WithU is the audio-led fitness app that gives you no excuse for skipping a workout

The instructors are incredibly personable, acting as fitness spirit guides that make picking up WithU a doddle. They’re the friendliest, most supportive people you’ve never met: each instructor imbues their workouts with their own distinct energy, from intense interval commanders to more chilled, chatty exercise buddies. It all serves to create a more intimate connection to your workouts, bringing you back to the app again and again – and almost taking your mind off the lactic acid coursing through your veins.

The app provides a personalized list of programs and workouts, from physical fitness offerings to an impressive range of meditation and yoga programs. New workouts are added each week (on top of the existing 1,000), with a difficulty traffic light system. When you need a quick visual lesson, say during Yoga, WithU provides clear video instructions in a dedicated “Exercises” tab, with a handy avatar showing you how not to do your back in.

Action plan

Personal training apps can be frustratingly hit-and-miss when it comes to the effectiveness of each individual workout. WithU offers planned programs, available to all users, that deliver an insight into how your fitness will improve throughout the weeks.

Programs such as “HIIT Intro” or “Walk to 1 Mile” offer a perfect jumping-off point, while “3 Week Bootcamp” and “Sub 20 5K Training Plan” give more advanced athletes something to get stuck into. Wellness-focused sessions on anchoring, breathwork, or getting a good night’s sleep target the parts of fitness that can go unloved. There’s even an entire section of the app dedicated to stretching exercises: we’ve gone from trying some simple ways to add flexibility, to friends calling us “snake hips” almost unironically.

Subscription fitness is big business these days. You only need to look at Apple’s Fitness+ service and the recent Peloton Guide to see that companies are getting more inventive about helping you get a sweat on. Once the initial workout rush fades, it’s still easy enough to shrug off a new schedule with the usual excuses. WithU gives you no such opportunity: if it looks nasty outside, there are plenty of at-home exercise options, along with hundreds of workouts that are perfect for the gym. For someone who has honed his excuse-crafting skills over decades, we couldn’t find one good enough to avoid pressing play.

WithU verdict

In the modern tech world, attention is harder to retain than ever. It makes sense, then, that less is very often more, as is the case for WithU. The ‘less’ here is unnecessary video tutorials that get in the way of a proper workout; the ‘more’ is pretty much everything else.

Personalized, graded programs are enhanced by your connection to the app being through one sensory source. By stripping away unnecessary distractions, and offering a personable, goal-oriented series of workouts, WithU frees up your focus and makes even the greatest procrastinators (me) get up and go. It’s a refreshing approach to a saturated fitness market.

WithU Unlimited £9.99/month, or £79.99/year. A number of WithU’s workouts are available at no cost: for more information, go to withutraining.com

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