Exercise is a powerful tool to enhance your physical fitness, improve your mental health, and support overall well-being. But getting started or staying consistent can feel challenging. If you can relate, this review is written for you.

Our Handbook Team created a list of the best workout apps by researching multiple platforms, consulting with medical and fitness experts, and testing features ourselves. The ones that made the cut offer a great user experience. But most importantly, they provide enjoyable and motivating ways to stay active and meet your goals.

Best fitness app overall

We love Caliber for its convenience, accountability features, and quality coaching programs. You can choose one of four plans that fit your budget and schedule, which offers plenty of avenues to meet your fitness goals.

HelpGuide Handbook’s healthy living testing methodology

Our Handbook Team members research, download, and personally test fitness apps to find the best ones. To date, our testers have subscribed to seven top fitness apps for testing. For each platform, the testers follow the program and use the features and functions for several weeks. During that time, we do the following:

Our Fitness App Testing Process
Subscribe as a new member. Subscribe as a new member.
Download the app. Download the app.
Use the program to track exercises, activity level, sleep, and calories burned. Use the program to track exercises, activity level, sleep, and calories burned.
Follow exercise guidance included in the program. Follow exercise guidance included in the program.
Test workouts and interactions with personal coaches (when applicable). Test workouts and interactions with personal coaches (when applicable).
Contact customer support with questions. Contact customer support with questions.
Participate in online forums, coaching sessions, and create custom workouts (when applicable). Participate in online forums, coaching sessions, and create custom workouts (when applicable).
Explore app and website for articles, exercise tips, and educational content. Explore app and website for articles, exercise tips, and educational content.
Talk to other members about their experience. Talk to other members about their experience.

By becoming familiar with the websites and apps and using them ourselves, we gain a detailed view of how easy, or difficult, it is to incorporate the fitness program into a daily routine.

Participating in online member communities and coaching sessions gives us insight into the type of support each platform offers. Our interviews with nutritionists, exercise scientists, physical therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches help us learn more about the connections between fitness, weight loss, physical health, and mental health.

One detail we focus on is the sustainability of each program or app. A successful fitness app teaches you how to establish and maintain healthy exercise habits for the long-term.

Our testing results, experiences of other customers, and professional opinions of health experts all inform the conclusions in this review of the best fitness apps.

Learn more about our healthy living review methodology.

What you need to know about the best fitness apps

Best Fitness Apps
The best workout app depends on your fitness goals and budget. The best workout app depends on your fitness goals and budget.
Our best overall pick is Caliber, which offers four different plans. Our best overall pick is Caliber, which offers four different plans.
Most apps offer at least a one-week trial period to determine if they’re right for you. Most apps offer at least a one-week trial period to determine if they’re right for you.
Workout apps cater to all fitness levels, including beginners. Workout apps cater to all fitness levels, including beginners.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, talk to your doctor to ensure you can safely start an exercise program. If you have a pre-existing health condition, talk to your doctor to ensure you can safely start an exercise program.

Compare the best workout apps of 2024

Price before discounts Free, $12, or $200+ per month $199 per month $66 (two-month plan), $106 (four-month plan), $264 (six-month plan) $14.99 per month (iFit Train) or $39.99 per month (iFit Pro) $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year
Free trial period or money-back guarantee? Yes, seven to 30 days Yes, 30 days No Yes, 30 days Yes, seven days with the annual plan
Type of training Virtual coaching, cardio, strength Virtual coaching Cardio and strength Cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, sleep, meditation, strength, barre, mobility, boxing Cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, sleep, meditation, strength, barre, mobility, boxing

Best overall: Caliber

Caliber offers various training and pricing structures to fit anyone’s fitness or weight loss goals. We love how it’s convenient, keeps you accountable, and provides effective coaching.

Key features
  • Price before discounts: Free, $12, or $200 per month or more, depending on the program.
  • Free trial period or money-back guarantee: Yes, seven to 30 days, depending on the plan.
  • Type of training: Virtual coaching, cardio, strength.
  • Live classes: No.
  • Equipment required: No.
  • Device compatibility: iOS and Android.
  • Key feature: Four programs to choose from, including coaching in a one-on-one or group setting, which can fit anyone’s fitness goals.
Pros and cons of Caliber
Pros Plenty of programs available for different budgets. Group or personalized fitness training plans led by a certified personal trainer. Great data tracking is available with the option to add nutrition tracking. Multiple ways to maintain accountability. Offers a seven- to 30-day trial period. Cons Premium plan is expensive. No live or on-demand classes.
Best Overall

Our final verdict

If you’re searching for the most well-rounded fitness app to keep you accountable to your personalized goals, Caliber is the best choice. Our team highly praises this app for its variety of programs designed to meet your targets, regardless of your fitness level.

We chose to test the Premium plan, which starts at $200 monthly (although they want you to commit to three months, which totals $600). This plan comes with one-on-one personal training and a virtual appointment with your coach once per month. If you want to see your coach weekly, it can cost up to $1,400 across three months. We know paying up to $1,400 can be a hefty investment. Still, if you compare that cost to an in-person trainer charging up to $150 per hour in some areas, Caliber’s Premier access to all the app’s features can be relatively good value. And if you disagree, you can cancel it within the 30-day trial period.

When our testers signed up for the Premium plan, they received an exercise plan tailored to their personal needs and available resources. They especially love how the exercises come with detailed written and video instructions. If you feel lost, you can send the trainer a video through the app to check your physical form.

From our tester

“I was given a coach that I relate to and who helped me stay accountable. She was my age and a mom, so she understood my struggles. She was also very nice and helpful. I felt that my workouts were very relevant to me. I got a mix of intense and low-impact exercises due to my restraints and needs.”

We also appreciate how Caliber offers other options. Our testers are impressed by how many fitness features are available with the free version, customizing your profile to your workout frequency and self-reported goals. You get home workouts generated using artificial intelligence (AI) based on your available equipment and have the freedom to edit or exchange exercises. You can also set your schedule and track your weight, sets, and repetitions for future reference. 

Screenshot of the Caliber workout tracking feature
Enter your workout data in the app to track what you’ve done and see your progress over time.

We think this is an impressive amount of features for a free app. But if you want to unlock data tracking (like syncing nutrition data from its partner app Cronometer), you can upgrade to the Plus plan for $12 per month, which comes with a one-week trial period. This can be worth it if you have specific goals, like weight loss.

Best for personal training: Future

Best for personal training

Future is a fitness app that specializes in flexible and individualized personal training. We love that you’re assigned a certified personal trainer who is available to answer questions or modify training programs most days of the week.

Key features
  • Price before discount: $199 per month.
  • Free trial period or money-back guarantee: Yes, 30 days.
  • Type of training: Virtual coaching.
  • Live classes: No.
  • Equipment required: No.
  • Device compatibility: iOS and Android.
  • Key feature: Individualized and flexible personal training for those who want custom workout plans.
Pros and cons of Future
Pros Personalized programs from a certified personal trainer with detailed instruction. Flexible training to fit your schedule, restrictions, equipment, and goals. Accessible coaches with in-app communication encouraged. High accountability from personal trainers. Offers a 30-day trial period. Cons Expensive unless you’re looking to replace in-person personal training. May not be great for beginners.

Our final verdict

Future earns a spot in this review because it offers highly customized coaching from a certified personal trainer who can accommodate your goals and restrictions. The biggest standout to our team is how accessible the coach is—our testers could reach out during the week for exercise modifications or questions, which is more access than you’d get from many in-person one-on-one coaches.

This app can be quite valuable despite its monthly cost of $199 ($179, $169, or $149 per month if you commit for three months, six months, or a year, respectively). A personal trainer at the gym may cost up to $150 per month, but you may not have frequent communication with them for accountability or program adjustments from the start. We like how Future offers an in-app communication channel between coaches and clients, encouraging you to discuss your program, ask for adjustments, or get feedback based on your performance. One of our testers notes how they can text their trainer during the week with quick responses, and if they miss a workout, the trainer checks in to see if a schedule adjustment is needed. 

From our tester

“I met with my coach virtually once for a 20-minute meet and greet. Before we met, I messaged her about my goals, likes and dislikes, and other information for a productive call. I used Future while traveling back and forth for work, so we figured out some alternatives for workouts at the hotel when I needed them. She did an awesome job accommodating my preferences and was super responsive!”

Screenshot of a text message from a personal trainer on Future
Future’s virtual trainers do a great job holding clients accountable, checking in periodically to see how they can modify your workout or further challenge you.

Future allows a one-month trial period to try out the app before fully committing (similar to Caliber). However, you do have to pay upfront and will be refunded if you decide to cancel. But if you consider stopping because you’re unhappy with your coaching, our testers encourage you to switch trainers first. One of our testers easily switched coaches and was impressed by the simple process. “My previous trainer gave the new one the notes I had sent to him to brief him on the types of workouts I was interested in, and she picked right up where he left off,” they say.

Otherwise, we understand virtual personal training isn’t for everyone. In fact, our testers don’t recommend paying for Future if you’re a beginner because the program and its exercises can feel complicated despite the video instruction. Rather than paying top dollar for virtual training, some beginners may find more value in hands-on personal training or group sessions to learn exercises you can also try on your own. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable visiting a gym yet, you can opt for a less expensive app with various training options to explore from home

Learn more in our Future Review.

Best for runners: Joggo

Best for runners

Joggo offers tailored programs based on your current ability, allowing you to build your endurance over time and become a stronger runner. Our testers appreciate how Joggo’s running programs incorporate strength training to support progress and a meal plan for those with weight loss goals.

Key features
  • Price before discounts: $66 (two-month plan), $106 (four-month plan), $264 (six-month plan)
  • Free trial period or money-back guarantee: No.
  • Type of training: Cardio and strength.
  • Live classes: No.
  • Equipment required: No.
  • Device compatibility: iOS and Android.
  • Key feature: Tailored running programs with strength training guidance and optional meal planning.
Pros and cons of Joggo
Pros Running program tailored to your ability. Easy-to-follow schedules and exercises. Readjustable goal-setting capabilities. Strength training and meal planning to support your fitness or weight loss goals. Good for aspiring runners who start at walking paces. Emphasizes building better habits over caloric goals. Cons Limited in-app accountability. No trial period. Must use an Apple Watch for most accurate workout tracking.

Our final verdict

Joggo is a fitness app designed to help you make incremental improvements in your running ability. After onboarding and answering questions about your goals and training preferences, Joggo sets up a well-rounded running program paired with strength training exercises that can support your progress and help prevent injury.

From our tester

“When I was picking my running days, the app wouldn’t let me choose more than four. This is a good safeguard against overuse injuries, which happen when you ramp up too quickly. I liked seeing how Joggo protects the user.”

Our team thinks Joggo’s goal-setting technique is quite accurate. To start, Joggo asks you to perform a walk or run for 10–30 minutes to determine your starting point. Then, it builds your program based on the level it assigns you. The goal is to advance levels over time as you meet certain achievements. For example, one of our testers was a “Level 7 Advanced Jogger” and needed to complete a 2-mile run in 30 minutes to progress to the next level, which felt doable. 

The brand’s easy-to-follow program was designed to get them to their goal over the course of two weeks. If they needed more time, Joggo reset the program for the next two weeks, and they got to keep working toward their goal. “It felt gamified, in a way,” says one tester. “I like to be competitive, so I like knowing I have an achievement to hit. But the app didn’t make me ashamed if I didn’t hit my goal. I got more chances. I’m just glad they mixed my training program with strength and rest days, so I’m not hyper-focused on the running goal. I’d probably overwork myself.”

We also like how you can customize a meal plan at no extra cost. “I can choose from many Mediterranean-inspired recipes and assign them as meals throughout the week. It also has a grocery list feature that helps me plan what to get,” says one tester. “But you can’t input your own meals, calories, or macronutrients, so it’s not a great tracker unless you solely utilize the app’s recipes.”

Runner using an Apple Watch to track data through Joggo
Collecting Joggo workout data is only compatible using an Apple Watch. We found that if you want the most accurate pace history and heart rates without manually entering the data from another wearable tracker, you’ll want to have one on hand

To learn more about Joggo’s features and what we thought about them, check out our in-depth Joggo Review.

Best for beginners: iFit

Best for beginners

iFit is an app that offers various live or on-demand workout classes led by coaches worldwide. Based on our testing, this platform is perfect for beginners who want to try different types of training and discover which workout is most fulfilling and motivating.

Key features
  • Price before discounts: $14.99 per month (iFit Train for mobile) or $39.99 per month (iFit Pro for exercise machines).
  • Free trial period or money-back guarantee: Yes, 30 days.
  • Type of training: Cardio, strength, mindfulness, yoga, Pilates, barre.
  • Live classes: Yes, racing events.
  • Equipment required: No.
  • Device compatibility: iOS and Android.
  • Key feature: Plenty of on-demand workout classes for people who want to try something new at home, with or without equipment.
Pros and cons of iFit
Pros A variety of workout classes for beginners to explore. Live races are available to stay motivated. Syncs with many pieces of fitness equipment and wearable tech, but none are necessary to complete a workout. Offers mindfulness training and some nutrition education. Fairly priced. Offers a 30-day trial period. Cons Lacks built-in accountability. Few strength-based class options.

Our final verdict

If you’re new to exercise, iFit is one of our favorite options. It offers more than 60 types of workouts and thousands of classes, which is ideal if you’re looking to discover your favorite types of exercises that will inspire you to reach your goals. We found it impossible not to be motivated by the beautiful class settings worldwide—who doesn’t want to do Pilates in Aruba?

 Screenshot of an iFIt trainer leading a rowing in the middle of a lake
You get to choose between various classes set in locations around the world. One of our testers gravitates toward rowing in a lake, walking through a forest, or performing yoga on a mountain top

Although iFit is designed to connect to Proforma, NordicTrack, and Freemotion equipment, you don’t need these fitness machines to start training. One of our testers tried the mobile version, iFit Train, available on Apple or Android devices for $14.99 monthly with a 30-day trial period. 

“Downloading and subscribing to the app was quick and easy. I filled out a detailed questionnaire about my body measurements, interests, goals, and trainer personality preference for your classes,” says one tester. You may also choose to activate the AI Coach designed to help support your goals by scheduling a fitness plan, sending reminders, or creating a custom fitness plan. However, this feature is in Beta at the moment, so it’s not consistently available just yet. “But it does sync with Strava, Apple Health, Garmin Connect, and Google Fit if you’re looking to track workout data,” they add.

Our team likes the mix of workouts available for all fitness levels, and some are specifically recommended for beginners. For example, you can take the Beginner Incline Series from a trainer in Lake Tahoe or a Moab Beginner Series to start your biking journey. Most workout options are cardio-based, like running, cycling, elliptical, and walking. But iFit also offers yoga, Pilates, barre, high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT), and strength training. 

From our tester

“When I did a Pilates session, all I needed was 30 minutes, my phone, and a yoga mat. I like that the workout starts with a warm-up to get your heart pumping in a reasonable timeframe and a cool-down to lower your heart rate slowly at the end. Those components are important, so the session isn’t a shock to my system. I also appreciated that my class trainer provided time to rest during the session.”

But what we love to see is its mindfulness training. Not every training program offers the mental component of healthy living. Mindfulness training sets it apart from other apps, especially for beginners looking to start on the right foot. Research shows that incorporating mindfulness into a fitness program can help manage stress, promote self-awareness and self-acceptance, and cultivate positivity. It can also support healthy lifestyle changes and recovery as you continue your fitness journey. Although iFit doesn’t have more in-depth nutrition tracking or guidance, it does provide surface-level lessons as a resource.

The main downside of iFit is its lack of accountability. We find its workouts motivating and fun, but sticking with it without self-discipline can feel hard without a community or coach. Our team encourages you to try iFit with a friend to keep it going.

HelpGuide Handbook Tip #1

“Prioritizing the social aspect of exercise can make challenging workouts more enjoyable and endurable,” says Chris Alvarado, a certified exercise physiologist and cardiac program specialist at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, “Having a workout partner not only adds to the fun but can be a huge motivator on days when you just donʻt feel like doing a workout.”

Best for variety: Aaptiv

Best for variety

Aaptiv stands out as one of the most diverse workout apps. Its primary focus is physical health, with thousands of exercises and multiple on-demand classes. But we love how it also offers sleep and meditation categories for those looking to build better wellness habits.

Key features
  • Price: $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
  • Free trial period: Yes, seven days (if you purchase the annual membership).
  • Type of training: Cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, sleep, meditation, strength, barre, mobility, boxing.
  • Live classes: No.
  • Equipment required: No.
  • Device compatibility: iOS and Android.
  • Key feature: Thousands of workouts for users to choose from, so you can switch it up depending on your location, equipment, or preference for the day.
Pros and cons of Aaptiv
Pros Wide variety of workouts, including boxing, mobility, and Pilates. Well-rounded approach with sleep and meditation categories. On-demand classes and automated workout plans available. Fairly priced. Seven-day trial period. Cons Automated coaching exercises aren’t consistently clear, especially for beginners. Lacks in-app accountability.

Our final verdict

Do you enjoy switching up your workouts to keep you on your toes? If so, our team recommends Aaptiv, one of the most diverse workout apps we’ve tested so far. You can attend various on-demand workout classes or use the AI-powered SmartCoach feature to develop workout plans based on your goals.

Our testers count 16 workout categories, including walking, Pilates, mobility, boxing, yoga, and strength. We also notice meditation and sleep categories, which are important for a more holistic approach to fitness, recovery, and healthy living. 

Sleep is an incredibly overlooked aspect of a health and fitness routine. Without a proper sleep routine, your body may not recover appropriately after workouts, hindering progress. Meditation also provides exceptional benefits such as increased focus, increased healthy-habit adherence, and lower stress levels.

Chris Alvarado, certified exercise physiologist and cardiac program specialist at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii

Not only does Aaptiv offer a variety of workouts, but it also offers different ways to search for what you need. “You can choose a workout collection, like Mobility for Men, which is cool. You can also choose a workout program based on a goal, like Reduce Stress, Get Stronger, or Run Faster,” says one tester. Searching by workout collection can benefit those with specific goals to find what’s most relevant, like training to run a half marathon. And if you want to cross-train on other days with something different and fun, this app has you covered.

HelpGuide Handbook Tip #2

According to Alvarado, cross-training benefits people preparing for competition, trying to reach specific health and fitness goals, or those who may have hit a plateau and want some variation in their routine. Cross-training can help people target similar muscles differently, potentially leading to greater results.

Screenshot of a tester completing a walking program and earning the Bronze award.
As you complete workouts, you earn awards. One of our testers earned a Bronze award for collecting a few walking workouts and will slowly progress up the ranks with consistency.

Our testers love how this app caters to all levels of fitness. That said, Aaptiv’s coaching feature may not be great for those new to exercise. “Its automated coaching can be good if you have a specific goal, like to run a certain distance, but isn’t ideal for beginners who aren’t sure where to start,” one tester says. “Also, there’s just not enough instruction for each exercise for beginners. Some didn’t have visual demonstrations, so there can be some confusion. The walking and running programs are the exception—because they don’t require visual demos, there’s less chance for confusion. I found these types of Aaptiv programs really helpful.”

From our tester

“There’s a community feed in the app called Team where people post about their progress and workouts, but I didn’t see a lot of communication or engagement there. Most posts only had a couple of likes, and most didn’t have comments. Aaptiv encourages in-app accountability, but it’s not a popular feature.”

Frequently asked questions

We love Caliber for its convenience, accountability features, and quality coaching programs. But the best workout app for you is the one that inspires you to regularly move and fits your budget. Some people may prefer a workout app with live classes, while others benefit most from virtual personal training. It all depends on your goals and what works for you.

The cost of workout apps varies. Some programs are free, while others cost more than $200 per month, depending on the commitment length and training type. Virtual personal training plans will cost significantly more than an automated program.

Yes, virtual personal training is available through apps. According to our testing results, Caliber and Future are our top recommendations because they offer effective coaches who listen to your needs and provide appropriate workouts designed to help you meet your goals.

It depends. Fitness apps work as long as you use them as intended to reach your goals. Staying active is a long-term commitment to yourself and looks different for everybody, so choose an app with exercises or classes you enjoy doing often.

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