Friends and readers have suggested that I check out Aaptiv (formerly Skyfit). So, for a week, I abandoned my Peloton classes and started spinning with the Aaptiv app on my iPhone.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.
What is Aaptiv?
Aaptiv is a fitness app available on Android and Apple devices. It provides on-demand classes in an audio format, wherein an instructor coaches you through various fitness routines.
Although Aaptiv includes workouts ranging from outdoor running, treadmill, elliptical to yoga, I will focus strictly on its indoor cycling classes.
Equipment Needed for Aaptiv Spin
To use the Aaptiv app, you need a spin bike, your phone and maybe a set of wireless headphones.
Check out some of my favorite and recommended spin items in my Amazon store.
How Much Does Aaptiv Cost?
For access to Aaptiv’s unlimited classes, you will pay $14.99 per month, $99.99 per year or $399.99 for a lifetime membership plan. As a comparison, the Peloton app is $12.99 monthly, $5.99 weekly, or a free 14-day trial; they don’t offer a yearly membership.
What Kind of Music Does Aaptiv Play?
Aaptiv focuses heavily on the music. In my opinion, that’s their biggest selling point: fun, motivating music without you having to create your own playlist. Although, I think Peloton has pretty kick-ass music themselves. Both apps have their own Spotify channels. Peloton Cycle has more than twice the amount of playlists than Aaptiv.
How Long are the Aaptiv Classes?
Even though you can filter your workouts by duration, I find many of Aaptiv’s indoor cycling classes to be too short. I can’t understand the purpose of an 11-minute ride. Lately, I take a lot of 20-minute Peloton HIIT rides which leave my heart racing and my body exhausted, however, Aaptiv’s under 30-minute rides lacked that same intensity for me.
What’s the Style of the Instructors like on Aaptiv Spin?
While using the Aaptiv app, I often felt like I was riding a stationary bike and not a spin bike. In a couple of classes, I sat in the saddle for the entire ride. Only in one of my Aaptiv classes did the instructor really move me out of my seat with jumps. While Peloton’s tap backs and other movements truly engage my core with proper posture and control, I couldn’t help but think during Aaptiv’s repeated jumps, “this can’t be good for my neck.”
Do the Aaptiv Spin Classes Use Weights?
Peloton Cycle and numerous other boutique studios incorporate weights into their classes. Aaptiv made no mention of weights during my rides. Depending on your view of the usage of weights during a spin class, you may appreciate their absence. I rather look forward to the weights portion of the class.
Do the Instructors Call Out Metrics During the Class?
During most of my rides, the Aaptiv instructors rarely mentioned cadence. Despite this omission, I kept my Wahoo app open to measure it. But, without the instructors giving me a cadence range, I found it difficult to assess their expected exertion levels from me.
Furthermore, the verbal cues the Aaptiv instructors gave regarding resistance confused, rather than guided me:
“Turn that knob to the right. One more time to the right
Just enough to get a good flow
Add a little bit of resistance. . . more challenging but not too challenging
Through muddy water”
In Peloton classes, the instructors refer to resistance by specific numbers or a percentage, such as a fifty-percent or more.
My gut tells me that the Aaptiv app lends itself more to running and elliptical workouts. I can see how the music and instruction could motivate a runner. As a visual person, I like to compare my body position to that of the instructor and/or riders around me. To ensure that I am working to my full potential, I appreciate the instructor calling out metrics numbers (resistance, speed, and cadence). I think I would feel similarly taking Aaptiv’s yoga classes although I have yet to take them.
Granted, had I never discovered the Peloton app, I believe that I would have had a more favorable review of the Aaptiv app. But Peloton has completely stolen my heart. This is how I describe it: Imagine a girl has a boyfriend she’s sort of obsessed with named Peloton but they take a break (“Friends” style) and she starts dating Aaptiv. But she can’t stop thinking about Peloton, even while she’s with Aaptiv. She soon realizes that Peloton has it all: fun, great music, motivating instructors, classes of all levels and durations. At the end of the week, she ends it with Aaptiv, promising to remain friends.
Would I ever use Aaptiv’s Indoor Cycling workout again?
Probably. Aaptiv requires a lot less setup than Peloton. If I wanted to use a spin bike in a gym or a hotel, I might favor the Aaptiv app over lugging along a cadence sensor, iPad holder and iPhone. I have to admit, despite its limitations, I did sweat, especially during Kelly Chase’s Cycle Pop HIIT ride.
Have you tried either app? What are your thoughts?