Picture: istock
Picture: istock

Cool factor ***
Usability ****
Value for money ***

Get a jump-start on those workout resolutions with the Aaptiv fitness app. It’s audio based, and available for iOS and Android users.

The app is well established in the US, where it launched in 2016, and was last month made available to 20 more countries, including the UK, Australia, Singapore and SA.

The offering is simple but smart: audio-guided workouts you can do at home, while travelling, or in the gym. Some of the workouts require access to equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer or ergometer (rowing machine), but many don’t, and there are over 2,500 workouts to choose from.

They cover a variety of activity categories, such as running, stationary/indoor cycling, yoga and strength training, and Aaptiv promises to add fresh content weekly.

On opening the app you will be asked to state a goal for yourself and provide some basic information, including ranking your level (from beginner to advanced).

The app then suggests sessions or courses for you (a course is a series of sessions presented by one trainer, often working towards a specific goal, such as running 5km).

The trainer will guide you through each session, even telling you when to pick up the pace or change position. There is a layer of background music too, to give you that extra oomph or exercise-class feeling.

These are real trainers with their own distinct presentation and motivation styles; it is not an automated voiceprompt feature. This means that it feels personal and directed, even though you know you’re listening to a pre-recorded session.

The only downside is that when you’re following along with something mat-based, like yoga or floor stretching, you’ve got no visual means of reference against which to compare your form.

The app has an attractive, clear interface that is uncluttered and easy to navigate. During a guided workout, you’ll also see a clear countdown timer and progress bar.

The app itself is free to download, but after a seven-day trial you’ll have to subscribe. The cost starts at R199 a month.