Updated: Jul 24
There's a lot of infidelity around fitness apps, especially when it comes to choosing between apps vs gyms. My boyfriend does not use fitness apps at all, and I don't think he ever will be. I, on the other hand, love them! I've used workout apps for almost 4 years now and in this article, I'll list down 10 reasons why fitness apps are better than gyms!
Fitness apps are cheaper than gyms! Sorry but it's true. According to CNBC, the average gym membership in the US costs between $40 and $50 a month. Thus, 70% of all subscribers overestimate their attendance too.
Basically, what it means that on top of the expensive gym membership that costs over $500 a year, the majority is not using the facilities as often as they can or want to.
Though, workout apps are different when it comes to price. Some apps are completely for free like Workout for Women while others are just under $20 a month like in the case of Jilian Michaels Fitness.
The average price for a fitness app is around $15 a month, with an option to subscribe for a year. Usually, the longer you subscribe, the cheaper it gets. But my favourite part is the free trials that are offered by nearly all workout apps.
With free trials, users can try out the app beforehand and see if it fits them. Some fitness apps like Sweat has a month-free subscription, though normally it's a 7-day free trial.
Fitness apps are a cost-efficient way to exercise. The average cost for an app is $15 USD with an option to try it out first free of charge for 7 days before subscribing!
Fitness becomes more accessible with workout apps. Today you can work out in your own location at your own time and pace without worry.
As an example, my sister used to go to the gym only. But when she gave birth to her children, the time became more valuable and limited. I suggested her to try fitness apps and she loved it. And now think about all other mums and full-time workers. Imagine the time they can save!
Workout apps like Jillian Michaels Fitness even take into consideration which equipment you have, though most apps go with your own bodyweight. Meanwhile, apps like FitPlan goes heavy on weights so it really comes down to your preference!
In other words, if you have to travel miles to your local gym then workout apps give you the chance to train at home. And if you move around often, you can take your training sessions with you.
Fitness apps offers accessible training. Workouts adjust to your equipment, availability and level/goal which makes it easier to fit it into our lives.
3. Fitness Classes
We all know how fun fitness classes can be. This is especially true for women as they are the ones making up nearly 71% of visitors.
There's no doubt that fitness classes are here to stay! The energy, music, encouragement - I love it! But some gyms don't have fitness classes. This makes it tricky for those who don't really know what to do in the gym. In such a case, fitness apps can guide you through your training.
According to the National Survey Report, the majority attend fitness classes on our own, however, the reason we like group classes so much is that we desire human interaction (2).
Workout apps like Aaptiv offer live and on-demand classes that you can do from your living room. So think about it - you would like to go for a yoga session after work, but you might miss the beginning due to unexpected traffic and decide not to go at the end. With workout apps, fitness classes fit your calendar and not vice versa.
Workout apps has great routines that guides your training. It's easy to follow and effective too.
Personalization is the future of effective fitness. If we're busting our butt in training for nothing, it's just a matter of time when we'll quit.
The bottom line is this - Smart workouts are better than hard workouts.
Some workout apps like 8fit are so comprehensive and personalized that it becomes more effective to work out WITH THEM rather than without them!
It's a common practice that once starting with a new fitness app, the user has to enter his basic parameters like weight, height, age, and goal. Some even go further than that and put its users through a fitness level test (like in the case of Freeletics). This helps to build a custom training plan that is adjusted to each and every one of us.
Exercise apps it's like a personal trainer in our pocket. All of a sudden complicated things like tracking and feedback loops is applied to your custom plan. No more defaulted programs, and no more expensive trainers. Effective fitness becomes accessible to all.
5. Gym Support
Fitness apps can support your gym-activities! Apps like JeFit tracks how much weight is being lifted. Then there is Volt Athletics that plans your routines beforehand. There's no need to come up with a new routine every time.
Personally, I think that it's a huge time-saver and less effort from the user's side.
Time is more important than anything, so if you work out, you better make it count. Workout apps act as an additional gym-support to schedule, plan and track your fitness progress (and this is also to support your off-gym activities like logging food or outside activities as MyFitnessPal does).
Think about it, we're all on our phones anyway.. and most of us probably are taking our phones to the gym too. It's way easier to keep a log diary on your phone, rather than to run around with pen and paper all the time.
Workout apps are supporting our gym activities by helping its users to log activities, schedule training, and track progress.
This might seem small, but it's huge! By joining community challenges and sharing the progress we stay motivated. This also breaks the stereotype that fitness apps are isolating where in fact you are in constant interaction with others - virtually or in the real world. Apps like Nike Training Club even list down fitness-related activities near you.
How I see it, workout apps breaks the wall between fitness experts and us - the regular people. So the question is this - which is your favourite celebrity trainer that you would like to work out with?
Workout apps has developed worldwide communities that gives a deeper sense of belonging and interaction between like-minded people. Communities also provide the chance to share knowledge and support!
Another reason why workouts apps are better than gyms is that fitness apps are relatively safe. Most if not all apps have voice instructions and demos available to watch and listen.
And think about this for a second. When we're in a gym, we might misuse a particular fitness machine. Or perhaps, that fitness class is too fast for us to follow...
With apps the users can view video demos before the workout and polish the form. Some apps like the BodBot even allow excluding the "weak spots" if one has a problem with sore joints or previous injuries.
Gyms are so packed that I see incorrect execution all the time. With voice instructions and visual demos we can execute each move correctly. And the better the UX, the smoother the training.
Remember that these workouts are build by someone who probably knows what they're doing. There are routines that are constructed in a way to not over-train.
Though it's important to note that it's crucial to find an app that best fits your LEVEL. If you're a beginner, and you go with an app for intermediates, then that's a big no-no already.
Guided workouts allow the users to exercise following the best practices. The voice instructions and video demos support form during exercising, hence, prevent unwanted and unnecessary injuries.
According to Blobe Newswire, the fitness app industry is expected to reach 14.64 Billion by the year 2027 (4). And to give you a comparison, in 2019 the market was valued at 3.15 billion (5). So basically, in less than 8 years it will explode nearly 5 times.
This comes as less of a surprise if we take into consideration how often we use mobile apps. In fact, this is a natural adaptation of fitness is finding its way into this behaviour trend.
There are thousands of fitness start-ups coming out daily. And these start-ups are niche-oriented. Whether it's a step-counting app like Sweatcoin or the famous Centr with Chris Hemsworth's HIIT training. You name it..
Either way, these apps incorporate the newest training methods. Boutique-based workout apps give the users a wide variety to choose from.
Workout apps introduce the newest trends in fitness. This makes our training effective, and interesting to follow.
With workout apps, users can stay accountable. While gyms are collecting new members and then struggling with overcrowdedness, apps work a bit different.
They have push notifications that work as friendly reminders or the calendar structure that makes it easy to plan workouts ahead. A good example of such an app is 30-Day Fitness Challenge.
With fitness, there's no obligation. However, if we ease our training conditions as much as possible, it's more likely that we will stay accountable.
Community and progress transparency contribute too. All of a sudden, all becomes transparent - how much food we've eaten or how many times we've exercised. All that is directly related to your fitness results and whether or not you'll reach your fitness goal. It's much easier to stay accountable when you are not guessing.
Workout apps helps you to stay accountable for your actions. When you start your fitness journey, stats like calorie intake, activities and progress stats support your accountability.
10. Educational Element
The last reason why workout apps are better than gyms is my ultimate favourite. It's is the educational element that brings fitness apps to another level.
Apps guides you through your fitness journey and educate about fitness overall. Over time, users get knowledgeable about fitness, how to exercise correctly, and most importantly, develop as an athlete (aka become better and learn new stuff about themselves).
Some apps like Asana Rebel is even built towards slowly building healthy habits over time. You can learn why you eat the things you eat instead of just following a defaulted training plan. You also start to change your mindset from "getting fit quick" to "being healthy and strong", and this ultimately improves your quality of life.
Fitness apps often include quality resources that help to build up knowledge about fitness. It can be anything from blog articles to interactive quizzes that shares fun facts about healthy well-being.
I realize that there will be always folks who always will go to the gym. But let's be honest, with the lack of time, fitness is harder to reach. If we want to make fitness part of our everyday lives - we have to find new ways. Hope you learned a new thing or two about workout apps and why they're slowly taking over the fitness industry!