Was getting fit one of your top New Year’s resolutions for 2022? If so, you’ve probably been sorting out what the best fitness subscription or workout app is for you. Since the start of the pandemic, virtual fitness classes – both on demand and via livestream – have become extremely popular. And with the current spike in COVID-19 cases, hitting the gym in-person is probably the last thing you feel like doing. But thanks to the wide variety of fitness app subscriptions, you won’t need to sign up for a traditional gym membership to begin your fitness journey this year.
If you’re more comfortable working out in the safety of your living room, Obé Fitness has one of the largest selections of pre-recorded fitness classes to choose from, with 22 live-streamed classes every day. If you're still interested in trying out some in-person workout classes, but don't want to commit to just one class or location, ClassPass gives you access to a wide range of wellness activities, from at-home, on-demand classes to in-person massages and cryotherapy sessions.
And if you really need that extra push to start your fitness journey, Future Fitness will provide you with a personal trainer to create a custom weekly workout plan that suits both your fitness goals and your schedule.
However you want to break a sweat, there’s a fitness subscription that can help get you started. BET has broken down six of the best fitness subscriptions out there, from Peloton to Alo Moves, so you won’t need to waste any time or energy on trying to find the right one.
The Obé Fitness matra is to strive for five (workouts per week). Obé's collection of more than 6,000 on-demand classes, plus 22 daily classes available via livestream. So finding the inspiration to work out often is extra easy. The virtual fitness subscription service offers a wide range of workout sessions, from dance, yoga and Pilates to equipment-based classes such as cycling, bounce (indoor trampoline) and foam rolling. Class lengths vary anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, making it easy to fit in a workout around any schedule.
The benefits to Obé Fitness include the already existent bank of on-demand classes; the affordable monthly subscription cost; and the convenience of workout classes you can take in your living room. The overall neon-meets-pastel, '80s-inspired aesthetic of every class is an added bonus, alongside the reportedly peppy and optimistic workout instructors.
An Obé Fitness subscription starts at $27 a month, but if you prefer to pay quarterly, that price drops to $22 per month, with the added bonus of a $10 gift card and access to premium classes and discounts from brand partners. Pay for the year in full and the cost drops to $17 per month, and you'll get a $20 gift card on top of premium classes and discounts. You can also try Obé Fitness free for 7 days.
Access classes via the Obé Fitness app, or stream them through your Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, FireTV, Airplay or a simple HDMI and laptop set-up.
Pros: Offers variety and beginner-friendly workouts that are affordable. Minimal to no workout gear is required.
Cons: Few advanced classes are available, the free trial period is short, and no in-person classes are offered.
If in-person fitness classes are more your speed, ClassPass could be for you. A ClassPass membership has four tiers available at various price points. Each tier allots a certain number of monthly credits to redeem for fitness and wellness activities in your area. Credits can apply to a range of activities, from cycling classes to cryotherapy sessions.
ClassPass focuses on in-person classes. But ClassPass credits can also be applied to virtual sessions, too. Each ClassPass membership allows subscribers to access more than 4,000 free, on-demand online workouts.
The cost of a ClassPass membership can vary slightly based on your location, but costs for the lowest plan start at $15 monthly for six credits, and can go as high as $199 for 100 credits. In Los Angeles, the default monthly plan of 38 credits will run you $79 per month. Right now, you can also get up to 20 credits to try for one month free.
The benefits to a ClassPass subscription include the flexibility and variety that comes with a credit system: change your fitness routine every month if you like. Going through a busy month? You can roll up to 10 credits into the next month and make up for lost time later. And if you travel frequently but don't want to skip your workout, ClassPass offers services in cities across the country (and even some internationally) so you can take your credits on the road.
Pros: Offers variety, in-person classes and access to other wellness activities such as spa treatments.
Cons: ClassPass has a relatively high cost, plus high cancellation fees for classes.
Future Fitness is a wellness app that goes beyond on-demand fitness classes – although there are plenty of those included. When you sign up, you'll be matched with a fitness expert to serve as your digital personal trainer, who will work with you to create a custom fitness plan that fits your goals, needs and schedule.
Once you're matched with your trainer, you'll receive weekly workout plans, along with daily check-ins, motivation quotes and critiques or guidance based on the data your trainer observes from your workout. Future works exclusively with an Apple Watch to collect your fitness data, but if you don't have the latest Series 7, or any Apple Watch for that matter, Future will loan you one free of charge with a refundable deposit.
A subscription to Future Fitness will costs $149 monthly, but you can try your first month for $19.
Pros: Offers customizable, expert advice that's great for any fitness level.
Cons: The cost is high, plus virtual training can't entirely replace in-person instruction.
This subscription-based fitness app comes from – you may have guessed it – Alo Yoga. The maker of popular yoga-friendly clothing and workout gear, Alo Yoga also has a fitness app for Apple or Android phones that is focused on yoga, offering vinyasa, hatha, ashtanga, and restorative classes. But Alo Moves also boasts a range of other on-demand workouts, such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), barre and Pilates, as well as mindfulness sessions that include breath training and sound baths.
When you first sign up with Alo Moves, you can take a short quiz to help the app make workout recommendations based on your fitness level and goals. You can also search for classes yourself and filter by instructor, style, difficulty, intensity, and duration. Classes can last anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes, and are taught by one of more than 70 Alo-apparel-clad instructors, often in picturesque locations. On-demand classes are accessible on nearly any device, from a smartphone to an Apple TV. Live classes are only accessible via desktop or laptop computer right now.
Beyond beautiful backdrops and a wide range of class options, Alo Moves isn't doing anything groundbreaking in the world of fitness apps. But if you're an aspiring yogi or already love the brand's apparel and workout gear, then this app is definitely worth trying out.
Alo Moves usually costs $20 monthly, or $200 annually, but right now, the annual membership is on sale for $99. You can also try a 14-day free trial.
Pros: Alo Moves is affordable, with scenic class settings. It's good for yoga lovers, and has options for every fitness level.
Cons: A yoga mat is needed, and live classes are not accessible via app.
Peloton may very well be the most prevalent app in the world of fitness subscriptions. The stationary bike – which got a big signal boost thanks to the recent "Sex and the City" reboot, "And Just Like That" – is widely regarded as the go-to, luxury, at-home workout purchase. But the Peloton app goes beyond its pricey bike (and lesser-known but just as costly treadmill).
A subscription to the Peloton app grants access to thousands of classes across 10 workout categories, many of which require little to no equipment. So you can still get the workout benefits without having to spring for expensive equipment.
Beyond Peloton's popular cycling classes, there's also yoga, cardio, Pilates, barre, meditation, treadmill running, stretching, bootcamp classes and audio-only outdoor running guides. And if you want to take part in the spin classes, any stationary bike with a resting place up front for a smartphone or tablet will do the trick. Same goes for the treadmill classes. On-demand and live classes can be streamed via the Peloton app on a smartphone, tablet or smart TV.
Peloton is great with user engagement, bringing social elements into the app, with the option to follow friends, take part in classes together, and even seek virtual achievement badges via workout class milestones. The app also boasts interesting collaboration series, such as an Artist Series, where workouts feature playlists from a specific artist such as Beyoncé or the Beatles.
A subscription to the app costs $13 monthly. If you already own a Peloton bike, the app is included with the $40 monthly Peloton subscription. Right now you can try the Peloton app for two months, free.
Pros: Offers user engagement, social elements and a wide variety of workouts.
Cons: Expensive gear is required if you want to take cycling or treadmill classes, and without the official Peloton bike, you won't have access to the app's leadership boards.
Apple Fitness Plus
Apple enthusiasts, and people who strive to close their daily rings, will appreciate the limited, but still solid, workout offerings of Apple Fitness+. This app works with your Apple Watch and streams workout classes to iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs, so if you're already outfitted with Apple's latest tech, incorporating Apple Fitness into your life should be no sweat.
The fitness subscription offers nearly 2000 studio-style workouts and guided meditations across 11 exercise categories, including: HIIT, yoga, core, strength, treadmill, cycling, rowing, dance, pilates, meditation and mindful cooldown.
As you participate in classes, your Apple Watch will track your progress with metrics such as heart rate, calories burned and time elapsed. It will also close your activity rings accordingly.
Apple Fitness+ costs $10 monthly, or $80 annually. Right now, Apple is offering three months of Fitness+ free when you buy an Apple Watch. If you already own an Apple Watch, you can try the premium fitness subscription free for one month right now.
Pros: Works seamlessly with an Apple Watch, and is affordable.
Cons: Apple Watch required, not user- or beginner-friendly, no live classes.
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