The Best Fitness Coach Apps to Help You Smash Your 2022 Training Goals – Sports Illustrated

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When it comes to fitness, everyone operates a little differently and on their own individual schedules. That’s what makes personal training apps so valuable: They provide you with workouts that fit your schedule, preferences and goals. The best training app can help you get stronger using methods tailored specifically for you. Only have a few minutes to spare each day? Your personal training app will take that into account. Are you focused on building strength and overall toning in lieu of losing weight? A personal training app will prioritize those two goals instead of focusing on hitting a target weight.
We understand that some people are new to personal training and would benefit from an adjustment period that starts out with the basics while others seek new challenges to incorporate into their already existing workout routines. We chose these apps based on their ease of use, accessibility, workouts offered and level of personalization, among other factors.
If you want nearly every aspect of your personal training plan to be fully customized to your preferences, choosing Future is a no brainer.
Future pairs you with a coach who will design a personalized workout plan for you. You start by taking a questionnaire that’ll match you with a coach that’s a good fit for your experience and goals. You can also peruse the roster of coaches and pick one manually, if you prefer—many of the app’s coaches specialize in specific areas like strength training, nutrition and weight loss. Once you’ve been matched with your coach, they’ll set up a FaceTime call to discuss your goals and how they can help you achieve them. Then they’ll create a workout plan for you. An updated workout plan will be delivered to your phone every week, and your coach will check in on your progress and be available for any questions you have. If you’d like to try out a different coach at any point, Future gives you the option to switch trainers at no additional cost.
Future is hands-down our pick as the best personal fitness app for those who want a fully customized experience. Your coach will create your workout schedule for the week with rest days included and tweak as needed or as you make progress from week to week. They’ll also analyze where you’re at in your fitness journey and help you improve in specific target areas to meet your goals. Workouts include everything from intense cardio to recovery stretches. One of our favorite features is that you can send a video of you doing specific moves to your coach for confirmation that you’re doing it right.
Future gives you unlimited messaging access to your coach, so you’ll be able to check in if you’re stuck in a rut and need motivation or simply want some pointers on your form. If you’ve struggled with consistency or finding a way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, Future will work around your schedule and help you train no matter where you are or the equipment you have on hand.
As of publish time, Future is only available on iOS and there’s no word on when it might become available for Android users.
It’s also worth noting that Future is currently only compatible with Apple products and that you do need an Apple Watch to use the app and track your stats and progress.
You don’t need a gym membership in order to use Future—in fact, your coach can create workouts for you no matter what equipment you have on hand. Maybe you prefer to get your sweat on from the comfort of your own home gym and only have a pair of dumbbells to work with. That’s no problem. Traveling? Your coach can create a workout plan with what equipment is available to you—they’ll sub in workouts like running and bodyweight moves to ensure you’re getting the most of each session.
Right now, Future is offering the first month for only $19. After that, the subscription costs $149 per month. Although this is an investment, it is stil generally more cost effective than working with a personal trainer.
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You might recognize Peloton for its stationary bikes or treadmills, but the brand’s app also offers a broad selection of no-equipment-necessary workouts. Classes run the gamut from strength training to boxing, yoga, meditation, Pilates, barre and more. Users can also sign up for training programs that are designed to help you move closer to a specific goal (such as running a marathon) and are available for any starting fitness level.
The Peloton app doesn’t offer individual personal training. Instead, the focus is on group training with a broad offering of classes. You’ll have your pick of live and on-demand classes to choose from led by expert instructors. We love that you can get a solid sweat session in without the use of any equipment.
If there are any shortcomings to the Peloton app, it’s the lack of customization options. You do have the option to browse classes by categories that target specific body parts like your core, lower body or arms and can choose workouts based on your taste in music and your schedule, but there’s no option to have a regimen or class created specifically for you.
Those who already own a Peloton Bike or Tread and subscribe to Peloton’s All-Access membership can browse the app’s full library of classes (whether you want get a sweat session in on your bike, treadmill, or simply partake in a no-equipment class is completely up to you). In this case, all you have to do is log in and get sweating. If you opt for a Peloton App membership (not to be confused with the Peloton All-Access membership), you won’t get access to classes for the bike or Tread. You will get access to thousands of other live and on-demand classes. Another great feature we love is that Peloton classes are offered in various lengths, from five minutes to 90 minutes in length—if you only have a couple of minutes to spare on a busy day, there’s a short class for that.
You can stream a class from your choice of devices including a tablet, your phone, a TV and your computer. The Peloton app is compatible with Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, LG TVs and Apple’s AirPlay. Keep in mind, though, that you can only stream from one device at a time.
New members can try the Peloton app for 30 days, free of charge. After the 30-day trial period, users pay $12.99 per month (plus tax) for app access.
Try Our Editor’s Pick for Best Personal Training App
Aaptiv offers both audio and video workouts to engage you while you make your way through each sweat session. The app provides unlimited access to thousands of workouts including strength training, yoga, indoor cycling, elliptical and treadmill workouts. Users can also choose from multi-week plans aimed at helping with weight loss, race training, fitness during pregnancy and so much more. Maybe one of your goals is to run a mile in seven minutes—Aaptiv is designed to help you get there. Aaptiv can also help you figure out how to best maintain a goal you’ve already reached so you can work on setting new ones.
Aaptiv does not offer individualized one-on-one coaching like Future does, but you are able to choose your workouts from a huge catalog of more than 2,500 classes that are led by certified pros like personal trainers and physical therapists. If you have questions or just need a little extra motivational boost, you can get in touch with an Aaptiv trainer via the app under the ‘Team Tab’ section.
Aaptiv isn’t creating a fully customized workout regimen for you. Users can modify a workout for their level of fitness and comfort and trainers will often provide tips on how to modify specific moves during a session.
Aaptiv has a supportive community and allows users to enroll in ‘Team Challenges’ where they earn points by completing workouts along with the other members of their team. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys friendly competition and working within a small group to achieve a shared goal, we recommend trying a Team Challenge. The competition kicks off once a week on Mondays.
To take advantage of Aaptiv’s free seven day trial, you’ll need to have a credit card on file. If you don’t cancel your subscription at least 48 hours before your free trial ends, you’ll be charged either the monthly rate ($14.99/month) or the annual rate ($99.99/year) depending on what plan you chose upon signup. Both plans grant you the same access to thousands of workouts but you do save 45% off your subscription rate if you opt for the annual plan.
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Strength training enthusiasts rejoice—the Keelo fitness app was made specifically with you in mind. This app focuses on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts designed to deliver measurable results by tracking things like your heart rate, calories burned and strength ratios. If you’re in search of an app that will keep track of the compound muscle groups you’ve worked on and what types of workouts you’ve completed that targets those muscle groups, we recommend you check Keelo out.
Keelo does offer coaching tips and support and even has in-depth coaching videos featuring certified trainers who can help with things like perfecting your form. This shouldn’t be confused with one-on-one training, though—there’s no specific individual coaching aspect.
What’s really neat about Keelo is that it uses an AI-based algorithm that reviews your workout history in an effort to ensure that you’re using all of your muscle groups in a variety of ways. Additionally, the algorithm also utilizes your history to create auto-generated suggestions for new workouts. In this way, you’re getting a customized workout experience that’s a bit different from a custom regimen designed by a coach or trainer for you.
Keelo doesn’t have its own in-app music, but it lets you access your Apple Music or Spotify playlists even when the app is running—perfect for those who like to work out with their own playlist. Keelo comes in both a free and paid version. The free version grants you access to some workouts without any commitment, while the paid version grants full access to Keelo’s entire workout catalog and coaches.
Keelo is compatible with both Android and iOS.
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Some workouts are free in Keelo but to access all available content within the app, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. For $14.99/month, you can access the entire workout library and chat directly with a coach. If you prefer to pay once a year instead of monthly, Keelo also offers a $107.99/year subscription.
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MapMyRun is one of the most comprehensive apps we’ve seen when it comes to finding local running routes all over the world. We’re huge fans of the interactive map feature that lets you see the satellite view of your run, since this can help familiarize you with different routes and neighborhoods. All you have to do is open the app and look at the preexisting routes based on your current city. Routes vary by terrain, length, elevation gain and other factors. If you prefer to run off the beaten path, there’s always the option to create and record your own routes, too.
The entire MapMyRun app is designed to act as your virtual coach; MapMyRun will provide real-time audio feedback during your walks, runs, and even rides to help improve your form, cadence, and endurance. The feedback will help keep you moving at your target pace and distance so you can continually improve things like your stamina and pace.
With MapMyRun, users have the ability to customize their in-app dashboard to prioritize what metrics they’d like to see when comparing past workouts and progress. MapMyRun also offers training plans that can help prepare you for a 10K, half or full marathon in addition to letting users create their own routes that they can share with friends or save for another day.
Both the paid and free versions of MapMyRun can be connected to your devices (including Apple Watch, Garmin and Suunto among others). And if you want some extra insights regarding your running metrics, consider buying a pair of Under Armour’s Velociti sneakers. They connect wirelessly to MapMyRun to log your miles and track each step you take. They can also give you a heads up when it’s time to swap out your old running shoes for new ones in order to prevent injuries while you train.
MapMyRun comes in both free and premium versions. If you want full access to the MVP package, you can sign up for a monthly subscription that’ll cost $5.99/month or an annual membership that costs $29.99/year.
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Think of Fitbod as your AI personal trainer. The app builds strength-focused workouts for you, based on your goals, preferences, and what workouts you’ve completed recently. It even tracks which muscle groups you’ve worked in recent workouts, and which should be fresh and ready for your next hard effort. The app offers tons of customization options for people at every fitness level. For example, FitBod will analyze your strength and past training, plus your current gym setup to create workouts tailored to you.
You’ll have access to workouts designed to challenge you and help you get stronger but won’t get guidance from a coach or trainer the way you would with some other apps.
Fitbod creates workouts tailored specifically for you by using AI to analyze your progress and compare newer workouts to older ones. The app also considers what your gym setup is like and uses all of this data to create workouts to help you get stronger. If you worry about getting bored of the same routine, Fitbod will adapt your workout to keep you engaged and motivated. Fitbod is designed for workouts to get harder as you progress through each one to help you continually improve your conditioning and strength.
We like that you can use the Fitbod app and log a workout without being connected to the internet. The app will locally save the workout to your device and then upload it to a database once you’re online again.
As of publish time, Fitbod is only compatible with Apple Watch and Fitbit on iOS. Fitbod’s developers do have plans to integrate additional compatible devices for broader use; but there’s no estimate yet as to when that’ll happen.
Fitbod offers both monthly and annual subscription plans (called Fitbod Elite). If you opt for the monthly plan, you’ll be paying $12.99/month for Fitbod app access; if you choose the annual subscription, you’ll pay $79.99/year—a savings of almost 50% when compared with the month-to-month option.
Fitbod also offers a trial that lets you try three workouts free of charge. The trial gets activated when you initially sign up for the app. After you’ve completed the complimentary sessions, you get the option to upgrade to Fitbod Elite where you’ll have access to unlimited workouts.
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With FlexIT, members can use their phones or the FlexIT website to participate in live, one-on-one Virtual Personal Training (VPT) sessions with certified coaches. You’re able to opt for either a ‘pay for what you use’ membership or a monthly one. Users can choose from different classes set to specific time increments (usually 30-, 45- and 60-minute sessions) and your trainer will customize the session to your specific goals and needs.
FlexIT pairs you with an expert who will provide you with live feedback via video call so you can get the best possible workout with the guidance of a real personal trainer. If you need help modifying a move or want to try more strenuous workouts, your personal trainer will walk you through what you need to do to continue moving forward.
Each FlexIT session you take with a trainer is fully customized to help you achieve your goals, whether you’re aiming for weight loss, muscle gain or better health.
FlexIT has partnered with some in-person fitness facilities to give users gym access when they want it. FlexIT charges for in-facility sessions by the minute (although classes are charged as a flat rate per class) so that you only pay for the time you spend using the gym and its amenities. This is a good way to check out various facilities if you’re on the fence about selecting one as your main gym.
FlexIT offers a variety of plans to choose from including the option to pay-as-you-go. Plans start with 30-minute sessions where you’ll get access to six fully customized workouts with a certified personal trainer for $37.25/session. If you want a longer workout period, 45-minute sessions begin at $55.75 each when you choose the five workout plan (which comes with a bonus class for free). Hour-long sessions begin at $74.50 each when you choose five of them (you’ll also receive one free bonus session with this plan as well).
Try Our Editor’s Pick for Best Personal Training App
Life Time
Life Time Digital is a multifaceted personal training and fitness app that offers on-demand and live classes that include yoga and cycling in addition to several others. Users can take advantage of training and weight loss programs and can choose to workout on their own schedules no matter where they are. We like that this app has a wide variety of classes, which is especially good for beginners who might want to dabble in several different things before settling on a core few they like the most.
One-on-one personal training and coaching are available through the app for an extra fee. While team, custom and personal training sessions are paid programs outside of the $15/month subscription, Life Time Digital’s weight loss and training programs are included in this membership and do offer access to Life Time’s coaching team.
The additional custom personal training packages mentioned above offer individualized training. If you stick with the basic subscription, you’re limited to the existing, non-customized workout classes in the Life Time library.
Life Time Digital memberships come with a three month Apple Fitness+ subscription that you have to remember to renew every three months within the Life Time app in order to avoid paying the standard $9.99/month rate for the Apple Fitness+ service. If you reactivate through Life Time, you’ll get another three months of Apple Fitness+ free of charge. Your membership will also grant you access to specially curated content created exclusively for Life Time Digital on all things related to fitness and nutrition. You’ll also receive meditation programs and access to nutrition and equipment discounts.
A Life Time Digital membership costs $15/month.
Try Our Editor’s Pick for Best Personal Training App
We awarded the Future app our Best Overall label for a reason—it brings you the best of personal training anywhere and costs a fraction of what you’d pay at a gym. While it is a financial investment on par with in-person memberships like OrangeTheory and CrossFit, with Future you get one-on-one coaching and tailored exercises for the same price.
Most personal trainer apps have a subscription paywall, but many offer free trial periods. Other fitness apps have free and paid versions, like MapMyRun and Nike Training Club. You’ll get access to the best coaching and workouts with the paid versions, but the free versions and trial periods are helpful for getting the feel of an app you’re considering for subscription.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.
Daisy Hernandez is a staff writer at Pillar4 Media.


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