Are you ready for Apple Fitness+?!?!? Rumor has it that it is launching this week! You know that I love the Peloton App but I am always excited for new content, instructors, platforms and to try new things. I am sure the folks at Peloton, BeachBody, Les Mills, etc. are a bit nervous about Apple getting into fitness game, although Peloton has such a strong lead. But all the competition will only be a good thing – a rising tide lifts all boats…
Here is everything that you need to know…
What is Apple Fitness+?
Per Apple, Apple Fitness+ is a new fitness program powered by Apple Watch. You can choose from a catalog of workouts led by expert trainers. Much like Peloton, Apple Fitness+ will have the following classes: Cycling, Treadmill, HIIT, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Cooldown and will also have Rowing (which Peloton doesn’t yet have)!!
It connects to your Apple Watch to record your heart rate, pace and calories burned during whatever class you take, and show you those metrics in real time on whatever screen you are using – TV, iPad, iPhone. It’s like your Apple Watch is on the screen.
Like the Peloton App, Fitness+ doesn’t need to connect to any specific machines – you don’t need to buy an Apple Bike or Apple Treadmill (note, those things do not exist!). You can use the Fitness+ App at home, at the gym, outside, etc. And of course, some classes do not require any equipment at all.
How Much Does it Cost?
Subscriptions will cost $9.99/mo. ($3 less than the Peloton App) or $79.99/year if you want to pay up front and save a bit. The first month appears to be a free and you can share your subscription with 5 other family members. Apple is also promoting a deal where if you buy an Apple Watch you get 3 months free.
What is Needed?
Fitness+ is designed to work with the Apple Watch, but workouts can be done on iPhone and iPad without a watch. There is no option to do workouts on Apple TV without a synced watch.
So first, you need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later (with watch OS 7 or later).
What Else Do You Need?
Ok, that is what is required to use Fitness+. Now for the full Apple Fitness+ experience, you’ll want to consider picking up a few of these items as well. With that said, the beauty of the Fitness+ App is that you don’t necessarily need any equipment – you can subscribe without a bike or other equipment (just like the Peloton App without the bike). For example, no equipment is necessary for HIIT, Yoga, Core, Stretch, Dance or Cooldown type classes. Read on for thoughts on bikes, treadmills, rowers, weights, yoga mats, etc.
Are you going to be taking spin classes at home? Well, for that you will need your own bike! Nothing beats going to a store or studio and trying a bike to see how it fits – some feel better for different sizes and shapes but during these ‘unprecedented times’ that may not be an easy (or safe) thing to do.
As I have talked about over the years in my various posts, I started my Peloton journey with the Sunny Bike B1509. The Sunny would be a great bike for the Apple Fitness+ especially if you are just dipping your toe back into exercise or are on a budget.There are many models of Sunny bikes out there but this one is my pride and joy. After logging my 525th ride I gave it to a friend and upgraded to the Keiser M3i. One of the reason I continued with a non-Peloton bike is exactly for reasons like Apple Fitness+ – I wanted choice and didn’t want to be stuck with a screen that only displayed Peloton (as much as I love it).
The Sunny is a very sturdy starter exercise bike and has “dual access” pedals meaning that you do not need to buy special clip on shoes. You can use your regular sneakers and slip them into the cages on the pedal as you would at the gym. But if you want to use clip-in-shoes, you can just use the other side of the pedal. This one had everything I needed and wasn’t disappointed. I just wanted to get a good work out hard without spending a lot of money. If I had to do it all over again I probably would have purchased the Sunny 1805 with built in tablet holder.
I’ve written a post that includes comparisons of 40 or so different spin bikes. Here it is: Ultimate List of Spin Bikes to Use at Home with the Peloton App (maybe its time for me to update the title now that Apple Fitness+ is in town!!)
Now, assuming Fitness+ classes will follow a similar model where instructors yell out what cadence you should be following (how fast you should be pedaling), you will need a cadence sensor. For my Sunny, I used a combination Wahoo cadence sensor and speed sensor and downloaded the free Wahoo app to my iPhone to monitor my cadence. You could also just buy the Wahoo cadence sensor without the speed sensor for a little bit cheaper. Measuring resistance is a whole different story and I have written a blog post about that: How to Measure Resistance with the Peloton App. I’ll update this post once Fitness+ launches and I can see how it all works.
(FYI – I may earn a small commission if you buy any of these items I link to.)
We don’t own a treadmill just yet but at one point were laser focused on purchasing an inexpensive treadmill like this Sunny Health & Fitness tread (to match our Sunny bike). If you interested in running and walking, it looks like the Apple Fitness+ will have loads of options. The only reason we didn’t pull the trigger was because we decided running and walking is much more fun outside.
We’ve been patiently waiting for Peloton to release its rower and at home rowing classes after it acquired Tonic Fitness Technology. I wrote a big post about it about a year ago: Peloton Rower; Using the App with Your Own Rowing Machine. Looks like Apple beat them to the punch!
I love, love, love rowing. A couple of my close friends are really into rowing and have this Concept 2 Rower at home. I’ve tried it out and its perfect, although a bit on the pricey side. This will be my next big purchase!
Are you going to be taking any of the strength classes? If so, you’ll need some weights. I originally bought these light weights because some of Peloton classes included awesome arm and shoulder workouts that require light weights. I supplemented over the years with heavier dumbbells (10, 15 and 20 pounds) to use with all the off the bike classes they eventually added and my husband bought the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells that go up to 52.5 pounds. A bit bulky for me but he really enjoys them. And THEN he bought the Bowflex Adjustable Kettle Bell that is great for kettlebell swings. I’ve used this and its great that you andust the weight but I nearly threw out my back the first time I used it.
Will you need help assembling your tread, rower or bike? Will you be able to carry it into your house or apartment (up the stairs, in the elevator)? If not, consider Amazon Home Services to have it carried in and assembled. And if there is any damage to the machine during shipping, you won’t have to deal with repacking it!
I am having so much fun working out with my disco ball. It is a BLAST! I turn off the lights, crank up the music and turn on the disco ball – the pattern of the lights change to the beat of the music. Another great thing about Fitness+ is that if you have an Apple Music subscription, you can save and download the music playlist used in any of your workout classes. The disco ball is small, sits in the corner and has a small remote control. Here I am in action!
If you take yoga classes, you will need a yoga mat. This is the one that I have.
A funny one but I needed somewhere to put my light weights when cycling at home, my towel, my iPad when I used to mirror the classes, etc. so I picked up this little cart. Anything will work but this had wheels and shelves = good enough for me! This would also work well next to your treadmill.
Bike Seat. Ouch. My gluteus maximus (my bum) hurt once I started spinning at home so I bought two seat cushions (a His & Hers for hygiene reasons). I started off with one set and then upgraded to this cushion.
For the longest time I used my regular old sneakers with my Sunny but once I bought my Keiser M3i I purchased these Shimanos. The difference in my workouts is dramatic.
I suggest some wireless Plantronics headphones if you can’t crank it up.
I highlight recommend these equipment wipes for your equipment. These work great. If you are going to get anything, get these – trust me.Well, that is all I can think of at the moment but will add to the post after launch. I am so looking forward to the launch of Apple Fitness+! I’ll update my post after it launches and I give it a whirl.
And remember, please join my Apple Fitness+ App Community Facebook Group!
Happy exercising everyone!
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