A good workout app can make your gym time more productive and enjoyable. But finding the right one can be tricky. The best workout apps are designed to help you reach your fitness goals with the guidance of an expert coach, while also maximizing efficiency and minimizing injuries. And fortunately, there are many excellent options to choose from even if you don’t have access to an expensive personal trainer.
The best free workout app is Strong, which features an intuitive design and easy-to-use exercise logging. It can record sets, reps, and other workout data, as well as track body measurements and provide helpful graphs. It can even pre-set workout playlists and control playback from the logging screen. It also offers a variety of exercises, including strength-building and yoga. A paid version of the app provides additional data, including a 1RM calculator, a plate picker, and proper keyboards for entering numbers.
Another popular choice is the Peloton workout app, which comes with live and on-demand classes for its treadmill and bike equipment, but also works without it. You can stream its cycling, cardio, rowing, strength, and yoga classes on your device or a compatible TV (assuming you have an AirPlay or Chromecast device). Its instructors stand out for their enthusiasm and high energy. The app isn’t cheap, but it can save you the cost of a membership to a gym, and can be a solid replacement for a home exercise machine.
Other popular apps to download for your phone or tablet include Nike Plus, which has workouts hosted by athletes like Serena Williams and Rory McIlroy; Apple Fitness, with HIIT, strength, Pilates, yoga, and meditation; and JEFIT, which includes body-building and muscle-sculpting exercises. Many of the workout apps on our list offer unlimited modification, which is essential for reaching your fitness goals and avoiding injury. Without it, you would run the risk of overtraining or exacerbating existing injuries, and making poor choices in your training.
Among paid apps, the winner of our 2023 best overall workout app award is Aaptiv, which has an extensive library of exercise classes to choose from in its studio, including cycling, running, ellipticals, rowing, interval training, and yoga. After taking a quick fitness quiz, it matches you with instructor-led classes that can be done on your favorite cardio machines or at home on a mat. The workouts are professionally recorded and feature audio cues from an instructor or personal trainer and music that you’ll love, rather than boring, canned beats. Aaptiv has a monthly subscription fee but is competitive with the price of a single class at a boutique fitness studio. best gym workout app