It’s been over a month since Fitness+ was launched by Apple, and the reviews are pretty unanimous:
It’s a good service!
There’s a lot to love about Fitness+, from the Apple Watch integration to the wide variety of workouts and trainers.
However, some of our readers might be looking for Fitness+ alternatives. Maybe Fitness+ isn’t for you, maybe it isn’t available in your country yet, or maybe you’re just bored and want to try something new.
In this post, I’ll try to cover all of these possibilities. We’ll start with a near clone of Fitness+ and end with options that barely resemble the streaming service. That way, you have all the options in the world to choose from.
Let’s get started!
The 9 best Fitness+ alternatives
1. iFit: The closest Fitness+ competitor
iFit a very similar platform to Fitness+, with a few advantages and a few missing components.
First, be aware that it doesn’t sync with your Apple Watch. Most of these alternatives don’t. You can still track these workouts with your watch, but they won’t be integrated into the content.
However, iFit is integrable with lots of other fitness equipment. You can install it on treadmills, indoor bikes, ellipticals, rowers, cable equipment, and more. Just make sure that the equipment you want to use it with is compatible!
Or, you could just download the iFit app to your iPhone. It’s $15/month, making it a bit more than Fitness+. It’s available in more locations, though, and has far more trainers and content to choose from.
The one drawback of iFit is the range of workout types. Fitness+ is geared towards minimal-equipment exercises, like yoga and core, while iFit is heavily geared towards equipment users. This makes it one of the better Fitness+ alternatives for equipment users, but a bit lackluster for others.
2. Sweat: A Fitness+ alternative for women
Sweat is a community-oriented workout app specifically for women. All of the trainers are women, and each workout is tailored for women. This doesn’t stop at exercise, either. Sweat even offers nutrition and dieting insights as well.
These factors combined make this an ideal workout service for women. There are forums for you to get to know others and share your experience. And there are tons of trainers to choose from for workouts like HIIT, yoga, cycling, and running.
Sweat is a bit pricier than Fitness+, starting at $20/month. This might put it out of the price range of some. But when you consider all of the other included features and the more personalized focus, I think there’s enough value to justify the higher cost.
3. Peloton: An affordable alternative
You probably know Peloton for its top of the line indoor bikes and treadmills. What you might not have known is that Peloton also offers a streaming service. And though Peloton’s physical products center around equipment, its app is surprisingly well-rounded.
On the Peloton app, you’ll find strength, yoga, outdoor running, stretching, indoor cycling, meditation, indoor running, and boot-camp workouts. These are all hosted by a variety of trainers, making it a compelling competitor to Fitness+. The app is available not only on iPhone but Apple TV, too, which makes it easy to watch workouts on the television.
One of the unique aspects of Peloton’s streaming service is that it’s very community-oriented on the app itself (as opposed to a community forum). This lets you interact with users while you’re in the middle of a workout.
Peloton’s streaming service is included with a standard Peloton membership, though non-Peloton-owning users can use the service for just $12/month. This makes it one of the solid Fitness+ alternatives.
4. Nike Run Club: For runners
Before writing this post, I hadn’t heard of Nike Run Club. And after reading about it, I might have to check it out.
For those who, like me, don’t know what this service is, it’s a free fitness streaming service for your iPhone. It tracks your runs, monitors your improvement, and uploads all of this data to the Health app on your iPhone.
More importantly, though, Nike Run Club has audio-based workouts featuring all kinds of hosts. This includes athletes as well as stranger sources, like the Headspace narrator. Each of these audio experiences is designed to help you get through your run.
Like a Fitness+ trainer, these audio guides help you keep your pace, keep going when it feels tough, and ease into whatever kind of run is suited for your skill level. In other words, using Nike Run Club means you don’t have to run alone.
And it’s completely free! I think this is one of the best Fitness+ alternatives, especially since Fitness+ doesn’t currently offer outdoor running as an option.
5. YouTube: Fitness+ for free
From here, we’re going to start looking at Fitness+ alternatives that aren’t direct competitors. Let’s start with YouTube.
If you’ve never thought to look up workouts on YouTube, do so now. Whatever kind of workout you want to have a trainer for, I can guarantee you that there is a trainer on YouTube offering that kind of exercise. And, since it’s on YouTube, you can follow that workout for free.
I’m not going to explain to you how YouTube works; I’m sure you already know that. Instead, I’ll focus on the drawbacks of using YouTube as a Fitness+ alternative.
First, YouTube trainers have no one overseeing how accurate or beneficial their workouts are. There are no standards or guidelines. So you might be participating in a workout that gives you minimal gains, is far too challenging, switches from easy to hard mid-workout, or is potentially harmful (be careful of stretches!).
Secondly, the quality of trainers is going to vary wildly from one channel to the next. There is a trend, however, of YouTube workouts being too easy. That’s because these workouts are aimed at being universally accessible.
Thirdly, because YouTube isn’t built for working out, it doesn’t feature any kind of workout tracking. You’ll have to do that through the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
All of that said, I’ve found a handful of YouTube trainers that I like and use in conjunction with Fitness+. So don’t write the platform off completely. Just be aware that you’ll have to be more astute than you would on a more robust service like Fitness+.
6. DeltaTrainer: A personal fitness trainer from your home
DeltaTrainer is an extremely timely service. It feels like it was made for 2021. Essentially, it’s an app that allows you to have a remote fitness trainer. You connect over a video call through the app, and the trainer works with you to improve your overall fitness.
That starts with a trainer gauging your current level, understanding your goals, and creating a weekly workout routine for you. During your workouts, trainers will watch to give you live feedback as you exercise.
As you might have guessed, this isn’t a cheap service. DeltaTrainer costs $59/month, which is a lot more than Fitness+. However, you’re getting way more than you get on Fitness+. More than you would probably get from anything else on this list, actually.
DeltaTrainer is tied to the Apple Watch, using it to track your workouts and get insights into your performance. You then also get the feedback of a professional trainer, all from your home.
It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you want one of the best at-home fitness solutions out there, give it a look.
7. Exercise DVDs: The original Fitness+
Kicking off our first analog alternative to Fitness+ are exercise DVDs. If you’re somehow too young to know what an exercise DVD is, it’s just a DVD that comes with a set number of workout routines on it. These are generally meant to be completed within a set timeframe, which makes scheduling and planning your workouts very easy.
The most popular exercise DVD is probably P90X, which had an explosive rise to popularity in the early 2010s. But there are tons of alternative options that you can easily find on eBay. Just do some research and see what looks good to you.
The benefits of exercise DVDs start with the price. You can get the entire P90X collection for just $20 on eBay. That’s two months of Fitness+ for a DVD series you can watch for the rest of your life. And it’s one of the most popular exercise DVDs of all time, so I’m sure that there are plenty of DVDs for $5 or less.
The next benefit of exercise DVDs is that, as opposed to YouTube, there is a level of quality control. The trainers and production are usually backed by reputable fitness companies, so you don’t have to worry so much about not being challenged or injuring yourself.
The downside, of course, is that you’re limited to whatever is on that DVD. No matter how many times you watch it, the workouts are always going to be the same.
8. The Local Gym: When you need equipment
Before I close out this list, I couldn’t ignore the local gym, The Godfather of Fitness+ alternatives. Admittedly, most of us can’t visit the local gym at this point given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once things open back up, though, the local gym will probably be the perfect refuge for lots of readers. It’s chock-full of expensive equipment, trainers, and showers. Most gyms don’t cost very much, either; $30/month is about the average cost of membership.
Alongside the equipment, one of the best aspects of having a gym membership is the community. It’s something you can’t replicate at home. Going to the gym, with or without friends, is a communal experience that can provide an immense boost to your motivation.
Don’t be afraid of gyms or their users. They’re one of the friendliest bunches on earth. Ask questions, get involved, and make friends!
9. Your Home Gym: You don’t always need a trainer
Last up on our list is the simplest and cheapest option I have to offer. And that’s being your own trainer at your home gym.
Like finance, exercise has been made out to be this thing that only a few understand. The rest of us are just here to listen, learn, and pay.
But it doesn’t have to be that way at all! By purchasing a little equipment (a mat and some dumbbells), reading a few articles, and watching a few YouTube videos, you should be able to create a healthy workout routine for yourself. It might not be as robust or as effective as a paid solution, but you don’t always need the best option, either. Sometimes, it’s enough to just be fit.
If you do plan on going the home gym route, I recommend starting with any of the services already listed. That should give you an idea of how to approach your fitness at home. I’d also recommend relying on your Apple Watch! Even without Fitness+, it’s packed with features to help you easily stay in shape without a trainer.
Want to learn more about Apple Fitness+?
These Fitness+ alternatives are a great way to start exploring your at-home fitness options. If you want to learn even more about Fitness+ and other ways to use your iPhone and Apple Watch to stay in shape, check out some of our other articles on fitness.
Until next time!