Long gone are the days of heading to the gym to have a professional trainer instruct your workouts. Now you can get professionally designed workouts customized to your fitness level and needs without leaving your living room. Sure, you can YouTube workouts… some of my favorite ones come from PopSugar’s channel. Although when doing this, you haven’t really customized anything to fit your needs. Also you will need to make sure you are keeping track of what muscle groups you’ve worked out each day to ensure you are working the total body throughout the week.
Enter fitness apps.
I am on board with this millennial concept. I love the ease of access and the customization that fitness apps allow for. You can do them from your living room with little to no equipment at a fraction of the cost of a gym membership. There is still community support in all of these apps with posting boards for Q & A and encouragement as well as chat type rooms. I tried 3 different apps over the last year and here are my thoughts.
SWEAT by Kayla Itsines
Kayla Itsines is a celebrity trainer from Australia and has created this killer app, along with some other notable trainers. The app has 4 different programs available within it Beach Body Guide or BBG for short, BBG Stronger (more weight lifting centric and is intended as a guide for gym use), Yoga, and Post Partum. I only participated in the regular BBG.
In BBG you can choose from 3 different fitness levels- Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. BBG mainly consists of HIIT style workouts and circuit training. Each week your workouts are set and and varied for your through out. Each workout is about 28 minutes long and include a cool down/ stretching period. A huge bonus is that she has GIFS of herself conducting each move for your instruction. The first down side is that she does not include a guided warm up. The second is that she does not show modifications of the moves. So if you are new to fitness and have no experience in mods- this could be an issue. The other thing I LOVE about this app is that she has teamed up with Apple Music to have music integrated into the app (with optional playlists from your phone or Apple Music). This is huge since I find it a pain in the booty to have to open and switch from music app to workout app if I need to. The apps interface is super user friendly and oh so pretty- very aesthetically pleasing. She also includes a weekly meal plan/ shopping list/ recipes.
All in all I liked the app very much but found that it was a bit expensive for an app. Especially since I knew other apps gave you the same quality for less. The workouts were great and I did feel stronger and energized from them… but for my own personal style… I wasn’t a fan of burning out my muscles super fast. I felt like she often chose moves that would be performed back to back working the same muscle group. By the time I got to the second round, they were already hurting so much!
BODY LOVE by Ana Victoria
Ana Victoria is your girl next door turned fitness trainer and has won hearts over with her genuine heart, candidness, and her own transformation story. She definitely lives and believes in her 80/20 rule. You can see the 80/20 rule in action on her instagram story where she shares much of her day. The 80/20 rule is a way to balance your life and relationship with food. 80% of the time you eat healthy and within certain parameters. The other 20% is for you to live your life and indulge…wine, pizza, burgers, or whatever your heart fancies.
The actual app is called Body Love by Ana Victoria and is just one program to follow. Of course it offers different levels of beginner, intermediate, and advanced for your work out routine. The workouts are mainly HIIT style and are under 30 minutes. She has the work outs set and varied for you, so through out the week you are working the total body. She has GIF examples in her app for you to refer to. She does focus a it more on abs, as 3 of the days are devoted to cardio and abs ( but also have other muscle group moves in them too). Like the SWEAT app she has a carefully planned meal plan for the week ready to go based off of your own stats, with shopping lists and recipes too. The actual interface is very pretty but not as functional as the SWEAT app. I found it to be somewhat clunky. I also did not like how there was no guided warm up OR cool down. She did offer them but you had to go a different screen and search out those options.
In the end I did like this app and what is had to offer. It was the lack of what it didn’t offer that left me wanting for more, especially since it is $16.99/month. At that price I felt like I might as well go back to the SWEAT app and have the cool down included as well as the integrated music. The workouts themselves were great and I felt good when performing them. Somedays I felt like I could have used more, but that could have just been me needing to up my fitness level from intermediate to advanced. Even if you don’t want to sign up for her app, give her a follow on instagram because she truly is so sweet and you’ll love how she does not hide the real her on her social media. If she ate “bad” that day you know it. If she didn’t workout for a week she admits to it and says it’s okay, just get back at it.
Tone It Up by Karena Dawn & Katrina Scott
I never intended to like Tone It Up. I avoided learning about it for so long because Karena and Katrina seemed too cute, squeaky, perfect, polished…like the popular girls in high school you loved but secretly envied because they were everything you were not. BOY DID I MISS OUT! Once I got over being jealous of these ladies and came to terms of love and acceptance of my body (still a work in progress, as many of you know) I truly started to love these ladies and what they stood for. They have a good vibes only feel and want each woman to embrace themselves for who they are.
Now on to their app. The Tone It Up or TIU app is different than the aforementioned since it is not based in just one style of workout. Rather in their set and varied workouts for the week they incorporate different programs such as kickboxing, weight lifting, pilates, yoga, HIIT, pregnancy approved. Most of the videos have a warm up and cool down, which I love. All of the workouts have ranging times too. So if you only have 10 minutes- there is a video for that, if you have an hour to kill- there is one for that too. Not only do they have the set and varied workouts for you but they also have the Daily Moves in the form of GIFs (which are actually free if you have the app and do not want to pay for a membership) AND they have a huge On Demand section where you can choose what workout you want to do that day in case what is planned isn’t your flavor. They create a class like mentality in 2 ways. First they have a community message board within the app for you to encourage other members. Second they have you sign up for the workouts of the day. Class start times usually start on the hour. Don’t have the option of starting at a specific time? That’s okay you can still find the class of the day in the On Demand section of the app and can do it at any time. They really make it so easy and no reason for you to not get your workout in. Another huge plus for me is that you are able to cast the workout to your Smart TV or whatever technology you have that allows it. I love this because it sucks to squint at a little screen to do your workouts. They also have their own protein line, snacks, workout accessories, and clothing line. It truly is a cottage industry. The down side is that they do not include a meal plan in their app, but it can be purchased separately for a hefty price. The actual price of their app is a steal for how much is offered, $12.99. The app is beautifully designed and aesthetically it is pleasing. It takes a while to get used to where you need to go for what you’re looking for. Initially when I started using it I felt it was clunky but the more I use it, it makes sense, since it offers so much. I’m loving the variation in the workouts and the fact that they have pregnancy approved options since I am prego. :) So far the app is my favorite and the workouts leave me feeling energized and happy.
No matter your workout style or budget there is a workout app for you, whether it is to start a routine or supplement your current program. The three I mentioned here are just a few of what is available. All of these ladies have done a fantastic job making fitness accessible and fun. Now it’s just up to you to choose!