These top fitness apps answer the question we’re all wondering about five minutes after we get to the gym: What am I doing here? And how can I do it faster?
We’re all for sweating it out, but we’re not all for making it last longer than it has to. That’s why we’re big on high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is all about getting maximum fitness benefits in the minimum amount of time. Like, you can literally fit a workout into your lunch break and still have time for a big healthy lunch afterward. But you know what? With these top fitness apps you can save even more time—and maybe even figure out what moves make the most of the minutes you’ve got.
Bonus? You don’t even have to make the trip to the gym. You can get your HIIT any time, anywhere, using just your phone.
7 Top Fitness Apps for Getting Your HIIT On
Here are the top fitness apps for your supercharged workout. Because 15 minutes is more than enough time to reap exercise rewards. Promise.
1. The Best Freebie: The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout®
Yay for corporate branding. (…and how many times can you say that?) Because Johnson & Johnson has created one of the best HIIT apps on the market that’s completely free. No ads, no upgrades, no sneaky fees.
This app has 22 pre-designed interval workouts you can choose from, or you can create your own from a list of 72 exercises. There’s also a “Smart Workout” feature which builds a custom workout just for you based on your fitness level and preferences.
Not sure if your burpees are on point and your squat thrusts are… thrusty enough? Don’t worry—there’s a handy tutorial video available for each exercise.
2. The People’s Choice: Sworkit
Twenty-five million people can’t be wrong, can they? Apparently that’s how many Sworkit users there are, and to its credit, this app is incredibly elegant and stylish. It’s not just a pretty face either: The functionality also kicks ass.
Choose a guided workout plan or create a custom workout from a huge database of exercises. One of the big pluses is that you can select a six-week plan based on your goals, which gives you a clear structure and schedule. No guessing game required.
Sworkit integrates easily with iTunes and Spotify and has pre-made power playlists you just pick and go. It also stores data so you can track your progress and integrates with other apps like MyFitnessPal and Apple Health. The only downside—there’s no free version. But there is a free trial, so you can see if Sworkit works for you before you buy.
Price: One month free trial; $29.99 for 3 months; $79.99 for 1 year; $297.00 lifetime membership
3. The Stripped-Down Classic: Interval Timer
The only bells and whistles in this app are the ones telling you your time is up. As for all the fancy stuff, forget it. There are no specific exercises, no set workouts, just an easy-to-use interval timer. Because sometimes that’s all you need.
And while there are a lot of simple timer apps out there, this one makes our list of top fitness apps because it’s completely free to use, with the ability to add and save as many timer settings as you want. It’s perfect if you want a timer to use with your own HIIT or Tabata workouts, or for other activities with timed intervals—like three-minute rounds for boxing.
4. The Total Package: Workout Trainer by Skimble
Workout Trainer is about as close to a full fitness system as you can get from an app. It has thousands of workouts and custom training programs—broken down move-by-move and designed by professional coaches. On top of that you can also find, follow, and work with personal trainers one-on-one so you have real human help and motivation.
And you know how some training apps just want to kill you with pushups and burpees? Skimble’s app goes for variety: It incorporates activities like yoga, running, cycling, stretching, even rock climbing. It’s well-designed, smart, and has something for everyone.
Price: One-week free trial; $10.99 per month; $89.99 per year
5. The Competitor’s Pick: Seven
Seven’s design isn’t as chic as some of the other top fitness apps, but hey, looks aren’t everything—and the functionality is all there. Upgrading gives you access to countless types of workouts and challenges, though even the free version provides some full workouts and lets you custom make your own.
Seven also knows that we can’t resist a bit of gamification. Take up a seven-month challenge, for example, and if you miss a workout you’ll lose one of your three “lives.” Lose all three and your challenge will reset. If you keep the streak running, you get to unlock extra workouts. It’s a subtle yet effective way to keep you motivated.
Price: One-week free trial; $14.99 per month; $99.96 per year
6. The Research-Backed Option: Keelo
As you navigate through Keelo, you get a sense that things were really designed based on science. You can create a schedule for which days you want to work out, and you’ll be provided with handy information about rest days—why they’re important and how to pick them. It recommends workouts based on your own activity history, so you’re always alternating compound muscle groups. And it designs workouts to use a variety of movements for maximum effect, complete with a visual “functional map” showing what you’ve worked on so you can keep your body in balance.
Keelo even has an in-house coach you can chat with or email if you have workout-related questions. It’s not free, but it demystifies functional training, making it as ideal for beginners as for seasoned powerlifters. The only downside? It’s only available for Apple users.
Price: Two-week free trial; $11.99 per month; $29.99 for 3 months; $79.99 per year
7. The Match for Music-Lovers: HIIT Me Workout
HIIT Me Workout isn’t as packed full of features as some of the other fitness apps. For example, there’s no video or animation to explain each exercise, so you need to have your form down pat before you use it. But it’s free. And it works.
Select one of the pre-created workouts or create your own. In addition to the no-frills functionality, HIIT Me Workout integrates easily with music. You can have one track playing during workout intervals and a different one during rest.
Pay a small fee for the pro version, and you get extras like unlimited custom workouts, statistics, and notifications. And sorry Android users—this one’s only for iOS.
Price: Free; Pro version $2.99
Your turn: Did your favorite tech make our list of 2018’s top fitness apps for HIIT? If you’ve got a best HIIT app of your own, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.