A 2020 Review of Aaptiv (What Makes Aaptiv the Number One Audio Fitness App Today)

September 24, 2018

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


What is Aaptiv? And why you need it in your life…

In this post you’ll find out why Aaptiv is a great tool to help anyone who wants to figure out how to start running regularly or who’s already a seasoned pro.

Attention>>Aaptiv is not just a running app!  You can use it for all kinds of different workout styles (not just running). It’s a smart investment!

I’m not a regular runner (although I exercise regularly I’d put myself in the beginner/intermediate category as a runner) but Aaptiv makes me feel like one!

a girl wearing purple tights and a blue shirt and headphones tying her shoe

**Attention>>In 2019 Aaptiv released a sleek new look for their app!  The information in this post is updated for 2019!   Try Aaptiv!  It’s awesome!  

Aaptiv has completely changed how I feel about running, and given me all new options for strength-training, stretching and other forms of exercise to add variety and fun to my fitness routine.

I actually look forward to running now.  (And I would have NEVER thought I’d say that.)

Stick with me and I’ll explain exactly how and why Aaptiv will improve your fitness routine in this detailed review of the Aaptiv fitness app.

If you use my link to purchase it helps support my business.  Thank you! (No hard feelings if you don’t.)  You can get more information about that here.

What is Aaptiv?

Aaptiv is the number 1 audio fitness app in the App Store

Aaptiv already has over 200,000 paying subscribers

Aaptiv can be used anywhere at any time

With more than 2,500 workouts on the platform there’s a workout for everyone

Is Aaptiv the same as other running apps?


Aaptiv is like having a trainer in your ear telling you exactly what to do during your workout.

Aaptiv isn’t a heart rate monitor and doesn’t sync (or interfere) with your other devices.

You can continue to wear your heart rate monitor and capture data with it while you’re working out with the Aaptiv trainers.

*For more about this check out Aaptiv FAQ’s.

How do You Use Aaptiv?

STEP ONE–Pick one of the categories.*


2019 UPDATE*There are 9 main categories in the Aaptiv app now (they’ve dropped some of the categories below. You won’t find rowing at all and the ab workouts and walking categories have been relocated (they’re now subcategories under strength training and treadmill/outdoor running), which makes sense.

There are still categories for half-marathon and 5K training but they’ve moved them out of the main categories. Click on ‘All Programs’ and you’ll find these additional options.

outdoor running, treadmill and elliptical are 3 categories in Aaptiv
indoor cycling, rowing and stariclimber are 3 more Aaptiv categories
Aaptiv has a ton of categories like strength training, stretching and workouts for weight loss
ab workouts, programs and yoga are Aaptiv categories
walking, meditation and 5K training are in Aaptiv
10K training, half marathon training and full marathon training are all a part of Aaptiv

STEP TWOSelect a workout from the list that pops up.

Here’s a screen shot from a part of the long list of workout options that popped up when I selected the Outdoor Running category:

A screen shot of a section of the workout list in the outdoor running category in Aaptiv

STEP THREE–Click on each workout to get more information about it. 

Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

You get a detailed description of the workouts in Aaptiv

You can narrow things down with filters.*

*You’ll find the ‘filters’ option after picking a category.

You can find a workout in Aaptiv using filters

The Trainers of Aaptiv

Aaptiv uses expert trainers

2019 UpdateAs of the day I’m writing this there are over 20 trainers listed in the app. You can’t filter workouts by trainer on the home screen anymore.

If you love a specific trainer you’ll need to pick a category first and then filter by trainer to find their workouts in the app.

Here’s a few of them:

there are a ton of professional trainers in Aatpiv
Aaptiv has a ton of expert trainers

I’ve tried several different workouts with different trainers and found each of them unique in the way they prompt and encourage you.

I love that there are so many trainers to choose from.

And if you’re looking for a specific style in a trainer then you can use the one-word description of each of them to narrow things down.

Aatpiv trainers describe their unique styles

2019 UpdateThey’ve removed this one-word description of the trainers. I couldn’t find a bio or any information about the trainers on the app at all. But the trainers are all good. And they each have their own style so try out a bunch of different ones.

2019 PRO TIPIf you want to learn more about the trainers then head over to the Aaptiv website (not the app). Scroll down the home screen and find the blue link that says ‘Meet our trainers’. You’ll find video bios with each of the trainers. I loved watching these!

The Workouts in Aaptiv

The workouts are divided up by category and athletic level.

I did at least one beginner, intermediate and advanced routine and found the category ratings in Aaptiv to be accurate.  

There are new workouts added all the time and the app will eventually start to recommend workouts to you based on the routines you’ve done.

New and individualized workouts are added to Aaptiv all the time.

A Few of the Aaptiv Workouts I’ve tried Out (And What I Thought about Them)


Workout details for Aaptiv's Quick HiiT Workout with Meghan
Quick HiiT Warmup with Meghan

Category: Treadmill

Level: Intermediate

I did this as a pre-workout warm-up.

How did my data compare to Aaptiv’s?

According to my treadmill I went the exact same distance and time as the app suggests you’ll go.

*I forgot to put on my HRM so I wasn’t able to compare the calorie burn I actually had with what the app says you (might) burn (100).

My thoughts during the workout with Meghan:

  • Meghan’s so calm (like your favorite teacher prompting you each step of the way)
  • I love her form pointers (how to move your arms, your posture, relax your jaw (my favorite), and how your feet should land)
  • She’s easy to understand
  • The music isn’t bad


HiiT Variety Workout in Aaptiv
HiiT Variety with Kelly

Category: Treadmill

Level: Advanced

How did my data compare?

According to my heart rate monitor I finished at 34 minutes, went 3.2 miles and burned 349 calories.

There’s an explanation for the discrepancy (between the app’s data and my own).  I couldn’t do the sprints as fast as Kelly told me to!  And obviously the calories you burn will be unique to you.

PRO TIP*Seriously, be careful!  Don’t set your treadmill to 9.5 mph just because Kelly tells you to.  I never went faster than 8.0 mph.  I’ll have to work up to 9.5.

And (just in case you try this routine) Kelly prompts you at times to get off the treadmill and rest by standing on the rails (you’re gonna need the rest) so be ready for that.  But if that sounds like a really scary thing to try from a full sprint then don’t do it (decrease your speed, instead). 

Obviously modify the workout however you need to.

My thoughts during this workout with Kelly:

  • Holy hell! They aren’t kidding with that ‘Advanced’ level
  • Someday I’ll be able to run as fast as Kelly wants me to
  • This is fun and so hard


Work that Full Body with Sultan is a routine in Aaptiv
Work that Full Body with Sultan

Category: Strength Training

Level: Intermediate

How did my data compare to the Aaptiv workout information (above)?

My time was 24 minutes and I burned 202 calories.

Honestly I was shocked at just how close my numbers were to the app’s data.

The format of this workout was 3 rounds of exercises that you repeat 3 times in each interval.

The exercises were step-ups, walk out plank push-ups, squats, crunches, tricep dips, bridges, plank holds and plank push-ups (without the walk out).

My thoughts during/after the workout with Sultan:

  • It really was a total body workout
  • I’m going to be sore and I didn’t even pick up a dumbbell

I’ve done workouts with Ray, Benjamin, Amanda and Candice as well.

I’ve been happy with all of the trainers and workouts I’ve tried.

I think the level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) is accurately categorized (based on the routines I’ve done).

I’d definitely recommend that you try out several different trainers before you make your final decision about whether Aaptiv will work for you or not.

The trainers aren’t following some master Aaptiv algorithm for every workout.

Each trainer has his/her own style and follow their own plan. 

That means every single routine feels unique. 

This is one of the things that makes Aaptiv so awesome.

What’s the difference in the Free Aaptiv app and the paid version?


The free trial allows you to try out every nook and cranny of the tool for 30 days.

After 30 days you’ll have to want to pay.

How Can Aaptiv Help You (Why I love Aaptiv!)

I’m super competitive. So, when I do ANY workout program I try to do the exact number of reps the instructor does (or tells me to do).  This app works with that competitive side of me.

Aaptiv taps into that natural desire to win/succeed in everyone.

The trainer is training you.  It’s that simple.  And who wouldn’t want a personal trainer in their ear??

Here’s another way Aaptiv can help you:  We’re all mentally exhausted.  After making life decisions all day it can feel overwhelming to make yet one more decision during the day >> What workout do I do?  This is why so many people end up doing the same exercises over and over and stop seeing results.

Let the Aaptiv trainers take care of your workout routine.  It’s genius.  Just tap a few buttons and do what the Aaptiv trainer tells you.  No excuses.

The trainers give you form pointers (as I mentioned) and tell you EXACTLY what to do as you’re going through the stages of a program with phrases like:

“if the speed gets too fast then try and keep the incline but slow down”

“think about landing on the balls of your feet”

“next interval—incline 7.0, speed 3.2…here we go…in 3,2, 1…incline 7.0 and speed 3.2”

“think about staying with the music,” “head up”

I find the prompts to be spot-on and really effective at finding that last bit of energy you need to finish your workout strong.

Are there any Cons with Aaptiv?  (Is there anything that needs improving with Aaptiv?)

I write honest reviews.

Rarely do I run across a product or program where I don’t have a list of things that can be improved.

But I struggled with coming up with any faults in the Aaptiv app.

The only thing (and this is being really picky) I can think of that could be better is the FAQ section on the Aaptiv website.

When I do a review I always find the FAQ section and read through it.  Aaptiv’s FAQ’s are certainly useable but could be set up a little better, in my opinion.

2019 UPDATEAaptiv must be listening because they’ve done some work on their FAQ page and it’s MUCH better now. There are categories laid out for you to find the answer you’re looking for much faster. Yay!!

Is Aaptiv worth the money?

Sign Up for Aaptiv today

I don’t know your budget situation but I personally spend a LOT more than this app costs every month on stuff I don’t need and that offers me no health benefit.

Aaptiv is worth the money.

But definitely give the free trial a whirl and see what you think.

✔Use it at least 3-5 times with different categories and different trainers and see if it doesn’t change your fitness routine for the better.

How do you sign up for Aaptiv?

You can sign up on the Aaptiv website.

Or download the app on your mobile device and create an account there.

the Aaptiv app is in the apple store

Yep, you’ll be getting emails…you might even get a coupon, though, so don’t delete them.

Here’s another link to those FAQ’s, in case you have more questions.

And some closing thoughts from the developers of Aaptiv:

Another reason to use Aaptiv

Try Aaptiv today! You won’t regret it!

Thanks for being here!


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