Kelsea Samson

Author: Expert reviewer:

February 21, 2023

Kelsea Samson

Written by

Kelsea Samson

Kelsea Samson is a writer, content manager, certified yoga instructor and founder of The Mindfulness Program for Kids and Yoga for the Blind in Tampa, Florida.

BB Arrington, CPT

Expert review by

BB Arrington, CPT

Personal trainer & holistic nutritionist

BB Arrington is NASM-certified personal trainer, holistic nutritionist, and sustainability advocate.

personal training app

February 21, 2023

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Since 2020, downloads of personal training apps have increased by 84%—and research suggests the use of smartphone fitness applications can have a positive influence1 on behaviors like self-efficacy and goal setting. The best personal training apps help you develop a routine you’re more likely to stick with, with trainers who keep you motivated and eliminate the stress around curating a fitness plan from scratch. 

Kenny Santucci, Certified personal trainer and founder of The Strength Club, echoes this. “A personal training app gives you the convenience of a trainer from anywhere,” he says. “You can work virtually live with a trainer and they’ll write programs for you that you can complete on your own.”  

Cue the paradox of choice. The fitness app world is loaded with options for every fitness level and goal. Whether you want to lose weight, focus on strength training, or get personalized coach support, we dug deep into who should use a personal training app and how to choose one for the best results. Learn more below and uncover our picks for the best personal training apps of 2023.

The best personal training apps:

What is a personal training app?

A personal training app is more than just a workout app with libraries of pre-recorded workouts, though most do provide these as an added benefit. These platforms bring certified personal trainers right to your smartphone, so you can reap the benefits of having a certified personal trainer no matter where you are. 

The difference between a personal training app and a workout app is that training apps set you up for live, one-on-one sessions with a certified coach or trainer who develops a customized workout plan specific to your goals, needs, and schedule—and many offer plans for nutrition and wellness coaching, too. These apps make hiring a personal trainer more affordable and accessible.

Who are personal training apps good for?

Personal training apps are helpful for the gamut of fitness goers, of every experience level. There are plenty of reasons to reap the benefits of personal training on an app versus in a gym. Here’s a quick breakdown of who might want to check out a personal training app: 

Beginners: “A personal training app is great for anyone who wants to workout but is not sure what to do in the gym”, Santucci explains. You can squeeze the most out of your gym time if you have an action plan for every day. 

Frequent travelers: If you see a personal trainer on a regular basis but travel often, personal training apps make it easier to stick with your routine no matter where you are. Santucci adds, “Personal training apps are also good for clients who travel a lot and for people who don’t need a ton of guidance and feel confident following a workout program on their own.” 

People on a budget: As noted, these apps tend to be a more budget-friendly alternative to in-person training or gym memberships. “Monthly programs on an app are typically cheaper than seeing a trainer in person,” Santucci confirms.  

All that considered, if you have access to upscale facilities with impressive trainers or respond better to in-person coaching, a personal training app might not be the best first choice for you. “By all means, train in person if you have access to a great gym with experienced personal trainers,” Stantucci adds. “But if you want to work with someone you don’t have access to, online training is a great option.”

How to choose a personal training app.

When considering investing in an online personal trainer, you’ll want to think about where you are in your fitness journey and identify any specific goals. If you are just starting out and new to training, Santucci recommends looking for an app that allows you to actually see the trainer virtually, so they can watch you move and help you maintain proper form. If you are more experienced, you’ll likely be able to get by fine with an app that has a lower level of coach involvement, but highly customized programs. 

When in doubt, start by creating a list of what you want to gain from personal training. If you’re looking for features such as nutrition planning, a certain price point, or live video sessions where coaches can critique your form in real time, you’ll be able to narrow your choices down quickly.

How we picked:

These personal training apps range from free to $220 for a monthly membership. Of course, we sought options with free trials so you can try before you buy.

Unshockingly, quality personal trainers are a key part to successful personal training. We made sure each of the personal training apps we chose has vetted, fan-favorite trainers who are committed to helping you achieve your fitness goals.

The app design is a huge part of your willingness to use it, isn’t it? We made sure our picks have an app design that you’ll love to use to engage with your trainer, track your progress, and more.

We chose apps that reflect a variety of preferences, goals, and experience levels, so everyone can find what works best for them. We’ve called out any standout features below.

Our picks for the best personal training apps of 2023:

Best for beginners: Future


  • Personalized plan
  • 1:1 coaching
  • Flexible, unlimited workouts
  • High caliber trainers


  • Requires an Apple Watch

Subscription cost: $150 monthly (first month $19)

Free trial period: None, but 30-day money back guarantee

Workouts offered: Personal training

Compatible devices: iPhoneApple Watch

Just beginning your fitness journey? Santucci promises you’ll be in great hands with Future. “Future is the best personal training app if you are looking to train virtually, face to face with a trainer,” he says. The app offers unlimited access to top personal trainers across the country, at a fraction of the price of most in-person training. 

To start, you’ll take a quiz to be paired with a certified coach. Your trainer will FaceTime you to discuss your plan, then create weekly workout plans just for you and adapt them when your plans change. Within the app, you’ll track your progress by syncing with your Apple Watch (not required, but strongly recommended). 

The Future App has 4.9 out of five stars overall, and over 7,000 total ratings. Amongst accolades of “best fitness app ever” and the hoped-for “Future is the future,” there are plenty of positive reviews from beginners who say they were able to finally kick-start (and stick with) their training. One enthusiastic user writes, “I always struggled to get started working out because I just didn’t know where to start, what to work on first, how much weight, how many reps, I’ll just start tomorrow, etc… After a FaceTime and getting to know each other, what equipment I have, what kind of exercise I like and don’t like, and my experience level, [my trainer] set up a program for me and each week he pushes me harder and harder. All I have to do is open the app, hit the start button, and do what it says. Best of all, I’m actually doing it!”

Best for cardio: Obé Fitness


  • Affordable
  • Wide range of workout styles and trainers offered
  • Instructors are motivating and beginner-friendly


  • No 1:1 training
  • Complains about the app’s interface

Subscription cost: $25 monthly, $170 annually

Free trial period: 7 days

Workouts offered: YogaHIITDanceBounceStrengthBoxingDance HIITJumpRidePowerStepYoga sculptRestorative yogaKidsSeniorsStretchingBarreMeditationSculptPilatesEnduranceFoam roll

Compatible devices: DesktopiOSApple TVChromecast

Obé is a fitness program with live and on-demand classes, plus workout programs and challenges. While there is no one-on-one coaching available, the app offers a huge variety of upbeat instructors that can balance your strength training program perfectly with your cardio to achieve your fitness goals. We’ve featured it on our best fitness apps roundup and the best online workout programs. It’s great for beginners and experienced fitness enthusiasts alike.

This fitness app has earned a 4.8 out of five-star rating overall, across over 7,000 total ratings. One person writes, “I love the variety in types of classes, intensities within those categories, different instructors to choose from, and varying lengths for when I’m not feeling a full 60 minute session or when I’m feeling powerful and wanna tack on an extra 15 minute bonus class.” It’s worth noting that some reviewers feel the app’s interface could be improved.


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Best free: Nike Training Club


  • Premium content available for free
  • Visual content for exercise instruction
  • Progress tracking tools to keep you challenged


  • No 1:1 coaching
  • Only compatible with iPhone and Apple Watch

Subscription cost: Free

Free trial period: N/A

Workouts offered: Strength trainingYogaCoreHome workouts for small spacesQuick fitnessAll levels

Compatible devices: iPhoneApple Watch

The Nike Training Club (NTC) app offers plenty of free workouts with guidance from trainers, professional athletes such as Serena Williams, wellness experts, and guest celebrities. The app houses HIT, bodyweight, and full gym exercises that you can filter by equipment, muscle group, fitness level, trainer led classes, and time commitment. There’s also an “expert tips” section spanning nutrition, healthy recipe ideas, training tips, recovery, mindset, and sleep. The platform makes it easy to keep track of every class you take, save favorite playlists or flows, and progress on your own time and at your own speed. 

With a 4.8 overall rating and over 250,000 total ratings on the Apple app store, NTC has a stellar reputation. One community member writes, “NTC made their premium content free, which saved my health and fitness routine. Thank you Nike for making it so easy for your community to stay healthy and committed!”

Best for weight loss: Team RH


  • 1:1 personalized coaching and fat loss plan
  • Thousands of nutritious recipes plus no foods off limits
  • Live workouts plus video library


  • 12 month contract minimum with a few exceptions
  • Some content available for free on YouTube

Subscription cost: $98 annually

Free trial period: None mentioned

Workouts offered: Personal training

Compatible devices: AppDesktop

If your goal is to lose weight, gain strength, and keep enjoying all the foods you love to eat, Team RH may be right up your alley. It offers 1:1 personal coaching for diet and exercise, hundreds of healthy recipe videos, calorie and exercise tracking, and a library of guided workouts for all fitness levels. The workouts are versatile for working out at the gym or at home, with or without equipment. 

Most importantly, it’s not a traditional diet plan that “bans” any foods. You’ll be able to track meals, with the added layer of personal coaching, training, and nutrition programs. Remember, this app includes diet coaching and is weight-loss-focused, and will only be a good choice if that aligns with your goals. 

Team RH has 4.8 out of 5 stars overall on TrustPilot and a page on its website dedicated to member transformations. One community member writes, “I’ve found something that allows me to eat whatever I want without having to worry about it impacting my personal health conditions. I’ve dropped 49 lbs.” Another writes, “I’ve lost 100 lbs so far and I’m still losing fat.” As far as negative reviews goes, Team RH is so confident in its process, there’s even a negative reviews page with video responses to address negative customer feedback openly and honestly. Most of the negative feedback mentions the required 12-month contract.


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Best with meal plan: RP Strength


  • Unlimited, 24-hour turnaround communication time with coaches
  • Comprehensive training and diet plan personalized for your goals
  • 3X week check-ins with coaches for accountability


  • Expensive
  • Bigger time commitment

Subscription cost: App is free, program starts at $220

Free trial period: 14 days

Workouts offered: Strength training

Compatible devices: iPhone

In terms of personal training apps with meal planning capabilities, Kenny Santucci says it doesn’t get much better than Renaissance Periodization (RP Strength). This high-caliber team of PhDs, RDs, researchers, and world-class athletes guides clients towards their fitness goals with the tools and education to make lasting lifestyle changes. The combo plan includes nutrition coaching and personal training. Choose from a month-to-month, three-month, six-month, or annual plan, depending on your preferences and intended use. 

Once enrolled, you’ll work one-on-one with an expert trainer and diet coach to discuss your goals and build a personal nutrition and weight training plan that leaves little up to chance. Communication with coaches is a bit limited, but you’ll get feedback from your coach three times each week, with live check-ins at least twice a week to stay accountable. The app also has a personalized macro tracker to plan your meals (down to the timing). There’s even a barcode scanner, restaurant search feature, and dietary filters such as dairy-free, paleo, gluten-free, and low FODMAP. 

The RP Strength app has earned a 4.5 overall rating, with over 9,000 total ratings on the Apple app store. The program itself boasts a five-star rating overall on the company website (which does make us scratch our heads a bit). One client writes, “Superb value. The trainers are incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and responsible. [They] keep it simple without overcomplicating things and are understanding of how you feel and what your goals are. The knowledge and techniques I’ve gained is invaluable.”

Best for strength training: JuggernautAI


  • 8 top-tier coaches available for guided programs
  • Personalized, highly customizable platform
  • Cutting edge technology that gets results


  • May be better suited for intermediate and advanced users

Subscription cost: $35 monthly, $350 annually

Free trial period: Not specified

Workouts offered: Strength training

Compatible devices: Apple & Google Play devices

Santucci praises the JuggernautAI app primarily for its phenomenal coaches. The program is an A.I. strength training system with revolutionary technology to help you reach your strength potential. On the app, you’ll be prompted to enter in your goals and level of experience, among other basic details. From there, A.I. technology designs a unique individualized program fine-tuned just for you. The system continues to adapt your training plan based on your real-time feedback—so you’re always advancing your goals. 

With a 4.9 out of five stars across 3,000 total ratings on Apple, this personal training app is a fan-favorite. One reviewer writes, “I’ve been a user of Juggernaut AI for three years. Since beginning, I’ve added pounds to all of my lifts and hit more PRs than I can remember. I’ve competed and won 1st place in four competitions while using Juggernaut AI.”


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Best coach support: Playbook


  • Majority of your subscription benefits your trainer directly
  • 1:1 training with unlimited communication
  • Wide variety of trainers and workouts styles


  • Large selection of trainers to choose from that some felt was overwhelming

Subscription cost: $15 monthly, $100 annually

Free trial period: 7 days

Workouts offered: Personal training

Compatible devices: iPhoneApple Health

Playbook has personal coach support down to a science, making it a top recommendation from Santucci. The app gives users access to some of the world’s leading fitness influencers, trainers, wellness gurus, and athletes, all from your phone. There are over 56,000 workouts and more than 500 instructors to choose from, depending on your health and wellness goals and where you’re at in your journey. What’s more, you can communicate directly with your trainers, get daily workouts, and live stream classes to exercise with your instructor in real time. You’ll also have the ability to schedule classes and track your progress over time. 

With over 15,000 ratings in the Apple App Store, Playbook maintains a 4.9 overall rating. One reviewer writes, “I’ve tried a lot of workout apps and this is the best one if you have a gym but don’t know what to do (like me). It’s the closest thing to having a personal trainer without the price tag. It’s laid out well, the trainers are really good and I even messaged one on Instagram with a question and they responded.” It’s worth noting that some reviewers felt that the amount of trainers to choose from was overwhelming.


Is online personal training worth it?

Santucci puts it this way: “If you have access to a great gym with experienced trainers, by all means train in person. But if you want to work with someone you don’t have access to, online training is a great option. It’s also a great option for people who travel frequently and want to stay on a program.” 

How many times a week should I train with a personal trainer?

According to Santucci, “when you start working with a trainer, train at least two times per week. Coming once a week you won’t really reap the benefits. Then increase to 3 to 4 times per week as you progress.” 

How much should I pay for an online personal trainer?

This depends whether you are meeting with them virtually, or they are simply providing programming. “If you are meeting with [your trainer] virtually, it’s still an hour of their time and will be priced similar to their training rate,” Santucci explains. “If you are paying for programming, pricing ranges from $30 per month to $150, depending on whether it is a general program or customized to your specific goals.” 

The takeaway.

Having access to a personal trainer can boost motivation and confidence and give you the tools you need to reach your fitness goals faster. If your schedule or budget doesn’t allow you access to an in-person trainer, one of these personal training apps could be just what you need to take your training to the next level. Just make sure you’re set up for success with the best home gym equipment and a solid set of adjustable dumbbells.