Gym junkies closes this browser, this isn’t for you. But for those – like me – who wouldn’t be seen dead in a gym have I got a review for you – Apple Fitness+.
When it was announced earlier this year it seemed another wild left-field idea for Apple, but as you dig into the detail this is actually a stroke of genius.
Millions of people wear an Apple Watch every day, many of them do workouts and track their fitness closely. Many of those would frequent the Gym.
Heck, you can pair your Apple Watch with specific Gym equipment directly.
But, there’s also a pretty decent cohort of people who don’t do much more than the odd walk, and quite frankly could think of nothing worse than going to a Gym and working out in front of other people.
Now hear me out, but I’m also a decent snob at the best of times, so if I needed to get fit, I’d be a prime candidate for a personal trainer. But again, hell no, I find it hard enough to discuss money with my accountant let alone personal fitness and health with one fit bodied chiseled trainer.
I’m 44, overweight, and have never been to a Gym in my life – see above.
Right from the get-go Apple had my interest with the very idea of Fitness+. Here the company had gathered together a group of fit and motivated trainers who would work together, live in the same city and work at a single gym studio to make weekly workout videos across a range of workout genres (is that what they’re called?).
And, unlike Aerobics Oz Style, this would be one on one training, with your personal health data reflected on-screen.
So here’s how it works.
You must be an Apple Watch owner. Fitness+ does not work unless you have an Apple Watch.
To view the workouts, you need an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV in front of you. If you’re using Apple TV and more than one person in the house has an Apple Watch, the screen will prompt you to choose who’s doing the workout – this is 1:1 training, not group therapy.
For those already into their fitness, you can jump straight in to a genre (or Category?) of fitness, HIIT, Yoga, Core, Strength, Treadmill, Cycling, Rowing, Dance, and Mindful Cooldown.
Right now there’s about 10 workouts in each category, mostly 20 and 30 minutes in length.
Each week, more will be added.
If you’re like me and wonder – what the hell is HIIT? – well, head to the “For Beginners” section. Here there are 7 ten minute sessions. The idea here is to get you understanding it all. And working out if you’re ready for the longer workouts and perhaps which ones you like.
So. I did it. I started with a Beginner workout.
Ten minutes of “Beginner Strength” with “Kyle”.
Now let me tell you, they all seem bloody lovely. Really friendly, they’re talking directly to you, and not in a “I’m better than you” kinda way – AT ALL.
Plus, there’s always THREE trainers on screen.. The Main host, then on the left of screen is another who will do the same workout, but with less intensity, a bit easier. On the right, another trainer pushing it a bit harder.
This moderation of the workout allows you to find your comfort level. Really – genius.
While you workout, your heartrate appears on screen. As does a timer counting up (or down) for that specific workout.
You’ll also see the calorie burn count, and a “burn bar” which is a guide to where you sit on the sliding scale of all users, are you pushing harder or less than most – interesting, but not entirely useful to me (perhaps yet).
When you close that exercise ring the celebration appears on screen, and the whole workout is timed (and scripted) to the second. When you’re done you get a summary.
That summary includes the track listing for all the songs you heard in the workout.
In the standard Apple Fitness+ section, you can not only choose the type of workout you want, but as you get to know the 21 different trainers you can choose workouts based on trainer, duration, and even music style.
It’s ridiculously comprehensive.
The upshot. I loved it. Felt like a complete goose doing it, note to self, lock the office door next time in case a courier comes, but – in the privacy of my own office – sorted.
I’d never do it with anyone else at home or in the same building as me frankly, but that’s probably just introverted me.
In the end, I did three ten minute beginner sessions in a row. Strength, HIIT and Core. None were as daunting as I thought they would be, next up, I’ll try a 20 minute strength, Kyle and Betina get me.
Apple Fitness+ is $14.99 per month, or $119.99 a year – amazing value for the need-to-get-healthy never-want-to-go-to-the-gym crowd.
Get on it.