As a group fitness aficionado and instructor, transitioning to at-home workouts during the pandemic hasn't been easy. I much prefer challenging, sweaty classes packed with people to choose-your-own-adventure solo gym sessions, which is perhaps what drew me to teaching yoga and yoga sculpt. The bulk of my pandemic workouts have thus been self-guided yoga classes peppered with outdoor runs: my way to mourn the loss of in-person studio classes.
But as the months in isolation grew longer and my group fitness mourning period lost steam, it’s now time to find a suitable virtual alternative to in-person workouts. That’s why I decided to give the app FitOn a try.
FitOn is a digital fitness platform that offers unlimited free classes spanning everything from cardio to strength training to meditation, many of which are taught by celebrity trainers (or celebrities themselves, like Gabrielle Union and Jonathan Van Ness). The app was founded in 2019 by former FitBit executive Lindsay Cook, and has since amassed more than 5 million members, according to the FitOn website.
The platform live-streams more than 10 classes a day and boasts an ever-growing catalog of on-demand selections, including yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuits, boxing, Pilates, dance, barre, meditation, and stretching. You can also search for no-equipment, pre- and post-natal, low-impact, before-bed, at-work, and with-kids workouts. If you don’t know where to begin, you can filter classes based on intensity (low, medium, or high), length (5 to 30 minutes or more), target muscle group, or your favorite trainer. You can also join multi-workout challenges alone or with your friends on the app to kickstart a training program that appeals to you. FitOn also offers a premium subscription ($29.99/year) for users who would like to access custom meal plans, sync your FitBit or other fitness tracker to the app, download offline workouts, video call with friends during class, and more.
Types of Classes Included on FitOn
- Strength: FitOn’s strength options run the gamut, including HIIT, bootcamp, weightlifting, and bodyweight classes to work your muscles and challenge users of all fitness levels and experience.
- Cardio: If you’re looking to spike your heart rate, FitOn can help you do the job with cardio HIIT, bootcamp, sculpt, and agility classes—no cardio machines necessary.
- Kickboxing: Release stress and sweat with every punch during a FitOn kickboxing class, with options for beginners and experienced boxers alike, many of which require no equipment.
- Yoga: Whether you’re new to yoga or a seasoned yogi, FitOn has got something for you. The app’s yoga selections include everything from gentle seated yoga to dynamic flows to higher-intensity yoga sculpt.
- Pilates: Feel the burn with FitOn’s assortment of Pilates videos, which use repetitive tiny movements to tone your muscles and strengthen your core. Take your pick from classes that target specific muscle groups, beginner-friendly videos, and even cardio-infused Pilates sessions.
- Dance: Get your groove on, work up a sweat, and feel great with a Zumba, ballet burn, cardio dance, or dance sculpt classes.
- Barre: Strengthen your muscles or even cardio endurance with FitOn’s barre classes that work your body through precise, ballet-inspired moves and exercises.
- KINRGY: Blend dance, strength, and meditation with this elements-based fitness program founded by celebrity dancer Julianne Hough. Try out classes featuring movements inspired by water, fire, earth, air, or a combination, or take a class taught by Hough herself.
- Stretch: Get your stretch on before or after a workout with FitOn’s active warm-ups and post-run classes, or pick from stretch sessions tailored to specific muscle groups like your legs or upper body. If you’re looking for stretches to wind down and relax, they’ve got those too—browse the app’s series of morning, tension relief, and recovery stretch tutorials.
- Meditation: Start or end your day with one of FitOn’s guided meditations for mindfulness, gratitude, sleep, resilience, and more, or dive into a breathwork tutorial to connect mind and body.
On Demand HIIT Fit
Length: 24 minutes
Equipment: mat and weights
Even thought it just over 20 minutes, I felt like I had completed a long workout after this class ended. The HIIT workout featured near-constant intervals of body weight and dumbbell exercises, including lateral lunges, cardio-infused planks, football runs, and weighted core work. The exercises were straightforward and easy to follow, but the longer intervals and shorter periods of rest had me sweating and panting in no time. The trainer, Aubre Winters, was a delight: She kept up the pace, gave helpful pointers for good form, and offered modifications for every exercise so that the workout flew by and left me feeling challenged and accomplished.
On Demand Total Body Sculpt Pilates
Length: 23 minutes
I’m new to Pilates, and was immediately shocked at how tired your muscles can get from small, repetitive movements. The class, coached by mega-popular fitness instructor and influencer Cassey Ho, was relatively stationary (you could complete most of it while seated or lying on your side or back), and targeted one muscle group at a time with exercises like lat pulses, arm circles, hip lifts, and lateral leg lifts. The movements were simple and precise, but boy, could I feel them. The length of time you spend repeating each motion digs into all the major and minor muscles in the targeted body part, which challenged my muscle endurance and worked muscles that I don’t normally tap into with my usual yoga-and-running routine.
While I still prefer a more full-body sweat sesh, I was impressed by how challenging and sore this workout made me without really breaking a sweat. I’m going to keep FitOn Pilates classes in my back pocket for those daytime workouts when I want to exercise but don’t want to squeeze in a shower before my next Zoom meeting.
On Demand All Over Strength
Length: 33 minutes
Equipment: mat and weights
The class began with dynamic stretching and butt kicks to warm up, followed by a series of circuits with 30-second intervals of exercises like biceps curls, lateral lunges, half burpees, rows, single-leg V ups, and more. This workout was tough and nonstop, which took me out of my head and into my body, leaving me sweaty and tired AF by the end. True to FitOn form, the exercises were fairly simple. The trainer, former pro football player Brendon Ayanbadejo, gave helpful cues and encouragement throughout so that the workout, while tough, never felt confusing or complicated. If you’re looking for a longer, grittier, and sweatier strength-training session, this could be the class for you.
On Demand Kickboxing Bootcamp
Length: 27 minutes
I love that FitOn gave me the opportunity to broaden my fitness horizons, and this boxing class was no exception. I’m fairly new to kickboxing, and this class was the perfect introduction to the sport thanks to its simple boxing combos and core work. I learned to jab, hook, uppercut, and kick as celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins seamlessly guided me through class. Though this workout wasn’t particularly tough, it got my heart rate up and walked me through the boxing basics without feeling boring—not to mention it felt great to relieve stress by throwing some punches.
On Demand Morning Stretch
Length: 6 minutes
Nothing makes for a better start to your morning (or in my case, midafternoon) than this stretch session led by Jonathan Van Ness. The simple stretches—including side bends, hip openers, a spinal twist, and lower-back stretches—were the perfect antidote to back and shoulder tension caused by slouching over my laptop. The class, which concluded with some deep breathing, was a welcome break from my screen and work-related stress. Turns out that taking brief breaks to stretch and decompress during the day is as effective as everyone’s been telling me, so FitOn’s stretching videos will surely become a part of my daily routine.
FitOn’s impressive array of class formats, lengths, and intensities made it easy to find workouts that appealed to me while never feeling repetitive or boring. There are classes specifically for beginners and many others that feature exercises you can do while seated or lying down, like the Pilates class I tried. Instructors were engaging, and their classes were simple but effective, so that trying new activities, like boxing, felt approachable and customizable to your fitness level. The trainers themselves were diverse in experience and background, though there was a noticeable lack of different body sizes. The app also included language suggesting that thin bodies are the ideal, like “body-slimming Pilates” and “thigh trimdown.”
Workout-wise, FitOn stacks up against other fitness apps I love, like Peloton or Obé, especially considering the price tag (free!). I particularly enjoyed the strength-training HIIT classes, which pushed my athleticism while still being accessible. The shorter classes were also an effective way to break up a long workout into shorter, more manageable chunks—it’s easier to push through a set of burpees when you only have five minutes of work left on the clock. FitOn’s versatility and abundance of selections will keep me coming back for more.