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How addicted you are to Insta could determine which app you choose! Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

Executive summary of blockbuster “Female Fitfluencer” apps 

Celebrity female trainers with amazing bodies and huge followings are dominating the fitness app market. I am here to help you navigate them and find the right one for you.

What’s the skinny?

  • Celebrity female trainers with amazing bodies and huge followings are dominating the fitness app market.
  • The good news is, they have the resources to make these apps a user-friendly, sleekly designed experience.
  • The bad news is, you can get a bad case of analysis paralysis and flip-flopping if you don’t understand the value drivers and differentiators for each one.
  • I am here to help break it down: first, with a general overview, and then, with a more detailed summaries, once you decide what your style is after consulting the fitness app decision tree.

If trainers had an A-list….

After providing you with a basic decision tree, I am going to review a selection of the most popular female celebrity trainer apps featured in the DAOfitlife fitness app decision tree: Jillian Michaels, Fit Body, Tone it up, SWEAT

These are grouped together because of several commonalities that would make one or a combination of them an attractive choice for those of use who like structured workout programs:

  • There is a “celebrity” female trainer(s) standing behind each brand, each with huge social media followings (Kayla Itsines for SWEAT, Anna Victoria for Fit Body, Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott for Tone it up, and Jillian Michaels for her namesake app). All of them have been credibly established before apps were a thing.
  • Each of the apps can accommodate all levels, from beginner to uber advanced, all ranges of available equipment (including only bodyweight), and has a robust community, either built in through the app or on a social media handle like Instagram.
  •  There is a wide range of workouts available on the apps, including cardio, strength training, yoga, barre,  HIIT,* plyometrics,** and gym-equipment based programs. Following the 
  •  All of the programs offer pregnancy and/or post-partum workout options. 
  • All of the programs have either videos or video loops of the celebrity trainers for guided training through the workout. 

Know thyself, know thy app

The question is – which is right for you – or, at least which one should you try first (you can always cycle through all of them before deciding whether to buy yearly subscriptions). That is very dependent on your personality type and how much motivation you need.  For personality type, you will notice I include a brief bio and background of each fitness star. That isn’t only for fun facts, but also because for these particular programs, an investment in the app is also an investment in the personality and related community. 

A “mini decision tree” for these apps

As with any decision tree it’s helpful to split off subgroups – so here is how I do that for these four.

SWEAT and Fit Body are more for self-motivated workout personalities. You have more limited guidance, and after you choose your program, it’s basically up to you to execute and commit the 30-40 minutes needed to complete each workout.

Tone it up and Jillian Michaels are more live and interactive, and therefore better for personalities that need more step-by-step direction. There are also more flexible time options if you are in a rush in these programs.

Based on my reviews, here are my “mini decision tree” recommendations for each set of apps. 

SWEAT v Fit Body 

You should choose SWEAT if:

  • You  like a lot of options and constantly mixing up your workouts
  • You want to replicate gym workouts at home with heavy dumbbells 
  • You want to minimize phone-tapping

You should choose Fit Body if:

  • If you get analysis paralysis and overwhelmed easily by a lot of choices
  • If you want separate core workouts worked into the program
  • You want a prenatal program (currently SWEAT only has postnatal)

Toneitup v Jillian Michaels

You should choose Toneitup if:

  • You really want to make a lot of “insta” friends and potentially be a fitfluencer.
  • You like a “sorority” type of sisterhood vibe while you are working out 
  • You like constant encouragement and affirmation in your workouts

You should choose Jillian Michaels if:

  • You don’t care as much about social media interaction and mass female hashtag communities;
  • You want more control over the structure of your workout;
  • You like to be pushed in 1-on-1 workouts with a “take no prisoners” approach

Where to go next

Here are the links to my detailed review of each set of apps, where I overview the main trainer personality, program, style of guidance, positive features, and drawbacks. 

SWEAT and Fit Body

Jillian Michaels and Toneitup (coming soon)

*HIIT=High Intensity Interval Training, characterized by short bursts of high-intensity exercises performed at an all out pace,  interspersed with periods of recovery.

**Plyometrics, also known as “plyos”, are jumping exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time. Plyos are often incorporated in HIIT routines.

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