Is the iPhone workout the new workout? Personalized, private and catered to busy lifestyles, there certainly are a lot of pros to iPhone app workouts- but isn’t the whole point of working out to show off your new Swell water bottle, flawless yoga crop and swag yoga gear? With permanent food comas post Thanksgiving and official Netflix and chill weather in full swing, now’s as good a time as any to stay on top of your fitness game but admittedly, gathering up the motivation to go to the gym when it’s freezing outside really takes dedication (let’s be real). So I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and put 4 workout apps ( courtesy of the App Store) to the test. Here’s what happened.
#1. Skyfit– I really wanted to love this app. Promises of perfect playlists, a quote from a Refinery29 editor raving about it, customizable workouts and world-class trainers. Personally, I fell for the hype and downloaded right away but was surprised when this app fell short of expectations shortly thereafter.
Thoughts: Were the trainers amazing? eh. I tried a cardio class and as it was lacking a visual component, (aka no video just audio of the trainers), I got lost at times and it was hard to follow (so no, it’s not the same as a boutique fitness class), and also depending on the instructor who’s teaching the class his/her voice can be more annoying than motivational. I wasn’t feeling the elliptical class at all so I thought I would try my luck at
Also a not-so-cool feature, it forces you to take out a trial within the app in order to access the classes and you can’t cancel the subscription until it’s nearing the end of the 7th day. So unless you’re a diligent human being who remembers to set a calendar reminder, you’ll likely forget you even took out a free trial an get conned into paying for at least one month of this app which is about the same price as a low-key gym such as Blink or Planet Fitness.
Good news is I emailed customer service and they directed me to the sneaky subscription I had taken out via the Apple store (disaster avoided.)
#2. Zova– All I could’ve asked for.. and more.
Pros: Helpful step-by-step videos allow you to preview each workout and guide you through each step. I like the diverse array of workouts (for ab day, leg day etc.) and it’s way easier than looking at workout steps off of Pinterest. Other cool features include a built in timer and countdown (so you can keep track of how many reps you’re actually doing!)
Cons: some of the workouts are “locked” and some are free. I wish that they were all free but there’s a handful of free ones to choose from and the user experience is super positive overall
Good for: handy workouts for mixing up your gym routine or getting a good sweat from the comfort of your home with little to no equipment needed! Everything I would’ve hoped for- and more
#.3 8Fit– After a slightly awkward registration process (the app makes you enter your height, weight, and estimated percentage of body fat which I completely ball-parked btw.) Then it asks you to tap the stock image that you feel like accurately represents your body fat percentage (questionable..) and then decide on your personalized goals and the estimated amount of time needed to get there.
Pros: The app caters to you, and tells you based on your goals how many days approximately you need to work out and “follow a healthy diet” compared to how fast you want to see results (e.g. “If you wanted to lose 2 lbs in a month you should go to the gym 5 days a week and follow a healthy diet always” as if I didn’t know that already..)
Cons: It asks you if you want guidance for a meal plan. recipes and healthy eating tips but later drops the bomb that that’s only available with a paid subscription. Similarly, there’s a few too many shameless plugs within the apps nagging you to upgrade to a monthly subscription plan. Also some of the “healthy eating tips’ are suuuper sketch and questionably unhealthy e.g ” feeling hungry? try having sugar free tea or coffee instead” *insert evil side-eye emoji here*
someone who wants to stay on top of specific fitness goals not actually sure who this app is good for on second thought, except if you want an app to motivate you how many times you should go to the gym..
Pros: The app opens and allows users to customize their ab workout based on desired time. Then the app chooses a series of ab exercises depending on target area. Very helpful, informative video demos walk you through exercises (instead of confusing step by step flow charts one might find in a magazine workout article.) there’s even an option to sync up music and a motivational voice walks you through each exercise. (useful when laziness starts to kick in.) You can also share your favorite workouts with a friend from within the app.
Cons: There’s a limit to which workouts are available in the free version which is a bit of a let-down. Also, if you’re looking to track long term fitness goals and keep track of nutritional intakes etc. this app doesn’t provide that and is strictly workout focused.
Good For: For free app it’s definitely one worth having when looking for workout moves at the gym and even better for an at home workout. Also worth mentioning- I found it works without cellular data! (score?!)