Product Review: Aaptiv Personal Training App


Aaptiv? What in heaven’s name is an Aaptiv?

This unsurprisingly was my first reaction to a name which gave no indication of what the product promised to deliver. My ignorance was, admittedly, tempered by the fact that I had been lucky enough to be able to try the app out for two weeks. Who could say no right? Nevertheless, if you’re like me an unsure about what Aaptiv is, it’s probably best to do some background info first.


What then is an Aaptiv?

In one succinct sentence, Aaptiv is a personal trainer in your pocket.

To elongate that just a smidge…

Aaptiv is a handy smart phone app whose purpose is to help your through your workouts, whatever they may be. Upon opening the app, you’re presented with a range of different workout options from pure strength training to numerous forms of cardio. Coupled with this, it also comes with various challenges which were incredibly fun to try and at times fail miserably at. More than just sterile words on a screen, Aaptive workouts are accompanied by a virtual personal trainer who tells you to increase the tempo, keep the intensity or simply to hold out for that little bit longer.

The trainer’s voice is a surprisingly effective means of keeping your workout on point. Previous research has shown that different types of music affect the intensity and tempo of your training. My own uniformed opinion believes that the different trainers provided by the Aaptive app do likewise.

Similarly, the app is catered towards a variety of levels as each workout option comes with different resistance levels. Level I for beginners, Level II for more advanced and so on and so forth. What I particularly liked about this was that you could mix and match the intensities. So while I might choose Level V for strength training, I could content myself with Level II for cardio. Impressively the trainer’s input (or virtual trainer’s input I suppose?) varies itself with the resistance level.

Something that I didn’t do owing to my own intransigence was join the active Facebook group that Aaptiv operates. I’ll spare you the tirade about my views on Facebook as a ‘social’ media platform and keep this article at least somewhat coherent! The Aaptive group not only provides a variety of articles on health and fitness, it’s also a community for people using the App to discuss their latest workouts, what challenges they’re facing in their quest for health and their own general musings about the App. Despite being skeptical about Facebook on a grand scale, I could see this element of the App working incredibly well for people. Indeed, I remember how difficult it was to begin working out by myself so something like this would have been of immense benefit to 18 year old me. Too little too late for this old codger eh?

Having used the App religiously for the past two weeks, here are my very humble ideas about it.

What Works

  • The sheer variety offered by this app equals anything offered by your local gym. I could do strength training, enough cardio to keep a racehorse happy and enough wacky workout challenges to satisfy the exercise addict in me. This in and of itself was fantastic. Especially in a fitness world that often streamlines activities. One of the things I admire about the physical culturists of yore like George Hackenschmidt was their proficiency in so many different walks of life. Aaptiv caters to that.
  • Though I was skeptical at first, the trainer’s input was very helpful in pushing through the tougher parts of the workout. Indeed it even became part of the fun and by the end of it, I found myself loving the corny and often cliched lines about pushing past your limits. Heck I enjoyed it okay?
  •  Accountability – while I didn’t use the Facebook group, it’s clear from viewing it that Aaptiv is helping people keep up their workouts and join a wider exercise community. That in itself is impressive.
  • It’s portability. Most people carry their phones into the gym nowadays anyway. Aaptiv requires no special equipment, is easy to navigate around and is very user friendly. Having a new gym toy that doesn’t require adding anything else to my gym bag is always appreciated.


Things to Consider Before Downloading

  • This is a paid app and I’m still a student. So while I genuinely enjoyed this app, there’s no way I can afford it in the long run. I’m aware that money and spending is entirely relative so take this suggestion with a pinch of salt. I will say however that the rates of $9.99 for one month or $8.33 per month for twelve months, are I believe entirely reasonable. Heck even the lifetime membership of $399.99 is reasonable when you consider how much a year’s membership to a gym is. On the price front, I would say that if you can afford it, absolutely go for it. It is fun, keeps you accountable and can improve your health. For that it’s a pittance
  • Attitude: Displaying my own training stubbornness, I like to bring as little as possible to the gym when I train. A water bottle and some chalk or weightlifting shoes if I’m training legs. I don’t bring my phone, my iPod or anything else I feel will distract me. Heck if it was up to me, the gym wouldn’t play any music at all (something incidentally that Vince Gironda’s gym never did). When I train, I won’t to devote full concentration to the muscle being worked. Having anything in my ears can distract me. Having a phone with WhatsApp and Emails on it beside me is a recipe for disaster for my concentration levels. This I admit is a personal attitude to life but I like to train minimally and if I need to psyche myself up for a lift, do it from my own ‘reserve’.


In sum, I have to admit that I’m very impressed with this product. I’ve recommended it already to friends who are just beginning their own fitness journeys and also to those a little further down the path. My sense is that depending on one’s disposition, this App will truly change your training for the better.

As always, happy lifting!

Aaptiv Links


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