Trying Something New

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As I mentioned recently, I’ve been working on recommitting to running and finding my love ofย  the sport again after a few years (omg, years!) of what I would call more of a love-hate relationship. So, a few weeks ago (or maybe a month or more, who knows – I’m in a time vortex), a reader suggested that I try a new app called Aaptiv (not a sponsored post!!) to spice up my running. I’ll be the first person to tell you that, generally speaking, I really don’t care for running and workout apps. I don’t really know why. I just never remember to use them, or get bored with them, or whatever. I’m asked to review them all the time but I always say no. Anyway, after getting that suggestion, I thought “Why not try it?” and downloaded the app for my free trial. Note: This post is NOT sponsored by Aaptiv in any way.

I really had no intentions of writing about my experience with Aaptiv, but then someone commented on my Instagram and asked me to review it, so here we are! Anyway, I really had no clue what to expect when I downloaded the app. I thought it was just running workouts and was shocked to find all the options. There are workouts for the treadmill, outdoor running, the elliptical, indoor cycling, yoga, strength training, and then various distance running training programs (5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon).

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Screenshot of some of the workout categories. I’m so intrigued to know what elliptical workouts are! And yet, I never want to get on an elliptical again to find out.

Each workout is categorized by either “green” (meaning beginner/easier effort), “yellow” (intermediate/moderate effort) or “red” (advanced/hard effort). You can read a brief summary of the workout, see how long it is, and see who the trainer is that will be coaching you. It also usually gives you an idea of what type of music you’ll be listening to – for example, the other day, I did an interval workout set to 90s music!

Pros:

  1. It gets me out of bed.There are a lot of things I like about Aaptiv, but probably the thing I like the most is that it gets me out of bed on days when I don’t really know what type of workout I want to do and even thinking about it is enough to make me go back to sleep. As much as I like going for an easy run, it is really easy for me to just roll back over and say I’ll do it another time. Having something where I don’t have to really think about what I’ll be doing is huge for me.
  2. It’s nice not to have to think about what to do. I really like being told what to do! I can just focus on what the trainer is saying and do it. I am definitely working harder than I would on my own, and I personally find the trainers encouraging and not annoying at all (although there is one that says “WOO!” every time she tells you to pick up the pace, which I find suspicious because I certainly do not feel like saying “WOO!” when I pick up the pace).
  3. The variety is huge: There’s everything from walking programs to tempo runs and then sprint intervals. There are even runs that incorporate full body strength training into the run (think walking lunges, squat jumps, pushups, etc)! Obviously there are also other categories too, but I have only really tested out the running ones so far. I have yet to be bored during any workout I’ve done. There are also workouts ranging anywhere from about 15 minutes to 1 hour (or more, for the marathon training long runs), so no matter what you have time for, you can find something.
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    Casually doing pushups in the middle of a run because the app told me to. Just so we’re clear, it is way, way harder to do pushups in the middle of a run than it is to just do pushups in general (and pushups are hard as it is). Leggings by DanaLou Fit! Use code DCA15 for 15% off!
  4. It makes me stretch: After finishing each running workout, the app automatically recommends starting a short post-run yoga/stretching class. It’s only 5 minutes, so when I see it pop up, I can’t help but do it. Normally, I would never take the time to stretch, and I’ve really enjoyed it.
  5. I’m actually doing speed work: I can probably count the times I’ve willingly done speed work without being told to on one hand. When I worked with a coach, I did it all the time, but now? Never. The app has broken me out of that habit because, well, it tells me to do speed work. I’m doing a lot of interval training and even though it’s kicking my ass, it’s also quite satisfying.

Cons:

  1. It costs money: To be fair, this app should cost money, but I hate paying for apps. It is $10 per month if you pay by the month (there is a one week free trial), or there is currently a sale for $25 for 3 months or $50 for one year. I just purchased the one year membership while writing this! I think it is a good value if you use it regularly.
  2. The workouts are on the shorter side: The vast majority of the workouts are around half an hour, which honestly is probably good because most of them are pretty hard! However, sometimes I just want to do something longer and have someone tell me what to do, haha! Yes, I could add on miles myself as a pre-or-post workout option, but I like the encouraging voices of the trainers ringing in my ears the whole time.
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    I’m a little afraid of the Jumping Jack Run, tbh.
  3. There are not many steady-state options: Of course, it makes sense that most of the workouts are actually workouts and not just steady-state playlists, but now that I’m accustomed to working out with the trainers, I would love to have them just randomly encouraging me to keep running. I have not tried the distance programs yet (although I plan to soon!) so it might just be a question of using those occasionally instead of just picking from the “outdoor running” category. I need to play around with the app more!

I have been getting back on my bike lately (inside, using my bike trainer since it is cold), so I definitely plan on testing out some of the spinning workouts soon as well! It had been so long since I had ridden my bike that the idea of doing any more than just pedaling and trying not to fall off (even while not actually moving) was intimidating enough, but now that I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, I think I’m ready to pick it up.

Overall, I think Aaptiv is a really great resource and I’m so glad it was recommended to me! I think it is really going to help my running and help me get back in good shape. I’m excited to see how I’ll use it in the next year! I am definitely planning on starting one of the distance training programs soon and seeing how that goes, and I’d also like to start using more of the other workout categories on the app. We’ll see where it leads!

LEAVE A COMMENT: Do you ever use apps to help you workout? Which ones do you love? Have you tried Aaptiv yet?

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12 thoughts on “Trying Something New

  1. Wait…is this a sponsored post? LOL!!! You are too funny with that but, I hear you woman!!
    I usually use YouTube if I’m in need of a strength routine, otherwise, my coach tells me what to do everyday and thank God for that!!
    I say – whatever gets you out of bed and running strong is a good thing.
    Keep it up!

    1. Hahaha! I do sponsored posts some times, of course, but it’s really important to me that people know when they’re not ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t help it!

  2. Yay Danielle, I am so happy that you tried and love the app!!! Sometimes I make good suggestions and I have some more about your cons list…
    1. If in Canada like myself it costs more but I do believe it is a good deal.
    2. Shorter workouts, pair two or more together or go into the half and marathon programs for longer.
    2. Your steady pace runs are in the training programs as well, all red runs in the 5K and 10K at least are steady paced runs just need to pick how long you want to run for.

    They recently changed their name and did a whole revamp of the app which meant re recording all the classes so hopefully those will be back soon ๐Ÿ˜Š. I do not work for them but I am an ambassador and can offer any one a free month.

    1. Hi Kendra I just discovered the app and it looks great but being in Canada the cost is giving me a bit of a pause without knowing if it is something I would use often. I would love a free month if that could be arranged!

    2. I know it has been a while since you said you can offer anyone a free month of the app Aaptiv, but is that still a possibility? I would love to try it! Thanks in advance!
      Becky

  3. Never heard of Aaptiv but it sounds interesting! I got into running by using the Couch to 5k app, then moving on to Couch to 10k when I graduated from the first. Any app that gets people moving and trying new things has got to be good! But I’m cheap/frugal and I’m not sure I’d pay for another one … I did pay for a year of Runkeeper Pro and didn’t use any of the features. Not a fan of wasting money! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I did Couch to 5k back before it had an app! I used to use the clock on my iPod – back when people had iPods! An app would have been so much easier ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. These damn corporate shills! ๐Ÿ™

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    You know what I love – the ‘Stand’ ring on the Apple Watch. It is stupid … I mean, before 6AM I have surpassed the highest calorie burn and activity time settings, so those rings are always pegged. But the stand run forces me to get up and about during 12 different hours. It is SO much more motivational than the little red ‘move’ bar on my Garmin, and sets a goal for me that I feel compelled to conquer every day – even on my occasional rest days.

    My point? I had no idea that this would happen, that I would find it motivational, that I could actually attach meaning to it. Yet I have … you just never know what will shake up your routine.

    So when I read this I thought – OF COURSE! Sure – it is really of no interest to me (especially now that we have entered the ‘arctic tundra’ part of the year), but who cares? That isn’t the point!

    I am a total fan of ANYTHING that helps someone be more active, eat better, or do anything to improve themselves. At the same time – nothing is perfect, and sometimes what motivates us today will not serve the same purpose next month.

    1. I don’t have an apple watch, but I can see how that would be pretty awesome. I get in a lot of steps when I’m running, but it’s easy for me to sit at my desk for hours without moving because I get wrapped up in work.

      I think the thing I like the most about Aaptiv is it takes the “thinking” out of working out for me. When I don’t want to get up in the morning, I can’t always think about what type of workout I want to do, because I don’t want to do any. It’s nice to be just told what to do and do it!

  5. Thanks for mentioning Aaptiv! I tried it based on your suggestion and have been using it for the past month. I can’t run right now due to some back issues (I know you feel my pain…pun not intended, but it works!), so this app makes doing cardio in the gym much more enjoyable!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your back issues, Cristin, but that was an excellent pun ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you’re enjoying Aaptiv! It really does make working out a lot more fun. I’m not using it as much right now since I’ve been marathon training but the strength programs are great, too!

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