connection between mind, body, and soul through exercise, making it the perfect companion workout app for mindful movers everywhere.
While Alo Moves isn't the best free fitness app, for people who would rather take fitness into their own hands without a gym membership, the value far exceeds the cost. At $20 a month or $199 a year (€18.50/ €183.00), you get access to thousands of classes led by world-class instructors, with new ones added every week.
Alo Moves offers a feature-rich experience, some of which are:
- Expansive Library: It boasts an extensive array of classes, from yoga and meditation to strength, Pilates, and even skills-based classes like handstands and flexibility.
- Personalized Plans: You can choose from structured series and plans based on your goals and current skill level. So, whether you're a novice yogi or an advanced acrobat, Alo Moves has got you covered.
- Offline Access: The ability to download classes for offline use is a game changer for those in areas with dodgy internet connections or who like to take their workouts on the go.
- Community: The app lets you connect with other members of the Alo Moves community, share your journey, and stay inspired.
However, there are some potential cons to Alo Moves:
- Cost: While the features offered justify the cost for many, it could be a bit steep for those on a budget, especially compared to free or cheaper alternatives.
- No Live Classes: All classes are pre-recorded, which could be a bummer for those who enjoy the spontaneity and interaction of live sessions.
- Limited Non-Yoga Content: While the app does offer non-yoga classes, the content is heavily weighted towards yoga, which could be a drawback for those seeking a balanced mix of different workouts.
4. For the Apple Aficionados Who Flex: Apple Fitness Plus (Paid with Free Trial Period)
The Apple Fitness Plus app is perfectly suited for Apple aficionados who flex not just their muscles but their love for all things Apple.
From your iPhone to your Apple Watch, Apple Fitness Plus harnesses the power of Apple's tech ecosystem to elevate your workout experience.
At $9.99 a month or $79.99 a year (€9.20/ €73.50), Apple Fitness Plus integrates seamlessly with your existing Apple ecosystem.
But before you commit to paying for this workout app, you can try Apple Fitness Plus free for three months, which should give you enough time to get to know the app and its features.
Here are some of the standout features of Apple Fitness Plus:
- Diverse Workout Types: From HIIT and strength training to yoga and dance, there's something for everyone. And with new workouts added every week, your fitness routine will never get stale.
- Integration with Apple Watch: Apple Fitness Plus works in harmony with your Apple Watch, tracking your heart rate, calories burned, and more during your workouts. The metrics are even displayed on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV screen.
- Personalized Recommendations: The app offers workout suggestions based on what you usually do, pushing you just the right amount to keep you motivated and challenged.
- On-Demand Classes: Led by professional trainers, you can choose from a variety of on-demand classes that cater to all fitness levels.
While Apple Fitness Plus is a robust platform few fitness apps, there are a few cons to consider:
- Apple Ecosystem Dependent: The app is heavily reliant on Apple devices. You need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later and either an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to use it. So if you're not an Apple user, this isn't the fitness app for you.
- No Live Classes: Currently, the platform only offers pre-recorded classes and lacks the real-time interaction of live workouts.
- No Android Support: Sorry, Android users, Apple Fitness Plus is not available on your platform.
5. For the All-Rounder Fitness Seekers: 8fit (Free & Paid Plans)
Calling all fitness enthusiasts who want a bit of everything bundled into one neat package! If your health and fitness journey is as much about nutrition as it is about exercise, then 8fit is just the fitness data and app for you.
Now, before we dive in, let's talk costs.
8fit does offer a free version with limited features, but to unlock its full potential, you'll need to subscribe to the Pro version. The Pro version comes with a fee, which may vary depending on your region and any offers available at the time.
It's a full app that features a fantastic option for those who want a more personalized, holistic approach to fitness. However, the cost of the Pro version and the lack of live classes might not be for everyone. If you're looking for an all-around fitness partner that helps you break a sweat and eat right, 8fit might be just the app you need.
Here's a peek into the 8fit universe:
- Workouts + Meal Plans: 8fit offers a holistic approach to fitness, providing both workouts and meal plans tailored to your fitness goals. From shedding a few pounds to gaining muscle, 8fit offers comprehensive guidance.
- Customization: The app customizes your fitness and meal plans based on your specific needs, fitness level, dietary preferences, and goals.
- No Equipment Necessary: Most of the workouts on 8fit require no equipment, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer to exercise at home or are always on the go.
- Short and Effective: The workouts on 8fit are short, typically ranging from 5 to 20 minutes, but don't let that fool you. They're designed to be intense and effective.
Despite its great features, 8fit does have a few potential drawbacks:
- Cost of Pro Version: While the Pro version offers extensive features, the cost might be a bit steep for some, especially when compared to other free or cheaper alternatives.
- No Live Classes: Currently, 8fit only offers pre-recorded workouts, so those who prefer live, interactive sessions might be disappointed.
- Limited Advanced Workouts: While 8fit is great for beginners and intermediates, advanced fitness enthusiasts might find the workouts a bit lacking in challenge.
6. For the Audio-Loving Athletes: Aaptiv (Paid)
In the mood for a fitness app that talks the talk and walks the walk?
Aaptiv is a unique fitness app that brings a fresh take to the realm of fitness with its audio-guided workouts. While its audio-only format might not suit everyone, for those who prefer verbal motivation and guidance, it's an excellent choice. So, if you're ready to plug in your headphones and get moving, Aaptiv might just be the app you've been looking for.
When it comes to cost, Aaptiv isn't a freebie. The app offers a subscription model at a cost that may vary depending on your location and any promotional deals that may be available at the time. The regular price for a monthly subscription is $14.99, and you can save by purchasing a year (like most fitness apps) for $99.99 (€13.80/€92.00).
Here's what you can expect from Aaptiv:
- Audio-Guided Workouts: Aaptiv provides audio-guided workouts across a wide range of activities - from running and strength training to yoga and meditation. You get a trainer in your ear, motivating you and guiding you through your workout. It's like having a personal trainer without the personal trainer price tag.
- Diverse Workout Library: With thousands of workouts in its library and more added every week, Aaptiv offers something for everyone, regardless of fitness level or preferred workout style.
- Customizable Plans: Whether you're training for a marathon or looking to improve your flexibility, Aaptiv offers customizable plans to suit your individual goals.
- Music That Motivates: Workouts are paired with music that matches the tempo and vibe of the exercise, keeping you motivated and engaged throughout your session.
But no app is perfect, and Aaptiv has its potential cons:
- No Visual Guidance: Being an audio-only app, Aaptiv doesn't provide any visual guidance for exercises. This might be a challenge for beginners who are unfamiliar with certain moves or forms.
- Cost: While the features offered are extensive, the subscription cost might be a bit steep for some, especially compared to other cheaper or free alternatives.
7. For Aspiring Avengers: Centr, by Chris Hemsworth (Paid)
So, you've always wanted to train like Thor? Well, grab your mythical hammer and brace yourself because Centr, by Chris Hemsworth, offers you just that.
Before you jump into the godly workout regimen, let's discuss the cost. Centr comes with a subscription price tag, which can be all over the map because of the sales offered. Typically a monthly subscription comes at a pretty steep price tag of $29.99 (€27.50), making the $120 annual plan (€110.50) a more appealing option. Remember, even gods need to budget.
Centr offers a comprehensive, personalized weight training and fitness program that's hard to resist, especially for Chris Hemsworth fans.
Here's what Centr has in store for you:
- Celebrity Training Regimes: Centr is backed by Chris Hemsworth himself and his team of fitness experts. So, if you've ever dreamed of having Thor as your personal trainer, your prayers to Asgard have been answered.
- Holistic Fitness Approach: The app covers not just workouts but also nutrition and mindfulness, offering a holistic approach to health and fitness.
- Personalized Programs: With Centr, one size doesn't fit all. The app tailors your workout and diet plans according to your fitness level and goals.
- Wide Range of Workouts: Whether it's strength training, HIIT, yoga, or boxing, Centr has you covered.
But even with Hemsworth's charm, Centr has a few potential drawbacks:
- Cost: The price point might be a little steep for some users, especially considering the wide range of free or cheaper fitness apps available.
- Overwhelming for Beginners: With its celebrity-endorsed programs, Centr might be a bit intimidating for beginners or those new to fitness.
8. For the Anywhere, Anytime Athletes: Shred: Home & Gym Workout (Paid with Free Trial) )
Are you in search of daily workouts that meet your fitness needs, whether you're surrounded by barbells or using your own body weight? If so, let me introduce you to Shred: Home & Gym Workout, your versatile fitness companion that won't take no for an answer.
Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let's talk about the elephant in the room: cost.
Shred does offer a free version with limited features. However, to access the full arsenal of workout and training plans here, you'll need to subscribe to the premium version, which costs $12.99 per month or $99.99 annually (€12.00/€92.00). And if you're not ready to commit just yet, don't sweat it. Shred offers a seven-day trial to help you dip your toes in before you dive in headfirst.
Here's what Shred brings to the table:
- Flexible Workouts: Shred lives up to its name, offering robust workout plans for both home and gym settings. Whether you've got a fully-stocked home gym or just your living room floor, Shred has got you covered.
- Variety: With a wide range of workout styles, including weightlifting, cardio, and bodyweight training, Shred ensures your fitness routine is anything but routine.
- Customizable Plans: Your fitness goals are unique, and your workout plan should be too. Shred offers customizable workout plans based on your personal goals, fitness level, and available equipment.
- Track Your Progress: Stay motivated and adjust your workout plan as needed with Shred's progress-tracking feature.
But, of course, no fitness app is perfect. Here are a few potential downsides of Shred:
- Premium Cost: Shred's best features are behind a paywall, and while the cost of $12.99 per month or $99.99 annually might not break the bank for some, it could be a deal-breaker for others, especially with cheaper or free alternatives available.
- Complexity for Beginners: For those new to fitness, the variety and intensity of workouts Shred offers might be a bit much to handle.
9. For Your Mind: Headspace (Paid with Free Trail)
Have you ever thought of giving your mind a bit of a workout? Well, our next contender isn't about helping you lose weight or getting you ready for beach season, or prepping you for a marathon. Nope. This one's all about your brain. Enter Headspace, your mental fitness training ground.
Headspace is a subscription-based service with a monthly $13.55 plan or an annual fee of $67.80 (€12.50/ €62.50).
But for those of you who are a little hesitant, they offer a 7-day free trial to test the waters.
Headspace offers a comprehensive platform to explore and enhance your mental fitness. The cost might be a tad high for some, but considering the value it provides in enhancing mental well-being, it could be worth every penny.
After all, isn't it time we gave our minds the same attention we give our bodies? So, get ready to dive deep into the realm of your mind with Headspace. Breathe in, breathe out, and let the mental workout begin.
So, what's the buzz about Headspace?
- Mental Workouts: Headspace offers a variety of guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, and sleep aid resources to help you maintain and improve your mental fitness.
- Tailored Content: The app provides personalized plans based on your goals, be it reducing stress, improving focus, or getting better sleep.
- Ease of Use: The app is user-friendly, with easy navigation and a clean interface, so even if you're new to meditation, you'll find your zen in no time.
- Learn at Your Pace: With a vast library of content, you can go as slow or as fast as you want, making it perfect for both beginners and experienced meditators.
But Headspace isn't for everyone, and here are a few potential cons:
- Cost: Though it provides value for money with its extensive features, the subscription cost may be a bit steep for some.
- Limited Free Content: The free version of Headspace provides only basic content, and you might have to upgrade to access the full suite of features.
10. For Unleashing your Inner Warrior: AKA Thailand (Paid with Free Trial Period)
Touted as the world's first sports combat luxury training resort, AKA Thailand has completely revolutionized the idea of a fitness getaway. Nestled in the tropical paradise of Phuket, Thailand, it takes the raw, intense world of combat sports and marries it with luxury, comfort, and the unrivaled beauty of its surroundings.
The resort, built by original AKA team member and two-time UFC coach of the year Mike "Quick" Swick, offers top-notch training facilities for Muay Thai, MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and more. It's a place where beginners can get a taste of combat sports and where professionals can perfect their craft under the guidance of some of the best trainers in the world.
The launch of their app in 2023 meant that this world-class training experience was no longer confined to the physical boundaries of the resort. Now, anyone, anywhere in the world, can learn from AKA Thailand's renowned trainers, join live training sessions, and get exclusive access to events and seminars, all at the touch of a button.
For a monthly fee of $19.99 or an annual premium subscription of $199.99 (€18.40/ €184.00), you get the chance to experience the raw, adrenaline-fuelled world of combat training right at your fingertips.
Not ready to commit just yet? They've got you covered with a 3-day free trial. You can visit the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to get started.
Here's a look at what AKA Thailand offers:
- Live Training: The app allows you to tune into live streams where you can watch training sessions, seminars, and exclusive events. It's like being in a professional training camp without the risk of actual bodily harm.
- Expert Guidance: You get hot tips and strategies to boost your training and performance, shared by world-renowned AKA Thailand Muay Thai and MMA trainers.
- Comprehensive Techniques: The app is an invaluable resource for both beginners and seasoned fighters, teaching everything from basic moves to more comprehensive techniques.
While AKA Thailand's offerings are impressive, it does have a few potential downsides:
- Specialized Focus: The app focuses exclusively on combat training, particularly Muay Thai and MMA. This specialized focus might not appeal to those seeking more variety or softer forms of exercise.
- Cost: While the features offered are extensive, the app's cost might be a bit steep for some, especially compared to free or cheaper alternatives.
- Timezone Dependency: The live training and events are likely scheduled according to Thailand's time zone, which might be inconvenient for international users.
The Takeaway: Find Your Favorite Workout App
Your fitness journey isn't just limited to your local gym or living room anymore. The vast world of fitness apps, including Nike Training Club, FitOn, Alo Moves, Apple Fitness Plus, 8fit, Aaptiv, Centr, Shred, and of course, our favorite mental workout hub, Headspace, brings the whole experience directly to you, wherever you are.
But we're taking it a step further. In our quest to make fitness an exhilarating experience, we've partnered with the world-renowned sports combat luxury training resort, AKA Thailand.
For those who dream of immersive, global fitness experiences, we offer exclusive training camp excursions to Thailand. Immerse yourself in the culture, the scenery, and of course, world-class training sessions.
However, we understand that packing up for Thailand isn't on everyone's immediate agenda.
That's why AKA Thailand is coming to you with its newly launched app. Now, you can train like a Muay Thai fighter or an MMA athlete from the comfort of your own home. With live streams, exclusive events, fitness classes, and tips from top trainers, you'll experience a slice of Thailand wherever you are.
Remember, the best fitness app is all about what works for you, whether it's a ten-minute HIIT workout, a calming yoga session, or a high-intensity boxing class from halfway across the world.
So, stop reading, start downloading, and embark on the fitness journey that best suits you. The only bad workout, after all, is the one that didn't happen. Let's get moving!