Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonalds vs. Burger King and now, Peloton vs. Apple Fitness+! The ultimate battle of the fitness apps. Peloton is the undoubtedly the leader in the at-home spin movement and has a several year head start which was only bolstered by the pandemic. Its instructors are now celebrities with their own clothing lines and a massive social media following. If you have been following my blog, you know that while I cannot afford a Peloton bike (I started with a Sunny and after a couple of years upgraded to a Keiser M3i) I am a HUGE fan of the Peloton App – spin, cardio, HIIT, yoga – the classes are all exceptional.
But now Apple Fitness+ is in town with guns blazing! Apple Fitness+ is Apple’s new fitness app powered by Apple Watch (it doesn’t work without the watch). I thought it would be helpful if I provided a comparison between the two based on my early experiences.
Peloton vs. Apple Fitness+
The Battle of the Fitness Apps
As you know, I am a diehard Peloton App fanatic; however, I am really excited about the new Apple Fitness+ App (I even created a dedicated Facebook Group to supplement the community discussion here: Apple Fitness+ App Community. Please come join!!!)
Cost of the Apple Fitness+ and Peloton Apps
- Apple Fitness+ costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year (so about a $40 savings with the annual).
- Peloton App costs $12.99 per month (or $39 per month if you own the Peloton bike).
Winner: Apple has a slight edge when strictly speaking economics. Both offer free trials.
Number of Classes
- Apple Fitness+. Hundreds of classes (its new)
- Peloton. Thousands of classes (it has been around a while).
Winner: Peloton has been around for years and has a deeper catalogue of classes, including some of the themed rides that people like (I find them hit or miss).
Variety of Classes
- Apple Fitness+. Much like Peloton, Apple Fitness+ has the following types of classes: Cycling, Treadmill, HIIT, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Cooldown and will also have Rowing (which Peloton doesn’t yet have).
- Peloton. See above.
Winner: It’s a close tie. While Peloton has MORE classes, they both have similar categories and Apple Fitness+ has rowing!
Instructors and Class Quality
- Apple Fitness+. While some of the earlier Apple classes seemed a bit scripted (I chalk that up to the launch), I absolutely love some of the instructors like Kym and Sherika for spinning or Greg for Core. I also really like Sherica’s Upbeat Anthem rides.
- Peloton. Yes, the instructors motivate and the classes are intense. I have my favorites. Some of the instructors even have a cult like following BUT they are still getting a little preachy during the rides telling me how to “live my best life”, rattling off so many “shout outs”, etc. that I find it distracting.
Winner: Peloton for now but I think Apple Fitness+ will soon be on par. The quality varies per instructor across both platforms. The production values are high for both. And in particular, I like that there are no distracting shoutouts with Apple Fitness+.
- Apple Fitness+. AF+ doesn’t have any theme rides just yet like “Prince” or “Whitney Houston” it seems as they they have a deeper music catalog. I took a 90’s Hip Hop ride the other day and I heard some songs I have never heard on Peloton. Apple Fitness+ must be able to rely on Apple Music.
- Peloton. Great music but many classes have been removed due to copyright infringement claims.
Winner: Its a close one but I think Apple Fitness+ wins when talking straight music.
- Apple Fitness+ requires the use of an Apple Watch to stream on your Apple TV, iPhone or iPad you absolutely require an Apple Watch to participate in the classes (you can view what’s available without the watch but what’s the point?). The Apple Watch can be used to track your data such as calories, heart rate, workout time, and more. The integration with the Apple Watch is pretty neat – I like having all of the relevant stats on the TV, especially the countdown timer for intervals. Also, while cadence was called out (but not resistance) my cadence was not displayed on the television. I tried via both my Keiser M3i and Wachoo cadence sensor. Perhaps they will incorporate this later. I do find it intensely motivating that the amount of hard work is right there. I also like the “Burn Bar” which helps you see where you compare to others that have taken the class (I don’t know how accurate it is but its a nice motivating feature).
- Peloton App. As long as you download the Peloton App, you can view the classes virtually anywhere without the need to buy an expensive watch. You can watch it on your Apple TV, iPad or iPhone. Of course, Peloton wants you to buy one of their uber expensive bikes or treads but it is not required to access the classes on the Peloton App. Also, the integration of the cadence sensor is a winner.
Winner: Peloton as you do not need to purchase a watch to enjoy. Of course, if you want to spin, row, run or use weights you will need one of the following:
- A Spin Bike! 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 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).
- A Treadmill! We don’t own a treadmill as we prefer the outdoors but had considered at one point on buying an inexpensive treadmill like this Sunny Health & Fitness tread (to match our Sunny bike).
- A Rower! I can’t say I know much about rowing other than I think its a great workout. We’ve been patiently waiting for Peloton to release its rower (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 it! A couple of my close friends are really into rowing and have this Concept 2 Rower at home. This will be my next big purchase!
- Weights! You need weights for the strength classes? I started with these light weights and supplemented over the years with heavier dumbbells (10, 15 and 20 pounds). My husband bought the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells that go up to 52.5 pounds. Too much for me but he really enjoys them. Then the maniac bought this Bowflex Kettle Ball.
I think Apple Fitness+ has great potential once their catalog expands a bit and work out the kinks but for now Peloton with its deeper catalogue and seasoned instructors take the lead.
Please follow my Apple Fitness+ Facebook Page!
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