Are TikTok workouts just as good as a fancy fitness app? We tested both to find out

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Can you build a full fitness regimen with nothing but the best FitTok workouts?

For the unfamiliar, “FitTok” is the mega-popular, fitness-themed corner of TikTok, where influencers share quick and viral workouts.

Since it’s New Year’s resolution season, the editors at In The Know wanted to know just how well FitTok really works. So, we set out to put together a workout routine based solely on TikTok clips.

And to really test it out, we compared them against the workouts on the Nike Training Club App. The app features all kinds of fancy workouts — including ones hosted by A-list athletes like Carli Lloyd and Kyrie Irving.

We tested the two against each other over the course of three, sweaty days, judging each option on four criteria. Here’s what happened:

How we measured our ‘FitTok’ workouts

We measured each of our workouts on four factors: price, ease of use, entertainment value and workout intensity.

Workout intensity was measured in average BPM, which we tracked during each day with our handy dandy Fitbit.

Fitbit Inspire 2 Fitness Tracker – $179.95

Credit: Fitbit

To start, we found three FitTok workouts, picking options that were both extremely popular and covered a wide range of movements.

Our FitTok workouts:

We then compared those with similar workouts from the Nike Training Club, trying to match each day in terms of length, intensity and focus.

Our Nike Training Club workouts:

  • Day 1: Nike’s 10-minute bodyweight burn, lower impact activation (lower body, cardio).
  • Day 2: The full-body goal crusher workout, hosted by U.S. soccer star Carli Lloyd (legs, upper body, cardio)
  • Day 3: Cristiano Ronaldo’s quick-hit ab workout (core).

‘FitTok’ vs. the Nike Training Club App: Which is better?

Once the three days were over, we tallied up the results. Here’s our final take.

Price: This goes to TikTok, which is obviously free. Even though the Nike Training Club App is currently also free of charge, it typically costs $14.99 per month (the fee was dropped during the pandemic, and it’s unclear if it will return again after).

Ease of use: Nike wins this one. TikTok takes more time (which could be spent working out, or even better, napping) because you have to scroll through, find your workout, then memorize the moves. Nike, and similar apps, guide you through each step of the exercise.

Entertainment value: TikTok was a lot more fun. As much as our editor embarrassed himself dancing to Drake at 7 a.m., it was one heck of a way to get a sweat on.

Intensity: As it turns out, TikTok wins here too. Our editor averaged a BPM of 118 when using FitTok versus just 102 for the Nike app.

For those keeping score at home, that gives TikTok the edge. It’s worth noting here that, of course, different workouts will work better for different people — depending on your body type, fitness level, age, height, schedule and a million other things.

But in the case of our guinea pig editor (who would describe himself as “moderately fit”), FitTok was actually better than a fancy subscription app.

If you liked this story, check out this article on TikTok’s homemade iPhone camera filter hack.

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