In 2020, the year where many of us have spent most of us behind closed doors, there are plenty of home fitness options designed to help you get your sweat on. There's those trendy Peloton bikes. Zoom workouts have become big. So have free Instagram Live workouts. And now, the tech titans at Apple are bringing you yet another option. On September 15, they unveiled Fitness+.
You can view studio workouts on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and you'll get bespoke recommendations on what kind of movements to do based on data from your watch. (Apple insists this health data will be protected.) For example, if you're always doing the same treadmill class, Fitness+ might suggest trying out a virtual strength training class, to balance you out.
The service will offer instructor-guided sessions focused on HIIT, strength, yoga, dance, treadmill running, cycling, and even meditation. You can filter for different kinds of fitness content, searching by trainer, duration, and music genre. If you have Apple Music, you can save any workout playlists you're especially into, then listen to them later when you need some extra motivation. (Don't overlook that feature; there's nothing worse than having to stop mid-squat to Shazam an earworm.)
Another cool aspect: The metrics your watch already shows you during a workout, such as your heart rate or mile time, will appear on the screen you're doing the workout on to keep you motivated. And because your watch will be in sync with the instructors, when they tell you to check your heart rate during class, that number will be blown up to a bigger size to make it easier to spot. That's some classic Apple thoughtfulness, there.
The workouts can be done at home, in a gym, or even in a hotel room while on the road. Many of the guided sweat sessions require very little gym equipment — often just a mat and some dumbbells.
The downside to this flashy new fitness technology is that it's tailored to the Apple Watch. Those who don't have one won't get much use out of the program and its bells and whistles.
In many ways, it seems to be similar to Peloton Digital, another workout streaming option. That doesn't seem to bother the CEO of Peloton John Foley, who, according to CNBC, commented on the unveiling: "The biggest thing I will say is it’s quite a legitimisation of fitness content, to the extent the biggest company in the word, a $2 trillion company, is coming in and saying fitness content matters. It’s meaningful enough for Apple."
As for Apple, they seem jazzed about the announcement, and hope it'll help keep folks motivated. “We’re so excited to energise our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for Health Technologies, said in a press release. “With diverse studio workouts that are suitable for all ability levels, led by a phenomenal group of unique trainers, and an approachable program designed for beginners all the way through to the fitness enthusiast — as well as the flexibility to work out anywhere — there’s something for everyone. We know Fitness+ will take working out with Apple Watch to the next level with unparalleled engagement, convenience, and inspiration.”
The service will be £10 per month, or £80 per year. We'll be waiting on our heels for more information and a launch date. Fingers crossed it'll come before Christmas, so we can gift ourselves a fancy new way to get our sweat on.