Winter is coming. And with the impending doom of increasingly shorter and darker days, getting to your workout class of choice becomes exceedingly difficult. If you feel like staying home, but don’t want to hibernate like a bear, the exercise app Aaptiv (formerly Skyfit) offers an easy alternative to ClassPass—as long as you use it.
Instead of using your phone to swipe through useless dating apps, why not get a few minutes (or an hour) of yoga in? Aaptiv isn’t an online video; instead, trainers guide the workout with a synced playlist through your headphones. The app offers a little bit of everything, including marathon training, high intensity interval training, strength training, spinning and pilates.
Aaptiv founder and CEO Ethan Agarwal was a runner who wanted guidance through his workout, but obviously couldn’t jog alongside a video. Instead, he wanted to provide a way for people to workout the way they wanted, without distractions. There’s no need to maneuver yourself into a downward dog while watching a YouTube video.
“We’re extremely focused on meeting people where they are, which includes wherever they are most comfortable working out,” Agarwal explained. For people who don’t feel confident venturing into a gym, fitness classes at home can be a welcome respite from a crowded, intimidating weight room. “Our classes can be done at home, at the gym, on the road for work or vacation, or wherever you find yourself in your day to day,” Agarwal added.
Agarwal prizes himself on “the community that exists beyond the app,” citing their users’ active social media involvement. On Facebook, app users share their experiences and motivate each other. While social media isn’t the same as physically being inside a gym, simply peruse Instagram to see everyone following Kayla Itsines and hash-tagging #BBG (Bikini Body Guide) to support each other. In a small town, or somewhere where there isn’t a variety of classes, social media can prove an especially useful way to find motivation, as cheesy as #fitspo might seem. Online, Aaptiv members can even “meet” their trainers.
“Each member generally tends to connect most personally with one or two specific trainers,” Agarwal told the Observer, comparing it to other boutique fitness classes that happen in real life. To keep the workouts fresh, they announce new ones with favorite trainers each month. Whether you want to hibernate or want to work on your form before hitting the weight room, a month of Aaptiv can make working out easier, and less expensive, than a ClassPass membership.