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Fitness apps may seem like a dime a dozen, but our product testers here at Garage Gym Reviews have tested 20 different workout apps to determine which ones are worth your time and money. 

But what makes us reliable experts? We’re a group of certified personal trainers, gym owners, and Olympic-level athletes with tons of experience in following training programs, designing our own programs, and coaching clients through programs as well. 

The best workout apps offer more than just stand-alone workouts. Apps should offer well-thought-out programs intended to help you improve your strength, flexibility, speed, or whatever fitness goal you’re after. 

And speaking of fitness goals, there is no one right way to train. You may be looking for a workout app to improve your strength; others may be looking for a weight loss app or a program to improve cardio endurance.  

During our testing process, each tester used our detailed testing methodology to rate over 10 different categories on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. A sampling of those categories include: 

  • Trial period: Is there a trial period or does your card get charged upon sign up?
  • Pricing: What is the price per month and how does it compare to other apps?
  • Ease of use: What is the user experience like? Is the app easy to navigate?
  • Accountability: What kind of accountability is provided? Do they send push notifications or emails?
  • Equipment demands: Does the app require access to a full gym or minimal equipment? 

Best Workout Apps:

Best Workout App Overall: Caliber 

Good for: Anyone who wants a customized workout app with multiple membership tiers 

Best Overall

Caliber Strength Training

GGR Score: 4.68 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Strength training and nutrition app
  • Personalized, data-driven workout programs
  • Expert habit coaching
  • Free and paid versions
  • Private 1:1 coaching available
  • Weekly lessons, metric tracking, nutrition syncing

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Scientifically-based training plans
  • Individualized coaching for both fitness and nutrition with paid subscriptions is reported to be very thorough
  • Free version offers a library of curated workout plans
  • Reportedly easy-to-use

Cons

  • Personalized macronutrient goals only available with paid versions

Bottom Line

Caliber Strength Training is a fitness coaching program grounded in scientific principles designed to increase strength and improve body composition. The app offers both group and individual training plans which are written and modified by a certified coach based on progress.

The Caliber app earns the top spot on our best workout apps roundup because it offers something for everyone. There is a robust free-forever version and two paid options that grant you access to either group coaching ($19 per month) or a fully customized one-on-one coaching program (starting at $200 per month).

The free version of the Caliber app is ad-free and features the full exercise library of over 500 movements. Each exercise features a demonstration video, step-by-step written instructions, and the ability to log your weights and reps (and access your history at any point). This alone is an incredible value (and you can even build your own workouts in this app). 

screenshots of caliber app

Caliber Pro offers group coaching for $19 per month and provides a few different tracks to choose from including programs for beginners, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. Plus a program for weight loss and a bodyweight-only routine.  

Caliber Premium is one-on-one personal training, which starts at $200 per month. While that is not cheap, when you compare that to working with a coach in-person, you’ll spend less and get more communication from your coach and 24-hour access to your program from the app. Coaching includes custom strength and conditioning programs, plus help with nutrition, sleep, hydration, and mobility. 

In comparison, a one-hour session with a personal trainer can run you anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour depending on where you live. For that reason, Caliber earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating for the value category. 

RELATED: MVT Fitness App Review

With the one-on-one training option a coach will develop a customized training program based on what equipment you have available at home (or at your local gym). Caliber is geared toward resistance training and the website notes that most subscribers use the app at commercial gyms. 

However, with the group coaching option (Caliber Pro), our tester and leader reviewer for Garage Gym Reviews Everything Lindsay Scheele notes that there are bodyweight, dumbbell, and barbell progressions for most movements. Both the paid and free versions earn a 5-out-of-5-star rating for equipment demands. 

RELATED: Best Home Gym Equipment 

GGR writer and product tester Amanda Capritto used Caliber Premium to work with a coach for a customized strength training routine. She reports working with her coach and using the app is easy and she appreciates the fact there are demonstration videos for every exercise assigned to your program. We have more details about both tester’s experiences in our Caliber App review.

screenshots of caliber app

Amanda just has one callout that the instructional videos do not always load. “Other than that, I don’t have any complaints,” she says. And for this reason, caliber earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating for ease of use on the app. She also notes the app syncs with the Apple Watch but not apps like Garmin, Fitbit, or Strava, and she found it a bit frustrating to manually enter workout data later. 

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Price per monthFree version; $19 (Pro); $200+ (Premium) 
Free trial period Free version available at all times
Type of trainingStrength training 
Type of equipment required Bodyweight, home gym, or commercial gym options 

Best Personal Training Workout App: Future

Good for: Anyone looking for top-tier personal training and accountability 

Best for Personal Training

Future

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Virtual training from qualified coaches
  • Personal plan designed to help reach your goals
  • Great interface
  • Use our link for 62% off your first month

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Incredible user interface; very well designed and intuitive
  • Choose your own coach based on your personal preferences and goals
  • Lots of variety in your workouts

Cons

  • No real-time coaching from your trainer
  • $199 per month membership cost

Bottom Line

An online training program that's staffed by real-life humans, and one of our favorite fitness apps.

If you are curious about personal training, the Future app is the next-best option to working with a coach in-person. You’ll be able to use the app to find a coach by sorting through coaching styles (high-energy, laidback, detail-oriented, etc.), coaching expertise (adaptive exercise, bodybuilding, injury prevention, etc.), or sport-specific coaches (football, hockey, winter sports, etc.). You’ll also have the opportunity to change coaches if needed.

RELATED: How to Become a Personal Trainer

Woman FaceTiming with her online personal trainer

And because you’ll be working with an actual coach, you’ll have the accountability from a human, not just an app. For this reason, Future earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating for accountability.

GGR expert product tester Logan Block reports his coach, Layne, is personable and energetic. “Layne does a great job of checking in on training and rest days. He also took my feedback into account when designing workouts going forward,” says Logan. 

Kate Meier, GGR head of content and product tester, says her coach is fantastic about daily check-ins and gathering feedback. Kate also likes the fact the Future app pairs with her Apple Watch. “Seeing my fitness rings on my Apple Watch worked really well for me in terms of keeping me on track with my workouts,” says Kate. 

screen grabs from Nathan's first Future workout

Additionally, Future has an incredible user interface which we talk about in detail in our Future App review. “Future is well-designed and intuitive,” Logan says. “I really think the ease with which you can communicate with your trainer and how clean everything operates is what sets this app apart.”

Future earns a 4.5-out of-5-star rating for ease of use. “It’s user-friendly, with good audio and visual cues to keep you moving through the workout without more effort on your part,” notes Logan. 

Kate also reports it’s easy to move through the workout on your Apple Watch, too. “I’m able to tap a button on my watch instead of having to get my phone out—that is super convenient,” she says. 

Price per month$199
Free trial period No (But you can get 62% off your first month)
Type of trainingStrength and conditioning 
Type of equipment required Custom: bodyweight, home gym, commercial gym

Best Workout App for Variety: iFIT

Good for: Folks who want a range of exercise routines with a focus on cardiovascular fitness 

Best for Variety

iFIT

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Over 16,000 live and on-demand classes
  • More than 60 types of workouts
  • Immersive experience
  • Classes filmed worldwide
  • Live races and events
  • World-class trainers
  • Syncs with Nordictrack and ProForm equipment

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • At-home training
  • World-class coaches
  • Immersive training experience
  • Vast library of workouts
  • Record and track workout metrics
  • Individual and family memberships available
  • Free trial

Cons

  • Pricey for some
  • No true path for progression

Bottom Line

iFIT offers fitness lovers versatility with machine-based classes and classes that do not require anything more than a towel or mat. Anyone looking for a home-exercise program will be hard pressed to find a more technology forward, expansive and inclusive platform than iFIT.

Many members of the GGR staff have experience with the iFIT app, whether it’s personal use or from testing equipment like the iFIT-enabled machine featured in our NordicTrack Commercial 1250 Treadmill review

IFIT is a bit different from some of the other best fitness apps we’ve reviewed because it’s centered around iFIT-enabled cardio machines (like treadmills, exercise bikes, rowers, and ellipticals). However, there are tons of off-machine workouts, too (like strength training, pilates, yoga, and HIIT). 

When we published our original iFIT reviews, the app had over 16,000 on-demand workouts to choose from with new workouts continuously added since. The app has indoor studio-style workouts, instructor-led outdoor workouts, and scenic outdoor workouts. For this reason, iFIT earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating for workout variety. 

View of touchscreen display NordicTrack AirGlide

GGR senior editor and product tester Erin Chancer uses iFIT regularly on her NordicTrack S22i studio exercise bike and just hit her 100-workout milestone. Her favorite sessions are ride-along, instructor-led endurance workouts, and the occasional HIIT workout. 

Erin admits she hasn’t taken advantage of any off-bike workouts from iFIT but says she’s been totally content with the variety of bike-based workouts she gets to choose from. 

When it comes to accountability, Erin gives iFIT a 3.5-out-of-5-star rating saying, “It’s a self-guided app much like any interactive program that isn’t totally customized.” 

That said, iFIT has challenges you can participate in, which help you achieve milestones within the app. And, whenever you reach a milestone you’ll receive a congratulations email. 

Erin thinks it’s worth mentioning that because iFIT is equipment-based, “It’s worth having a tough conversation with yourself: Are you ready to make the commitment?”

“The iFIT-compatible equipment and cost of a monthly service can get pricey,” she says. “The worst is dropping several thousand dollars on equipment that just collects dust. Other than price, I see no other reason not to recommend iFIT (and the NordicTrack S22i).”

Price per month$15 (individual); $39 (family plan) 
Free trial period 30-day trial
Type of trainingCardio, strength training, yoga, pilates
Type of equipment required iFIT-enabled cardio machine, dumbbells, resistance bands, exercise mat

Best Free Workout App: Nike Training Club 

Good for: Anyone looking for a free resource to get started with strength training 

Best Free App

Nike Training Club

Product Highlights

  • Completely free
  • Massive library of on-demand workouts and live classes
  • More than 10 workout categories
  • App is easy to use
  • No individualized programming

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Completely free to use
  • Previously premium/paid content is available for free
  • More than 10 workout categories
  • Most workouts taught my certified trainers and instructors

Cons

  • Audio controls can be finicky
  • Sometimes hard to see on-screen metrics like reps and time

Bottom Line

Nike Training Club is a free fitness app with a robust workout library that includes one-off workouts as well as periodized programs led by certified instructors.

Nike offers a free strength-based training app that reduces the barrier of entry for weight-based workouts at home or in a commercial gym. A free training program may have the power to free your mind of any woes about designing an effective workout for yourself and worry about more pressing matters (like what you’re going to have for dinner). 

RELATED: Best Meal Delivery Service 

Amanda Capritto, GGR writer, product tester, and certified personal trainer, tested the Nike Training Club app, and you can read about her comprehensive experience with it in our Nike Training Club review. Here are the Cliffs notes.

Prior to 2020, the app had both free and premium versions, but since the pandemic, Nike made the entire workout library free to use. The app is also easy to download from the Apple app store or Google Play. 

When it comes to value, this free app earns a 5-star rating. “It’s an unbeatable value,” says Amanda. “The NTC app has on-demand and live classes as well as periodized programming for a variety of goals and workout types. All of the instructors are certified and most are specialists. You don’t see this kind of value in a free app almost ever,” Amanda explains. 

However, if you’re looking for accountability, this free app probably won’t make the cut. “You can download it on your phone, but no one is gonna make you use it,” says Amanda. However, she does note that the app can send you notifications if you enable them in your settings and you can join programs or challenges. Overall, Amanda gives Nike Training Club a 3.5-star-rating for accountability. 

If you’re limited on equipment or new to strength training, Nike Training Club has you covered with a number of bodyweight-only workouts. “However, when you compare it to the entire workout library, the bodyweight workouts are a small fragment,” says Amanda. 

Amanda gives NTC a 4-out-of-5-star rating for equipment demands, noting that you’ll need equipment for the majority of workouts, but you can filter workouts by what type of equipment you have available. 

Price per monthFree
Free trial period Always free
Type of trainingStrength training, yoga, pilates, mobility
Type of equipment required Bodyweight and minimal home gym setup

Best Strength Training Workout App: CENTR 

Good for: People looking for an affordable program for strength training and meal planning

Best for Strength Training

Centr Fitness App

Product Highlights

  • Fitness, nutrition, and mental health app
  • Vast library of workouts and programs
  • Healthy recipe database
  • Track both workouts and recipes
  • Meditations guided by Chris Hemsworth

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable monthly price
  • More than just workouts
  • Ultra thorough instruction using text and photos
  • Private Facebook community
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No interactive coaching
  • No suited for beginners

Bottom Line

CENTR Fitness app is everything you need in one place: workout library, nutritious recipes, and mental health resources. The app is also easy-to-use well organized so you can keep track of your workouts and recipes. It’s also pretty affordable with all three billing options under $30 per month. You can pay monthly, quarterly, or annually.

CENTR is a fitness app designed by famous actor Chris Hemsworth, also known as his character Thor in the Marvel movie. But there are no promises you’ll be able to build muscle quite like the on-screen hero. 

While your Thor-like goals may have to be put on pause, CENTR stands out to our expert product testers because it has a holistic style of coaching. 

A woman is holding up her phone to use the Centr app

“This app can schedule your workouts, help you with meal plans, and generates a shopping list for you based on your planned meals,” says Brittany Combs, GGR social media manager and expert product tester. “It also has a logbook for you to track your progress.” 

Brittany not only appreciates this holistic and personalized approach, she also appreciates the fact CENTR offers progressive overload principles, and gives the app a 5-out-of-5-star rating in this category. She notes the workouts programs are thoughtfully designed, offering progressions each week and the ability to choose from different tracks including beginner, intermediate, and advanced options. 

RELATED: 6-Week Beginner Workout Program

CENTR is focused on strength training and will require some equipment, but there are bodyweight options as well. Overall Brittany gives CENTR a 3-out-of-5-star rating for equipment demands. 

Screenshots show a workout with logbook in the Centr app

“The app has a section where you can check boxes on which pieces of equipment you have access to and then filter workouts that way,” she explains. “There are also several body weight programs, home gym programs, and commercial gym programs.” 

For more on CENTR, read our full CENTR review.

Price per month$29.99 (price break if you buy 6- or 12-month memberships)
Free trial period 7 days
Type of trainingStrength training 
Type of equipment required Bodyweight, home gym, and commercial gym options 

Best Powerlifting Workout App: JuggernautAI 

Good for: Anyone interested in a powerlifting program and doesn’t need 1:1 coaching 

Best for Powerlifting

JuggernautAI

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Use code "GARAGEGYM" for a discount on JuggernautAI training.
  • Smart powerlifting and powerbuilding program from Chad Wesley Smith, an accomplished strength athlete and owner of Juggernaut Training Systems.
  • Uses information such as your weight, training history, current fitness level and training load, personal records, goals, and ideal training schedule to create strength and hypertrophy blocks to prepare you for powerlifting or bodybuilding meets.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extremely intuitive app experience
  • Super smart and responsive AI
  • Offers a two-week free trial to see if you like it

Cons

  • Not the same as working with a real coach
  • Dashboard is a little confusing at first
  • Only for strength training (no cardio workouts)

Bottom Line

JuggernautAI compiles your information to create a personalized powerlifting and powerbuilding workout experience.

JuggernautAI is a powerlifting program generated by artificial intelligence. You won’t work with a coach or personal trainer, but rather input information about yourself (like your previous workout experience, personal records, your recovery habits, and weak points to name a few) into the app and allow AI to create a personalized powerlifting program based on your stats. 

The program is centered around getting stronger and improving the big three lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift). If you’re not interested in powerlifting (or powerbuilding—a combination of bodybuilding-style training and powerlifting), this will not be the best workout app for you. 

Screenshots of the JuggernautAI app showing various parts of the workout and profile dashboards

JuggernautAI is not just designed with your stats in mind, it’s designed to help you move the needle on your strength. “While artificial intelligence programs your workouts, it’s completely based on the principles of progressive overload,” explains Amanda Capritto, GGR product tester, writer, and certified personal trainer who used JuggernautAI for over a year. 

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You’ll be challenged to lift heavier weights, increase range of motion, complete more sets, and add more repetitions. In the progressive overload category, this app earns a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating. 

Because this is a powerlifting program, it may not be a surprise that you’ll need a squat rack, bench, barbell, and weight plates to complete your workouts. It will also be helpful to have access to dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands. 

RELATED: Best Resistance Bands on Amazon

Although more equipment is needed than other apps we reviewed, Amanda still gives JuggernautAI a 4-out-of-5-star rating for equipment demands. “You can swap in exercises each day or for an entire block based on what you have handy,” she explains. 

Amanda catching a barbell in the front-rack position

“For instance, I normally work out in my home gym, where I have limited dumbbells and kettlebells. But if I decide to do a Juggernaut workout at the CrossFit gym I go to twice a week, I can swap in a different move I might not normally do because of equipment restraints,” says Amanda. 

Read Amanda’s full JuggernautAI review for all of her thoughts. 

Price per month$35
Free trial period14 days
Type of trainingPowerlifting, powerbuilding
Type of equipment required Commercial gym or home gym with squat rack,
barbell, and weight plates

Best Workout App for Beginners: Aaptiv

Good for: Beginners looking for accountability and a structured program

Best for Beginners

Aaptiv

GGR Score: 4.14 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Audio-guided workout app
  • Over 2,500 workouts 
  • New workouts each week

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Audio-based classes
  • Thousands of workouts
  • New classes each week
  • Goal-based programs
  • Free trial for annual plan

Cons

  • Fewer coaches than competitors
  • No information on nutrition
  • Must sign up for annual plan to get the free trial

Bottom Line

Aaptiv is a great option for people looking for an alternative to video-based workout programs.

The Aaptiv fitness app is our top pick for beginners because it doesn’t just offer quality workouts, it can also help you stay accountable and has a reasonable monthly subscription fee. 

We also picked Aaptiv for beginners because the programming on a macro-level won’t be adequate for intermediate or advanced exercisers. However, Aaptiv is a great starting point and tester Amanda Capritto, GGR writer and CPT gives the app a 3-out-of-5-star rating for using progressive overload principles. 

“There are decent progressions in the programs, but it’s all pretty basic and you won’t see all the progression principles being used. It will certainly suffice for a beginner. Most programs are only about four to six weeks, so it’s not quite enough time to see big results, especially if you have training experience under your belt,” says Amanda. 

When it comes to equipment demands, the app earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating from Amanda with a wide selection of bodyweight and weight training workouts. Amanda appreciates that there is a way to filter by equipment in order to choose a workout. Plus, there is a selection of running and walking workouts you can do outside. Aaptiv has something for everyone including cardio, HIIT, full-body strength training, yoga, pilates, and mobility. 

RELATED: How Much HIIT Per Week Should You Do?

Amanda gives Aaptiv a 4-out-of-5-star rating for accountability. She notes there is a supportive online community, challenges you can join, and the ability to add your workout program to your calendar. When you use the calendar option, your workouts come up as appointments with calendar reminders, which is ideal for anyone establishing a routine. 

Check out our full Aaptiv fitness app review for more information.

Price per month$14.99
Free trial period7 days
Type of trainingStrength training, cardio, yoga, pilates, mobility
Type of equipment required Bodyweight or home gym setup

Best Workout App for Beginner Runners: Joggo

Good for: Someone new to running who has a goal of completing a race

Best for Beginner Runners

Joggo

GGR Score: 3.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Personalized running plans
  • Tailored to your fitness level and goals
  • Customized plan includes a strength training component
  • Video-guided and equipment-free videos 
  • Meal plans created by certified nutritionists
  • Running tracker to monitor progress

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Personalized run training program
  • Adapts every two weeks based on a progress test
  • Audio-guided encouragement
  • Treadmill running mode

Cons

  • Reviews complain that the focus is on weight loss even when not noted as a goal by the user
  • Reports that the customized meal plans leave users in a calorie deficit
  • No free version

Bottom Line

For those looking for a running-specific app, Joggo offers personalized running and nutritional plans although there are several users disappointed in its emphasis on weight loss.

Running can be an intimidating sport to get into; running distance races even more so. And while the barrier to entry is low—all you really need is a pair of running shoes—getting out there with a plan will make the journey to your first 10k, half marathon, or marathon much more enjoyable. Enter Joggo. 

Functioning as a digital running coach, Joggo ask you to take a short quiz about your goals, needs, and lifestyle and it creates a personalized running program for you to follow. You’ll also get access to nutritional help and other resources to become a better athlete, all for $33 per month. For a beginner runner who’s looking to get into racing, the value of Joggo is definitely there, earning it a 4 out of 5 in this category. 

You’ll start with an assessment run, and afterwards, Joggo will place you at a specific level. Our tester, GGR head of content Nicole Davis, who is just getting back into running after having her third baby, landed at Advancing Jogger initially. The app then populated a half-marathon training plan for her, complete with short strength workouts on off days to help keep injuries at bay.

“The strength workouts are very basic,” Nicole says. “I follow my own strength programming so I didn’t take advantage of these, but as a beginner runner, I think these would suffice—many runners neglect strength training altogether, so if you were just doing these, you’d be ahead of most.”

An image of Joggo screenshots

During the runs, you’ll hear audio cues to help cheer you on and remember to focus on your form. Nicole liked this, as she’s just getting back into running, but our other tester, CPT Amanda Capritto, is a much more seasoned runner and found the audio annoying.

“I could see it being helpful for true beginners who need cues throughout the run, like ‘remember to breathe’ or ‘slow down if your heart rate is above XYZ,’” Amanda said. This, in addition to the warm up that you’re forced to at least tap through, and helpful articles about running form and topics like “What is a side stitch and how to prevent it,” lead us to give Joggo a 3.75 out of 5 in Instruction.

There’s some accountability in Joggo—you can earn a run streak if you complete all of your assigned workouts for the week, and you can receive push notifications—but no community aspect and you really need to be self-motivated to complete each run. We scored Joggo a 3 out of 5 in Accountability and a 1 out of 5 in Interactive Features. 

To take advantage of Joggo’s nutrition planning, you’ll again take a short quiz about your eating preferences and it will offer you a meal plan to follow, as well as a recipe bank. If you make the meals they provide to you in the app, you can log them to keep track of your calories and macros as well. Nicole prefers an app like MyFitnessPal for macro tracking as it’s much more comprehensive, but others might like Joggo’s straightforward, all-in-one-app approach of diet and exercise.

RELATED: Best Weight Loss Apps

One thing Nicole mentioned is that the app puts a lot of emphasis on running for weight loss. That wasn’t Nicole’s ultimate goal with using the app, and she cautions that encouraging beginners to view cardio exercise as an end-all, be-all for weight loss is a slippery slope. 

However, overall, Nicole likes Joggo as a hub for her half-marathon training—she opens it, follows the workout, it records her performance, and adjusts her plan accordingly. There’s no free trial—earning it a 1 out of 5 in this category—and the monthly pricing is on the high end for workout apps at $33 per month, but if you have a goal in mind to run a long-distance race as a first-timer, Joggo would be worth the try. 

Price per month$33 per month
Free trial period None
Type of trainingRunning
Type of equipment required Running shoes (and a treadmill if you desire)

Best Progression Workout App: Ladder

Good for: Folks who want to get stronger with at-home workouts and easy tracking capabilities

Best for Progression

Ladder

GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Progressive strength training app
  • Train in 5-6 week blocks
  • 1:1 coaching options
  • 7-day free trial period
  • Bodyweight training available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Daily training options
  • Uses progressive overload
  • Affordable
  • Tracks progress

Cons

  • Must be on one workout track at a time
  • Available on iOS only

Bottom Line

Ladder is a fitness app with daily strength training workouts. You'll pick your preferred training style and stay in that track for 5 to 6 week blocks, which gradually get more challenging.

Ladder is a workout app that offers a variety of avenues for strength training. With Ladder, you’ll have programs that are equipment-specific and some that are catered to certain training styles. 

The Ladder app will either provide you with personalized program recommendations based on your goals and training style, or you can sign up for the Elite subscription and the app will pair you with a trainer for one-on-one coaching. 
Either way, you’ll be working to get stronger with progressive overload principles ingrained into the program. Nicole Davis, GGR senior editor and certified personal trainer, gives Ladder a 5-out-of-5-star rating for progressive overload (and she’s been using it for several months). 

“This is where this app shines,” Nicole says. “It’s not a bunch of random workouts that you just choose from each day.” Ladder’s workout programs are designed in five- to six-week blocks, followed by a deload week. 

RELATED: Best Online Workout Programs

“That’s how I was drawn to Ladder,” Nicole explains. “I’m a busy mom of three. I don’t have the time or energy to program something myself these days, so I wanted something that would take the guesswork out of it for me and still help me achieve results.”

Nicole has been strength training for over a decade and appreciates that Ladder is a strength-based app. But, she understands that not everyone wants a pure weight training routine. When it comes to variety, Nicole gives Ladder a 3-out-of-5-star rating and says, “If yoga or running is your jam, then this app isn’t it.”

Nicole notes that there is variety in terms of modality (like kettlebells, functional strength, bodyweight strength, bodybuilding, or HIIT sessions) but there isn’t a lot of variety once you begin your program. “But that’s kind of the point—if you want to gain strength, you need to be doing a lot of the same exercises but challenging yourself to go heavier and add reps each time,” says Nicole. 

Nicole provides even more details about her experience in our in-depth Ladder app review.

Price per month$29.99 (Pro), $44.99 (Elite) 
Free trial period7 days
Type of trainingStrength
Type of equipment required Bodyweight or home gym setup

Best Workout App for Runners: MapMyFitness

Good for: Runners on a budget who also want GPS tracking capabilities

Best for Runners

Map My Fitness by Under Armour

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Fitness app with GPS
  • Tracks routes, distances, pace, etc. 
  • Select from 600+ activities like including running, cycling, yoga, etc. 
  • Large community of athletes
  • MVP version offers training plans and coaching tips
  • Premium features include live tracking and audio coaching

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • GPS integration
  • Great community aspect
  • MVP version is affordable
  • Lots of options with free version
  • Integrates with most trackers and wearable
  • Plan and track your own routes

Cons

  • Requires MVP subscription to unlock some features

Bottom Line

Map My Fitness is a well-established and widely-used fitness tool that allows you to choose from a huge variety of workouts with some really notable features. Whether you're working out in a gym or looking for a route to run, Map My Fitness has got you covered.

MapMyFitness from UnderArmor is our workout app of choice for runners. It’s affordable at $5.99 per month (or $29.99 for an entire year, which breaks down to $2.49 per month) and offers pretty much everything you need from a running app. 

RELATED: Best Running Apps

It’s also worth mentioning there is a 15-day free trial for the premium version. Plus, you will have free access (forever) to GPS tracking for run, walk, road cycling, and mountain biking workouts.

Amanda Capritto, GGR writer, product tester, certified personal trainer, and endurance athlete tested MapMyFitness and reports, “This is the best running and GPS app out of all the ones I’ve tried.” 

When using a running app, you won’t have on-screen instruction or specific exercises, but as far an instruction goes, Amanda gives MapMyFitness a 5-out-of-5-star rating. Amanda reports the premium version gives you heart rate analyses, custom interval workouts that you can create, custom split data, audio coaching, power analysis, cadence analysis, and workout export options, and the ability to export your data to fitness trackers or health apps of your choice. 

One of Amanda’s callouts for this app is the GPS accuracy. She gives the MapMyFitness app a middle-of-the-road 3-star rating for GPS accuracy because although it was very similar to what her Garmin watch picks up, it is not always perfect. For reference, it’s usually within a tenth of a mile accuracy. 

Read our full MapMyFitness review for more thoughts.

Price per month$5.99 (pricing break with 12-month commitment)
Free trial period 15-day trial (some features are always free)
Type of trainingRunning
Type of equipment required None

Best Workout App for Data Tracking: Beyond The Whiteboard

Good for: Commercial or home gym owners who want CrossFit-style programming  

Beyond the Whiteboard

GGR Score: 4.43 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Individual and gym subscriptions available 
  • Plan, track, and analyze workouts in one place 
  • Features macro tracking, movement volume tracking, muscle imbalance analysis, fitness level, calendars, workout briefs, movement demos, and instructions
  • Connect with others via activity feeds 
  • Preprogrammed plans available that target different goals such as mastering a strict pull  or barbell mobility

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-in-one fitness tracking program
  • Affordable
  • Connect with other athletes
  • Programs available for one-time purchase

Cons

  • Reportedly not ideal for smaller gyms
  • A few users report it to be overwhelming the first few times used

Bottom Line

Beyond the Whiteboard is a comprehensive workout planning, tracking, and analysis fitness platform which includes preprogrammed plans. It offers both individual and gym subscription options but may not be well-suited for smaller establishments.

Beyond the Whiteboard is a workout app geared toward the CrossFit community and works well for both home gym and commercial gym owners. It’s our top pick for data tracking, an in-depth approach to tracking your workouts, metrics, and scoring. 

It’s also an excellent app for gym owners to track their member’s workout data and allow clients to take control of workout tracking, too. The app will give gym owners an access code to share with clients so they have free access to log workouts and keep track of PRs. 

The base price of $7.99 grants you access to a platform where you can design your own workouts and programs, track workouts and lifting progress, and earn badges and access the community forum. GGR tester, writer, and Olympic-level weightlifting athlete Caine Wilkes gives pricing of this app a 4-out-of-5-star rating. Although the base price offers quite a bit, he notes that more advanced programs and specific skill-based programs come at additional costs. 

RELATED: CrossFit Workouts at Home

The base price also includes basic programs from CrossFit.com and VNR (Varied Not Random). Caine reports these basic programs show up in your tracks once you’ve signed up. 

Caine also notes that VNR provides classic WODs (workout of the day) in three separate tracks: beginners, intermediate, and advanced (in addition to dumbbell-only and no equipment WODs). 

However, there are a ton of other programs on Beyond The WhiteBoard app that are behind a paywall—either a monthly subscription or one-time purchase. Purchasing them also grants you access to the community chat, where coaches can answer specific questions on workouts or exercise technique. 

Overall, Beyond The Whiteboard earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating for using progressive overload principles. “Each additional program follows basic strength training principles and offers plenty of information about the goal behind each training day (or program),” says Caine. 

RELATED: Best CrossFit Training Programs

Price per month$7.99
Free trial period 30 days 
Type of trainingCrossFit workout and skills
Type of equipment required Bodyweight, home gym, and commercial gym

Best Workout App for Yoga: Down Dog

Good for: All fitness levels wanting a consistent platform for at-home yoga sessions

Best for Yoga

Down Dog

GGR Score: 3.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Over 60,000 configurations for a personalized yoga practice
  • Beginner-friendly with a Beginner 1 Level in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Restorative
  • Multiple practice types, including Vinyasa, Cardio Flow, Hatha, Gentle, Restorative, Yin, Ashtanga, Chair, Yoga Nidra, Hot 26, and Sun Salutation
  • Available in multiple languages, including six different English-speaking voices and nine other languages.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Auto-generated workouts so it is a different workout every time
  • Fits all experience and fitness levels
  • Download classes to use offline
  • Configuration of poses and practices is immense
  • Clear instructions

Cons

  • Some reports of the app freezing
  • Music is reported to be mediocre
  • Pricing is not listed on their website

Bottom Line

For those who prioritize variety in their yoga practice, Down Dog offers over 60,000 ways to personalize your yoga practice, beginner-friendly options and various practice types. The pricing on their website is unclear.

If you’re looking for the best workout app for yoga, our expert testers suggest trying Down Dog. Although there is no free trial period, the app has an affordable price point of $7.99 per month, which is less than a typical one-hour yoga session. 

Frieda Johnson, GGR editor and expert product tester, enjoys the instructors, video demonstrations, and breathing cues. Overall, Frieda gives Down Dog a 4-out-of-5-star rating for instruction. 

Another enjoyable aspect of Down Dog is the easy-to-use interface and high levels of customization. The app earns a 5-star rating for ease of use. Frieda says “It’s very simple. There are only a few basic aspects to the app. The main page is where you can customize your yoga session by a large variety of factors.”

“You get to pick what you want for an impressive number of categories, including type of music, instructor leading the flow, length of session, and body part focus. The sessions I’ve done have been challenging but attainable for my experience level,” Frieda explains. 

Frieda also notes the “journey” tab in the app tracks how often you practice, and the “history” tab shows you what sessions you’ve completed, in addition to more detailed information like a list of poses. 

While yoga doesn’t inherently follow progressive overload principles like traditional strength training, there is something to be said for the ability to track your progress and the ability to review past poses within the yoga app. 

Frieda’s callouts are the fact that the app doesn’t have a free trial period and there are no accountability features or ways to incentivize you to log in for a new session (like push notifications and scheduled reminders). Other than that, Frieda thinks Down Dog deserves a spot in your app lineup if you want to be led through at-home yoga sessions. We have more details about her experience in our Down Dog app review.

Price per month$7.99
Free trial period No
Type of trainingYoga, prenatal yoga, HIIT, mediation, and barre
Type of equipment required Yoga mat (blocks or strap optional)

Best Workout App Instructors: Peloton

Good for: Exercisers seeking peppy, motivating instructors and live classes 

Best Instructors

Peloton App

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • World-class workout classes
  • Variety of fitness routines
  • On-bike and off-bike workouts
  • Don't need a Peloton bike to sign up for the app

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • World-class programming
  • Not just bike workouts
  • Can be used all over the world
  • Keeps tracks of all training metrics
  • Train from the comfort of your own home
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Two plan options

Cons

  • Required to access Peloton Bike's features

Bottom Line

The Peloton app is one of the best training programs we've come across on any piece of exercise equipment.

The Peloton app is a popular option for anyone who owns a cardio machine from Peloton, but it’s not necessary to own a Peloton brand machine—you can use the app on its own, too. The app features some of the most peppy, motivating, and upbeat instructors you’ll experience and that’s why our team agrees Peloton is the best workout app if you’re seeking high levels of enthusiasm from fitness instructors. 

Certified CrossFit instructor and expert product tester Caroline Lubinsky gives Peloton a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating in the instruction category. Not only are instructors filmed in high-quality studios with super crisp audio, the instructors lead you through the workout and provide demonstrations in real-time. 

RELATED: Peloton App Review

using touchscreen peloton bike

Whether you’re participating in a yoga class, treadmill bootcamp, or strength training session, instructors provide adequate rest, enough time to change weights or resistance, and encourage you to stick through all the physically tough moments. 

Caroline also appreciates the fact you can filter workouts by instructors. “After a few weeks of using Peloton, I knew who my favorite instructors were: Robin Arzón, Jess Sims, and Becs Gentry. Each has their own unique style that helps me push myself to perform better.” 

woman riding peloton bike

“The filters make the experience more customizable. Plus, it’s super user-friendly,” says Caroline. Not only can you filter your workouts by instructor, you can also search workouts based on workout duration, type of class, difficulty level, and music.” 

Speaking of music, the app even offers artist-based workouts to curate workout playlists based on your favorite artists. You’ll be able to find everything from Metallica to Taylor Swift. 

RELATED: Best Workout Playlist on Spotify

Price per month$12.99 (app only) or $44 (all-access)
Free trial period 30-day trial for new users only
Type of trainingCycling, bootcamp, walking, cycling, stretching, tread,
bootcamp, running, meditation, outdoor, yoga, strength,
boxing, pilates, barre
Type of equipment required Bodyweight, free weights, cardio equipment 

Other Workout Apps We Tested

We’ve tested 20 different workout apps at the time of publication and we plan to test more. Here are a few examples of apps that didn’t quite make the cut for this best workout apps roundup: 

  • Freeletics: Our tester, Megan Capritto (Amanda’s sister) mentions one of her qualms with Freeletics is the fact there is very little instruction provided. “There are animations that show the exercise, but there is no one explaining how to do it,” says Megan. 
  • JRNY: While we like this app for owners of Bowflex or Schwinn cardio equipment, you won’t get much utility out of this if you aren’t. Read our full JRNY app review for all the details.
  • MVT Fitness App: While we like the programming, the MVT app itself is glitchy and a bit confusing, detracting from the overall experience. Read our full MVT Fitness app review for all of our pros and cons.
  • Strava: This app is very useful for activity tracking, but isn’t the best place to go if you need workouts to follow. Read our Strava fitness app review for more.
  • WODster: Amanda used this app and thought the user interface was difficult to navigate saying, “You can filter by equipment, movement type, and type of workout (for time, for rounds, for load). Otherwise it’s just a MASSIVE list of WODs in alphabetical order.”
  • Train Hard: This app is an excellent choice for folks looking for CrossFit programming at home, but it’s not for the faint of heart with high volume training and heart-pounding EMOMs and AMRAP sets. While this app doesn’t offer a free trial for you to test, we have our all the details in our Train Hard app review.

How We Picked and Tested Workout Apps

Our product testers were tasked with testing multiple fitness apps and rating them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars in 14 different categories. Our in-depth methodology covered categories ranging from overall value and ease of use to workout variety and equipment demands. 

Not all categories were applicable to every app we tested, but overall most apps were judged in 10 different categories. For example, a running app won’t offer much variety or need equipment. 

All of the fitness apps were tested for at least several workouts by our expert product testers, while many apps were tested for a full month or longer. The length of testing depended on how much the tester actually enjoyed the program and how much progression was offered from the program. 

Below is a sampling of five categories and how we assigned scores to each one: 

Trial Period

In our book, fitness apps with free trials earned higher points than ones without. In fact, apps with no trial periods earned a 1-star rating in this category. A 3-star rating meant the app offers a pretty typical seven-day free trial. 

To earn a 4- or 5-star rating, the trial needs to last for a seven-day period (some apps offer 14 days) and either doesn’t require your credit card to sign up, or sends a reminder that your trial is about to end.

using laptop sunny rower

Pricing

For general programming, apps earned a 4- or 5-star rating when the monthly membership fee landed under $15 per month. For an app to earn a 1-star rating, the app costs $35 per month or more. 

We recognize this scoring system isn’t perfect, because personal training apps come at a higher cost (more like several hundred dollars per month). For one-on-one coaching apps, we compared pricing to in-person training sessions, which can run from $50 to $150 per hour depending on your area. 

Progressive Overload

Workout plans that didn’t have a clear path toward progression earned low, 1-star scores from our team. For an app to earn higher, 4- or 5-star ratings, the workout program needed to clearly follow the principles of progressive overload

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lift heavier weights or run longer distances—a program with progressive overload can challenge you by way of variation via load, reps, rest time, volume, or range of motion. Basically, we wanted evidence that programs weren’t just random kitchen sink workouts. 

Ease of Use

Because the programs we tested are 100% online, it’s important that the platform is easy to use and doesn’t take away from the workout experience. For an app to earn a 1-star rating the interface is confusing, there are no filters for specific needs, and it generally feels chaotic. 

If the app is generally OK after a short learning curve, testers could give the app a middle-of-the-road 3-star rating. Only 5-star ratings were reserved for apps with seamless user experience where workouts are easy to find, see, hear, follow along, and track after your workout is done. 

Nathan doing pull-ups and following along with Future app

Equipment Demands

Our team is all about home workouts and home gyms. If an app requires you to have access to a full gym or only has a small percentage of workouts that can be performed with minimal equipment, that was cause for a 1- or 2-star rating. 

The best scores were given to apps that offered a large percentage of their workouts with minimal equipment or offered ways to change a cable or barbell exercise for a similar body weight or dumbbell movement. 

Amanda resting a barbell on her shoulders in between reps

Benefits of the Best Workout Apps

As a certified personal trainer myself, I know it’s not as easy as it sounds to hire a personal trainer and make it to in-person sessions on a weekly basis. Below I outline three top benefits of using a workout app versus in-person training (or trying to plan everything on your own). 

Accountability 

One of the biggest reasons clients come through the door looking for a personal trainer is accountability. Having time and money on the line is one of the more effective ways to keep yourself accountable. So how do you stay accountable to an app? 

Well, our product testers found that some of the best workout apps either sent push notifications to your phone about upcoming workouts or allowed you to schedule your workout as an appointment on your personal (or work) calendar. Some apps even have coaching check-ins or community boards for additional accountability. 

Nathan FaceTiming with his coach from Future

Cost-Effective

When I worked as a full-time personal trainer, the gym I worked at charged $70 for 60-minute one-on-one sessions. If you were to work with a personal trainer once a week, it would cost you $280 per month, which adds up to $3,360 per year. 

While there are other ways to make in-person sessions less costly (like group classes or splitting the cost of private sessions with a friend), online coaching and workout apps are typically less expensive than in-person training and allow you to access your training resources on a daily basis. 

Workout Whenever 

With online workout apps, you can get a workout any time of day. You won’t have to worry about coordinating with a personal trainer or dashing out of work to catch your favorite class. With an app, you can complete your workouts any time of day—first thing in the morning or on your lunch break—it’s totally up to you. 

A woman performing a plank outdoors on a deck

What to Look for in Workout Apps

After our team collaborated on testing over 20 fitness apps, here is what our product testers want you to know before you sign up for that monthly subscription. 

Fitness Classes vs Training Program

Some apps like Peloton and iFIT offer an on-demand library consisting of a variety of workouts—everything from boutique yoga to instructor-led outdoor cardio sessions. Typically, these on-demand classes don’t offer custom workouts and it’s meant to be completed as you follow along with the video instructions. 

RELATED: Best iFIT Workouts

Double kettlebell swing

A training program on the other hand is typically a list of exercises methodically selected by a personal trainer (or AI in some cases) to target specific muscle groups. Typically you can go at your own pace and won’t need to follow a live class or workout video. That said, the best workout apps will provide a short video or animation to demonstrate each movement properly. 

Workout Tracking

Before you sign up, be cognizant about if (and how) the app will track workouts and progress. Tracking workouts is helpful to make sure you’re progressing, getting stronger, or losing weight—all depending on what kind of fitness journey you’re on. 

RELATED: Best Weight Loss Supplements 

If the app you’re interested in logs your workout metrics or records personal bests, it’s a good indicator there will be some amount of progressive overload and progression included in the training plan. 

whoop 4.0 phone display

Style of Training 

This may sound obvious, but make sure you’re signing up for an app that offers the style of training you like (or want to try). Whether you’re into pilates, yoga, barre, HIIT, cardio, or strength training, make sure the app has what you want. 

RELATED: Kettlebell HIIT Workout 

No sense in wasting your time and money navigating through a pilates and yoga app when you really wanted dumbbell training and high-intensity bodyweight exercises. 

Best Workout Apps: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about the best workout apps: 

Is there a free app to track workouts?

Nike Training Club is free and allows you to track your workouts. The Caliber app is also free, provides basic strength training, and allows you to design your own programs.

What workout apps work best?

Here are the top fitness apps we tested based on over 20 different workout apps: 
-Best Workout App Overall: Caliber
-Best Personal Training Workout App: Future 
-Best Workout App for Variety: iFIT 
-Best Free Workout App: Nike Training Club 
-Best Strength Training Workout App: CENTR 
-Best Powerlifting Workout App: JuggernautAI 
-Best Workout for Beginners: Aaptiv 
-Best Progression Workout App: Ladder 
-Best Workout App for Runners: MapMyFitness 
-Best Workout App for Data Tracking: Beyond the Whiteboard 
-Best Workout App for Yoga: Down Dog 
-Best Workout App Instructors: Peloton 

Is there a workout app for iPhone?

There are endless options for iPhones users to find a quality workout app designed for your preferred style of training. In addition to the best workout apps we reviewed for this roundup, Apple Fitness offers a 30-day free trial to new subscribers. Apple Fitness can be accessed from your iPhone’s settings or App Store. 

Further reading

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Rowing Workouts for Beginners: Your Starting Guide to Endurance and Intervals

Fitness apps may seem like a dime a dozen, but our product testers here at Garage Gym Reviews have tested 20 different workout apps to determine which ones are worth your time and money. But what makes us reliable experts? We’re a group of certified personal trainers, gym owners, and Olympic-level athletes with tons of experience in following training programs, designing our own programs, and coaching clients through programs as well. The best workout apps offer more than just stand-alone workouts.  » Read more about: Best Workout Apps (2024): More Than 50 Classes Tested by Personal Trainers to Shake Up Your Boring Workout Routine  » Read more

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