OK, the first thing to know? You need an Apple Watch to access Apple Fitness+. I know, a bit of a bummer if you prefer analog to digital, but this caveat exists for a reason. The new streaming service lives in the pre-existing Apple Fitness app (which was already tracking your walks, runs and at-home workouts), so right off the bat, you don’t have to download a new app or figure out a new system. Nicely done, fruit. From there, you can use your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to access the library of 200+ workouts that feature nine different exercise methods, including HIIT, yoga, core, strength, treadmill, cycling, rowing, dance and a whole section dedicated to mindful cooldowns.
Your watch automatically connects to whatever device you’re streaming on, so once you select your workout du jour the three-second countdown begins. Need to pause to answer the doorbell? No problem, you can do that directly through the watch on your way upstairs. No need to lunge for your phone or dig through the couch for the remote. Your workout metrics (which we’ll dive into later) appear on both your watch as well as your screen, so you can have a real-time look at your heart rate and calorie burn as well as the time elapsed or time remaining, depending on which form of torture you prefer. What I love most is how seamlessly all of this comes together without having to queue up multiple programs and tracking features. Try starting your fitness tracker while opening a workout video and screen mirroring your phone to the TV—it ain’t easy. At a glance, I can conveniently see how long a workout session will be, what equipment will be needed (if any), what kind of music is included and which trainer will be leading me through it. Like most of Apple’s products, it’s intuitive, easy to use and smartly designed. A for...Apple?
For me, going to work out used to be an event. Now, because of the pandemic, exercising involves a quick outfit change and some light redecorating. This does not a motivating space make. And the sheer thought of doing a 60-minute yoga flow surrounded by distractions is enough to make you throw in the towel and call it a day. So, rather than suffering through one long workout, I choose to go á la carte—and Apple Fitness+ makes that possible. With multiple different modalities that range in time from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, I can start with the aforementioned yoga flow and end with, well, whatever I want. My current progression goes something like this: 20-minute HIIT with Bakari or Kim, 20-minute strength with Betina or Sam, 10-minute core with Gregg or Amir and a 5-minute cooldown with Jessica or Dustin. Each workout blends seamlessly into the next, both physically and visually, and I love that, at the end of the day, I’m the one in charge. Plus, once you start it’s hard to stop (even if you’d rather be eating pizza on the couch). Begin with a shorter interval workout and see how your mind and body align. You’ll feel invigorated to keep going or content with what you've already accomplished—and both are A-OK in my book.