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- Boutique workout classes are expensive and can be pretty intimidating.
- The fitness app Aaptiv helped me get access to the audio of thousands of workout classes led by certified professional trainers without having to go to classes in person.
- For only $15 a month, I’ve refreshed my workout routine, gotten the hang of HIIT, and go to the gym more frequently. Best of all, it feels less like I’m swinging at a target in the dark now.
I used to hate workout classes. They seemed to always be filled with people who had been emailed the moves to memorize three weeks prior and had then waited to enroll until they already had six-pack abs. But, I wanted to learn how to do each exercise – yoga, spinning, etc. – so even with those hangups, I’d go and pay the exorbitant fees, and then feel subsequently lackluster and unconvinced. I wasn’t driven by competition with the other people there, and I didn’t feel motivated by the military-grade attention given to me by the instructor as the “new kid in class.”
All in all, awesome for other people, not for me.
Like I said, though, I wanted to learn how to exercise in a way that wasn’t strictly a survival skill. Running had gotten a little boring, and I wanted to develop some new skills. In some cases you really need in-person instruction to make sure you’re doing it right (in which case, hello ClassPass), but most of the activities I wanted to explore didn’t necessarily require that.
Luckily for me, my older sister recommended downloading Aaptiv, or at least trying a week-long trial “just to see for [myself].” Apparently, it had turned her into a regular runner (and, as her sister, I can tell you for the last 20 years she has not been a self-described “runner”).
And I’m glad I listened to her.
Aaptiv is the top audio fitness app on iTunes, and it’s incredibly convenient. You get unlimited access to audio-based fitness classes led by certified professional trainers (that have pretty great playlists). There are more than 2,500 possible workouts, and they come in categories like running, elliptical, race training, rowing, strength training, stretching, yoga and more. There are 30 new classes added each week, so you can regularly refresh your routine.
At least for a semi-introvert like me, it’s been a godsend.
I always wanted to become more purposeful with how I worked out, but up until now I (like many people, I’d wager) was content to just zone in on areas, or focus on running as a kind of “all-over” workout that required little diagnosing. I didn’t want to spare the money to keep going to classes I didn’t enjoy enough or hire a personal trainer. And in terms of devoting the time to researching a plan for myself, it can be time consuming and irritating judging which information online – especially in “fitness communities” – comes from research you can fact check.
Having certified personal trainers design workout classes I a) don’t have to create myself, b) go to in person, and c) get yelled at directly by them in a mirrored-room fogged with the sweat of tens of other people is kind of the greatest thing to ever happen to my heretofore stale workout routine.
Plus, when I use a class on Aaptiv, I typically stick around for the whole thing, just like I would if I went to a SoulCycle class in person. When I go on my own, I typically leave when I “feel done”. This way, I’ve actually been working out less but feeling better about it, because I’m working out in a smarter way.
Instead of swinging in the dark in what feels like the right direction, I feel clearer and more confident about what I’m doing.
Having a plan I trust without having to do the legwork takes the pressure off of my workouts, and that means that I go to the gym more often. It’s easier to drop in, sweat it out, and then head home. It’s cathartic, and it’s working well.
And in terms of expense, it’s only $15 a month for unlimited access. I wish I could employ the equivalent of “rent control” on an app. ClassPass is still a great option if you want in-person instruction, are motivated by classmates, or want to experience a wide variety of classes in your city for a low admission cost – but, at least in New York, it’s $79 a month for four to six classes.
In a world where boutique classes can go for $30 a session, Aaptiv is a great deal.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive – and totally intimidation-free – way to get into better, smarter fitness (or just stick to your New Year’s resolution to work out more), I highly recommend downloading Aaptiv. I’ve always loved spending time in the gym, but it’s never felt more productive than now.