Getting fit from the comfort of your own home is easier now than ever before.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, there’s a host of apps right at our fingertips, and home fitness equipment is more sophisticated than ever before.
However, the amount of choice out there can also make it pretty difficult to select a fitness program or subscription.
If you want to get fit and transform your lifestyle, a fitness program is essential. This allows you to set goals, follow tutorials, and ultimately, can help motivate you to push your training to the next level.
One of the most established fitness apps on the market is iFit.
iFit is a monthly subscription service that gives you access to individualized coaching from the comfort of your own home, along with virtual classes led by highly-rated personal trainers in locations around the globe.
Today we’re going to be reviewing the iFit subscription, taking you through everything you need to know about how the app works, what you get for your money, and whether it’s worth the price.
If you’re considering purchasing iFit, we highly recommend you read our review beforehand, so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Who are iFit?
iFit have been around for a while – in fact, they first established themselves in the industry back in 1989, through their discovery of connecting a treadmill to VHS to automatically alter the incline.
They’re a company equally passionate about fitness and technology, and strive to incorporate the latest technology into their fitness equipment to make training as exciting and innovative as possible.
iFit is a subscription-based home exercise program built by ICON fitness to enhance the company’s range of fitness equipment.
The program can be connected to various treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, and other home gym equipment to offer interactive workouts, personal training assistance, and virtual fitness classes.
It aims to provide a more affordable and innovative alternative to a gym membership, while also making home work-outs more fun and interactive.
iFit Coach App
The iFit monthly subscription is most effective if you download the iFit Coach and iFit Smart Cardio apps, which need to be used with a compatible home cardio machine.
There’s also an iFit Sleep app, but this costs an additional $119 as you are required to purchase the sleep device in order to effectively monitor your sleep. iFit Coach subscription offers a suite of features which include:
This is the app where you log your daily nutrition and cardio progress, so you get an overview of your daily calorie intake and your cardio, activity, sleep, and weight statistics.
The home screen of the app is great for giving you a snapshot of the day ahead: iFit will show you what your calorie burn goal for the day is and will also recommend iFit workouts for achieving your goal.
This makes finding a class particularly efficient and means you can conveniently click on the recommendation and start training, rather than aimlessly browsing for a class.
In this app, you’re also able to access the library of workout series for floor exercises, which can be used without compatible equipment. It also allows you to organize your workouts and view and schedule future classes and sessions.
The activity tracker is supposed to track your steps, however, like any step-counter app, this requires you to carry your smartphone with you all day, otherwise, it won’t accurately count your steps.
Apparently, iFit is working towards being able to sync the app with Apple Health on the Apple Watch, which would make it a whole lot easier to accurately track your activity.
iFit Cardio App
You only need this app if your iFit-compatible equipment doesn’t have a touchscreen display, otherwise, this app will automatically be built into your treadmill or bike.
The cardio app is basically a catalog of trainer-led workouts that have been specially designed for iFit equipment. It allows you to enhance your cardio workout by viewing various hikes, walks, runs, and cross-training videos.
The location of these videos varies between the studio as if to mimic a cardio class, while others venture outdoors, which allows you to take in the scenic views of some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
It also automatically adapts your incline/decline to enable you to feel like you’re truly hiking on natural terrain.
The classes you have access to depend on the type of equipment you have, so ellipticals have classes specific to the machine, as do bikes, treadmills, and rowers. This means that if you’re using a treadmill you won’t be able to access biking or rowing videos, and vice versa.
iFit Fusion App
The iFit fusion app can only be used if you have the CST Fusion or Fusion lite. The app features step-by-step videos that vary in intensity and difficulty.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need the iFit Cardio app if you want to access other iFit cardio and studio classes, but the iFit Fusion syncs with the iFit Coach app to record all of your data in your stats.
The Fusion app allows you to combine your training, and the Fusion is the only machine that enables you to combine strength and cardio training to make your workouts more efficient and challenging.
iFit Sleep App
As we said, this app requires a device to capture your sleep data, so it involves an additional cost of $119.
It allows you to track your sleep stats, view handy tips and improve your sleep routine to get the most out of your training and nutrition.
Due to the extra cost, we’d say that this app isn’t an essential purchase. If you’re somebody who struggles to sleep or doesn’t get enough sleep, it could be worth investing in, however.
Logging in to your iFit account via the web also unlocks a range of useful features.
Here you can access more floor classes that aren’t available on the iFit Coach app, however, once you select “join” on the web, it’ll automatically sync to your calendar so you can access the class from your app.
You can also access a range of nutritional recipes that offer healthy and delicious meals as well as breakfast ideas, snack suggestions, and even desserts.
Via the iFit website, you can also access educational blog posts that feature a myriad of interesting topics such as sleep, health, community, weight loss, technology, and more.
- $15/month for one user profile
- $33/month for five user profiles
Which exercise equipment is compatible?
iFit apps are compatible with machines from three brands: NordicTrack, Pro-form, and Freemotion.
NordicTrack offers 34 home exercise machines and these connect to iFit to offer interactive training. Their machines offer industry-leading 6% decline to 40% incline and 0-12 mph speeds, so the range of personalized training is huge.
NordicTrack treadmills either come with an HD touch screen with integrated iFit, or they can be paired to a mobile device such as a tablet, iPad, or smartphone, where you can connect your iFit app.
Regardless of whether your iFit is built into the machine or paired via Bluetooth, iFit will automatically synchronize the speed/intensity/incline/resistance level of your machine to match the iFit class you’re watching.
ProForm offers 26 home exercise machines, and they also offer a subscription service where you can get iFit and a “free machine” – so essentially you’re paying monthly rather than in one bulk payment.
ProForm equipment pairs with iFit to automatically adjust your speed/incline/resistance depending on the class you’re following.
Like NordicTrack, some of their equipment has a built-in screen, whereas others connect to a portable device and require the iFit app.
Freemotion has the smallest collection of iFit-compatible equipment, offering 9 different home exercise machines.
These mainly connect to the iFit app via Bluetooth and automatically adjust your speed/incline/resistance during a virtual class, while also tracking your progress data.
iFit classes and personal trainers
The best thing about iFit’s classes is that they’re led by 100+ globally renowned personal trainers who each offer a different set of skills.
These staff members are all fully qualified and accredited, and you can find their names on iFit’s website and then google them individually if you wish to find out more information.
Trainers range from ex-gymnasts to former college football players, to celebrity trainers and fitness brand CEOs.
These classes are made super high-energy and engaging in order to optimize your workouts. Trainers continually interact with you, and this is particularly great on the outside videos because the trainers interact with fellow hikers and tell you interesting facts about the surrounding locations and views.
This is not only a great way of distracting you from the exercise but also makes the session more conversational and engaging, while also giving it a more realistic feel.
The best feature of iFit is its ability to connect directly with your equipment to automatically adjust your speed, incline, and resistance depending on that of the trainer.
This is the case in both cardio workouts and studio classes, so you’re continually being pushed to match the pace of your instructor. This is a feature completely unique to iFit, so no other fitness app will offer this.
As we said, the goal of iFit is to revolutionize your workout and to make home workouts more interesting and stimulating.
Long gone are the days of staring blankly at the wall while you workout in your garage or basement.
On iFit, you can view instructor-led workouts that take place all over the world – which means your workouts are never boring. You can even map a custom route for your trek with Google maps.
The fact that you can hike in the hills or climb a mountain without even leaving your home provides a completely immersive experience.
Plus, don’t forget that your instructor is not just leading you but talking to you and others that he meets along the way.
iFit offers a “holistic” approach to fitness, so your workouts and plans are continually adapting to your progress as you become fitter and stronger.
As your body improves, the iFit trainers will adjust the intensity of your workouts, recovery days, and will alter your daily calorie goals. This makes iFit feel completely realistic, as this is what would happen with a real personal trainer.
So while every iFit user has access to the same trainers, locations, and fitness classes, your workout routine and goals will be completely tailored to your improving body.
Another great aspect of iFit is that there’s not only an extensive range of pre-recorded workouts that you can view at any time, but there are also numerous live classes that take place every day.
These allow you to feel the thrill of live workouts, which are more exciting because you know your trainer is working out alongside you.
These live workouts are situated all over the world, depending on where the trainer is – so this is also pretty cool.
You can view a full schedule for both live and pre-recorded workouts on the iFit class schedule, available on the website and app, and classes are categorized into “treadmill”, “bike”, “strength” and “elliptical.”
iFit classes incorporate a multitude of workout styles, from HIIT to endurance building, to strength training.
The app tracks your activity throughout the day, so you can always go on walks or run outdoors and even integrate bodyweight exercises into your workout by pausing to perform these when the instructor pauses.
If you access iFit from a web browser, you’ll also have access to other activities such as yoga and kickboxing, but some of these videos are quite old and are in desperate need of updating.
So while iFit’s equipment videos are extremely impressive, some of the older videos are a little underwhelming, both visually and in terms of the classes themselves.
As we said earlier in this article, iFit uses a suite of apps to gather data on your overall health and fitness.
This provides you with an extensive overview of everything from your logged calories, to your activity tracked by your phone, to all of the data from every iFit class you’ve taken part in.
The great thing about the iCoach app is that it synchronizes all of your data from the iCardio and iSleep apps so that you can access all of this information in one convenient place.
You’ll also be able to view your “fit score”, which is calculated based on all of the data collected through your iFit workouts.
Each iCardio class will track your heart rate (current, highest, average), distance, elevation gain, incline (current, highest, average), speed (current, highest, average), total calories burned, and your workout time.
It’s worth noting that while iFit may claim to offer tailored nutrition plans, this isn’t strictly true.
While iFit tracks your calories and gives you specific goal-based calorie targets that adjust accordingly to your fitness progress, it’s important that you track your daily activity to get the most accurate targets.
iFit offers meal ideas and recipes for you to enhance your nutrition but it’s important to bear in mind that these are not specifically designed for you alone.
There’s a whole library of recipes and videos in iFit Coach to offer you ideas for improving your nutrition, and these can be filtered according to allergies, calories, and specific diets.
If you access iFit’s nutrition section via the web you can also access useful educational articles.
Overall though, iFit is tailored towards improving fitness, and the nutritional advice should be taken as general advice rather than personal.
iFit subscription: benefits
- When used with a compatible exercise machine, iFit workouts are great. They’re diverse, motivating, and interactive.
- We also really like that you get to travel to different countries and locations, which adds variety to your workout while also making it feel more “real.”
- iFit is completely unique in that it automatically adjusts your speed, incline, and resistance to match the workout you’re following and the instructor’s pace.
- The app is ideal for providing an extensive overview of your fitness progress and tracks useful information such as your calorie intake, heart rate, and how many classes you’ve participated in. It also changes your fitness goals and calorie targets as your body improves.
- 100+ real personal trainers with different skill sets.
- Variety of classes on offer, from high-intensity training to gentle jogs or hikes in the hills. Also the option of daily live classes as well as pre-recorded ones.
iFit subscription: drawbacks
- Activity tracking is only accurate if you carry your smartphone with you all day, and this information also alters your calorie and fitness goals. It would be easier if iFit offered a watch to track activity – but they no longer seem to do this.
- The nutrition tracker isn’t individualized.
- While iFit’s equipment videos are of excellent quality, some of their floor classes need updating.
iFit is a great program that is long-established and has made big technological strides in recent years.
If you’re shopping for a new treadmill or already have one that is compatible with iFit, then it’s well worth subscribing as the workout classes and interactive feel does make home workouts more enjoyable.
However, we’re not sure that it’s quite at the stage where it can completely substitute a gym membership, as we’d like to see more class options for exercising without the compatible equipment.
There are also a few improvements that could be made to the activity and nutrition tracking features.
Overall though, iFit is unique in that it connects with your machine to synchronize your speed, resistance, and incline with that of the instructor’s, meaning you get the most out of your workouts, while also enjoying the immersive experience of virtual classes, hikes, and runs in a range of locations around the world.
Sign up for iFit Subscription here.