Click on the Apple Fitness+ website and you’ll see some pretty bold claims. “A new fitness experience for everyone, powered by Apple Watch,” they profess. Scroll down and you’ll read another. “World-class workouts by the world’s top trainers… New workouts every week… Work out how and where you want.”
Apple certainly doesn’t do things by halves. It’s Apple, after all. They set a standard and, more often than not, they hit it. But this is a big step, even for them. Made even bigger as they are having to play catch-up in a streaming fitness video world that is already pretty crowded.
During the pandemic, fitness apps became priority number one for almost every gym and trainer. According to Apptopia, in the first half of 2020, six of the most-downloaded fitness apps featured video. On top of that, you have the connected machine options, like Mirror, Tonal, and market leader Peleton. Founded just eight years ago, it has evolved from focusing on workouts for its spin bike to today featuring a connected treadmill and streaming fitness videos. Its net worth? An estimated $30 billion. It would take a huge step to go toe-to-toe with these products.
I’ve always been a fan of Apple and the iPhone, but I’ve never really been that interested in the Watch. It’s surprising, I realise, as I’m the Digital Editor of Men’s Health. I’ve always felt the watch was a distraction that I didn’t need. I never wanted to be told how many more steps I needed to take, that I haven’t stood up enough times today or that my move goals were down 25 per cent compared to last week. I don’t understand what I’m supposed to glean from my resting heart rate other than ‘low is good,’ and as for blood oxygen levels, well, it is a nice touch but unless you studied arterial oxygen at university, it’s another stat you probably don’t really need.