Independent Fitbod Review—Results, Pics & More [In-Depth]
Exercise scientist reviews Fitbod: an honest look at customer feedback, with screenshots and progress pics
Is Fitbod worth it in 2023? Looking at the results, the short answer is no.
Especially since there are free alternatives (like JEFIT) and more advanced apps now (like Dr. Muscle).
Fitbod looks great and is easy to use. But users of the app report:
- Subpar results: "After 3 months, muscle was down and fat percent was up"
- Inadequate workouts: "The algorithm is broken"
- Dangerously heavy weights: "I think fitbod is training me for cirque du soleil"
- Silent customer support: "Does Fitbod ever reply to messages?"
We found these customer reviews on Google and Reddit, and included them in this in-depth review for you (with screenshots and links to all sources).
In this review, you'll also find:
- Progress pics from real users
- How Fitbod stacks up against the competition
- Our top 3 alternatives that are free or more advanced
Is Fitbod worth it in 2023? In a nutshell
Fitbod has good design and usability. But there are a number of issues with the app. Those include:
‧ Subpar results
‧ Inadequate workouts
‧ No reply from customer support
"After 3 months of very steady Fitbod workouts. I found muscle content was down and fat percent was up" -Deniz K.
"The workouts fitbod's AI generated seemed too easy even on the 'advanced' settings. The workouts seemed random." -David C.
"Does Fitbod ever reply to messages?" -Joseph L.
Overall, we concluded Fitbod just isn't worth it for the price in 2023.
Especially considering there are similar options that are free today (like JEFIT) or more advanced (like Dr. Muscle).
Why this review is different
You may have noticed that most reviews of Fitbod are exceedingly positive and cheerful.
That's because they're written by affiliates who make a commission when you subscribe to Fitbod. You won't find that here.
This review is independent and comprehensive. To prepare it, my team and I followed a 4-step process:
- We tried the app
- We searched Google and Reddit for user results
- We collected reviews of lifters who tried both Fitbod and other workout apps
- We had an exercise scientist analyse Fitbod’s workouts
Since Fitbod for bodybuilding is a popular topic, we also wrote a review specifically for people looking to build muscle.
Looking for more results from real people? Check out our compilation of the Top 10 Fitbod Reviews on Reddit, with progress pics and more.
Why should you listen to me?
I’ve been a lifter and a coach for 20 years, and a trainer for the Canadian Forces.
I have a B.Sc in exercise science and a PhD in public health, with a specialization in epidemiology (health statistics).
I’ve helped about 10,000 people get in shape 1-on-1, in group classes, and online.
And I walk the walk, being in decent shape myself.
Now, full disclosure: in 2016, I finished my PhD, gathered a small team, and started building a workout app. It’s called Dr. Muscle. Dr. Muscle is like Fitbod, but focused on building muscle and transforming your body. It’s also more advanced (and more expensive).
Since we compete with Fitbod, you might expect me to tell you how much better we are. Frankly, I won’t. Instead, I’ll simply lay out what we found. Give you the facts. And highlight what the science says you should focus on if you want to build muscle and strength. Then you can be the judge.
The “secret” to getting in shape
You know you need a good program to get in shape.
But you don’t have the time or knowledge to design a world-class program yourself.
You found an app called Fitbod. Should you trust it with your fitness? Since you’re here, I’m guessing you’re looking for a second opinion, reviews, and perhaps an alternative. You'll find all of that here, and more.
Getting in shape is hard
It requires time, knowledge, and motivation. And just when you think you’re doing everything right, you can still get injured, get stuck, or lose motivation, and quit.
When you get stuck, you can work out for months before you make noticable progress.
And when you quit, you can lose all your gains… and have to start all over again.
So if there’s one secret to avoiding that and getting in top shape, it’s to hire a personal trainer. A great trainer will keep you making progress for years and get you into the best shape your genes will allow.
But I’ll be honest: trainers are not for everyone. As a trainer myself, I can confirm that. An experienced, certified trainer will cost you $60-$100 an hour. Over months, that can pile up to thousands of dollars. Plus, most trainers work by appointment only. And if you don’t show up, some will charge you anyway. Ouch.
That’s where a good workout app can fit in. In some ways, it’s like a trainer in your phone. It won’t teach you how to perform each exercise properly. But it can customise your program, and update it as you get in better shape.
Build muscle, burn fat, and transform your body
If you’re like our customers, the most important thing you want is results. Chances are, you want to:
- Look and feel your best
- Boost your energy
- Build muscle
- Burn fat
- Transform your body
Some people also want to understand how their workout app works under the hood. The science behind it. They want to know their program is designed in the best and most scientific way drive them all the way to gainsville. We have other articles that dive deep into that, like:
- 5 Best Bodybuilding Apps for Hypertrophy [In-Depth Review & Comparison]
- A Progressive Overload App to Build Muscle & Strength On Autopilot
- Strength Training for Hypertrophy: Exercises & Cycles for Muscle Gain
Other factors are also important. Like cost, being able to get up and running as quickly as possible, ease of use, and exercise demos. We’ll cover those in detail.
But putting all of that aside, what we care about passionately is getting you results. Let’s be honest, that’s what you’re paying for. So that's what we'll focus on in this review of Fitbod.
Fitbod for bodybuilding
If your goal is to build muscle, Fitbod might not be your top choice.
According to before and after results of users who actually tried Fitbod for bodybuilding, there are several issues that might hold you back.
Firstly, your results could be less than ideal. Users who stuck with Fitbod for a few months found a surprising shift in their bodies. Instead of bulking up, they reported losing muscle mass. At the same time, their body fat percentage went up. In short, Fitbod didn't deliver the gains they expected.
Secondly, you might find the workouts lacking. Some users weren't challenged by Fitbod's AI-generated workouts, even when they set the app to 'advanced'. The workouts also seemed random, lacking the structured progression you need for effective bodybuilding.
Lastly, if you run into a problem with Fitbod, you might be left in the lurch. Users have reported that Fitbod's customer support didn't respond to their queries. If you need help, you might be on your own.
Given these issues, you might want to think twice about using Fitbod for your bodybuilding journey. There are other apps out there that could serve you better, like Dr. Muscle.
But don't just take his word for it. Do your research, weigh your options, and choose the app that will best help you reach your bodybuilding goals.
Related: Independent Fitbod Bodybuilding Review: User Results—Before and After Photos
5 big problems with Fitbod
"The algorithm is broken"
One customer who worked out for two years with Fitbod reported many issues with the app. He concluded that "the algorithm is broken."
Here's his full review (from Reddit):
Posted by The_Badger_ on Reddit. Reply by Maelas84.
To recap, these customers reported:
- Too many exercises: "I don't need or want to train 70 different exercises for each [muscle] group."
- Wonky progression: "When I expect a weight increase, instead I get a set of 15 reps."
- No updates: "The app is working less effectively than when I first invested two years ago."
That's the biggest problem we found with Fitbod:
Its workouts seem fundamentally random. To make things worse, it seems the team has not been improving them over time.
Which brings us to the next problem with Fitbod...
Subpar results (with reviews from actual Fitbod users)
Posted by Doc4pupperz on Reddit.
Fitbod recommends dangerously heavy weights
Posted by WatchYaWant on Reddit.
Posted by TristanHoo on Reddit.
Posted by pitayaman on Reddit.
The team at Fitbod claims they've had:
- "5M+ downloads"
- "40M+ workouts logged"
If these numbers are correct, it means that people who download the app work out on average 8 times before moving on. That seems awfully low.
I can think of two explanations:
- The downloads are inflated
- Most people really don't like the app that much
Either way, that's not great news for Fitbod.
On another note, in 2021, Fitbod announced it was increasing its prices. They said it was because, among other reasons: "We don’t make a profit. Yes, you read that correctly and we’re not afraid to admit it."
We have to give it to Fitbod: that was honest and transparent. But what might not be as honest is selling lifetime access to the app in that context.
You read that right. Every year around Black Friday, Fitbod sells lifetime access to their app ($359.99 in 2022).
But since they're not making a profit, one might wonder just how long that lifetime access will last. At this rate, Fitbod may not be around for life.
Related: How Much Does Fitbod Costs?
"The workouts seemed random"
Some of our customers have used both Fitbod and Dr. Muscle.
Many say they're getting results with Dr. Muscle, and that the workouts on Fitbod lack "any rational progression".
Here’s what they said:
That’s just some of our users’ experience. Now, this might raise the question… why are these users getting these results?
How to build muscle & strength
At the heart of any structured exercise program is the desire to create a specific adaptation. In this case the adaptation we desire is strength & muscle growth.
In order to cause an adaptation we need to place the body under just the right amount of stress to force the body to adapt and change,
In the case of muscle growth (hypertrophy) and strength we create that stress by lifting weights.
We cause stress.
We adapt to the stress (get stronger, build muscle).
Once we have adapted to that level of stress, then the next time we need to try a little harder to cause even more stress to cause the next adaptation… and the cycle continues for as long as we are able to recover and allow adaptations to take place.
The principle that governs this stress-adaptation process in weight training is progressive overload. That is exactly the way the Dr. Muscle app functions; increasing your training load/volume is appropriate increments to ensure progression over time.
The training load and stress we undertake during training is related to several variables. The weight lifted, the amount of repetitions we do, the amount of sets we do for each muscle, the amount of time the muscle is under tension, the frequency with which we train a muscle and the amount of rest we take both between sets, exercises and training sessions.
Too little training load.. We don’t have enough stimulus to adapt, too much and we might not recover effectively, be able to complete sessions and worst case end up getting injured.
We focus on progressing your training by using our ‘plus set’ system. This allows us to use your previous sessions training loads and reps during your ‘plus set’ to ‘autoregulate’ and define the weight that you are lifting in the next week’s sessions.
In science speak, this is called ‘autoregulatory progressive resistance exercise’ and guess what? It is seriously effective at building muscle and strength and means we are not just guessing or using arbitrary progressions in our training which might be setting ourselves up for failure!
We maximise your load/volume progression (and gains in muscle and strength) using a ‘daily undulating periodisation’ (DUP). This means that on each day of training we shift training focus.
For example, hypertrophy on one day, strength the next then back to hypertrophy… The research tells us this is the most effective way to make simultaneous progress in muscle growth and strength.
Of course, there is always some overlap. Strength and muscle growth rep ranges are on a continuum, not a black and white cut off. Muscle growth even without specific strength training is 100% going to increase our ability to be strong in any case.
Because we also know that at some point you are going to plateau, we also use your data to factor in periods where we back off your training and de-load. Allowing those adaptations to hard training, and the accumulation of volume over several weeks, to take place.
Fitbod alternatives (free or more advanced)
There are a lot of workout apps out there. So, how does Fitbod stack up against other workout apps?
Fitbod alternative for Android
Using Android? Your decision may have just gotten easier.
Fitbod is new on Android, and users have voiced complaints on Google Play. They say the app is missing features and has bugs. For example:
If you want a more polished app, you can try Dr. Muscle for free as an alternative.
Learn more in our guide: Fitbod Alternative for Android.
Fitbod vs Dr. Muscle
With its ever-changing workouts, Fitbod is a fine place to start your fitness journey if you don’t have a specific goal. But if you want to transform your body, you better use a tool designed just for that.
That’s where the Dr. Muscle workout app comes in. We built it for lifters who want to build muscle and get in top shape. That was our focus from day 1. So if that’s your goal, I’m confident you’ll get better results with our workouts designed with that goal in mind.
To be sure, the better our competitors, the better we have to be. Fitbod has great graphic design, and it’s inspiring us to improve our user interface. I don’t believe in slating the opposition. I’m here to learn, adapt, and push the team to create the smartest, most effective workout app. That’s why we would love your feedback and encourage you to give us a try.
On the fence? See our customer reviews or try the app for free. As you do, you'll see we also have expert reviews by leading coaches and researchers. We're serious about having the some of the most critical eyes in the business driving Dr. Muscle forwards. I hope you'll join us too on our mission to make the world a fitter place.
Fitbod vs JEFIT
Fitbod and Jefit are two popular workout tracking apps.
Not sure which one to choose? Look no further! We've got the ultimate showdown of Fitbod vs JEFIT. Here's the skinny:
- Fitbod is like a personal trainer. It creates customized routines and new workouts for you to try. It includes a database of hundreds of exercises, and allows you to choose the exercises you want to do the most.
- JEFIT is like a workout encyclopedia. It's got a massive database of exercises and lets you create custom workout plans to help you achieve your goals. Plus, it's got a social aspect so you can brag about your gains to all your fitness-minded friends and try pre-made workouts created by the community.
- So, the main difference is that Fitbod is more focused on giving you a customized experience, while Jefit is more focused on helping you plan and track your workouts (with social aspects).
Overall, Fitbod and Jefit can both work for your workouts. It mostly depends on whether you want a customized plan or the flexibility to do-it-yourselft—and the chance to show off!
In the end, the best choice will depend on your own needs and preferences. Check out our full comparison of Fitbod vs JEFIT to decide which one is right for you.
Fitbod vs Strong
If you are advanced and just want a quality tracker, Strong is a great option. Think of it as a substitute to bringing a notebook and pen to the gym, with a few extras. Learn more in our full comparison of Fitbod vs Strong.
Fitbod vs Freeletics
Freeletics has a clean, stylish, user-friendly interface. With the app, you'll be doing pre-made circuits and randomly generated high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style workouts. For more information, see our full comparison of Fitbod vs Freeletics.
Fitbod or alternative? How to choose
If you are not entirely sure of your fitness goals or if you want to have more exercise variety and random workouts, then you may want to go with Fitbod.
The way I see it, Fitbod is a fine place to start your fitness journey if you don’t have a specific goal. But if you want to maximise your muscle growth (and transform your body), you need a tool designed just for that. That’s where we come in. We built Dr. Muscle for lifters who want to build muscle fast and get in top shape.
To be sure, the better our competitors, the better we have to be. Fitbod has great graphic design, and it’s inspiring us to improve our user interface. But unlike Fitbod, we decided to focus on building muscle from day 1. So if that’s your goal, I’m confident you’ll get better results with our workouts designed with that goal in mind.
I don’t believe in slating the opposition. I’m here to learn, adapt, and push the team to create the smartest, most effective workout app. That’s why we would love your feedback and encourage you to give us a try.
On the fence? See our customer reviews. We also have expert reviews by leading muscle and strength coaches and researchers to show you that we are serious about having the some of the most critical eyes in the business driving Dr. Muscle forwards.
Remember that getting in shape is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. You should start with proven, evidence-based guidelines. But different people respond differently to the same program. So it's important to be patient and persistent, and to keep exploring and learning until you find what gets you in shape the fastest, surest way.
Fitbod cost: free vs paid subscription
Is Fitbod free?
Fitbod is not free, sadly. But it does offer a limited free trial. That is, you can try 3 workouts for free. After that, you'll need to subscribe.
Looking for a free app? Check out these 5 free alternatives to Fitbod.
Fitbod offers three different options ranging from $12.99 a month to $359.99 for a lifetime membership. The lifetime option isn't always available.
Learn more in our companion guides:
It's easy to get a refund for your Fitbod subscription.
On iPhone? You can request a refund from Apple.
On Android? You can email Fitbod at email@example.com. Make sure to include:
- Your first name
- Last name
- Fitbod account email
- A screenshot of your payment receipt (optional)
If you're not sure what to say in your email, you can find a template in How to Refund Your Fitbod Subscription.
Fitbod for building muscle and bodybuilding
Fitbod may be good for those who want to improve their overall fitness, but it's definitely not the app for serious bodybuilders.
In fact, the results speak for themselves. See Fitbod Bodybuilding Results: User Reviews—Before & After Photos.
If you're thinking about gaining muscle mass with Fitbod, here's what you need to know:
- No guidance on nutrition. Your muscle growth and recovery depend on proper nutrition, yet Fitbod is like 'good luck with that!' It's like trying to build a house without any foundation. While you're in the dark with your diet, it's almost impossible for you to optimize your muscle-building efforts.
- Too many exercises. Fitbod users point out that the app tends to change their exercises a lot. Yet studies suggest it’s not needed (it could even slow down your gains). Many experts also agree: you probably don't need to master more than 2-3 exercises per muscle group.
Want proof? Look at Olympic weightlifters. They become supremely muscular, strong, and nimble. All while training mostly the same lifts over and over.
When you change exercises often as Fitbod recommends, you start running into a few problems:
- You train each exercise less often
- Your progress on each exercise is slower
- You end up lifting lighter weights
Basically, you give a weaker training stimulus to your muscles. As a results, you don't gain as much muscle mass. Your strength gains are slower, too.
With the Dr. Muscle workout app, you do the opposite. You also always know exactly how much to eat. Just open the app to see how many calories and macros it recommends for your goals based on your recent and past progress. Try it free to see for yourself.
To recap, Fitbod may be a useful tool for keeping fit, but if you're looking to bulk up, it has serious downsides.
Try Dr. Muscle For Free To Build Muscle & Strength Faster On Autopilot