I love workout classes. Dragging my butt to the gym, getting a “good spot” towards the front but not front-and-center, and sweating it out with 10, 20, or 30 strangers is my idea of a good time.
But as the pandemic hit and gyms everywhere closed, I found myself struggling: how was I supposed to stay motivated to exercise without a svelte spin instructor yelling at me to keep riding, a calming yoga instructor kindly encouraging me to breathe through the difficulty, or a CrossFit coach yelling “no pain, no gain”?
Like many, I took my fitness goals online, signing up for a multitude of streaming services in hopes that I could avoid the pandemic weight gain. To be honest, I did a free trial of half a dozen different companies – primarily physical gyms trying to take their classes online – but quit as soon as my 30 days were up. They lacked the energy that an in-person workout class has, and lacked the variety you get with a full gym membership or ClassPass.
But then someone introduced me to Obé Fitness: a friend that I regularly worked out with pre-pandemic had been doing their Pilates classes and loving them, so I decided to check it out. What’s different about Obé Fitness compared to the other online gym memberships I tried was that instead of trying to transition their in-person classes online, they developed a new app that can be streamed through any major device, hired coaches that focus on 15 different types of workouts, and created studio-quality videos that are available both live and on-demand.
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What is Obé Fitness?
Obé Fitness is a premium fitness community with live and on-demand classes that can be streamed online, through their app, or on any of your smart TV devices. With 15 types of workouts (including barre, boxing, dance, HIIT, Pilates, strength, stretching, yoga, and more) and filters for level, duration, equipment, instructor, intensity, and body focus, they truly have a class for everyone.
Obé Fitness has 130 live classes per week, plus a library of over 5,400 on-demand classes that you can do anytime. Obé Fitness will also sync with your calendar, and has community aspects so you can connect with the other members.
Upon my first time logging into my Obé Fitness account, they asked a standard set of questions about interest, fitness level, and, my favorite, instructor mentality. This is the first fitness app that asked if I want an instructor to be my fitness BFF, a funny ball of energy, or a challenging coach – things that make a HUGE difference in how well I enjoy a class. For the other fitness apps, I found myself quickly frustrated when I couldn’t find an instructor that “spoke my language” and would give up after one or two failed attempts.
Once you’ve completed your profile, Obé Fitness recommends both classes and instructors for you. And guess what? They nailed it. The first class I tried, I loved the instructor. Second class, same. I was trying new instructors and new workouts all the time, but since Obé Fitness took the time to include personality traits into my profile, I connected with each instructor they suggested for me.
Not only did Obé Fitness nail the suggested classes, but their system is very easy to use. You can stream live classes (which they encourage you to try for accountability’s sake) on any streaming device: Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, etc. You can try it on a normal web browser, and you can download the Obé Fitness app to your phone. This became my preferred way to workout because you can download the on-demand classes and do them anywhere (hello apartment rooftop, beach, or park workout!).
The other thing that Obé Fitness made easy was their “levels” of workouts. On other apps I’ve tried “beginner” levels that had me almost in tears, and “advanced” levels where I didn’t break a sweat. Obé Fitness has streamlined all of this, so you really will get what you sign up for. “Open Level” became my go-to: the moves were all easy enough to master, yet you could push yourself as hard as you wanted to really make the workout your own based on your mood that day.
What types of classes does Obé Fitness offer?
Obé Fitness has 15 different types of classes, including barre, boxing, dance, HIIT, Pilates, strength, stretching, yoga, and more. I love that they break yoga up into different types (restorative, sculpt, and Vinyasa), and they even have options for pre- and post-natal classes.
Which classes did I take?
For the first month I tried all yoga classes – the full range of restorative, sculpt, and vinyasa. Alex S. quickly became my favorite instructor for Vinyasa – she’ll both push you through the challenging spots in the flows while also encouraging you and motivating you to keep going. The breathwork aspects of restorative classes truly did leave me feeling restored, and Francesca V. kicked my butt in sculpt.
The second month I focused on Pilates. “Hard AF Pilates” with Marcia M. is the epitome of the Obé Fitness experience in my mind – she pushes you but in a way that makes the classes fun, so you don’t realize you won’t be able to walk the next day until after it’s over.
I’m seeing Cardio Boxing in my future next month… 🙂
Alternatives to Obé Fitness
Of all the at-home workout platforms I’ve tried, Obé Fitness is the only one I’ve renewed. Honestly, there are lots of alternatives to Obé Fitness out there; it’s gotten a bit overwhelming. But in my opinion and experience, none of them measure up.
While YouTube videos may be filmed beautifully on a beach somewhere, there’s not much more annoying than getting interrupted mid-plank by an ad (do you expect me to hold the plank through the entire ad?!). Studios turned online streaming typically feature instructors in their apartments, which to me is too distracting and not as motivating – it reminds me that we’re all stuck in our living rooms for this workout.
Some of the bigger brands like Peloton lack the personalization that I enjoyed so much with Obé Fitness. While they also have a giant range of classes, I struggled to find an instructor that I connected with and gave up after a few failed attempts.
Alo Yoga similarly lacked the consistent levels I mentioned earlier, meaning I never knew what I was going to get in a given class.
With Kayla Itsines, Tone It Up, Holly Dolke, and other personality-focused memberships, I get into them for the first month and then find myself a bit tired of the personality, and want some newness to mix it up.
Two honorable mentions are Openfit and Fitbod, but neither has been strong enough to pull me away from Obé. Openfit comes close in its library of fresh classes and cross-platform support. And Fitbod is pretty awesome for the workout personalization it gives you if you’re looking to build muscle, but that hasn’t been a big emphasis for me.
I want a versatile platform: yoga one day, cardio the next, and dance classes the next. So for me, Obé makes the most sense. Obé Fitness really has nailed the personalization, class filters, ease of use, and the community. This combo makes it something easy to turn to time and time again, and you can be confident that you’ll get the exact workout you want every time.
Is Obé Fitness worth it?
- Welcome Questionnaire (including Instructor Mentality) – This is the first fitness app that asked if I want an instructor to be my fitness BFF, a funny ball of energy, or a challenging coach – things that make a HUGE difference in how well I enjoy a class.
- HUGE Library of Classes – 130 live classes per week plus 5,400 on-demand options ranging from barre, boxing, dance, HIIT, Pilates, strength, stretching, yoga, and more.
- Clear and Consistent Filters – you can filter by class type, fitness level, class length (six interval options between 5 and 60 minutes), body focus, impact level, instructor, and equipment.
- Downloadable Classes – When you’ve been stuck in a quarantine, there’s nothing better than taking your workout outside. Downloading the classes on the Obé Fitness app is a game changer. I mostly use Obé’s iPhone app!
- Easy Streaming – You can stream live classes (which they encourage you to try for accountability’s sake) on any streaming device: Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, etc. You can try it on a normal web browser, and you can download the Obé Fitness app to your phone.
- Millennial Friendly – Soothing background colors, pump up music, and relatable instructors make this any millennial’s workout dream.
- Occasional buffering issues with downloaded videos.
- Since it is a home workout, you’re still responsible for motivating yourself to show up.
- Free trial is unclear – you sign up and enter your credit card for after the free trial ends, but they never tell you how long it is. It’s seven days.
- The only way to cancel a membership is by calling their office between 9:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. I don’t personally care much about this, but I read a lot of angry reviews online about this.
Obé Fitness Reviews from Reddit and Trustpilot
As I normally do, I jumped onto Reddit and Trustpilot to read reviews from other Obé Fitness customers. Most of the reviews I read lined up with my own thoughts – people love it! Especially so on Reddit.
I did notice, though, that Obé Fitness only has a 3 star rating on Trustpilot, out of three total reviews. Each of these was basically the same: people were upset that to cancel your Obé Fitness membership, you are forced to call their team during normal business hours. I can’t personally verify whether or not this is true, because I don’t want to accidentally cancel my membership, but if this is true, that’s pretty crappy.
I screenshotted some of the most helpful reviews here: both good and bad. You can click/tap on the arrows to scroll through and read them.
Final Thoughts: Is Obé Fitness a legit choice for at-home fitness apps?
At less than $1 per day (even on the highest price tier), Obé Fitness is absolutely worth it. The range of classes and instructors, personalized recommendations, and easy filters make it simple to login and start your workout. You know exactly the type of workout you’ll get out of it, but have so much variety that it never gets stale.
The Yoga classes were ideal for me because of the great range of styles, instructors, and classes to choose from (shoutout to Alex S.!). At no point in time did I ever think I was even remotely close to running out of options.
Having recommended classes that take into account your workout preferences and instructor style clearly listed at the top was also a game changer – no need to scroll endlessly hoping to find something you’ll enjoy. But by far my favorite thing about Obé Fitness is that you can download classes and take them with you on the go. It almost felt like having a personal trainer that you can take with you to the beach, park, or rooftop for some sweat in the sun!
If like me, you’ve hated working out from home, give Obé a shot – the soothing studio atmosphere and ability to take your workout anywhere will almost make you forget that you’re in lockdown.