If you’re serious about your workout goals, the best thing you can do is find a workout buddy or a group of friends. These social fitness apps make it easier to exercise as a team, or while competing against each other.
Studies have found that working out with others helps motivate you, stay consistent, and set better goals. Popular social fitness apps to work out with friends like FitBit, Strava, and MyFitnessPal have been doing this for a long time. Still, there are a few less-known apps that might fit your needs better.
1. Fitfully (Android, iOS): Live Video Chat Workouts With Friends
The pandemic showed us that you can do almost anything remotely with the right technology, so why should workouts be different? Fitfully is one of the simplest apps to remotely exercise with friends over a live video chat on your phone.
The app’s ease of use is its best part. Just invite a friend, set your exercise routine, and follow the on-screen prompts to begin. The screen shows all participants simultaneously in a split-screen view.
You can choose from Fitfully’s built-in challenges to throw down a gauntlet to your friends or create a workout routine from the library. Do note that Fitfully’s workout options aren’t too varied and mostly involve no-equipment bodyweight exercises. You also can’t set custom exercises or variations. That said, the existing options are good enough to get in a fun and challenging video workout with your friends.
Download: Fitfully for Android | iOS (Free)
2. StepBet (Android, iOS): Fairer Step Counting Game for All Fitness Levels
One of the most popular forms of working out as a competitive group is to count steps. Of course, hundreds of apps offer that already. But inherently, the competition is unequal because of every person’s individual fitness level. StepBet tries to address this imbalance for fairer step-counting competition.
StepBet connects with any activity tracker you use and imports your data. Then, based on your historical step data, it will calculate two personalized goals for you: an Active Goal (somewhat challenging) and a Power Goal (more challenging). Every participant’s steps will be different, but the field is now level. Each weekly competition asks you to hit a certain number of active days and power days.
Then it’s a typical step challenge, with a bet element (as putting something on the line has shown to motivate people). Each game or group has a minimum $10 bet and a maximum of $60, with the pot being shared by all who achieve the target. Groups allow you to talk with others and share your milestones, giving the community the ability to push each other forward.
Download: StepBet for Android | iOS (Free)
3. GroupBeast (Web, Android): Form a Custom Fitness Group With Friends
GroupBeast is best for a group of friends where someone is setting the workout of the day, and others are following it. You can have one experienced trainer setting it up every day or mix it up between all of you.
Once you and your friends sign up, follow each other or create a custom group. Your feed looks a lot like an Instagram feed, with posts, reposts, comments, and other social features. Share your workouts on your feed so your friends can receive them.
Creating a workout is quite easy. You can choose from preset exercises in GroupBeast or even create a custom exercise. Each exercise also shows which muscle group it targets, which updates a muscle map to keep track of which areas of the body you haven’t exercised or are over-exercising.
GroupBeast has an Android app, and the mobile website works smoothly to use on any iPhone browser. If you’re creating exercises, it’s easier to use the desktop app to add custom videos and other helpful information for your group.
Download: GroupBeast for Android (Free)
4. Squaddy (Android, iOS): Dedicated Chat App and Daily Workout for Training Groups
Instead of having workout teams on WhatsApp groups and chat apps, Squaddy provides a dedicated space for groups of two to 1000 participants. Create an account, start a group (for friends, colleagues, teams, or more), and invite participants. It’s all free.
Each Squaddy group has three main areas. The main Chat serves as a place to talk to each other, finally stopping those flood of texts in your inbox. The NoticeBoard tab is like a news feed, where people can share important posts that others can refer to later, add progress ideas, or blogs.
The Training tab is where the group administrator (or anyone) adds a new workout. When you finish training, you mark it as complete, and the session will show who in your group has marked it complete for the day. Squaddy also maintains your own Training diary, where you can see the sessions you’ve completed and your Movement History.
Download: Squaddy for Android | iOS (Free)
5. Love HIIT (Web, Android, iOS): Timer-Based Workouts for Non-Techie Groups
Sometimes, tech makes things over-complicated. If you already have a workout group on WhatsApp or some other chat app, then all you really need is a way to share the workout of the day. That’s what Love HIIT does.
Made for interval training exercises, Love HIIT asks you to only add exercises in a row. Add a timer for each, and do the maximum in that amount of time. Note how much time you want to rest between exercises, and how many total rounds of the circuit you want to do.
When you start the workout, Love HIIT behaves like the best countdown timer apps for interval training. It’ll say aloud the exercise name or the rest period and start a timer, and also say out the last three seconds. It’s a simple interface that anyone can use, making it perfect for a workout group that’s not too tech-savvy.
Once you set up a workout and share it, anyone with the link can use it through a web browser (desktop or mobile) and apps. You can also save the workout to your computer, but it seems to happen only with cache. So you’ll lose it if you clear the cache. It’s probably best to save workouts on the mobile apps.
Download: Love HIIT for Android | iOS (Free)
Lift and Uplift
Whether you’re working out as a team or exercising as a competition, the golden rule of social fitness is “Lift & Uplift.” What this means is that you need to ensure you hit your group targets, but at the same time not get caught up in competition and comparisons. Social fitness is all about motivating and helping your workout buddies to achieve more together.
If you’re into your fitness and are looking for some extra motivation, here are five online communities to check out.
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