My test: Apple Fitness+ is great - but why?

apple fitness plus featured image

I just started the Apple Fitness+ free trial a few days ago to see if Apple's fitness offering is for me. As far as I know, you get this trial period with every new Apple Watch and every new iPhone or iPad.

Now that I've been using Apple's fitness app for a few days, I've made my decision: For me, Apple Fitness+ is the best fitness app and therefore my pick of the week. And yes, I will happily pay for it when my trial period is up.

Very good integration into the Apple ecosystem

Well, probably nobody expected anything else here, but it's still great that you can use the app on the iPad, Apple TV or iPhone and all training sessions are synchronized directly with the Health app.

The integration is also super practical when training. For example, if you have selected and started a workout on the iPad, a play button will appear on the Apple Watch. As soon as you tap it, a 3-second countdown starts and the video on the iPad starts.

If the postman sounds during training, you can also pause Fitness+ with a short press on the AirPods - it couldn't be more practical.

Apple Fitness+ requires the Apple Watch and either an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Photo: Apple.
Apple Fitness+ requires the Apple Watch and either an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Photo: Apple.

During the workout, the three rings, heart rate, and calories burned appear at the top of the video. This is something only Apple can do with their system.

By the way, with many training sessions you will also find a small bar that shows how your own calorie consumption in this training session compares to the average of other users. Under certain circumstances, this can spur you on to step on the gas a little more.

Trainers aren't your typical, perfect guys

In many fitness apps, you can always find young, well-trained sports models in the videos. In yoga, it's always slim women who demonstrate things that you can hardly imitate yourself.

There are quite a few trainers at Apple Fitness+, and many are fit and lean, but there are also trainers who would be described as "strong women." I would describe everyone as good-looking, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I'm just happy about the diversity among the trainers.

There is also a trainer who has a leg prosthesis and there are also yoga trainers who sometimes lose their balance during the exercise and take it with humor. Of course, Apple could have cut out such things without any problems, because even as a layman you can see very quickly that the video production cost a lot of money.

But Apple deliberately left that slip in and of course consciously chose the trainers they chose. I think the decision is great, because it's incredibly motivating when you don't have the usual "perfect" people in front of you, but "normal" people demonstrating the exercises.

Here you can see the three trainers who carry out the exercises with different levels of difficulty.
Here you can see the three trainers who carry out the exercises with different levels of difficulty.

Three trainers for different performance levels

If you look at the first workout in the app, you'll notice that there are a total of three trainers on the screen. In the middle is the "main trainer", who also leads through the training.

On the left you can see a trainer doing the exercise in a weakened form. For example, if you don't have enough strength or you're just too tired to do the exercise "normally", you can see how you can do it in an easier version here.

On the other hand, on the right side is the form of the exercise that is "heavier" than the normal exercise. If you feel underchallenged, you can see how it can be made more strenuous here.

Of course, this division does not exist in yoga or during cool-down, but only in these training sessions, which also allow for a gradation.

You can use the various filters to choose the training sessions for which you have the right equipment and the right time - a very practical solution.
You can use the various filters to choose the training sessions for which you have the right equipment and the right time - a very practical solution.

Insane selection, handy filters

In the app you can choose between many different types of training and use filters to display only those training sessions for which you have enough time or the appropriate equipment.

There are these types of training:

  • Kickboxing
  • Meditation
  • HIIT
  • Yoga
  • Core
  • Strength training
  • Pilates
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • treadmill
  • Rudern
  • Mindful cool down

Once you have decided on one of these types of training, you will find a very long list of training videos... for yoga alone there must be hundreds, because you can scroll for a long time before you reach the end (see the size of the scroll bar in the screenshot!).

Here you can only see the yoga videos. You can use the scroll bar to guess how many videos you can find here.
Here you can only see the yoga videos. You can use the scroll bar to guess how many videos you can find here.

With a filter you can then filter for these things:

  • Trainer (if you have a favorite trainer)
  • Time: 5, 10, 20, 30, 45 minutes
  • music genre
  • Equipment: fitness band, treadmill, rowing machine, dumbbells, mat, yoga mat, indoor cycle, no equipment
  • Body focus: whole body, lower body, upper body

You can quickly create a suitable list in which you can see training sessions that have already been completed with a tick and those that have not yet been completed without a tick.

The sheer variety of trainers and videos wouldn't be half as great if they didn't also all do their own style and different types of workouts.

Every trainer has something new to offer in some way, so I'm always happy when I can choose different types of training and trainers. Who knew I would enjoy Pilates? I certainly don't. 😊 But that's the way it is...

I've already done a number of cool-downs with Molly, but as you can see: she's not the typical 20-year-old yoga model, but a likeable woman who is easily over 30 years old (Photo: Apple).
I've already done a number of cool-downs with Molly, but as you can see: she's not the typical 20-year-old yoga model, but a likeable woman who is easily over 30 years old (Photo: Apple).

Why I'm hooked on Apple Fitness+

Apple has clearly won me over as a permanent customer. The reason for this is that the app allows me to quickly choose a 10-minute workout. Since I only have dumbbells at the moment, I often just give "mat" or "mat and dumbbells" as the device and I've already found something suitable to do a quick workout in between.

After a workout, the app always suggests a "mindful cool down," which I like to do as well (a 5-minute cool-down) and I've improved a bit of flexibility, strength, and conditioning without really losing much from the day .

I used to use an app for body weight training, but each workout took at least 25 minutes plus a 10-minute cool-down. That's a commitment that you can't throw in every once in a while.

Thanks to the 10-minute training sessions, I'm usually there in the mornings and evenings and afterwards - despite the brevity - I'm in a great mood and have the positive feeling that I've done something for my body.

Even if the iPhone would not be my first choice due to the small display: You can theoretically use it to do your Fitness+ training on the go (photo: Apple).
Even if the iPhone would not be my first choice due to the small display: You can theoretically use it to do your Fitness+ training on the go (photo: Apple).

Apple Fitness+ is the fitness app for normal people

The other point is that Apple Fitness+ is for everyone. For fat, thin, sporty, unsportsmanlike, flexible and non-flexible people. And you don't have to buy expensive accessories either, as is the case with Peloton. A simple gymnastics mat is enough and you can do strength exercises, Pilates, yoga, meditation and much more.

And the whole thing even works in the forest, on the beach, in the hobby room, in the garage or in the living room. Apple has put a lot of effort into developing a fitness app that really allows everyone to do sports in their own personal frame.

The exercises are easy to understand, but still super varied. I've been through quite a few fitness apps, but the Apple Fitness+ workouts always come up with good exercises that I've never seen anywhere else before.

There are numerous training sessions with music by selected artists. That's an advantage Apple can leverage with Apple Music.
There are numerous training sessions with music by selected artists. That's an advantage Apple can leverage with Apple Music.

Special features: Collections and artists

A special feature of Fitness+ is that you get music as Apple Music to accompany the training. The music is preselected, but it's not just any license-free tinkering, it's music by well-known artists.

There are also special training sessions that only contain music from a specific artist. For example, here you can find four workouts with music by Prince. Not the masses, but if you think a certain artist is great, you might like these trainings.

The collections, on the other hand, are to be understood as courses that run over a fixed period of time. In the Collection you will then find training sessions for each week that you should complete. With the collection "In 4 HIIT weeks to more endurance" you have three training sessions per week that run between 10 and 20 minutes. These are specifications that you can also create as a beginner.

The 4-Week HIIT Collection is just one of many to choose from.
The 4-Week HIIT Collection is just one of many to choose from.

The price – actually laughable…

I pay Apple Fitness+ in a monthly subscription (when my test period has expired) with 9,99 euros. This also includes the fact that everyone in our Apple family can use the app with their own account.

So theoretically we can train 5 people with it, which is really nothing when you compare this cost with other fitness apps. But even if you use Apple Fitness+ alone, I find the tenner a month a cheap price. If you book directly for a year, you get the subscription even cheaper:

Apple Fitness+ 3 months free: Buy an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Apple TV and Apple Fitness+ is three months free for new subscribers. After that, it costs €9,99/month or €79,99/year. Share Apple Fitness+ with up to five family members. (Source: Apple)

New videos are constantly being added and you can see that the production is of very high quality. The huge selection of already existing trainings is also a reason why I find the monthly price rather smiling.

Apple Fitness+ vs Gym

In YouTube videos, people often wondered which they like better: gym or Apple Fitness+. But that doesn't make any sense to me because it's like comparing a truck to a sports car. Sure, both get you from A to B, but the target group is completely different.

While the benefit for me is that I can work out nicely at home with Apple Fitness+, people tend to go to the gym to work out with people or to spend a long time there. As a rule, you have more and better equipment in the studio and you do exactly what you have planned to do.

Gym or Apple Fitness+? You have to find out for yourself what is best for you.
Gym or Apple Fitness+? You have to find out for yourself what is best for you.

For me, Apple Fitness+ is better for the following reasons (but this is entirely subjective):

  • I have no other people around me
  • it's not annoying music playing for everyone
  • I can train for 10 or 15 minutes in the home office and then get back to work
  • the training sessions are guided and each time something new because I don't know exactly which exercises are coming
  • the 10 euros are easier to get over than the 30 to 40 euros for a membership in the studio, which is often concluded for a year or two

However, I still think that for some people, going to the gym will be a better choice. For example, if you want to train bench press, you won’t find any training for it in Apple Fitness+. There is also no training for barbells and the like.

Likewise, there is no way in Apple Fitness+ to ask if you are doing an exercise correctly. Especially with strength exercises, it can be important to avoid injuries. Personal advice is therefore an advantage that only the gym can offer.

Anyone who likes to do training with several "sequences" will find the right tool with the programs and collections.
Those who like to do training sessions with several "sequences" will find the right tool with the programs and collections.

My “criticism” and wish list

I can't really criticize anything about Apple Fitness+. It's more about points that might annoy other people or that could be improved in the app:

  • The training courses are only available in English. If you don't understand English, you can still see how the trainers do the exercises.
  • There is no classification for "sportiness". You can't tell by looking at a workout whether it's designed for professionals or beginners. However, everything I've seen so far is doable for beginners if you do the "easier version" of the exercise.
  • There is no tutorial in the app. Due to the amount of exercises and filters, it may be a bit opaque for people who are completely new to tablets or smartphones.
  • It would be great if you could configure quick workouts. For example, a button that automatically starts a 10-minute strength training session, for which I only need a mat and which is from trainer XY. Currently you always have to filter it yourself.
  • "Defaults" would be good in the profile. For example, I only have a mat and dumbbells and will not get a rowing machine. So you could definitely save that I only have these two devices. That would again save some time in choosing the workout.
The videos and explanations make it really easy to understand how an exercise should be performed.
The videos and explanations make it really easy to understand how an exercise should be performed.

My conclusion

You've probably already noticed: I'm excited about the app and I'm happy that after several months with my new Apple Watch I finally took the opportunity to look at Apple Fitness+.

In hindsight I should have done it a lot sooner, because as a screen worker you should without question do a little something for your body here and there.

I find the "imperfection" of the trainers super-sympathetic and the amount of training always invites you to try something new. My first dance training is still to come, but I've already made a fool of myself with kickboxing. 😊

If you feel like exercising but don't want to overdo it, Apple Fitness+ is a great place to start. But don't worry, if you're fired up, a 45-minute HIIT workout can get even the most fit of athletes down. Everyone is taken care of!

Questions about Apple Fitness+?

If you have any questions that I haven't addressed in this article, feel free to leave them here as a comment. I try to answer everything so everything is clear. I also had a lot of question marks in my head at first, but a lot will be answered if you just try Apple Fitness+. If you have a trial period available, I highly recommend taking advantage of that.

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

2 comments on "My test: Apple Fitness+ is great - but why?"

  1. Hi,
    two additions:
    You can only do the “buy an iPhone, watch, etc” once, not per new device.

    You can currently get 3 months of Fitness+ for free via Saturn/Mediamarkt (not with a current subscription! Code is valid until August 25th): https://www.mediamarkt.de/de/specials/appleservices

    There is only one trick to get the annual subscription: display the subscription details and then select the “Show all subscriptions” option. Here (and only here) Apple offers the discounted annual access to Apple Fitness+.

    Regards,
    jonas

    1. Hi Jonas! Thank you for your tips. They were very helpful. However, instead of the annual subscription for Fitness+, I directly booked the Apple One Premium subscription. Then Fitness+ is included. But good tip, because I didn't know where to book the annual subscription!

Post a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked

In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.