To invest, or not to invest: that is the question.
When deciding whether or not you want to spend money creating a home gym, the most important factor is value: can you get the same or greater benefits from a home workout as you can from a traditional studio? While you can buy full body equipment like a rowing machine or the TRX Home2 System for less than $200, that’s still an investment. It only makes sense if you use it.
For many people, one of the perks of a normal gym is access to group classes and personal trainers, but expert fitness advice is no longer restricted to commercial facilities. Thanks to apps and streaming services, it’s now easy to get a world-class workout at home. Here are six apps you can use to get coaching at your home gym.
Photo via Aaptiv/Facebook
If the right workout music will make or break your sweat session, check out Aaptiv, the most popular audio fitness app on both iTunes and Google Play. Aaptiv produces audio-based workouts—more than 2,500 and counting—created by certified personal trainers and set to rockin’ playlists. Aaptiv modalities include running, elliptical, race training, strength training, stretching, and more. They even offer training programs for runs varying from 5K to full marathon. Unlimited access is $9.99 per month, $99.99 per year, or $399.99 for a lifetime membership.
Photo via Fitbit
For years, Fitbit worked as a responsive tool, tracking your activity and sleep patterns. Now, Fitbit wants to train you, too. The company has launched Fitbit Coach, a personalized training app with access to unlimited adaptive video workouts and audio coaching. Coach is compatible with both iOS and and Android, offering workouts in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. If you’d rather not hang onto your phone while you sweat, it also syncs with the Fitbit Ionic watch ($300) for video coaching from your wrist. The annual subscription for Fitbit Coach is $39.99.
Photo via Gixo/Facebook
For anyone who wants a live trainer in their home gym, you need to know Gixo. Gixo is staking its claim on the intersection between personal training and pre-recorded routines. Gixo offers live classes every 30 minutes led by trainers who will interact with you and motivate you while you exercise. It’s not simply an app using artificial intelligence to modify a workout to your needs—it’s a real live human cheering you through each round of burpees. Access to Gixo’s personalized training costs $24.99 monthly or $224.99 annually.
Photo via Kayla Itsines/Facebook
Sweat with Kayla
Aussie trainer Kayla Itsines is known across the globe for her Bikini Body Guide workout program, and her Sweat With Kayla app offers Itsines’s famous 28-minute workouts with video instruction. While BBG is a wildly popular, there are a couple caveats worth mentioning. First, this program is clearly targeting women, given the name, although anyone could follow along with the exercises. Second, it’s one of the pricier app options on this list: $19.99/month or $54.99 quarterly. That said, there are thousands of before and after photos of Kayla’s devotees that suggest her program works.
The brand-new TRX App has more than 80 expert-designed workouts across a range of modalities, including Suspension Training®, Cycling, Running, Yoga and High Intensity-Interval Training (HIIT). The app works with most major wearables to access users’ biometric data, like heart rate, speed and distance. It then utilizes the biometric data, audio coaching and cueing to actually listen, adapt and interact with a user, for a personalized fitness experience. It even lets you set a daily, weekly, or monthly workout schedule and stream music from your favorite services.
The app’s audio coaching delivers the experience of working out with a personal trainer, while continuously tracking effort, and responding with guidance and motivation. At only $4.99 per month, or $39.99 per year, it's the best value on this list.
Photo via Zwift/Facebook
Are you a cyclist who loves the thrill of competition? Then you should try Zwift, an app that can work with both a stationary bike and a standard bike with a trainer. Zwift allows you to compete with cyclists all over the world in live training classes by using sensors that send data to your computer to measure your performance. As long as you have the necessary equipment, you can try Zwift for free for seven days. The service is $10 per month after the trial period.
If you're self-motivated athlete, you don't have to leave the house to work out: today's apps make it easy for anyone to enjoy the benefits of a virtual personal trainer in their home gym.