Over the past nine months in quarantine, I feel like I’ve become an expert in testing out various workout streaming services and becoming somewhat of a connoisseur in this category. I usually have high expectations when it comes to online workouts so I set the bar fairly high when I learned that I would be testing out Apple’s new fitness app, called Apple Fitness+.
Fitness+ doesn’t offer live classes but it does have an extensive library of nine different types of workouts in the categories of HIIT, yoga, core, strength, treadmill, cycling, rowing, dance, and mindful cool downs led by over 20 energetic trainers from all over the world.
2020 has been the year of online workouts considering most gyms across the country have closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s no surprise that Apple joined the streaming bandwagon. If you’re considering trying Fitness+, you must first have the required Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
Cheaper than most gym memberships, Fitness+ allows you to follow along to quality workouts for $9.99 a month (or $79.99 a year) for use of up to five family members. Of course, if you’re interested in testing out the app before committing to a monthly fee, you can take advantage of a free month trial.
To get the full experience, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to use the app on various Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. I took full advantage of testing out different workouts throughout the week to really get a feel for the app and all that it has to offer.
In addition to trying out this coveted app, I made it a point to set out some goals for myself which included monitoring my heart rate during each workout and learn where to push myself where needed. I also wanted to step out of my fitness comfort zone, considering I’ve been a bit bored and unmotivated with my current cardio/strength training routine. Another goal I had for myself while using the Fitness+ was to increase my cardio and stamina so I wouldn’t get as tired as easily.
I kicked off my week bright and early with a 10-minute HIIT workout paired with a 20-minute strength workout using the iPad. I loved how seamlessly the watch and iPad synched up and within seconds of choosing my first day’s workout, I was already seeing my heart rate, calorie burn, and how many minutes were left in the workout. Today’s strength workout consisted of a hip/hop R&B playlist which I loved! In my opinion, a killer playlist is crucial when it comes to motivating myself and giving a workout my all. Apple did not disappoint in the music area of Apple Fitness+.
As the week went on I tried my best to use a different approach when it came to my daily workouts as I found myself resorting back to my old creature of habit ways and staying within just the strength category. Another day this week, I did a 20 minute HIIT class combined with a dance workout, which I surprisingly loved. Considering I haven’t been out dancing in forever, it felt really good to bop around to some Drake and I loved the trainer’s dance moves. This was a cardio heavy day and although these heart-pumping workouts would normally be two that I dreaded, the trainers, music, and overall vibe of the classes kept it fun and enjoyable for me.
It’s hard to find interactive streaming workouts that aren’t live classes, but luckily, Fitness+ is one of the most interactive workout apps I’ve experienced and I think that’s something that really sets the app apart from other services. One of the interactive components is the metrics that appear onscreen. Along with your heart rate metics that appear on the left side of the screen, there’s also a countdown clock for intervals and pushes. On the right side of the screen is where your activity rings live.
Having the metrics on the screen was really convenient as I was able to focus on the screen and not get distracted looking down at my watch to see how I was doing. There’s also a bar on the screen that shows how your rate rate during that specific workout compares to others who have done the same workout. I’m competitive by nature so this was something that really made me step out of my comfort zone and push myself, two things I was hoping to achieve from trying Fitness+. When an instructor told me to kick it up a notch and raise my heart rate, you bet I did.
Although I am a fitness lover who is typically very active throughout the week, I appreciated the “For Beginners” section on the app. I skimmed through this section to see what it was about and learned that it gives users an overview of the app, it offers modifications during each workout and as a whole, the classes in this section move at a slower pace, compared to the other offerings on the app.
I’m very picky when it comes to fitness trainers and I genuinely enjoyed the charismatic faces on Fitness+. Each trainer brought their own fun energy and personality to the workout. I personally loved Sam’s strength workouts because her playlists were awesome and she was really fun to follow. I also loved Greg’s workouts as I found that he motivated me to lift heavier weights than I normally would.
One minor thing that disappointed me about the app was that I wasn’t able to pick out workouts that targeted specific body parts. I typically like to divide up my workouts by working my upper body one day, while doing my legs, core, and cardio on other days. I found the strength workouts to mainly be full-body workouts which was tough when I was craving a leg workout to give my sore arms a break. However, I did appreciate the core section of the app where I could easily add on a 10-minute core exercise to a HIIT or dance workout.
Overall, I was really pleased with Fitness+ and it definitely met my expectations. If you’re someone who already owns the required Apple devices to use Fitness+ and is looking to challenge yourself, have a variety of workouts at your disposal, and keep things interesting with your fitness regimen, I would definitely recommend trying Apple’s latest app.