Tech

Fitness app for crushing New Year’s aspirations at home

Postwork training was a must at Before Times. When the pandemic closed the gym and local yoga studio, I turned to the app to regain my daily life. so. many. App.

• Freebie Includes free app and YouTube workout. These are great for getting your feet wet — maybe you’re starting to exercise again after a long break. YouTube is a place where you can try virtually any type of training. The downside is that you have to spend time looking for one. Even a small amount of friction can make you unable to exercise if you feel tired.

• Premium program It’s like Netflix for fitness. You typically pay $ 5 to $ 25 per month to access a large library of different types of on-demand workouts. The price is probably cheaper than your gym membership. These apps aim to be a one-stop shop for exercise. The same app usually provides aerobic exercise, strength and yoga. Some include live streaming classes.

• Zoom Studio Is a virtual version of a high-end, in-store fitness product. They are expensive, but it’s worth working with others in real time and getting personalized instructions for your webcam.

Of course, the key to all kinds of exercise is to appear to do it. These are the trainings I have looked at over and over again this year. However, fitness is very personal and instructors, music choices and exercise styles vary widely from app to app. For some, live classes are a good way to stay accountable. For others, short workouts that allow you to focus on a busy day are of utmost importance.

My biggest tip: Take a free trial before subscribing. (On iOS and Android, for “free” trials that require sign-up, you can immediately unsubscribe to avoid being charged.)

Freebie

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Nike

Nike training club
platform:
iOS and android

Favorite things: The Nike Training Club app includes training focused on strength, endurance, and mobility. From yoga to heart-stimulating aerobic exercise, there are those for all skill levels. Integration with Apple Watch shows heart rate, upcoming drills, and play / pause controls.

Prior to the pandemic, premium “trainer-led classes” cost $ 15 per month and $ 120 per year. Nike has freed 15-60 minutes of training when so many people get stuck at home.

Not so good: Music is not included with the NTC. You need to bring your own music. You can play Spotify or another streaming app of your choice in the background.


Photo:

YouTube

Body project
Fitness blender
Cycling with Kristina Girod
Yoga with Adrian
platform: YouTube

Favorite things: YouTube videos are a good way to try different styles of fitness before joining the program. I like these channels because they provide versatility and upload new content on a regular basis. Paid membership unlocks additional training and coaching.

Not so good: You will see ads from time to time, and there is no option to download training to do offline.

Premium program

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Peloton

Peloton Digital
price: $ 13 / month

Free trial: One month

platform: iOS, Android, Web, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV

Favorite things: Your Peloton subscription includes live-streaming classes and Peloton’s library covering 11 areas such as cycling, strength training, yoga, and meditation. The app’s music-themed classes span genres, from Beyonce to The Beatles, with instructors providing motivation and form tips. It also has some built-in community support. You can see which users are working out with you and send and receive digital high fives.

Use some equipment (such as a basic exercise bike in combination with weights and cadence sensors) for the best experience. But my favorite is the outdoor running feature, which requires only shoes. Audio-guided workouts are led by a professional (one instructor, Robin Arson, a certified running coach and ultramarathon runner), with hints and music tailored to the interval effort. Will be done.

Not so good: Classes can be preloaded, but not offline. Therefore, if your gym is a basement without Wi-Fi, Peloton is not the right choice. Users of the app also don’t know how their metrics will be compared to other Peloton members. The leaderboard is exclusively for users who own a company smart bike ($ 1,895 or above) and a smart treadmill ($ 2,495 or above) and pay an all-access fee. $ 39 / month membership.


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Apple

Apple Fitness +
price: $ 10 / month or $ 80 / year

Free trial: One month

platform: iPhone, iPad, Apple TV HD (4th generation) or Apple TV 4K

Favorite things: In my first review, I called Fitness + a great value. With a single subscription, everyone in your iCloud household (up to 6) can access your on-demand library. In addition to studio-style cycling, interval training, treadmill run, yoga, core, strength, rowing and dance, there is also a “mindful cooldown” (also known as stretching). All training includes changes for beginner and intermediate practitioners. Sessions are short, with a maximum of 45 minutes, but most are less than 30 minutes.

Not so good: This program is for Apple Watch owners (Series 3 and above) only. It’s hard to find the service itself as a new tab within Apple’s existing Fitness app. You can’t stream your workouts through Apple’s AirPlay, which is supported by some TVs and streaming boxes. You’ll need a new Apple TV to watch your workout on your TV.

(Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. Has a commercial contract to provide news through Apple services.)


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Most fitness

Obe Fitness
price: $ 27 / month, $ 65 / quarter, $ 199 / year

Free trial: one week

platform: iOS, Web, Roku, Amazon Fire TV

Favorite things: In a colorful and minimalist studio, there are 22 live classes per day taught by friendly and smiling instructors. There is also a backlog of thousands of on-demand videos. In live classes, instructors often yell at users by name, but of course users can’t see you. Workouts focus on areas such as ballet, sculpting, dance and Pilates. “Bounce” workouts with cardio boxing and trampolines are two more unique products. There are specially tailored workouts for children (with the Kidz Bop soundtrack) and the elderly (featuring less impactful, joint-friendly chair exercises). The Workout Party feature allows you to share your experience with 7 friends via video chat.

Not so good: Workouts include one type of music, a common bright mix studded with popular hits, and you can’t turn the music off to listen to your own music. It’s more expensive than other digital fitness products and doesn’t have a native Android experience. (A spokeswoman said the Android app will be released in the coming months.)


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Aro Moves

Aro Moves
price: $ 20 / month or $ 199 / year

Free trial: two weeks

platform: iOS, Android, Web, Apple TV, Chromecast

Favorite things: Alo Moves offers a wide variety of flow yoga classes, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and prenatal variations, as well as yoga-themed strength, ballet, and Pilates classes. I like a multi-day series that focuses on one workout type, where each class is built on the next class. Guided meditation is great.

Not so good: Large libraries of Alo Moves content can be overwhelming, and class names (such as “DropIn” and “ComingHome”) are not always useful. The service for beginners is minimal and many of the videos are aimed at more advanced yogis.

Zoom studio

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Barry’s

Barry’s at Home
price: $ 20 per class. $ 70 for 5 classes. $ 120 for 10 classes

Free trial: None

platform: zoom

Favorite things: The boot camp fitness chain was virtualized with its expensive training ($ 35 in the San Francisco class I live in). Choose from Barry’s signature treadmills and weight classes, weights, resistance bands and weights. A 45-minute instructor-led session will take place live, allowing participants to turn on their webcams and make personalized adjustments. There are dozens of time frames to choose from each day. Twenty minutes before the start, you will be emailed a zoom link to join the class.

Not so good: Sometimes there are technical issues. (Zoom requires strong Wi-Fi at both ends.) Beginners can take two classes for one price, but there is no trial period to try out the experience. But you can check out Barry’s Instagram page for shortened non-live workouts.

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Write to Nicole Nguyen (nicole.nguyen@wsj.com)

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Fitness app for crushing New Year’s aspirations at home

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