If you’re looking for a home workout routine, this review compares the audio fitness app Aaptiv versus the Nordictrack built-in program iFit.
Aaptiv versus iFit
In the past, I have never been one to enjoy home workouts. I much preferred going to the gym to do cardio machines and classes and (of course) socialize. Generally I need someone coaching me through a workout or I’m just not going to push myself very hard. I only really did home workouts while traveling or when the weather was particularly bad using YouTube or an old DVD.
Since getting a treadmill and buying a year-long subscription to the audio coaching mobile app Aaptiv, I started to LOVE the convenience of having a machine that could really make me sweat just off of our family room. I bought a set of 15 pound dumbbells for strength days, and I now look forward to my home workouts. The key for me was the treadmill. I can only run so many 5-foot long sprints back and forth across my living room. On the treadmill I can run really fast and get my heart pumping out of my chest. (You won’t find me running a full marathon on one any time soon though – I prefer sprits!) The combination of a treadmill PLUS the coached workouts from the Aaptiv app led to me loving home workouts.
I have talked about my home workouts thus far. Posts about easing back into fitness after having a baby, an update on feeling normal, a nap time circuit workout, my new treadmill review, and a few Aaptiv workout favorites sprinkled in.
As you saw in my treadmill review post, I bought a NordicTrack C 990, which came with a built-in video screen and a free year of iFit. Since starting a treadmill routine, I have been using both Aaptiv and iFit and loving both for different reasons. None of this is sponsored by the brands – just me sharing my experience using both!
What is Aaptiv?
Aaptiv is a subscription-based audio fitness app for your phone with over 2,500 workouts and fitness classes. The workouts range from outdoor runs, treadmill, strength with weights or bodyweight, elliptical, cycling, stretching, yoga, and meditation. The trainers walk you through them, motivating you and telling you exactly what to do. You can filter the workouts to find what you need like “Strength, Upper body, Pop music, Less than 20 mins.”
How Much Does Aaptiv Cost Per Month?
A monthly subscription is $14.99 (which I think is high!) A year is $99. And if you can find a coupon (they emailed me on!) you can get it for $59.99 like I did. Per their website: “Aaptiv delivers the highest quality fitness and health information from personal trainers and industry experts.” They also offer really good customer service via chat support.
- Great searchability. Choose a workout based on what you’re in the mood for in just minutes.
- Great music!!! The music is loud and prominent.
- Take it anywhere. No equipment needed. Use it at the gym or at home!
- HUGE variety of workouts and never-gets-old selection.
- Save workouts as favorites and do them again and again.
- I’ve used it for outdoor runs and got a great workout.
- You can’t see a history of workouts you’ve completed or rated. There’s no way to know if you’ve done one before (unless you manually save it to a list.)
- There is no way to see what’s coming up (which is only a con because it’s a pro on iFit!)
- You can’t see the playlist in advance. Wish you could!
Does Aaptiv Work With Apple Watch?
You can control the workouts with your Apple Watch, but only in a basic pause/unpause way. Once you get the workout going though, there isn’t much need to interact with the app. I always use the workouts app and track my heart rate, distance, and time. It’s nice to go hand in hand with Aaptiv though, especially if your trainer is talking about RPE.
Why I Love It
Because like a good recipe, it’s more fun to do other people’s workouts. The coaches are so motivating and filled with positive encouragement, quotes, etc. They keep me very entertained! I push myself harder than I would alone. The variety of workouts is great, and I sometimes will string two to three short workouts together to make one long one (like upper body strength, lower body strength, yoga.) Since getting my new treadmill with iFit, I haven’t been using Aaptiv for running anymore, and I use it mostly for strength and bootcamp classes.
What is it?
A subscription-based video app that is used exclusively with iFit compatible cardio machines (like the treadmill, ellipical, bikes, etc). Classes are led by coaches who lead the workout, motivation you and automatically adjust your speed and incline, which means there is no cheating! (Although you can override the workout at any time.) There are tons and tons of workouts filmed all over the world in exotic locations plus studio classes that feel like you’re in a boutique studio. (And indoor cycling for bikes that are connected). You join programs and assign them to a calendar and when you hop on your machine the day’s workout is waiting for you.
What does it cost?
I am pretty sure if you purchase any iFit compatible machine you get a free year. Otherwise it’s $15 a month or $180 a year for a single membership.
- The automatic changes to your speed and incline are AMAZING. Whether you’re hiking a mountain in Hawaii or running with others in a treadmill studio, it’s so, so great not to have to touch your machine, especially if you’re running fast intervals!
- I love the screen setup and that you can see a little graph of your incline and speed to know what’s coming up. This is especially helpful on interval days when you need to know how many sprint intervals you have left until you’re done!
- Many of the workouts are stung together into a series challenge that you do over the course of a few weeks or months. I love that you “get to know” your trainer, what to expect, and don’t have to find a new workout each morning (unless you want to!) Some of the series are in the same location each day and others are all over the world – like “10 Days On Beaches” and you run on a different beach everyday. I’ve been doing the French Polynesia Fast & Fit Series, which is 24 workouts with trainer John Peel that alternates between four kinds of workouts: interval runs, endurance runs, sprints with a bootcamp segment, and hill climb hikes. I love that each day gets a little bit harder, so you really feel like you’re getting faster and stronger. The continuity has made me really look forward to my workout everyday and see what “surprises” John has in store. Like when he took us to a private estate and then he jumped in the pool! (I might do this whole program again sometime I’ve enjoyed it that much!)
- It sounds like a cheesy pitch to say “you’ll travel all over the world” but it’s TRUE! I really do feel like I’ve spent time in Bora Bora now, and I can tell you all kinds of fun facts about the islands; like Tahiti is where tattoos were invented!
- The visuals are so pretty, and I took me a long time to figure out how they were recording the workouts because the camera stays SO steady! I accidentally saw a shadow once and there is another person with a camera on his/her head who is following the coach. They use drones and maps, and the quality is awesome.
- You have to own an iFit compatible machine, so that’s obviously very limiting and cost prohibitive to most.
- The music is practically non-existent. This hasn’t really been a problem for me because I am working so hard I have my coach as my motivation, but it’s something to note if you have to have beats to get motivated.
- The iFit library is VERY poorly organized, and it took me a long time to figure out that I had to join a program and then it would add to my calendar. While I have grown to love the fact that my workouts are organized in a calendar, it would be nice if iFit also offered an easy way to search and save workouts to do in the future. From a DM I had with their team, it sounds like that improvement is in the works.
- I have no idea how my coach decided that a jog for me is 5.0, a run is 6.0, a fast run is 7-7.5 and a sprint is 8.0/8.2 but they nailed it. The speeds are perfectly challenging for me. Which might not be so great if you are slower or faster than me! I don’t think you can change them other than overriding the workout, which takes out the automatic change feature. It would be nice if you could enter in your own levels, but then you might be tempted to make your actual run your sprint so you wouldn’t be as challenged! I’m not sure but it’s something to note.
- As far as I know, you can only play the workouts on an iFit machine screen or when your phone is connected via Bluetooth. You can’t just play the videos without having a machine, which would be nice for the bootcamp style ones. There are a couple different iFit apps that I downloaded and was disappointed when they didn’t do much and couldn’t play off-machine workouts for me. I guess you have to play the strength workouts through your machine (I could be wrong about that..)
Why I Love It
Never have I been so excited about my workouts every morning! I think a big part of this is the surprise effect of not knowing what to expect each morning combined with the fact that I just love beaches, even virtual ones! I don’t think I’d love it quite so much if the workouts took place in cold, cloudy locations (like Charlottesville – haha!)
Aaptiv versus iFit: Which One Is Best?
I think the answer is easy: get both! You’ll live your healthiest life. But if you don’t have an iFit machine, Aaptiv is awesome! I love them both and use them both for different kinds of workouts, but ultimately I think the iFit experience is the best home workout I’ve ever done. I’ve been using iFit for treadmill running during the week while Birch naps and Aaptiv for outdoor runs, strength, yoga, and workouts on the go! I imagine I’ll use Aaptiv more often for outdoor runs as the weather warms up. Aaptiv has a great free trial so you can try it out first – that’s what got me hooked to start!