Road Test: I Tried Fitness+, Apple’s New Fitness Streaming Service

I’m also not a huge fan of the “calories burned” metric. If metrics aren’t your thing, you can toggle them off, but there’s only a single on/off; you can’t pick and choose which metrics you want displayed. (My ideal scenario would be to just toggle off “calories burned.”)

One note: I noticed that I could access the workout videos in the app without my watch being connected, so I reached out for clarification. A spokesperson said that a watch is required to complete set up (something I wasn’t able to test, since the devices I used came with Fitness+ already set up); after that, you’re able to access the workouts even if your watch is unavailable, like if it’s charging. 

Despite a lack of levels, there is a section that’s actually for beginners.

As a certified trainer, one of my most common gripes about home workout products is that they tend to be too advanced for folks who are just getting started (yes, even the ones that say they have beginner workouts).

Apple Fitness+ is way more helpful—and I think they really nailed this. There are seven absolute beginner routines, including strength training, beginner yoga, and more. The absolute-beginner strength-training video I watched utilized a chair and incorporated slow, focused directions for squats, a modified push-up, and supported reverse lunges using the chair for balance.

There are also Getting Started videos for rowing, cycling, and treadmill workouts. Navigate to the rowing tab and you’ll see Getting Started right at the top. Tap that to watch a roughly seven-minute video where the instructor, Josh Crosby (a former world champion with the U.S. National Rowing Team) walks you through the fundamentals of rowing.

Having said that, as someone who works out like it’s my job (because it is), I would love to see progressive training programs incorporated (something I only imagine Apple is planning for the future). Think: a strength and cardio program to coach you to your first 5K or a faster half-marathon.

Similarly, the workouts seem to cap out at 45 minutes, and there are several 10- and 20-minute options, so if you’re looking to get in a full hour of working out, you may end up stacking a few workouts back to back (that’s what I did while testing). That’s fine, but it requires a bit more forethought and planning on your part. Going forward, I would likely incorporate Fitness+ by maybe going for a run on my own, and then doing a 20-minute strength routine on the app.

Apple Fitness+ is relatively affordable, and your whole household can use it.

Compared to other premium at-home fitness programs, Fitness+ is pretty affordable. The subscription is $ 10 per month, or $ 80 per year, and if you buy a new Apple Watch, you’ll get a three-month subscription included. Up to six people can share an Apple Fitness+ account, which is great if you and your partner (or roommates) are all interested in trying it out and getting those customized recommendations.

But there is what I’ll call an initial investment. You have to have an Apple device—an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to stream, as well as an Apple Watch. Currently, an Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $ 400 and the latest iPhone starts at $ 1,000. Then again, I’m guessing if you’re interested in Apple Fitness+ it’s because you already have an Apple device somewhere in your house.

Bottom line: I still think this is a great value, especially if you already have an Apple Watch. Ten dollars per month gets you an expanding library of workouts that you can do at home or at a gym (when you feel comfortable going back), and it’s easy for other household members to share the account without added cost.

Apple Fitness+ opens up a world of workouts that you might otherwise have to download from multiple places. And if you’re already living in the Apple universe, with Apple devices at home, subscribing to Fitness+ is a great value. I’m hopeful that there will be more progressive training programs and sorting options in the app in the future, but I’m pretty psyched at how seamlessly my workout information integrates onto the watch and keeps all of my fitness and health activity tracked in a single place.

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ offers a wide variety of fitness classes, at varying degrees of difficulty, at a low monthly cost. The experience is designed to pair with your Apple Watch and you can stream the high-quality classes from any of your Apple devices.

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