One of the revelations I had during the coronavirus crisis was that I would never pay for the gym again. The training at home is more accessible and comfortable. Depending on the application, it can also be very funny. Goodbye forever, dirty shower in the locker room. It was a pleasure to meet you.
Fitness+ is another digital training subscription after the money earned for the gym. Although the new program launched on Monday is late in a category of proven and highly competitive applications, it comes just in time for people like me who are still experimenting with different e-learning solutions. But the boss of the application requires you to have an Apple Watch, and he will probably disable those who would otherwise try it.
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Fitness+ appears as a new tab in an existing Apple Fitness application. The subscription includes a new weekly video training in 10 disciplines including cycling, treadmill running, yoga and strength training. An attractive cast of high-energy simulators, draped from head to toe.
-Who has a partnership with Apple chairs the sessions. No less energetic musical playlists serve as soundtrack. (Basically, you can choose the Chill Vibes playlist if that’s your thing).
Compared to similar fitness applications, this is a relatively good activity. Fitness+ costs $9.99 per month and you can save by paying $79.99 per year. Everyone in your Apple family – up to six people – has access to a subscription. You can save up to $29.95 per month with your Apple One Premier Plan if you already have an Apple Music subscription and two terabytes of iCloud storage. The most similar application, Peloton Digital, costs $12.99 per month for a user.
There’s one thing that’s not cheap: To subscribe to Fitness+, you need a 3rd generation Apple watch. ($199) or higher. Although the main function of the application is to watch videos on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, you cannot access the application without a smart watch. If you forgot to recharge your watch or left it at home while traveling, you can still access it and train, but to register for Fitness+ you’ll need an Apple watch.
No matter where you open Fitness +, the application easily syncs with your Apple Watch, even if you’re using someone else’s Apple TV.
Nicole Nguyen/ Wall Street Journal
Wherever you use the app, it syncs instantly with your watch – even if you’re using an Apple TV at someone else’s house – and your heart rate and calorie data appear on the screen. Any song in the field can be added to your Apple Music library if you are a subscriber. The clock serves as a remote that can be used to play and pause lessons on other Apple devices.
Apple also uses all training data you share with the iPhone health application, including third-party fitness applications. So if you’ve done yoga with Glo or cycling with a pack, Fitness+ will use this story to recommend such a workout.
The workout I’ve tried is similar to the expensive face-to-face versions offered in luxury gyms, especially on bikes. A trainer, Ty, former SoulCycle instructor. Of course a stationary bicycle installation is required for this training. Travel time ranges from 45 minutes to ultra-fast sessions of 10 minutes. The training itself includes a period of fast sprints, slower climbing and recovery. You can tune your pedal to the rhythm, or you can make the revolutions per minute set by the trainer. Burning a bar becomes a competition by comparing your calories burned to those of other people who have trained.
In the cycling lessons you compare your pedal with the speed of your trainer.
Nicole Nguyen/ Wall Street Journal
There is cold yoga, and there is energy yoga that works with the sweat of the eyebrow. Intensive interval training, strength training and basic training are short 30 minutes or less, and I have often played twice in a row.
Dance and rowing are two disciplines that are not common in other fitness applications. Before I had access to the rowing machine, at least I could dance. Or try, either way. The work – a 20-minute hip-hop session with the heart – was both terrible (and also terribly hard) and stupid. And judging by the numbers on the screen, I managed to pump my hand to the calories burned.
A special feature of the Apple application is its approach to working with newcomers. There is a first collection of videos, which is intended as an introduction to each of the application areas for those who are not yet familiar with the exercises. And even for more complex sessions, one of the instructor trainers in the background offers a modified version for less advanced practitioners.
Unfortunately for me there was no simple version of the dance training.
In general, Fitness+ resembles the Digital Lite Squad (which otherwise does not exist). The application of Apple and Peloton Digital has great production value and motivates musical playlists and charismatic trainers. But at Fitness+ there aren’t many types of training, and the training library isn’t that big. It also lacks the living and social characteristics of the peloton. The apple has an advantage over the apple on the package: You can download the courses and play them offline. Although you can preload the contents of the pack for a more stable reading, the reading exercises require an active internet connection.
You can download the courses to play them offline, a feature that is not available in the platoon application.
Nicole Nguyen/ Wall Street Journal
There is much room for improvement. Dumbbells are needed for some high intensity, strength and basic training, but not for others. It would be desirable to be able to filter the results, for example due to the lack of equipment or weights.
The focus of Fitness+ on measurements can be confusing, especially for the beginners to whom the application is directed. Fitness+ offers no correlation with the heart rate. Is the displayed number good or bad? Is it higher or lower than a minute ago? Why would you worry about your wrist? Effective conclusions would be useful in this respect.
I like Zova’s approach. The $60 a year fitness and nutrition app on iOS uses Apple Watch in the same way it measures your heart rate and displays the data along with exercise streaming. Heart rate training is based on the heart rate training zone, which is an estimate of your training intensity as a percentage of your maximum heart rate. In other words: Zova shows you what you can do with your grades – something Apple can learn.
Fitness+ is certain, however, at least for the owners of Apple Watch. But don’t pay yet. The one month free trial should reassure you until you read my full guide comparing the best fitness applications around January.
(Dow Jones & Co, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, has entered into a commercial agreement for the distribution of information through Apple’s services).
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Write to Nicole Nguyen at [email protected]
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