(Pocket-lint) – Apple Fitness+ launched in December 2020 as a subscription fitness experience designed around the Apple Watch, competing with the likes of FIIT and Peloton.
Part of the Apple One family of connected services but also accessible on its own, Fitness+ enables Apple users to get fit using Apple’s devices, all built with an Apple Watch in mind. We’ve got all the details you need to know about the service right here, so strap in to find out everything.
What is Apple Fitness+?
Put simply, Apple Fitness+ is a way to get workouts to complete in whatever setting you prefer, whether at a gym you visit, in your own home or outdoors, using Apple Watch to pair with visuals on an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
It gives you the studio-style experience that’s become so coveted, especially during lockdown, without any additional equipment needed. You can prop your phone up, follow along with a workout, and get personalised stat displays both on your wrist and on your display of choice in real-time.
The service has workouts you can complete on your own, as well as studio-style classes you can tune into with the cast of trainers Apple’s proudly shown off, all of whom look, well, like fitness gurus, so that’s good.
It also offers a wide range of activity types to make sure that there’s plenty to appeal to people, including Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown among others.
Finally, if you’ve got Apple Music you’ll also find integration there, letting you easily browse and save playlists geared around each workout.
What do I need for Apple Fitness+?
Apple Fitness+ is very much built with Apple Watches in mind, but won’t work with every single combination of Watches and iPhones out there. The baseline requirement is an Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with at least an iPhone 6s or later, or iPhone SE.
On the iPad side, the service will work with iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation or later), iPad mini 4 or later, iPad Air 2, or iPad Air (3rd generation), while Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD both support it.
In terms of exercise equipment, you will need to bring your own, and unlike Peleton, where you buy the bike or treadmill and sign up to the membership, Apple is expecting you to have those. In terms of exercise kit, workouts that use kit currently focus around you needing either dumb-bells, a yoga mat, an exercise bike, a rowing machine or a treadmill, although there are a number of classes that don’t need anything other than yourself.
Weekly classes and recommendations
Each class is between five and 45 minutes. New classes are added weekly across the catalogue meaning there are hundreds of different classes to get you started. When you open Fitness+, you can select the type of workout you want to do at the top, tap on Filter and then select the trainer, time and music and you’ll get a list of the workouts available.
To get you into the classes, Fitness+ will recommend classes to you based on what you’ve previously done. The Fitness+ recommendations engine suggests workouts in the times, types and trainers you typically do (looking back at the last 60 days.) Things you don’t do or can’t do won’t show up in recommendations with the exception of complimentary workouts suggested for cross-training which are clearly labeled as suggestions to balance out your routine.
And while the classes are hosted by exclusive professional trainers, there is guidance for your fitness level. For those really worried about how to start off there will be an “Absolute beginner” class so you can ease in gently.
Fitness+ and Apple Music
The app comes with a number of built-in playlists to match the exercise on screen, although you can bring in your own playlists too. For the latter, you’ll need an Apple Music subscription though.
How much does Apple Fitness+ cost?
The best things in life are rarely free, and Fitness+ is no exception – Apple’s got a premium service on its hands, here. Its standard pricing is $9.99 or £9.99 each month, although you can take out an annual membership for $79.99 or £79.99.
All new Apple Watch purchases from December 2020 on come with a three-month trial of Fitness+, letting you sample the service with your new wearable. Current Apple Watch owners can try for a month before the monthly/yearly subscription kicks in.
There’s also the Apple One system of memberships to contend with, though. Apple’s not initially offering Fitness+ as part of Apple One’s lower two tiers, but if you sign up for the Apple One Premier plan for $29.99 or £29.99 each month, you’ll get Fitness+ along with all the other memberships the tier brings.
For more details, check out our guide on Apple One.
When is Fitness+ available?
Fitness+ launched on 14 December in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US – before presumably rolling out around the world through 2021.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills and Stuart Miles. Editing by Britta O’Boyle.