Apple Fitness+ Is About To Change The Workout Streaming Game—And It's Only $10 A Month

Jacqueline Andriakos
·6 mins read
Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

From Women's Health

The fitness space is getting bigger, better, and tech-ier every single day. (Equinox came out with a streaming service...Amazon announced a new health tracker...and pretty much all of your favorite studios have gone online.) Tbh, it was only a matter of time until Apple entered the virtual fitness space in a *big* way.

This week, the tech hub announced its forthcoming personalized fitness experience, Apple Fitness+. The platform, which launches at the end of the year, will cost $10 a month and feature studio-style workouts ranging from HIIT and yoga to dance and rowing. Oh, and it all centers around the Apple Watch.

When it comes to fitness video platforms and apps, there are *a lot* to choose from out there. So what makes Fitness+ different from the rest of the pack? Here's what we know.

1. It's the only platform built around the Apple Watch.

So, yes, you'll need an Apple Watch to enjoy Fitness+. That's because you see your metrics—heart rate, calories, time, etc.—from your watch on the screen while you sweat. You can use it with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, depending on where you're working out.

Let's say your trainer shouts out that you've got 30 seconds left of a treadmill sprint. A timer will flip up at that moment on screen to help keep you engaged. Or, if you close your Exercise or Move ring during a workout, you'll get a little on-screen celebration. "Seeing this information animate at exactly the right time with the right information can be incredibly motivating, and make it easier to get through your workout," Jay Blahnik, senior director of fitness for health technologies at Apple, tells WH.

The second way the watch is integrated is in how it helps curate your workouts in Fitness+. The watch logs all physical activity that you do—Fitness+ workouts, outdoor strolls, you name it. With all of this data, your watch will help craft suggestions for Fitness+ workouts that make sense for your routine and recovery needs.

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

If your watch detects that you've been crushing high-intensity sessions and endless long runs—you may get a recommendation for a restorative yoga flow to stretch your sore muscles, or for a hip-hop workout to switch things up and push you out of your comfort zone.

The inspiration for Fitness+ is simple: "The entire service is built to help more people close more Activity Rings more often," Blahnik says.

2. You'll spend less time scrolling, so you can get into the actual workout faster.

Picture this scenario: You open a fitness app. You scroll for a few minutes trying to pick an instructor you like. You press play on your choice...but now you want to scroll through the video to make sure it doesn't have burpees somewhere in it (ugh) or require dumbbells. Shoot! Doesn't work for you. You're back to scrolling.

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

To help people avoid the workout window-shopping, so to speak, the workouts on Fitness+ are designed to give you all of the preview info you need up front, and also keep the warm ups appropriate to the length and intensity of the workout so you can get right into it. Mindful cool downs will be a separate category, and not included as part of your workout minutes. Why? You might want to string together a short rowing workout with a 12-minute Tabata blast. This way, you get to choose when you're ready to begin your recovery.

3. Fitness+ learns your preferences and personality.

Whether you want no-equipment workouts you can do in your living room or guided strength sessions you can do right in the gym, there are options for you. The filtering tool lets you search by workout type, trainer, duration, and music.

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

The filtering tool is also intuitive and can sort workouts in shelves labeled "More of What You Do" and "Try Something New" based on your inclinations. You can also see what classes and trainers your friends and family can't get enough of via Activity Sharing.

The point is to make the process of choosing a workout as personal and simple as possible. "Some people want recommendations, some people know exactly what they want, some people only want the latest workouts and other people want to enjoy the process of discovery," Blahnik says. "We built Fitness+ to make it easy for all of these types of users to navigate the workout library without feeling overwhelmed."

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

4. The trainer lineup is impressive as hell, and incredibly inclusive.

You might see some badass names you recognize (love ya, Betina Gozo!). You'll also get to know many fitness pros you haven't heard of, all of whom have unique personal stories that set them apart in the industry. Fitness+ will feature trainers in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, and from all different walks of life. (Check out some the faces behind Fitness+ on the Instagram account, and there may be more members of the fam by launch.)

Another requirement: The trainers had to have a passion not just for the very fit, but also for the beginner. "Of course we wanted the Fitness+ trainers to be specialists in their field, but we also wanted each of them to have their own inspiring fitness journeys and life experiences that we believe would resonate and inspire our users," Blahnik explains. "We wanted Fitness+ to be a service where everyone was invited to the party, regardless of your fitness experience or ability."

5. You won't balk at the price.

Have you ever subscribed to a workout app, only to realize later that you only use it on weekends? Or occasionally on vacation in your hotel room? The monthly or annual fee for Fitness+ is meant to make it accessible and appealing to both people who will use it all the time, or more sporadically.

Another cost-effective perk: You can share the service with up to five of your family members for the same price (you know, like how you all jumped on the family Netflix account). Intrigued but don't have an Apple Watch? If you buy a Series 3 or later, you'll get three months of Fitness+ for free. And for current watch wearers, everyone will get a free month-long trial.

Fitness+ will be available to Apple Watch users before the end of 2020 for $10/month or $80/year.

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