Apple has recently released Apple Fitness +, a subscription based fitness app that’s fully integrated with the ever-expanding ecosystem of Apple platforms and devices. Featuring a variety of guided workout routines for every level, Fitness + brings the functions of the whole Apple ecosystem to bear on improving your fitness. It takes advantage of the Health app on the iPhone and the biometrics of the Apple Watch for what is a solid, if somewhat niche, fitness app.
The core of Fitness + is the set of different workout routines led by world-class instructors for a whole range of exercises. You can do strength training, yoga, core. For now, it is fairly limited with 9 types of workouts offered by 21 different instructors. The workouts are pre-recorded and then uploaded weekly on Monday, so the library of workouts is only going to grow.
The instructors are all good, and there seems to be a good enough variety to find one that you connect with well. The fact that everything is pre-recorded means you do miss out on individualized feedback. But overall, the instructors do a great job keeping you engaged and pushing yourself.
Fitness + excels in the areas of accessibility and usability. It’s really easy to set up. You can stream it to your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. With the iPhone you can even do your workouts outside. It also doesn’t require a whole lot of gear to use. All you need is an exercise mat and some dumbbells. The programs start with a Beginner Level, which is great if you want to try something new. All the workouts come with curated playlists too on Apple Music.
Thanks to the complete integration with Apple Watch, you can see your heart-rate and other biometrics live on the screen as you work out. Being able to see your heart-rate go up and down really helps boost your engagement in the work out and inspires you to push yourself beyond your usual comfort zone.
When it comes to Fitness +, it comes down to how invested you are in the whole suite of Apple devices. You need to have an Apple Watch to get Fitness +, and you should also have an iPhone too, and of course an Apple TV. Is Fitness + alone reason enough to buy an Apple Watch? No. Not really. There are simply too many other good fitness apps out there that don’t require you to have an Apple Watch. If you’re on the fence about it, new Apple Watch purchases do include several free months of Fitness +.
But if you are already heavily invested in Apple, it really is a great fitness app and well worth the subscription, especially as the library of instructors and workouts is only going to grow.
Apple Fitness + is available for purchase here.