Apple Fitness+ is Finding Muscles I’d Forgotten Years Ago
I’m not complaining; hitting those seldom-used muscles is good
I’ve been exercising regularly since before high school. I’ve belonged to gyms, I’ve taken aerobics classes, but in the past few decades, I’ve mostly exercised at home. My workouts vary from time to time but have always included brisk walking, aerobic dancing, dumbbells, pushups, pullups, dips, squats, and plenty of stretching and balance exercises. I felt I was covering the exercise gamut quite thoroughly.
Apple Fitness+ proved me wrong. I’ve been sampling these workouts for the past week, completing one or more each day. I haven’t stopped my usual routine; I simply added these.
The results have surprised me. First, I’m less limber and flexible than I thought; the Yoga sets showed that immediately. Second, I ended up with mildly sore muscles, which was not expected at all.
Apple Fitness+ did show me that I am uncoordinated, clumsy, and lack rhythm, but I already knew that.
Fitness+ is a subscription service. It requires at least an Apple iPhone or iPad, and, for the best experience, an Apple Watch. The only device that REQUIRES the watch for Fitness+ is when you do it on Apple TV.
Fitness+ is very well done, with 21 trainers, a large number of workouts, and new workouts promised weekly. It is inexpensive compared to similar offerings and right now you can get free trials. Like other Apple subscriptions, this includes access by up to five other people in your family group, which could make it very inexpensive for all of you.
iPad Air 2 or later updated to iPadOS 14.3 and the Fitness app installed. Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K updated to tvOS…
Classes are not live. Each session seems to always have three trainers on screen; one doing modified easier sets, one doing normal, and one doing advanced versions.
Work out with Apple Fitness+
Work out with some of the world's top trainers on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Apple Fitness+ lets you browse to…
I’ve been using my Apple TV, which supports Fitness+ directly. I expected to be able to Airplay from my phone to the TV, but that doesn’t work as I would like. You can use the Apple TV directly or start on your phone and send the display to the TV, but you can’t switch back and forth. That’s unfortunate, as using the TV is great for many workouts, but when part of the set is on the floor, switching to the phone would be very useful.
I tried using Airplay outside of the app and only got a black screen. I don’t know if this is deliberate or a bug.
There are beginner and advanced classes, with personalized recommendations and filtering to help you find the work you want today. Time varies; I’ve done 10, 20, and 30 minute sessions, but apparently shorter and longer sets are available. You can pause and restart, which is great when you have to interrupt your set.
I used my Apple Watch with the workouts; that displays your heartbeat and other metrics during the set. I and other people have sometimes had issues getting the watch to connect. It has always worked from the TV, but twice I had to power cycle my watch and phone to get Fitness+ to see the watch. I never could get the iPad to find my watch. You apparently don’t need the watch (even though Apple’s page says that you do), it’s just better with it.
Update: a week later and now it is the Apple TV that can’t see my watch, but the iPad connects immediately. Plainly some bugs here!
Music from Apple Music is included with each workout. You do not need an Apple Music account, but if you do have one, you can save Fitness+ class songs that you like.
The Burn Bar
This feature shows how you compare to other people in your weight range who previously done the same workout. In my experience, it sometimes shows up and sometimes does not. Likely that will change over the next few weeks as more people take classes.
If you are using your watch, just as at the end of any Apple Watch workout, a summary page shows your stats: Duration, your average heart rate, active and total calories burned, and your Burn Bar results (if any).
Treadmills and other equipment
If you have a treadmill, cycling, or rowing equipment, there are sessions specifically for those. Most classes require no equipment, though a mat and some dumbbells are good to have.
I like this
Fitness+ is a wonderful addition to my exercise regime. Of course, I am already an Apple user and own all of the equipment necessary for a great experience. I also have the Apple One Premier Bundle, which effectively made Fitness+free for me.
Apple One bundles your Apple services into one low monthly payment. It's the best way to enjoy Apple Music, Apple TV+…
If you aren’t an Apple user, you can get into this fairly inexpensively by buying an older iPhone and Watch. As I’ve noted in other posts, Apple’s integrated ecosystem provides many other benefits, this is just one more.