Apple Fitness + was launched in the US in December 2020. Since then, Apple has expanded the service to more countries, added new training programs and continuously increased the value of the fitness service. Now Apple Fitness + executives are speaking out about the service’s ambitions and future. YouTuber iJustine takes the opportunity to give a tour of Apple Fitness + Studio.
How Apple Fitness + evolved from the Apple Watch
Apple Fitness + offers a library of workout videos with new content added weekly. The subscription-based service is available via the fitness app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV in over 20 countries and costs € 9.99 per month or € 79.99 per year. During exercise, measurements such as heart rate and calories burned are displayed on the Apple Watch screen.
The British GQ Magazine recently toured in the service’s Apple Fitness + studio in Santa Monica. The publication learned interesting background information about the creation of the service from Apple executives.
“People are returning to work and the gym from home, but we created Fitness + long before there was a pandemic,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s operations manager, told GQ. “One of the things that excites us the most is that we can meet the user anywhere, anytime – we see it as an opportunity, not a challenge.”
“We not only have an opportunity,” he continued, “but perhaps even a moral responsibility to help people be more active and help them with their health.”
Apple Fitness + was always planned to revolve around the Apple Watch, explains Jay Blahnik, Apple’s vice president of fitness technologies. Blahnik worked at Nike for years, then joined Apple to lead the company’s fitness technology team, which is an important part of Apple Watch development. In the interview, Blahnik mentions that Apple Fitness + is a repetition of things Apple has been doing since the early days of the Apple Watch.
“We’ve always thought about what a service like this would look like if it were built around the Apple Watch,” says Blahnik. “And so we borrowed from many of the things we learned with the Apple Watch, which is that people do not want to be intimidated. She needs to be kind. It needs to be motivating.”
A training session in Apple Fitness +
All Apple Fitness + workout videos are written and filmed at our Santa Monica headquarters. The study area can be configured to alternate between the relaxing yoga atmosphere of the service and the high-intensity training.
In addition, all coaches are encouraged to participate in other training videos, even if they go far beyond their normal expertise. “I had never seen a rowing machine before I came here,” cycling coach Tyrell Desean recalls in an interview. “So I thought, ‘What is this?'”
Apple still has some innovations planned for its fitness service. However, Blahnik did not want to say much about what else the company has in the pipeline and how it plans to engage users further. According to Apple, up to 30 new workouts and meditations will be added to Fitness + each week. The training lasts between 5 and 45 minutes. Categories include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, strength training, Pilates, treadmill walking, treadmill running, rowing, dancing, cycling and mindful cool-down.
iJustine at Apple Fitness +
Apple also gave the popular YouTuber iJustine a tour of Apple Fitness + Studio. On that occasion, she was also able to conduct interviews with the company’s fitness managers and trainers.
Blahnik explains in the video that Apple wants to pick up all users, no matter how fit they are:
“We’ve had a really good time innovating and we just want to keep going,” Blahnik says. “We are committed to welcoming as many people as possible, no matter where they are on their fitness journey.”
iJustine also spoke with a number of Apple Fitness + trainers, including yoga teacher Jessica Skye. Skye provided some further details on how Fitness + classes are produced.
“My favorite part of the process is probably the exercise. This is where the collaboration itself takes place, ”she says. “We get assigned our workouts, create them, and the last step before we go on set is to practice with teammates, where you exchange ideas and really go into detail.”
iJustine’s full video can be viewed on her YouTube channel and is worth a look for anyone interested in Apple Fitness +.