When I think about the responsibilities that follow me around no matter where I go, living healthily is always at the top of the list. Whether it’s work, time with loved ones, or anything in between, my health plays an important role in everything I do.
And I always notice a difference in my performance and attitude between when I’m making healthy choices and when I start to slack off a bit and spend too much time glued to the couch with my eyes on my cell phone or TV.
For me, the key to staying sharp is remaining active and following a routine that I can maintain on a regular basis. I enjoy a good aerobic workout with some calisthenics, but everyone has their own exercises that they prefer.
Unfortunately, with the current global health situation, keeping up the activities we do on a regular basis has become a challenge. Between restrictions, the need for social distancing, and even business closures, working out isn’t what it used to be!
When my gym closed its doors, I knew I would need to find an alternative before I started driving myself crazy at home, what made it worse is liked working out everyday of the week, even if the gym sessions were short. And to be honest, at first I had no idea where to start, or even where to look to get a clue!
After some quick research, I found some great ways that I could change up my workouts and make them stay-at-home friendly while my gym’s doors remained closed. I even found some options that worked better for me than what I was doing before.
However, I kept hitting a wall: as great as these new and modified exercises were, I didn’t know how to organize them to make them work best for me, or to create a routine that would keep me honest and consistent.
That’s when I first started thinking about using a fitness app. I had heard good and bad things from gym friends who had tried them, and I was curious if this might be a good option to help keep me healthy and on track.
At first, I did some investigating to try and narrow down my choices. With more apps available on the market than I could ever click (let alone test), I needed some opinions on the best options to introduce me to the mobile side of fitness.
Peloton app, Zwift, Sufferfest, Trainerroad, Aaptive and many many more, so many choices to pick from.
After plenty of research, I noticed that two particular fitness apps kept coming up over and over: Aaptiv and Peloton. While I had never heard of the former, when I read Peloton, my mind immediately went to those stationary bicycle workouts I had seen.
As I looked closer at these two apps, though, I realized that there was way more than just bike workouts and exercise trackers. And on top of that, the prices were well below what I expected (especially compared to a gym membership).
So what can you expect from the Aaptiv and Peloton apps? I checked out both of them for a comparison of features, their pros and cons, and what makes each of them uniquely appealing.
A quick overview of aaptive.
What It Is
Imagine having a personal trainer who can talk you through your essential workouts on a regular basis, on your schedule, and from the comfort of your home. In a nutshell, that’s what you get when you sign up to use the Aaptiv fitness app.
With hundreds of different routines to choose from, and audio guides from certified professional instructors, it’s easy to see why this name comes up often when people talk about their favorite exercise programs.
How It Works
Aaptiv prides itself on it’s self-proclaimed 3-step process to create a “perfect workout”: you enter your individual goals, choose a customized workout (selections include the length of the session, your preferred trainer, and your choice of music), and get started right away. (1)
While video demonstrations are available for unfamiliar workouts, the app uses audio guides during sessions to allow users to fully engage in their workouts rather than having to take the time to painstakingly stare at their screen and potentially disrupt the rhythm of their training. (1)
And whether you’re able to train at the gym, working out at home, or looking to embrace exercising in the great outdoors, the Aaptiv app can be configured to match the environment you’re in and the equipment you have available.
There is no shortage of options when it comes to how to make the best use of Aaptiv. Fitness fanatics will be thrilled to find that the app has thousands of different workouts spread across diverse categories like cardio, strength training, indoor cycling, yoga, meditation, and several others. (2)
Additionally, Aaptiv adds new workouts every week! This means that you can remain diligent about your training without having to worry about your program becoming overly repetitive or boring as you progress. (2)
No more agonizing over how long you’ve spent working out or whether or not you’ve met your distance quota for the day. With Aaptiv, you can track figures like training frequency, distance run, and the length of your session, which can then all be tracked and compared over weeks and months. (3)
You can also keep track of the amount of calories you burn, but keep in mind that this is an approximation and may slightly differ from the actual amount that you’ve sweated off during your workouts. (3)
One of the biggest issues I’ve had in working out at home is not having the benefit of asking someone more knowledgeable than myself whether I’m doing an exercise correctly or if there are adjustments I need to make.
This is one area where Aaptiv can certainly improve. While the level of customization (including trainer selection) is impressive, there is a huge area for growth and improvement that users are missing because they’re not able to get actual feedback on their training. (3)
Additionally, not having the benefit of watching the workout demonstration in real time is a setback for me. I absolutely understand the reasoning behind it, but for those who are constantly working to maintain or improve their form, having the option to view the proper execution of a workout as I’m doing it is a huge benefit.
Good For Beginners?
Apps are always defined by how “user-friendly” they are, and fitness apps should be held to an even higher standard in this area because of how challenging it can be for someone to start working out regularly for the first time.
Overall, Aaptiv is an incredible fit for people who are new to regular exercise. Having the option to set my own training schedule, track my time and distance covered, and create a unique routine that fits my goals and physical needs would make this a great choice if I were just now embracing physical activity as a regular part of my health.
With Aaptiv, $15 per month or $100 for the entire year will get you unlimited access to all of the app’s features. (2) Considering the relative cost of a gym membership or private training with a coach, this is incredibly high-value for the price, especially when you consider how many options you can choose when setting up your workouts.
Regardless of how restrictions are impacting the availability of gyms in your location, Aaptiv’s current price point makes it worth considering for anyone looking to stay on top of their physical fitness.
A quick overview of the Peloton app.
What It Is
A lot of people see this name and their mind immediately goes to “the cycling program”. And truthfully, there’s no shame in that - any brand with that kind of recognition has clearly done very well for itself.
Peloton managed to compete with other brands and put their name out there as one of the top companies that manufacture exercise equipment but also top notch exercises apps.
The truth is, though, that Peloton goes far beyond being a program that tracks your indoor cycling activity - it’s a full-fledged fitness app that gives you the flexibility to work out wherever you are with a wide variety of exercise routines.
How To Use It
Peloton offers two types of memberships: the All-Access membership is perfect for people who own a Peloton Bike or Tread, and it gives the entire household full access to all of the app’s classes; the Digital Membership is an individual subscription that gives users access to thousands of classes which they can take advantage of through their phone, TV, computer, or tablet device. (4)
The Digital Membership is very appealing for those who are interested in fitness training but don’t already own Peloton brand equipment like the Bike or Tread. (5) And for those who are considering purchasing a stationary bike for their home, having the matching All-Access Membership to pair it with is a fantastic option.
Choosing Your Workouts
Peloton offers over 1,000 different classes that are broken down into more than 10 categories which include strength training, cycling, yoga, meditation, and even bootcamp. (4)
What really makes these options stand out, however, is how distinct the different categories are: Peloton offers both regular running and outdoor running, and it also makes a clear distinction between their stretching programs and yoga programs. (4)
This level of detail makes it much easier for prospective users to choose which workout programs best match their lifestyles and specific goals.
One of the benefits of Peloton that I haven’t seen in other fitness apps is the options for live workouts. If a group mentality helps get you through your exercise, social distancing is no longer an obstacle - you can virtually train alongside hundreds of other people at a time while an instructor takes you through the motions. (5)
This is a huge plus for me - not only does working out alongside other people motivate me, but it also provides the authentic feel of an instructor-led session that reassures me that I’m on the right track and that what I’m doing is really working.
Where The App Falls Short
While it boasts plenty of workout options for its users, the Peloton app doesn’t do nearly as much as others to point them in the right direction; upon signing up, it doesn’t request much personal information (height, weight, etc.) or make any suggestions on which workouts would be best based on your physique or goals. (5) This leaves people to more or less navigate through all of the choices for themselves, with little guidance.
Additionally, for all of the benefits that it offers, it’s pretty evident that the app favors users who own a Peloton Bike or Tread. This is not necessarily a drawback for everyone, but for those who don’t own these other products,they may find that certain aspects of the app - such as the bootcamp class, half of which is based on cycling - are not as well suited for them. (5)
Related Reading: Best Alternatives to Peloton Bike
Additionally, if it’s important for you to have your choice of music during your workouts, keep your playlist ready - the instructors for your selected classes choose what plays in the background, so there’s less freedom in setting the perfect mood for your training session.
Can New Fitness Enthusiasts Use It?
There’s no question that the variety of classes and programs offered with the Peloton app make it a desirable choice for people who are new to working out regularly. The quantity of categories to choose from can help users narrow down the list of programs that could potentially be the best fit.
While the lack of suggested workouts means that users will have to make most of these choices on their own, they can still count on Peloton to deliver plenty of options for starting their journey off on the right foot.
After the initial two-month free trial phase, the Digital Membership costs $12.99 per month, while the All-Access Membership costs $39 per month and unlocks other features that are exclusive to those who own Peloton equipment like the Bike or Tread. (5)
At these rates, the Digital Membership is competitively priced and offers considerable savings compared to many other fitness apps on the market.
Side By Side
Having considered both Aaptiv and Peloton, it’s easy to see why they both appear high up on most lists of recommended fitness apps.
Both offer an outstanding range of diverse workout programs and huge libraries of classes, making it easy for users to find the ideal workout for them - and at great costs.
Considering all that they have in common, let’s review what makes them stand out from one another:
- simple 3-step setup
- suggestions generated based on your details and goals
- choice of background music
- new workouts every week
- distinctive program plans
- live workouts
- real-time instruction
- additional features for Peloton Bike or Tread owners
Peloton’s Digital Membership also edges out Aaptiv in the monthly price, but Aaptiv’s 1-year membership option makes it the potentially less expensive of the two.
And with the prices being so close, it’s more likely that the other details that distinguish each app will be the deciding factors.
Regardless of the final choice, deciding between the Aaptiv and Peloton fitness apps is ultimately a no-lose situation for beginners and long-time fitness enthusiasts alike who are eager for an easy-to-use on-the-go guided workout option!
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