It was only a matter of time before the world’s beloved tech giant got into the fitness space, and here we are. Launching December 14th 2020, Apple Fitness Plus is the latest enter the interactive streaming workout space. Following suit with the “Peloton model”, so to speak, Apple Fitness Plus is hitting the market with a wide range of workout categories that provide guidance and feedback based on the metrics provided by an Apple Watch. Purchasers of the latest Apple Watch will receive a free 6-month trial of the program, whereas current owners of other generations (from the Apple Watch Series 3 onward) can sign up for Apple Fitness Plus for $9.99/month or $79.99/year.
One of the greatest details of this new system is its multi-device compatibility. On the go? Stream your workout from your phone or iPad. At home in a room cohesive to being a proper workout space? Log in via Apple TV. Granted, some of this is already doable via things like the Peloton or iFit apps, However Apple isn’t hanging its hat on the idea that you have a treadmill, exercise bike, or rowing machine in your home. Sure, they cover those bases as well, but that’s only a fraction of the the training types on offer. All told, 10 different workout types will be on offer.
Beyond this ability to work out wherever you are, the other tactical advantage of Apple Fitness Plus is its seamless ability to manage and track your progress, when compared to other alternatives. Again, things like the Peloton or iFit apps are designed to log our workouts, but they don’t also have access to the metrics from your day-to-day life. Apple Watch wearers already keep track of their steps, their heart rate, and their sleep (thanks to OS7, available on Apple Watch 3 through current model), and this data will mesh with the added health and fitness elements that come with Apple Fitness Plus. If you aren’t in “Team Apple”, you’re otherwise relegated to amalgamating multiple platforms—you could easily own a Fitbit, Garmin, or other fitness tracker/smartwatch, and have the day-to-day information logged in their respective apps, and have your workouts logged with your additional fitness app. That’s not to say that that’s a bad way of doing things, but as with all things Apple, there’s a streamlined nature to having everything compiled in a single ecosystem.
|Program||Apple Fitness Plus Review|
|Skill Level||All Levels|
|Program Duration||5 - 45 minutes|
Because the product hasn’t formally launched, we will be digging into this in greater depths soon, but for now, here’s what you need to know.
- Singular Ecosystem: Use any of your existing Apple devices and your Apple Watch, and you’re all set for the full-meal deal of streaming workouts tracked alongside your daily activity and exercise.
- Affordably Priced: For $9.99/month, access to Apple Fitness Plus is cheaper than the majority of competitors in the ring that offer similar service.
- Good Range of Workouts: With 10 categories to choose from, and a variety of training sessions and trainers in each category, there are a lot of options available though Apple Fitness Plus
- Great Playlists: Users can preview playlists in a variety of categories that go along with each workout. If you are an Apple Music user, you can download these playlists or individual songs to your account as you see fit.
- Flexibility: Not only do Apple Fitness Plus workouts offer a broad range of options in terms of workout types, but you can even choose from an assortment of workout lengths as well. Only have 15 minutes to burn? They’ve got you covered.
- Free trial: As noted above, new Apple Watch 6 buyers will get a free 3-month trial of Apple Fitness Plus.
- Will it Last?: As with any new fitness trend in the world, the big question is whether or not this is a sustainable business model. That said, this is Apple we’re talking about, so if they’ve invested this much in getting Apple Fitness Plus off the ground, odds are it’s here to stay.
- No Connectivity with Equipment: One of the nice selling features when running an iFit or other software-equipped treadmill or bike is the fact that your resistance (and incline on treadmills) is automatically adjusted to follow along with the training session. If your priority is exercise bike or treadmill workouts, for now the fitness industry legacy brands still have an upper hand.
Apple Fitness Plus Workouts
As noted, there’s a good range of options at hand here. As of pre-launch, here’s a list of what to expect from Apple Fitness Plus workouts:
- Treadmill Walk / Treadmill Run
- Strength Training
- Mindful Cooldown
Apple Fitness Plus Pricing
At $9.99/month or $79.99/year, Apple Fitness Plus is smartly priced. Peloton’s app costs $12.99/month to run, and iFit will cost you $15/month for a standard membership. Again you’re trading off that ability to seamlessly mesh with your exercise bike or treadmill, but from a dollars and cents standpoint, it’s still pretty good math.
Until we get our hands into the new software we’re not going to take a firm position as to what camp we’re in here, but based on first impressions it looks like Apple Fitness Plus is really poised to shake things up in the fitness market. Keep an eye on this page for a more comprehensive review in the coming month.