There are a large number of sports programs you can do at home – in pdf, on Youtube, to order, on apps … and it can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Today, I give you my opinion on the Freeletics program (available as a mobile app) that I tested for two months. For context (or as a reminder, for those who have read this blog for a while) I am the Personal Trainer and Spartan SGX Coach, and I have been practicing sports 6 times a week for 5 years. So my opinion is two-fold: fitness professional … and sports fan. I will try to give you the most objective report, whether you can decide whether or not Freeletics is right for you.
How did I get to test Freeletics already?
As mentioned above, I am gymnastics. I am also a personal trainer educated for over a year now, and I teach fitness with weights and equipment, but also the Spartan Race type for athletes and women who need a little lift. So when the inclusion was announced in Singapore, the gyms and parks closed immediately, I had to revise my training schedule – in addition to moving all my private lessons in real life to versions in line.
That being said, I struggled to stay motivated without my usual stresses – I had a routine that included a calmer and ski erg like cardio, loaded bars and manuals … and no way to recreate the same workouts without NOTHING. , equipment page. A friend told me about Freeletics – that I had flown over to learn the mechanics of it, without trying the program for more than a session or two. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to embark on a proper test.
What is the Freeletics program?
If it was originally a pdf that could be purchased online (some may have had the opportunity to test a few years ago), the program has evolved tremendously and is now available in the form of an app.
Freeletics has broken away from a unique program and offers a series of exercise plans, mainly focused on body weight exercises (although there are also programs to do at the gym with weights).
Programs usually vary from 8 to 12 weeks, and they all start with a week of evaluation (we can give feedback on each exercise, so the virtual "trainer" adjusts the sessions), then with a progressive intensity, until "Hell Week", the week of fucking, which is a week with "test" at the end of the program.
Several programs are offered, depending on each goal (muscle gain, fat loss, cardio improvement, etc.) and equipment available. There are also programs dedicated to running, which I have not yet tested.
On muscle / cardio programs, evaluations are done on their "star" session, whose name is inspired by mythology – the best known Aphrodite – to give you an idea.
50 burpees – squats – sit-ups
40 burpees – squats – sit-ups
30 burpees – squats – sit-ups
20 burpees – squats – sit-ups
10 burpees – squats – sit-ups
If it sounds "a lot" and that's it, it's a bit of the basic principle of the app: offer workouts that will take the user out of their comfort zone, with or without equipment. It also offers short audio podcasts to listen to to keep you motivated or relaxed, and exercise tips.
It is also a nutritional component that I have not tested.
Freeletics: what did I think of it?
I'm going to separate my opinion into 2: opinion from the user, and opinion from the coach.
From a coach perspective, I really like how the application uses user feedback to customize the session: we have to say at the end of each session whether it was too easy or not enough if we manage to do all the moves correctly and the gradual increase in complexity and intensity allows you feel a real progression. This is exactly what I want to do with my clients.
Because there is body weight, the movements are quite limited – cardio always consists of burpeer or a variant, and you should expect to do mainly sit-ups and push-ups. I wanted to be able to add more equipment (eg dumbbells or a jump rope) to get more choices in the suggested workouts.
From a user perspective, I liked the cycle ("hardcore") that I followed. Because it was in complete lockdown and I was frustrated with not being able to go to the gym, having a "reason" to put on my sports clothes and create a specific program helped me a lot to evacuate my energy. That said, some days were too "easy" for me, and I needed to exercise a little more, or go for a walk afterwards. Obviously it's a very personal feeling because I do a lot of sports in normal times and I need to exercise.
The app is very easy to use, every move is explained on video (and in detail the history of being able to do it right), everything is configurable, in short, it's by far the best sports app I've tried, and I think the subscription is worth it 100% worth it (the proof, I renewed for 3 months after my first cycle).
Since "I have to pay to access it" also helps keep motivation: we don't want to pay for nothing, so we push ourselves a little.
As a result, they are obviously much more spectacular in people entering (or returning to) sports thanks to the app. I got used to cardio, speed of movements like burpees or wax, and technique of diamond push-ups, for example. No radical changes in my body, but I liked most sessions, and enjoyed challenging myself during Hell Week.
Is Freeletics For You?
- Yes, if you're already in the least a little sporty / have – The programs adapt to all levels, but some knowledge of basic movements is needed.
As a personal trainer, I would always recommend training at least with a professional when starting out, to make sure you are doing the moves properly, to limit the risk of injury.
- Yes, if you need help push a little to keep you motivated in your athletic journey: the program is well orchestrated, being able to provide feedback on the sessions and adapt to how you feel gives you the impression that you are always in control, but the app will alert you if you skip too many sessions or if you take lightly on the workout.
- Yes, if you have little time for sports : The sessions are (very) intense, but rarely last more than an hour (usually 20 to 40 minutes), and they integrate very well into a very active life. And you can expect fast results, despite the short time to spend!
- Yes, if you are looking for a challenging program, however adapted
- no, if you want to gain muscle mass quickly – since you are only working on your body weight, it is difficult to get a "progressive overload", to increase the intensity and pressure exerted on the muscles, and suddenly get volume results. (For more information on this topic, see the article "Program in the gym: how many sets, how many repetitions?"). However, I have not tested programs with loaded columns (lack of a bar available), but I imagine that they are much more suitable for this type of research.
- no, if the idea of discomfort scares you – some sessions will be long and tiring, and if you prefer milder sports, Freeletics may not be the best option for you.
- no, if you are looking for a free solution – it is not, but it is cheaper than a gym and most online courses.
Convinced? If you want to test …
You can download the app and take -20% off your subscription using this link!
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