Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Review: Aaptiv vs. Fit Radio

For the past couple of months, I've used both the Aaptiv and Fit Radio fitness apps, and wanted to compare them so that others can determine which app best meets their needs. I first heard of Aaptiv through Pantsuit Politics (side note: my favorite American politics podcast), and I was able to get a free 30-day trial with the code: PANTSUIT. I think the usual free trial is a week, so I enjoyed getting to try Aaptiv's features over a month.

Of course, once I learned about Aaptiv, I wanted to see what else was out there, and mentions of Fit Radio came up often. I found a Groupon for a year-long subscription to Fit Radio for $18, so $1.50 a month for workouts? Sold!

Aaptiv bills itself as "audio workout classes that combine the guidance of a professional trainer with a motivating playlist." Once you download the app, the first page is of various workouts categorized by type: treadmill, outdoor running, elliptical, yoga, stretching, etc. Once in each workout type, you can filter by duration, trainer, music genre, and difficulty. 
View classes by category, including 7-minute Quick Hits,
5K/10K/Half-/Full Marathon Training, and even a Maternity Program.
The Profile pages lists classes taken, all-tine stats,
favorited classes, and a class history.
FitRadio is a little different, as the first page of the app opens up to music genres. A playlist automatically loads once you select a genre, and there you can list or skip ahead to a different mix. Music mixes can also be found by searching by DJ, activity, or BPM.
Find professional workout mixes by music genre.
Fit Radio also offers coached workouts. There are six types of coached workouts, and they are all cardio workouts. Once you click into a workout type, there are four workouts to choose from. The coached running workouts on Fit Radio are different than the cardio workouts on Aaptiv. While the coached workouts in both apps set up a plan (for example, intervals in running) and provide motivation, I found the running workouts on Aaptiv to be have more specific technical advice, such as to run with a mid-foot strike (who knew I've been running incorrectly?). So running with Aaptiv is like running with a running coach or personal trainer, while running with Fit Radio is like running with a good fit friend who won't let you quit.
Six kinds of coached cardio workouts are available on Fit Radio.
Fit Radio does excel in their workout descriptions, and I found it easy enough to modify the intensity to my fitness level. As always, the focus of the app is on the music, and you can choose either the workout's suggested music or your own music. Aaptiv's descriptions are a little more vague, although duration and music genre are given. Sometimes, though, I had to click into the workout and hear the trainer describe the workout before I could determine if it was right for me.
The descriptions of the workouts are detailed, so you know what to expect.
I like both apps. I think Aaptiv is particularly suited to travelers. I particularly used this app during my business travel in July, when I had ready access to a gym but didn't want to bother with streaming video over a hotel WiFi network. The stretching and yoga workouts were also quite good and easy enough to do in my hotel room. 

Fit Radio is a good app if you already have your fitness routine and workouts set, and want music to go along with it. I like the free Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube and have seen results using their workouts. There's no music, so I'll stream their workouts on my TV at home and then play Fit Radio playlists over Bluetooth speakers. 

At home, I like having the visual guidance on my TV, but on the road, I've found myself turning to Aaptiv more often.

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