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Decision trees help make business decisions - why not fitness decisions?

Fitness App Decision Tree

Finding a good fitness app or program is like trying to boil the ocean. I have a decision tree to help. I know if you are the corporate type, you love these. So follow me down this logical and effective way to decide what app is not just “awesome” but awesome FOR WHO YOU ARE.

What’s the skinny?

  • Everyone has limited time – so there isn’t time to waste going down the rabbit hole of almost 40,000 fitness apps to figure out which one is most compatible with you.
  • I know you don’t have time to figure it out – so I have built out a fitness app decision tree to help you.
  • You can find the general guidance in the decision tree above, best apps by category in this article and links to individual summaries by category for more detail

“You gotta get this app. It’s so awesome!”

There are just too many fitness apps and options for home workouts. COVID has only accelerated the competition and complicated the maze of endless options. And while gyms may not be dead, they certainly are in a purgatory.

Even pre-pandemic, fitness apps had surged in popularity, either for people to use while they were at the gym, at home, or while in hotels/vacation spots. Now that we are leaning on them more heavily, it’s a constant barrage of “top 10” articles and recommendations from friends and  colleagues. If I had a dollar for,  “Oh, I use this app, it’s so good, you should get it!”

What does that lead to? What I try to help you avoid – RABBIT. HOLE.

What is my solution? A fitness app decision tree for you to make your own executive decision.

I have written this post with the thought in mind that we all have different variables of time and motivation. As we navigate a possible permanent pivot to working AND working out at home, we need to be able to adapt our routines. Ironically, even though a commute and all the other tedious details of going to a gym or studio are off the table, we are more deprived of time now more than ever.  

First find your workout personality type, then the rest will follow

I have organized the pictured decision tree by specific value drivers and workout personality type. Then, I will have more detailed posts on the groupings of apps/workouts that I list out.

What I don’t cover

With the exception of the 4-digit price points for equipment like the Peloton, I don’t spend time here reciting the cost of the pay-for apps. In general, they all follow a similar pricing model, costing on average 15-30 dollars per month. Most apps also have a month-to-month subscription arrangement that you can cancel at any time, and offer a discount based on buying a quarterly or yearly subscription up front. Finally, almost all of the apps offer a free trial of at least 7 days, but in some cases, up to 1-3 months.

The main investment for apps for us is time, and we don’t want it to be wasted. 

I also don’t spend time comparing the meal plans.  The value add of these programs lies in the workouts, not the food plans, which almost seem like an afterthought in many cases. You can read more about my realistic alternative to complicated meal planning in my post on the DAO of planning meals.

 With few exceptions, most of these workouts are apartment and hotel-friendly. In some cases, the apps have programs that require a gym environment, and I will note that along the way. 

yellow and white trophy
And the fitness app award goes to…. Photo by Giorgio Trovato


Best celebrity female trainer apps: Jillian Michaels, Fit Body, Tone it up, SWEAT

Best for weight loss: Rachael Attard, Mission Lean

Best for no-brainer workout: Peloton on-demand and live spin classes

Best all-around app: Variis by Equinox

Best for gym buffs: Fitplan, BodyFit, Strong, Fitbod

Best for hybrid of at home and gym-based workouts: SWEAT, Fit body

Best for Outdoor Runners: Nike Run Club, Strava

Best for Indoor runners: or walkers: Variis app, Peloton app

Best for Virtual gym/studio vibe: Variis app

Best for Brides to be: Jillian Michaels, Blogilates 

Best for moms to be or new moms – Jillian Michaels, Tone it up, Fit Body, Down Dog prenatal yoga app

Best for most personalized fitness experience: Apple Fitness+, The Mirror

Best for HIIT: TMAC fitness, HIIT by Down dog, MadFit youtube channel

Best for yogis, dancers, barre-bies, or pilates: Variis, Obé fitness app, Down dog yoga app, BODY by Blogilates, Alo Yoga app 

Best for 5-10 minutes or less of time –Jillian Michaels , Tone it up , Blogilates , Down dog yoga app , 7 minute workout app


The Peloton/Peloton app and the SoulCycle/Equinox+ app

Best yoga, barre and pilates apps

Review of blockbuster female fitfluencer apps- SWEAT, Tone it up, Jillian Michaels, and Fit Body

Best apps for weight loss

Closer look at the Jillian Michaels and Tone it up apps

A comparison of Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT app with Anna Victoria’s Fit Body app

Gym strength training focused apps

Nike Run Club and Strava apps

Personalized apps tied to everyday devices: The Mirror and the Apple Watch Apple Fitness+ app (coming soon)

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