We are fortunate to live in a world where health and fitness resources can be found everywhere at no charge, but this blessing can also be a curse. For every free health program, app, YouTube channel or Instagram feed doling out good advice, another exists which promotes misinformation leading to failure. With that in mind, we decided to dig through our favourites and share 5 of the best free workout programs.
Tips for Exploring Free Workout Programs
Couple facts to keep in mind as you explore through these resources.
First, exercise is not a “one size fits all” subject. If it doesn’t work for you, move on and try something else.
Second, don’t confuse “it doesn’t work for me” with “I don’t want to.” If a program suggests movements which are at too difficult a level for you or which cause sharp/shooting pain, listen to your body and move onto something else. But if the movements demanded of you are merely difficult and will become easier with time, don’t give up on them. Keep trying. Modify until you’re increasingly better at the movement, and you’ll eventually be a pro.
Finally, your fitness belongs to you. You can’t pay someone to own your health or your strength. Coaches can help you, inspire you and even motivate you to get moving, but it’s you that puts in the work. As with everything in life, be true to yourself and examine both sides of every “fact” or piece of advice you come upon until it makes sense and works for you.
5 of the Best Free Workout Programs Available on Your Phone
- Nike Training Club (App Store)
This app gets a #1 spot in my heart because it was the very first “Trainer” I ever had more than 10 years ago. Their workouts range from 3 minutes to an hour in length across all fitness styles and levels. Coached on video guide you through each workout with demonstrations, instructional keys and form tips as well as the occasional motivational battle cry. They even have celebrities and trainers on a few workouts. (You can do a quick yoga practice with Ellie Goulding or a total body workout with Olympic athlete Simone Biles. Yay!) It’s versatile with options for at-home exercise and gym workouts as you get more comfortable with fitness. I have loved this app for years and am continually impressed with the value it gives—absolutely free. My hat is off to you, Nike! Download the app.
- Workout Trainer by Skimble (App Store)
This is a no-frills app that has been around for years and now has a 4.7 star rating in the Apple App store and more than 5,000 reviews. You won’t find any celebrity trainers, but their videos are comprehensive and a cool robot voice guides you through each exercise. Workouts are available with zero equipment necessary and some require dumbbells. Their ab series includes the popular P90X Ab Ripper X workout. Though a pro version is available as well, the basic app is completely free and used by thousands of people worldwide. Download the app.
- Sports Kick, Inc. (sportskickinc.com or on IG @SportsKickInc or @blastergirl)
This is a local gym which, okay, I may be partial to. (Disclaimer: This is where Gen and I both work out quite a bit.) But all bias aside, many years ago before I ever set foot in this gym I stumbled upon the gym owner’s Instagram and was really impressed to see that every day she posted a pretty legit workout—for FREE. She still does this today, and the workouts are amazing! Coach Carmen Demske is a vegan athlete with close to 30 years experience teaching Thai boxing and leading her clients through mobility, strengthening, pilates, Crossfit, cardio, and Olympic lifting style workouts. You name it, she’s good at it. Via their website you can also learn more about their one-on-one custom paid coaching plans which can be done from anywhere in the world.
- Spotebi (spotebi.com)
No app for these guys, which is unfortunate because it’s a pretty comprehensive program with new workouts added weekly. You can upgrade to their paid template program or stick to the simpler workouts which you can print out and keep on-hand, or screenshot and keep on your phone. Spotebi is just a good resource with GIFs showing proper exercise form and guiding the user through a variety of workouts. Perfect for beginners looking for some basic know-how on using gym equipment.
- HIIT Burn (on IG @hiitburn)
Arguably there are about 16 billion “Fitness Gurus” on Instagram today. It’s kind of gotten out of hand honestly, but when I see a good one—I follow them. This account features 2 different coaches walking the user through a number of different high intensity workouts. Video demonstrations use a range of weights, equipment, bands and body weight exercises. This is a good intermediate resource for the confused gym goer who just doesn’t know what the heck to do once they get there. (Break free from the cardio machines!)
Honourable Mentions: More Motivational Health Apps
Achievement is an app which literally pays you for your fitness tracking data. Read that again. This app will pay you for sharing your info and an occasional quick survey response. If you’re already using apps like Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Garmin, Apple Health, etc., to track your workouts, eating, weight and sleep, this is a no-brainer. For every 10,000 points you rack up they’ll send you $10. Once you set it up, it all happens automatically and you don’t even have to think about it. Use this referral link to download the app and you’ll get 100 bonus points!
Emily Skye (@emilyskyefit) and Kayla Itsines (App Store and on IG @kayla_itsines or @sweat) both get an honourable mention. Their apps (which formerly had free workouts available) are both pretty great and now hugely famous. Today you have to pay for all versions of their programs, but free trials are available.
Lose It! and MyFitnessPal, both fantastically easy to use, are the leading calorie and macro counting apps. Each have premium and free versions depending on your needs and goals.
You officially have no more excuses. Solutions are everywhere. Most people are goodhearted and want to help others find a healthier lifestyle, including us! Still confused? Please reach out—we’ll point you in the right direction with zero obligation or fee. Call or text 727-288-4329 or email us to set up a free consultation with anyone on our team. Your success is our success, and it would be our pleasure to help you whether you’re a client of ours or not.