We used Apple Fitness Plus for two months. Here’s what you need to know

[Music] apple fitness plus it’s the 10 bucks a month subscription service with a bunch of exercise videos that integrate with and actually require your apple watch and you probably know it’s been out for a few months now but a bunch of us at the verge have been using it for a couple of months to review it okay so i’m about to do my first apple fitness plus workout this is gonna be my first ever experience with apple fitness plus we’ve been totally absolutely being really really good at daily exercise and closing those rings with a subscription service that we totally pay for every month making uh making it worth our money yup uh speak for yourself i took it pretty seriously yes yes we did actually try i took it kinda seriously look i’ve never exercised regularly in my entire life i’ve never held onto a gym membership for more than a year i mean i’m not a total slug but i’m slug adjacent so i wanted to know if fitness plus could turn that around for me and we’ll get to that but first i think it’s more important to hear from people who actually do exercise on a regular basis and who can compare apple fitness plus to other similar services apple fitness plus has a bunch of different pre-recorded exercise videos with three trainers in each of them two of them are offering accommodations on the main exercise these videos can vary in length from 10 minutes to up to 45 minutes it also has integration with apple music so you can listen to real actual music that you actually want to listen to while you’re working out now there are a few different categories of exercise there’s hit and yoga and core and dance and this thing called mindful cool down which is basically just stretching with meditation but there are also exercise videos that require you to have specific equipment so you might need dumbbells for strength there’s cycling there’s treadmill and there’s also rowing there’s one more piece of equipment that is absolutely required for all of the videos an apple watch and then also something to watch the videos on so that would be an iphone an ipad an apple tv or you can stream it to your tv via airplay sometimes with reviews the only important question is is it good and for what it is yeah apple fitness plus is pretty good so for this review i think a better question is who is it good for [Music] so right off the bat i loved using apple fitness plus for someone who’s already plugged into the apple ecosystem and is just getting started out with fitness i think it’s a great program so i started using a peloton bike last year i haven’t loved peloton but it’s the closest i can get to my pre-coveted fitness classes on paper the cardio offerings from peloton and fitness plus look pretty similar in both programs you can choose classes with different lengths playlists and levels of intensity there’s a variety of instructors although not as many as peloton and apple’s workouts have an added emphasis on mental health and general wellness in addition to physical health there’s a lot more of a like throw away your cares throw away your worries how can we be better people today attitude that you don’t see across all the peloton rides me and your fitness plus train a team let’s start to add some resistance this instructor is so excited about being on a bike ride it makes me excited but it’s newer than peloton’s program and that shows in a couple ways first there just aren’t as many teachers to choose from there are only six apple cycling instructors as of now and peloton has 23 to choose from current playlist offerings are more generic as well so with peloton i’ve done everything from hamilton rides to bon jovi rides whereas apple’s rides are still mostly like hip hip-hop or rock but the one thing that bothered me the most is that the workout lengths are more limited with peloton you can ride for up to 90 minutes apple’s cycling rides max out at 45 minutes so i often found myself stringing multiple apple workouts together to get the workout lengths that i wanted these things are all functions of apple fitness plus being fairly new and they’ll be easy to fix but some other things won’t be for example on peloton the instructors can give you an exact range to put your resistance at whereas on apple fitness plus because you know everyone’s using different bikes they can only be pretty general so easy or moderate or hard and that makes it more difficult to know whether you’re at the intensity that you’re supposed to be at okay in the cooldown now i actually loved that i thought that was so much fun the instructor was great the music was great i burnt 185 calories so you know for 20 minutes of biking that’s not bad at all um this was a lot of fun so i’m already a committed peloton user and i wasn’t willing to give up my bike time i decided to keep using the bike for my cardio workouts and then use fitness plus for my cool down and strength classes immediately i noticed apple’s choice in instructors they’re diverse and interesting and i wanted to try their classes which is a good sign i also appreciated that the strength classes offered three different levels one person demoed the regular exercise another modified it to make it accessible for anyone with injuries or needing to go easier on their bodies and the third person made the movement more advanced paluton doesn’t do this in its strength classes and i find it super frustrating especially as someone with chronic lower back pain and like others have mentioned i really appreciated the deep integration with the apple watch even if it’s super apple-like behavior to make it mandatory i did however like having my rings as a constant reminder in the corner of the screen it motivated me especially considering that when i use my peloton my heart rate only shows up on the screen and nothing else otherwise though apple fitness plus didn’t hook me i like to strength train specific parts of my body usually my arms because the bike works my lower body the app doesn’t allow you to filter by workout type so to find an upper body strength class i had to read through all the strength class descriptions filters feel like they should be table stakes for a fitness app and here’s another potential barrier to entry i don’t own an ipad or an apple tv so i had to stream my workouts from my phone which was terrible the screen is small and especially terrible when switching from peloton’s behemoth bike display to my iphone 11 pro i don’t understand why apple wouldn’t make fitness plus available through a macbook how many apple products do i need to make this program work well as for the classes themselves they were fine i didn’t love or hate them the strength classes were about what you’d expect from any strength class and the cooldowns were a little bit different in that they incorporated mindfulness into them which i liked but might be annoying if you want to just do your stretches and get in and out [Music] working out in one space has always been a struggle for me i just get bored and uninterested when i’m not actively going somewhere or physically achieving something that’s why i usually get my workouts on my bike taking loops up in the park or slack landing behind some trees or going for a jog so the at-home workouts within apple fitness plus well they weren’t really of interest to me that is until a few weeks ago though when apple rolled out the time to walk feature within apple fitness plus that’s something in theory i could get behind time to walk pairs inspirational monologues music and photos from famous musicians athletes notable people with apple watches exercise tracking to create a more engaging way to take a walk now there are only a couple of differences between time to walk and a more traditional podcast most notably about twice an episode your watch will buzz and a photo will appear on your watch that relates to what the host is talking about it’s cool it’s not game changing and then secondly the hosts are either also on a walk or they’re talking about what walking means to them and this i actually appreciate it a bit more ruby bridges has a slow calm pace you can hear as she strolls through a park in new orleans right now we are in audubon park here in new orleans well draymond green’s heavier foot on a gravel path and malibu is accompanied by the sounds of distant waves i try to go on a walk maybe once every couple weeks it’s your time to lose yourself in nature huge shout out to the audio engineers that worked on these because it really makes it sound like you’re walking next to somebody or in a different place entirely now my big issues with apple fitness plus at large is just needing to be in the apple ecosystem and this definitely affects time to walk because if you’re not using apple’s headphones it’s just kind of a pain to have to manually connect your bluetooth headphones to your watch and then say you get a phone call on your iphone while you’re walking you have to manually connect your headphones to your iphone and then back to your watch when you’re done with your call to continue your walk i just found it a big pain and navigating the 40 millimeter apple watch screen to do all this is not easy either but if you can put all of that aside and maybe you’re already all within this ecosystem anyway time to walk is really a great feature and every monday a new mystery celeb shows up on your watch face and that’s something i actually started to look forward to so i went all out for this review because one thing i’ve learned in my life is that buying stuff like exercise equipment means that you’re totally gonna use it right so i got this trainer for my bike i also bought this here yoga mat and i also even bought these pants from lululemon that i am never wearing these in public these are hideous now i have to admit for an absolute beginner like me apple’s fitness plus classes are kind of right at the perfect level i can start with the really easy stuff and then i can see the slightly more difficult classes just waiting there as a kind of a goal to step up to and if what i’m doing is too difficult there’s always three different trainers on the screen one of them’s got an accommodation to make something a little bit easier if the exercise that the main trainer is showing is too tough so that’s all great but can i just say that as a gen xer the whole vibe of all these videos there’s a lot be who you want to be i’m used to jaded mtv vjs from the 90s and i really don’t like this hazy really enthusiastic but not quite religious vague spiritualism kind of mindfulness vibe you get in the cool downs it’s just i don’t love it the trainers are great and i really love the diversity that you get with all the trainers but i just kind of wish there was a way to turn the voices down and the music up i also have to admit that i’m with becca i got back into riding my bike right before the pandemic has started so during the pandemic i am super enjoying riding my bike around outside now i know that not everybody can do that you might not be able to and of course there’s probably snow on the ground and it’s too cold so i am lucky to be in california but the point to me is that everybody does eventually end up finding an exercise style that works for them hopefully i don’t feel like there’s anywhere for me to really go with fitness plus i think if i become a significantly stronger rider which i’m hoping will happen sooner rather than later it’ll be too easy but i am looking forward to see where apple fitness plus goes i’m excited to see them diversify their offerings and expand what they have i think when it’s found its footing fitness plus will be an excellent program overall fitness plus isn’t going to become my go-to fitness app because i’m a month-long peloton user i’m already in that world and possibly too far gone it’s hard for me to switch up my routine when i can get everything done through the peloton but if apple really wants to keep people like me logging on it needs to sweeten its offerings with equipment like peloton and have a larger catalog of classes to choose from i found that i only really used the time to walk feature with an apple fitness plus and that’s simply not enough to keep me subscribed to the service as a whole but it did make me think that apple could do some really cool site specific workouts like in terms of walking imagine walking through yosemite with alex honold or down broadway in new york city with fran liebowitz now that’s something i could definitely get behind and yes it might start to feel like a guided museum tour with like heart rate tracking and calorie counts but i don’t know something cool to think about as for me i’m already paying for fitness plus anyway because i’m in apple’s big bundle and you know what since i have a bad back i’m actually using the service itself more than i have ever used a gym membership i really enjoy the core exercises and you know even though i like riding my bike outside more than i like sitting on a trainer i am finding that i’m doing a little bit more of both now that fitness plus is around they’re sort of a sort of a virtuous cycle around it and it’s become a bit more of a habit for me it’s not something that i would go out and buy an apple watch just to get but fitness plus is something that makes it slightly more likely that i want to keep using this apple watch instead of switching to something else someday there is no way that apple could make a fitness service that appeals to everybody especially right out of the gate so i do think it was kind of smart to aim fitness plus at a broad beginner audience if you already have an exercise routine apple fitness plus might not be advanced enough to hold your attention yet but if you don’t exercise much well apple fitness plus is literally better than nothing hey everybody thanks so much no viren viren’s gonna do the end card yeah wait what did i do wrong like and subscribe

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