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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Trying Apple Fitness+

Last year I completed my 500 mile challenge, eventually finishing on 684.4 miles (whoop). This year I’m still running once a week, but I wanted to try something different with my other weekly workout slot. During the last 2 months I’ve been trialling Apple Fitness+ and wanted to share how starting and using this platform has gone so far.

This year I really wanted, and likely needed, to give other non running workouts a try. Increasingly over the last year I’ve noticed the amount of time I’m sat and or fairly physically inactive when working has increased.

I’d seen Apple Fitness+ ads last year and was interested, but didn’t want to move my focus from the running challenge at that time. But this year considering different workouts, it was very much my first choice. And only real consideration, because I'd remembered those adverts.

The Fitness+ ‘on demand’ style classes, with regular Trainers and a range of workouts was very appealing. As someone who does like having that gym time to myself, but can also find Trainer motivation helpful, this felt like a good fit. In mid January I started my one month free trail. With the expectation that I’d pay for one to three months after that, to get a good period of time with Fitness+

Upon opening the app and looking at the different workouts I decided HIIT was what I wanted to give a go. I have tried HIIT before; it’s very hard, but also really enjoyable. Very quickly I felt doing this in the lounge and on floor boards didn’t feel great or as appropriate as I’d like. I found it often meant I wasn’t giving my all to classes, because I was worried about the impact. The exercises were great, just I didn’t have the space or feel it was right for these sessions.

Core and strength workouts have gone much better. These involved more ‘holding’ and less ‘jumping’ and so worked with my space better. While you don't really need to repeat classes because there are new classes each week, I have retaken a couple. It's helpful for some classes to know or have a second attempt at some of the movements. I did feel more capable the second time round, knowing the movements and rhythm. I can see how something like Fitness+ could be used to build up knowledge and or confidence to join in person classes, if you wanted to progress to those.

I have also discovered kick-boxing workouts, which are currently my favourite class to end the session with. These are really fun and feel very different to the other HIIT, core, strength classes. There's a fun range of movement, motivation and progression through the class. Again this is not something I would have ever attended in person, but I am really enjoying picking up the beginner material.

Across all the classes/ sessions I have loved the variety offered, with the 3 Trainer variations approach to the classes presentation. There are times within classes when I move from following the main Trainer to the different adaptations shown by the other Trainers. It’s really helpful when you’re getting started and not as used to, or capable of, some of the moves. Having the adapted options are helpful and definitely have helped me progress, rather than lose track and opt out of some quicker classes.

There are other Trainers that present the cool downs, but I have a routine now. So my cool down is always with Jessica. The cool downs really help to add a whole session experience to the platform. You aren't left at the end to go away and do your own, there's plenty of options, which you can choose from depending on what body parts you've been working on. Having mindfulness within the cool downs is something I really appreciate, both as a mental health enthusiast and as someone taking part in the sessions. Rounding off my hour or so, with 6-7 minutes of stretches and then 4 minutes mindfulness is great.

There are other options I have briefly tried the treadmill sessions and the audio running guide around major cities. These look good, but I have spent less time with them. In part because the treadmill is my podcast time. When I have used the treadmill or running audio they have been fun and engaging.

There are also a range of other classes/ sessions for rowing, cycling and dance. Which I have not tried.

As someone within the Apple eco-system, Fitness+ is much easier to 'pickup and start'. And something I can see more benefits from with links and uses of my watch, tv and phone. However, it has meant Laura, a non Apple user, has found it impossible to access or use without me/ my phone. I'm not sure this will change over time to be more accessible, but for now I would not be able to recommend it to someone outside the Apple system.

For me, it is something I will be keeping for a little longer. I have really enjoyed the sessions, I like the Trainers, the sessions are well structured, presented, and filmed. The interface on phone and tv are great and there are plenty of options with class variety. I feel like there is still a lot to learn and enjoy with new classes being added each week.

If your an Apple user, a big recommend.


Please note: This post does not include sponsored content; I paid/ pay for Fitness+ subscription. Apple did not ask and have not seen this post before it is published, nor have they instructed me on what to say. The views, experiences, thoughts and insights expressed in this post are my own.


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