Fitness apps these days are as abundant as twinkly lights at Christmas. And just like lights on a string, most aren’t all that different from the others.
That’s why Gixo caught my eye. This new-ish app, created by the cofounders of the website Evite, stands out for the way it blends the best elements of individual, at-home workouts (privacy, flexibility) with the benefits of gym and group training sessions (coaching, accountability, camaraderie) by offering live, instructor-led classes that you can do in your living room, around your neighborhood, wherever. Here’s how it works:
- Choose your class. Gixo offers about 180 classes per week, with both indoor (circuit training, tabata, dance workouts and more) and outdoor (endurance, interval training) options. Workout lengths range from 15 to 40 minutes. You can hop on when you’re ready to exercise and see what classes are available or schedule a whole week’s worth of workouts at once, complete with calendar reminders as each class approaches.
- Meet your coach. At class time, simply open the app and tap on your class. Snap a photo to share with the class if you’d like and say hi to the coach who will lead you through the workout. You can also select music tracks to accompany your session. If you’re the social type, you can also chat with fellow classmates now and throughout the workout. Or you can skip all that and just do your thing.
- Get to work. Your instructor talks you through the exercises, while a high-quality, prerecorded video demonstrates them. No one can see you while you’re working out, which is nice if you’re not a fan of people watching you sweat (who is, really?). On the other hand, if you’d like more feedback, Gixo does offer some classes that allow an instructor to watch and critique your form. Again, you choose.
- Give feedback...or don’t. At the end of the class, you have a chance to anonymously rate the session, text your coach, and chat with other classmates. Or just sign off, and get on with your day.
Gixo is a bit spendy for an app, at $20 a month for unlimited classes (after a seven-day free trial) or $15 a month if you sign up for a year, but it beats most gym memberships or boutique classes. You’ll also need a smartphone (iOS or Android) and headphones (wireless are best), but most of the workouts can be done without equipment.
Where Gixo really shines is if you have friends or family who live across town, or even across the country, and you want to help each other stick with fitness commitments—especially as New Year’s resolution season approaches (maybe this is your year!). You can sign up for the same classes and keep one another accountable to “show up.” And for you competitive types (we know who we are), you can try to one-up each other by entering your achievements during and after the session—whatever gets you moving.
For more details, visit gixo.com.
Kellee Katagi is one of those strange souls who actually enjoys working out for the sake of working out. She’s spent most of her 20-plus-year writing and editing career covering fitness, nutrition and travel, as well as outdoor sports ranging from skiing to spelunking to street luge (yes, that’s a thing).