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From our team of industry pros.
On the hunt for the best gym workouts but finding it a little overwhelming? We don’t blame you. There are 162,000,000 Google searches for gym workouts for women alone – a lot of which aren’t even from qualified PT’s or experts.
That’s where our guide comes in – packed full of sweat sessions from our favourite qualified pros. All of the experts below have trained for years and taken certain exams to be able to give out the advice below, so you can trust that they know what they’re talking about.
Whether you’re after a one-off workout, a four-week fitness boost, or a year-round structure to your sweat sessions, there’s something for every ability and fitness level. Weight training? Reformer Pilates? High-intensity interval training? Keep scrolling.
Meet your experts
- Personal trainer Grace Beverley, founder of SHREDDY and Tala
- FIIT trainers including Gus Vaz Tostes, Adrienne Herbert and Cat Meffan
- Personal trainer Lucy Mountain, founder of NOBS
- Personal trainer Izzy George, co-founder of Grndhouse
- Personal trainer Krissy Cela, co-founder of EvolveYou
- Peloton trainers Suzie Chan, Joslyn Thompson Rule, Ally Love, and more
- Personal trainer Kayla Itsines, founder of SWEAT
- Personal trainer Joe Wicks MBE, founder of The Body Coach
- Nike trainers Maria Wada and more
- Personal trainer Jillian Michaels, founder of The Jillian Michaels app.
How we tested the workouts
Because yes, we did personally sweat test the majority of the recommendations in this round up. The Marie Claire UK team trialled the apps at home or at our local gym and has shared the pros and cons of each for you below. (Read how we test all of the products we feature, here).
Not so keen on heading to the gym? What works for you won’t be the same as your best mate. Don’t miss our guides to home workouts and the simplest no kit home workouts, as well as our favourite celebrity workouts (without the celebrity price tag), while you’re here.
200+ gym workouts to try now
What? Grace Beverley’s workout app SHREDDY offers a little bit of everything – recipes, classes and scaled workout programmes to suit your needs, too. It’s mainly strength-focused, but offers cardio and yoga options, too.
Grace herself is known to train from one of her own guides and frequently shares progress when doing so. Fun fact: SHREDDY users have completed 1,482,132+ workouts in total to date. Not bad.
What we thought when testing? Trainee writer Dionne Brighton says: “I love the Shreddy app for many reasons, but mainly because the app allows you to check off the exercises as you complete them, which not only motivates me to get everything in the workout done, but is simply satisfying. I find it motivates me to live a healthier lifestyle in general, with all the recipes in the app. The other users in the community are super sweet and motivational too. The only downside is when I used it at the start of the year, the app could be very glitchy which sometimes gave me an excuse to end my workout early.”
What? FIIT really does have it all – if you’re after a workout programme from some of the UK’s best personal trainers, then this one’s for you. Get a sweat on with Adriene Herbert, learn the tricks of the Crossfit trade with Gus Vaz Tostes from WIT or improve your Pilates and yoga poses with Cat Meffan.
There are hundreds of classes, group workouts and training plans to choose from, plus you can track metrics, challenge your own personal bests and schedule workouts with others, so you really do get bang for your buck.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “FIIT is my go-to workout app for a reason – it’s really simple to use, well laid out, and has a huge variety of plans, programmes and one-off workouts from a huge range of personal trainers. I like that you can filter the workouts by length – aka, if you’ve only got ten minutes, they’ll only show you ten-minute-long sweat sessions – and also that you can schedule workout classes with others who have the app to replicate that studio feeling at home. Trust me on this one – it’s well worth the ££.”
What? Lucy Mountain’s brand new ‘no bullshit’ workout app. This app offers the perfect gym workouts for strength training newbies keen to master the basics and build from there.
Buy for empowering twelve week programmes designed to help you improve your strength, tone your muscles, and build your confidence, too. And don’t worry, there’s not a burpee in sight, but the app does offer healthy recipes and daily positivity affirmations, similar to the Mind app (read our guide to the best mental health apps, here) but, well, more Nobs-y.
Price? £11.99 monthly, £31.99 quarterly price, or £119.99 annually. Available on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you’d rather just buy the programme, you can do that on the Nobs Guides website, too.
What? Grndhouse was first launched in March 2020 to offer regular gym goers a strength-based home option. But it’s really rather good and ideal for those wanting to strength train at home or in the gym, whatever your ability. Let their roster of PT’s take your training to the next level.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “I love the grndhouse workouts – the strength training sessions always leave me feeling empowered and strong. At just 40 minutes long, they’re over in no time, but you seriously feel the burn. I like that the training can all be done from home, if that’s your preference, too – all you’ll need is a resistance band.”
Price? From £20 per month. Check out the Grndhouse website now.
What? She’s known as the PT behind the best glute workout ever, and personal trainer Krissy Cela has over 400 home and gym workouts – that are largely glute-focused – available on her EvolveYou app. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner or haven’t been to the gym for yonks – there are workouts for loads of different fitness abilities, as well as meal plans, qualified nutritional advice, a user community, motivational challenges, and more.
What? Sure, the Peloton app might be designed with an actual Peloton bike in mind, but what’s to say you can’t use it at your local leisure centre on one of their spin bikes? Plus, it’s not just spin classes they offer – they’ve got over ten different types of live streamed workouts, from breathwork training, to stretching, to running and more. Want to know how to run faster? You heard it here first- their interval sessions are spicy.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “You’ll all have heard of Peloton – they were all the rage mid lockdown – but did you know their app can also be used for workouts not on their spin bike? They’ve got a whole range of options and some world class trainers, too. My personal favourites are Becs Gentry and Suzie Chan’s treadmill workouts, but there are loads of great ones available to stream at home, too.”
What? Kayla Itsines, the queen of strength training and high intensity interval training workouts, has designed a whole app to make gym workouts that little bit less intimidating – and it’s good. Again, you can either opt for a home or gym-based plan, but there are loads of options – 5,000 different sweat sessions, to be precise. That’s a whole load of gym workouts to choose from. Happy sweating.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “Kayla and her SWEAT app are loved globally for a reason – they’re short, sweet and simple, and highly effective at getting your heart rate up in a short space of time. There are options for everyone – as a marathon runner, I sometimes avoid high intensity interval training, so personally love the lower impact offerings on the app.”
Not so keen to download the app? Try an exclusive Itsines-approved workout for beginners, here.
8. The Body Coach
What? You’ll all have heard of Joe Wicks, and while he’s known for his free YouTube workouts that you can do from home, his app includes a whole variety of gym workouts, too. He actually originally got famous for his 90-day plan, which is now available in app form and guides you through a three-month gym and nutrition plan, too.
Think dumbbell and kettlebell sets tailored to help you lose fat and up your strength, too.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “Again, Joe Wicks was awarded his MBE for good reason – for getting the nation moving and making it seem doable for all abilities, in the process. His app is simple to use and offers a structured workout plans of various lengths (from one to three months). They’re also currently offering a free trial for teachers, which a friend of mine is loving because the short length of the workouts means she can fit one in pre leaving the house at 7am.”
9. Nike Training App
What? Keen to personalise your plan to make sure it works for you? The Nike app can help with that, offering a range of four to six-week training plans focused on progression and power. There are also home options, but their strength training and gym plans will offer you simple – and free! – strength gains. Win, win.
What we thought when testing? Health Editor Ally Head says: “I used the Nike Running app when I first started lacing up six or so years ago now and loved how, as a total beginner, it was easy to use and didn’t overcomplicate things. You simply download and start your run, and stop it when you’re done, where it’ll tell you your average pace, total time moving, and so on. It’s also free, so great for those who don’t want to spend £££ on a good workout app.”
10. Jillian Michaels: The Fitness App
What? She’s one of the biggest names in fitness and, unsurprisingly, her app has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on the app store, too. Choose from over 800 workouts and tailor your selection based on the kit available in your gym (or at home, if you’d rather workout there).
Plus, she’s just launched a brilliant prenatal offering, too, making keeping fit for mums-to-be simple.
Price? A subscription is £5.16 a month for 12 months – that’s £61.99 a year. You can try a seven day trial for free, if you’re on the fence. jillianmichaels.com