The best workout apps for iPhones are the ones you’ll actually use. No kidding, right? I’ve been through quite a few apps and found that even an app from a program or trainer you love isn’t always the fitness app you need. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by fitness apps I didn’t think I’d stick with for long and totally let down by apps I should’ve been excited about. This post contains affiliate links.
The 5 Best Workout Apps for iPhones
I’ve tried a lot of workout apps for iPhones over the years. Some have been excellent, some have been completely underwhelming or annoying, and some have been great but just not for me. Here are what I consider the best workout apps for iPhone users.
Fit Body App
Anna Victoria’s Fit Body is my new favorite fitness app. There are three workouts to choose from (Shred, Tone, and Sculpt), depending on your goals. You can do bodyweight only workouts; a mix of bodyweight, dumbbells, and resistance bands (there’s an option to include those); or you can do the gym-based program that utilizes barbells and other gym equipment.
The workouts are about 30 minutes long and movements are demonstrated but not in a long follow-along video format that means you have to keep your eyes on the screen.
I’m currently working my way through Tone since I love weights but don’t always have the best track record with gym attendance. If I choose to, I can take this with me to the gym and do the workouts there, too, though. I’m considering using the Shred program as my cardio, but I haven’t tried it that way yet. I’ve just been following Tone as it’s written, with MISS cardio (medium intensity steady state, like a jog). Eventually, I want to start doing morning and evening workouts again. That’s too much for me at the moment and I don’t want to burn out, though.
There’s foam rolling, a customized meal plan (!!!), and videos that offer explanations of things in the app, self-love talk, and more. I can tell a ton of thought and planning went into this app.
I’ll be doing a more in-depth review of this program soon.
Price: Free seven-day trial, then you can sign up for a one-month ($16.99/month), three-month ($15.33/month), or 12-month ($13.33/month unless you see this while she’s still running her launch special of $8.33/month) subscription.
Nike Training Club
I haven’t used the Nike Training Club app in a while because I switched up my routine, but I used to use it almost every single day. It’s been one of the best iPhone workout apps for at least five years, in my opinion. Every now and then, I check in to see what’s new. It’s only gotten better, with new workouts, new trainers, and more.
You can browse by muscle type, athlete, workout type, necessary equipment, and time. You can follow along with programs like the 6-Week Guide to Get Lean or do your own thing each day. When you sign in, you can see what’s new and what the app recommends for you.
When you click on a workout, it’ll tell you how long it takes, the intensity level, and the level of training you should be at when you attempt it. You’ll also see what it’s good for (like cardiovascular conditioning, core strength speed, endurance, etc).
The app tracks your progress and you can even link it up with your music library and play your favorite songs while you work out.
Honestly, going back through this thing makes me want to get up and do a Workout of the Week.
Cristina Capron Fitness
Okay, the Cristina Capron Fitness app is best if you have a gym membership but I love it anyway. Not all the workouts require you to be in the gym with access to their equipment and sometimes you can improvise at home if you have some dumbbells, resistance bands, and a bench, but to get the most out of it, a gym membership is recommended. There is a Get Fit at Home program you can follow if you really want to give it a try but don’t go to the gym.
When you get the app, you’ll get the rundown of all the different programs so you can choose the best one for you. There are free workouts to do so you can get a taste of what Cristina’s style is like, and you’ll see the length of the workout and the body part(s) it’s for without even needing to click. You can scroll through to find the workout that matches the goal, body part, program, etc, that you want to work on.
These workouts tend to be on the longer side, which is why I didn’t continue using it. I still love it and want to use it again, but most of the workouts are around 50 minutes to an hour. That’s more time than I want to spend at the gym right now. I’m more likely to do two 30-minute workouts in a day than one 50-60 minute one.
The cool thing about this one is that it talks you through the workout so you don’t necessarily even have to look at your screen. You can also link it up with iTunes or Spotify to play music through the app while you work out.
Price: Free, but offers in-app purchases.
I recognize that the PIIT Pocket app is fantastic so I’m including it here, but I’m just not big on Pilates and I never really “clicked” with Cassey as a trainer even though she’s wonderful at what she does. I totally respect her and admire her work ethic. And her workouts are hard.
PIIT stands for Pilates Intense Interval Training, so you know it’ll get the job done. There’s a meal plan you can follow along with, too.
PIIT Pocket is by YouTube Pilates (Blogilates) superstar, Cassey Ho, and she always puts an immense amount of thought into anything she puts out. The quality is wonderful, the videos are easy to follow along with, and the recipes are delicious and relatively simple. You can create your own workouts or meal plans within the app.
You get access to the whole Blogilates workout library and you can browse to find the videos that target the body parts you want to work on each day or follow along with the PIIT28 program, a series of 28-minute workouts.
If you love Pilates and an upbeat instructor, you need this workout app. It’ll help you stay on track with your nutrition and fitness goals.
Price: Free, with in-app purchases to get access to all the features. If you want access to everything, it’s $9.99/month or $99.99/year.
This one kind of reminds me of the Nike Training Club app, but it’s easier to navigate. When you log in, you get to scroll down and choose from workout types, like strength training treadmill, strength & cardio mix, yoga & mindfulness, outdoor running, indoor cycling, and elliptical.
From there, choose the specific workout you want to do (there are tons) based on body parts you want to work and how much time you have.
When you click on a workout, you’ll see the muscles you’ll work (by percentage, so you could see a workout that’s 45% lower body and 39% upper body, for example), the equipment you’ll need, and the exercises you’ll be doing. If you don’t like wandering into the unknown when you click “Start Workout” you’ll love this one.
You can even download the workouts to your phone so if you work out in a place where there’s no wifi, no big deal.
Price: $14.99/month or you can get a $49.99 annual subscription (you can try it free for a week before you’re charged if you go this route).
Honorable Mention: Alexia Clark
I still like Alexia Clark’s workouts (see my Alexia Clark workout program review here) because they’re functional and condition you in ways traditional workouts might not, but there’s no Alexia Clark app so I can’t include it in the official list. You can, however, create a shortcut on your iPhone’s home screen that links straight to the website, so it can act like a fitness app. These workouts can be 20-30 minutes or 50+ minutes long, depending on how many circuits you want to do. She has a free trial option and then it’s $29.99/month for a brand new workout every day of the work week.
At-Home Equipment Recommendations
I have accumulated quite a bit of equipment over the years. I’ve been through several types of dumbbells and resistance bands. Here’s what I recommend for getting started with an app or really any at-home fitness program you want to do.
I recommend neoprene dumbbells in general. Others I’ve tried have felt dangerously slick once I started getting sweaty. It can get a little pricey if you’re trying to get a range of weights and really plan to work on your strength.
If you want something that takes up less space and will likely save you money over time, I recommend the Power Block Elite Dumbbells. I bought my set about three years ago and still use it. I reach for the plain ol’ neoprene dumbbells when I need light weights, but when I want to do deadlifts and squats or just a few reps at a higher weight, I love these.
For resistance bands without handles, these are the best I’ve found. The thicker ones can be used for pull-up assistance and the thinner ones can be used for recovery and stretching. The ones in the middle can give you a solid workout when you’re traveling or just don’t feel like pulling out the weights.
Some of the best workout apps for iPhones that I mentioned have a need for smaller resistance bands/loops. In that case, this set from Limm is great. I don’t really use the X-Light for much of anything, but it’s still a good deal even if you don’t do much with that one.
Want wireless earbuds that won’t leave you broke? These Bluephonic ones have served me well.
If you’ve never used a foam roller, don’t take my advice on this one. However, if you’ve used them and need something firmer now, you need this high-density, extra-firm one in your life. Especially if you’re a tall gal like me and also think most foam rollers feel awkward because they’re too short.
Choosing the Best Fitness App for You
When you’re trying to choose from the best workout apps for iPhones and match them up with your body and mind, there are a few things to consider:
- What types of workouts do you want to do? What does your body crave and what kind of exercise are you excited to get up and do?
- How much variety do you need?
- Do you want videos or just demos and permission to do your own thing?
- Do you want recipes and/or a meal plan?
- Will you be using your app at home or do you plan to go to the gym? Is a mix better?
- What equipment do you have at home?
Does it need to play music through it, or do you not really care about that for one reason or another?
The best workout apps for iPhones are the ones you’ll actually use several times per week. You can have the fanciest fitness app on your phone with full-length videos and all kinds of features and then feel annoyed that the screen is too small, your neck hurts from trying to stare at the tiny screen you precariously propped up while you go through the moves, you can’t hear it in the gym, etc, and it’s going to be a fail (I had that experience in 2018).
Make sure the features fit your needs and preferences. You’ll be setting yourself up for success that way. Plus you won’t be spending money on apps that don’t see much use after a month.