As 2023 comes to a close, you (like many of us) are probably in the “new year new me” planning phase. When it comes to writing resolutions, along with winning the lottery, ramping up on fitness is a top priority for most.
That being said, overhauling your fitness regimen that doesn’t work in favor of a new one can be costly.
Fortunately for you, we’ve put together a roundup of the best free fitness apps to try in 2024.
See which free fitness apps made our “nice” list for 2024.
Flex — Best for gym goers
Flex is the fastest way to make fitness progress in the gym, and it’s the most fun. You can track and log workouts with your own custom routine and exercises, share your progress pics with friends on the social community feature, compete with others on exercises, streaks, steps leaderboards and see your own exercise progress ranked with others similar to you on the platform, motivating you to stay on track, improve and hit personal records.
It also includes useful stats that are tailored to you to help with accountability and motivation, such as:
- total calories burned (TDEE) each day
- setting a workout frequency goal and streaks to keep you motivated
- calendar feature to show which days you did which workouts
- steps tracker
- body weight tracker
- personal records + one rep max estimates
Other useful features include:
- Apple watch logging
- auto progressive overload
- animated videos showing how to perform each exercise, with how to description and the muscles worked
- plate calculator so you don’t have to do plate math for barbell exercises
- premade workouts and ability to share your own workouts and routines
Turn your goals into games with Flex’s leaderboards. These allow you to compete with your fitness friends and users around the world, which can make even your most dreaded workouts feel fun. Encourage your friends to rise to the challenge and see which records you can beat!
Although some of the apps on this list are free for trials only, the free version of Flex is free indefinitely with no ads and no catches. If you do decide to upgrade your subscription from free to paid to unlock features such as apple watch logging, this app is one of the best value options on our list, with subscriptions currently offered at $59.99 per year or $9.99 monthly. The only downside is that it currently is only available on the iPhone since it is newer.
Do you have questions about losing fat and building muscle? Flex offers science-based, yet simple fitness articles to steer you on your fitness journey.
Nike Training Club— Best for intensity
Nike’s master trainers lead users through over 200 challenging workouts from 5 to 50 minutes long.
These workouts are designed to be take-anywhere: you can try them at the gym, the park, or even at home.
This app is also working towards wellness and nutrition guidance, although these features are only currently available to UK users.
Strava— Best for runners, cyclists, and hikers
If you’re a distance lover, this one’s for you. Strava is geared towards runners, cyclists, and hikers.
Strava also syncs easily with popular fitness devices like Garmin or Apple Watches. It’s also one of the best options on our list for making friends and building a fitness community.
Strava users can save and try famous routes like the Boston Marathon, London Marathon and NYC Marathon to train accordingly.
The app is free for your first 30 days, after which Strava offers subscription options, including student pricing at 50% off.
BODY by Blogilates — Best for home workouts
Founded by Pilates YouTuber Cassey Ho, the BODY by Blogilates provides creative and accessible Pilates-based home workouts.
With a massive virtual library holding hundreds of workouts, there’s something for everyone using little more than your bodyweight.
Most features on this app are accessible for free. If your workout style is mostly independent, you can get a fantastic Pilates workout for free. Many users will find themselves satisfied with the free features alone that this app has to offer.
That being said, with a monthly subscription of $3.99 (one of the most affordable choices on this list), users gain access to monthly workout calendars that feature new workouts each day. You can also try monthly or weekly challenges to keep your hot streak going.
Caliber— Best for data insights
Caliber is a science-based app that allows you to create your workout plans or try pre-built workouts.
This app boasts a combination of strength, cardio, and nutrition coaching all driven by data insights.
Caliber offers users several-times-a-week check-ins. Coaches touch base with you to discuss personal fitness goals and habits to build a customized and lifestyle-appropriate fitness plan.
You’ll also find customized nutritional plans available through Caliber. This program can incorporate diets including keto, gluten-free and Whole30 to support your exercise regimen.
The free version of Caliber comes without ads and is stocked with a full library of 500+ videos. This free version is not only a trial— you can sign on indefinitely at no cost. If you would like to upgrade, Caliber also has Pro and Premium level memberships.
Fiit— Best for fun atmosphere
Known for providing a studio-like experience, Fiit is all about curating a high-energy vibe while getting your sweat on.
For those who like an interactive experience, Fiit lets you work out along with high-energy personal trainers. Catch a few celebrity trainer appearances on this platform too!
Fiit is free for your first 14 days. After that, the app offers payment, with an Essential (just the basics) plan or an Unlimited (full access) subscription.
Strong— Best for multiple devices
Strong is one of the more straightforward apps on the market for your strength training goals, with integrations across several digital devices.
The app allows access from iPhone, Android or Apple Watch with easy-to-control privacy settings and readily accessible workout data.
If you don’t like to overcomplicate things, Strong has simple features including superset options, a warm-up calculator and body part measurements, without the excessive bells and whistles that can overcrowd a good app.
JEFIT— Best for variety
Another option for in-gym lifters looking to get strong. JEFIT offers an uncomplicated way to log your sets, reps, and rest breaks in the gym.
This app offers a massive database of exercises to track, even for those on free plans. The platform offers workouts broken down by target muscle group and exercise type, so users get an overview of workouts that are easy to sort through.
Aaptiv — Best for audio-guided workouts
Do you hate staring at your screen all day? Aaptiv has a cure for the eyesore phenomenon that might discourage you from trying a fitness app.
Aaptiv provides a unique user experience to power your workouts using audio. That way, you can move with ease, feel freedom in your movement and get away from the stress of constantly checking your phone.
Aaptiv offers a month-long free trial so you get 30 days free.
Fitbod — Best for limited equipment
If you’ve ever had a moment of panic because someone has been hogging the machine you need for 30 minutes, Fitbod provides solid alternate options using only accessible equipment.
If you’re particular about what equipment you use, this app is good at adapting workouts to consider equipment constraints. That being said, the free side of Fitbod is limited, with only 3 workouts offered as a free trial. However, at $79.99 per year, the paid version is still reasonably affordable.
How do I Choose a Workout App?
Picking between fitness apps ultimately comes down to personal preference and what your long-term goals for fitness in 2024 look like.
Take a moment and visualize your perfect-world gym journey. Think about factors including:
Do you know that you love yoga but hate the gym? It’s important to be honest about your goals and what type of workouts you genuinely enjoy doing. Committing to a workout plan is easier when you determine which exercises you’ll actually do.
Choose a workout type that you like so you’ll enjoy and stick with your training.
Metrics and Measurement
Are you a visual learner? Do you track your body progress by measuring your biceps or waist, or do you prefer to use the number on your scale as a reference point? Take a moment to evaluate what metrics will inform your progress.
Look into the measurements each app offers and consider which is most relevant to your goals.
Although all of these apps do offer at least initial free use, some require a payment plan to move up to new tiers and get more out of your workouts.
Consider whether the free or paid version of your app of choice has all the required features. Can you afford a financial commitment this year, or are you on a strict budget? It’s a good time to check out available free trials to see which app offers you the most bang for your buck.
Finally, what type of time commitment is realistic for your lifestyle? If you work remotely or freelance, you may have more time to offer a 2024 fitness transformation.
However, if you’re on the 9-to-5 grind, you may be more limited in the time you can offer to a workout program while staying present and on track. Don’t think about what is ideal here, think about what is realistic.
It’s easier to ramp up your routine if you need a boost. But overcommitment is a surefire way to throw your New Year's glow-up routine off course. Think about whether apps that offer personal training will make you more consistent or whether you’re happy to go it alone.
Happy New Year and happy training!