The principle “if not to be a professional athlete, then at least keep fitpassed down in our family for the third generation.
When I was five years old, every Saturday morning began with two things: the aroma of fresh syrniki and Cindy Crawford’s loud instructions on how to swing your legs properly, mixed with persistent panting from the next room.
It was my mom training with a VHS-recorded program from a 1990s sports icon. because there was no other way to exercise at home at a convenient time for yourself.
That Shape Your Body Workout video from 1992
More than 20 years later, when I opened the Apple Fitness+ home page on my iPhone, the same feeling from the past washed over me like water. There was a clear understanding of what niche the company decided to occupy and who would be interested in the new service.
Below I explain in detail what kind of sports service it is, what it is not, how to use it, who needs it, and I will also tell you about the impressions of the exercises compared to real trainers, whom I have had four over the past two years.
Thanks to Tanya for help with photos.
A library of videos that motivates you to practice
The corner workout time can be adjusted. WILL show either the duration or how much is left until the end of the session
Even on the main page of the service, it is difficult to understand what Apple Fitness + is.
This is a catalog of recorded sports sessions from 5 to 45 minutes on 11 topics compiled by professionals.
You can practice the following sportsnumber of workouts in brackets):
▫️ HIIT (54)
▫️ Core workout (49)
▫️ Strength training (62)
▫️ Pilates (twenty)
▫️ Exercise bike (73)
▫️ Treadmill (33)
▫️ Rowing (35)
▫️ Dancing (thirty)
▫️ Yoga (69)
▫️ Meditation (86)
▫️ Hitch (35)
New videos are added every week, and the numbers above are growing.
In the video, the same exercise is performed in three degrees of training by three trainers, so that each one chooses the difficulty for himself. You cannot rewind the record.
❗️There are no consultations with athletes, live broadcasts and other communication services. Only independent practice on ready-made videos.
In the photo – iPhone 13 Pro. Shot on Leica Q2.
As you exercise, the app pulls data from your Apple Watch to show you how well you’re exercising through the status bar.
Data from the watch is displayed on the screen with video so that you do not have to put your hand up to your face and be distracted.
The peculiarity of the service is that the most accurate data is synchronized without delay, based on the trainings completed, the service advises you on the future lesson, and the process of exercising and using the application is made with Apple’s meticulousness for pleasant little things.
Localization into Russian is a complete translation of the interface and training using subtitles. There is no voice acting, and a little later I will explain why specifically here it is very bad.
Requires an Apple Watch and one of three Apple devices
Possible bundles of gadgets
Requires Apple Watch Series 3 or later in conjunction with one of the devices:
◾️ iPhone 6s or later on iOS 14.3
◾️ iPad with A8 chip and later on iPadOS 14.3
◾️ Apple TV (HD and 4K) on tvOS 14.3
There is no support for Mac and the Apple TV app. So streaming video to luxury iMac and MacBook displays or running the service on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X will not work. But you can send via AirPlay, however, you will not see information from the watch then.
Costs less than competitors
The service was tested on the Apple Watch 7 Nike Edition (41 mm). Branded Nike bracelet of the new version, which with a logo is very convenient for playing sports. And cute.
Apple launched the service at a nice regional price. If in the USA one month costs $10 or 700 rubles, then in Russia the options are as follows:
249 rubles for 1 month.
1490 rubles for 1 year (122 ₽/month).
995 rubles 1 month inside Apple One Premier.
The last option is a comprehensive subscription of all the company’s services available in Russia: Music, Arcade, TV+, Fitness+ and iCloud+ for 2 TB for a Family of up to 6 people.
But at the same time, up to 6 people can use any of the fitness tariffs.
All users get 1 month free, and AW Series 3 or newer customers get 3 months free starting September 14, 2021.
For comparison, the average price of competing services is about 600 rubles per month, or 3,500 per year. However, they do not have tight integration with the watch, which means that training data is less accurate.
How it looks and works
The service resides inside the Fitness app on iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS. As soon as you pay for the subscription, a third section will appear inside it, from where you will get access to the catalog.
In the first line, choose one of the 11 types of training. It’s not the most convenient horizontal scroll cards.
Then filter by Trainer, Time, Music, Theme, Body Part and Inventory. Depending on the type, the last three items will vary.
Search criteria varies depending on the type of activity
After sorting, select the desired workout, press the button Proceed, after which the video starts and scans your activity. You don’t even have to touch the clock. If they are worn, everything will turn on automatically.
In the process, in the upper left corner you can see the time, pulse, current segment, your efficiency.
The data changes dynamically and is embedded in the context of the trainer’s speech.
Sometimes he says “let’s see how you tried”, an effort scale appears on the left, and when he says that half of the workout has passed, a corresponding notification pops up.
At the end, the activity will be shown to you and the iPhone will record it in the Workout data.
An exciting entry into the world of sports. And almost safe
I remember at the age of 16 desperately going through endless videos on YouTube, where coaches who wanted to hype gave conflicting information.
I remember trying to avoid the mistakes of beginners, and as a result, I spent many years taking careful steps in the fitness world so as not to foolishly ruin my health.
And there are many inexperienced people. There will always be demand for an easy, affordable way to workout at home, so Apple is on the right track.
The app is easy to understand and workouts are done at an active pace in plain language. Professional athletes with perfected technique and bright charisma clearly say what to do before performing the exercise.
The only thing is that some may be frightened by the expression of coaches, which sometimes seems to be twisted by 1000%. Inherent in sports, “testosterone rush” sometimes slips into the vocabulary.
Phrases in the style of No pain, no gain are sometimes annoying, but there are also cute ones.
But, probably, thanks to this psychology, training is captivating. In intense workloads, my head does not have time to think about what I am doing, why I need it, as sometimes happens with other videos on the same YouTube.
At Fitness+, you are constantly being verbally pushed to do a little more, to endure the last set, to watch your technique.
Many workouts are done with bodyweight, and it’s harder to get injured compared to weights.
The required equipment is indicated in the training card
Compilation «For beginners” perfectly reveals the essence of basic exercises like push-ups and squats. The videos are arranged in chronological order to gradually increase the experience and load. For example, in the first workout for 10 minutes, they suggest that you later familiarize yourself with the 20-minute one.
Compilation «For pregnant» takes into account load options for each of the trimesters. The videos are made by future mothers, and at the beginning the trainer warns about the need to consult a doctor. Some exercises are accompanied by explanations for which they are useful to the body in position.
Compilation «For the elderly” includes slow and especially gentle exercises in yoga, core muscles, dance and strength training. Most of it is led by trainer with 40 years of experience in fitness Molly Fox.
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I didn’t quite like that the music selections are limited to a dozen artists, on which the coaches also focus during the exercises.
The briefing states that the athletes themselves were inspired by the performers when compiling the program, but it’s hard for me to believe this because of the obsession with their mention and the close friendship of Apple itself with the singers.
By “nearly safe” I mean that you still have to focus on yourself. And here the exercises will become interesting for those who have been involved in the past.
Service for the majority, but not for the pros
For professional athletes, the list of workouts is unlikely to be of interest. Even the most difficult workout, most likely, will seem like a warm-up before something serious because there is almost no weightlifting necessary for serious weightlifters.
For everyone else, there will be dozens of workouts that will squeeze the juice out of them. At least because it will be interesting to study.
To conduct the test, my friend and I decided to do several workouts of 10 minutes, and a little later I myself got acquainted with longer loads.
We both pay attention to sports from time to time, I have been working out in gyms and at home for three years now. Not diligently, but enough not to turn into a spineless puddle due to sedentary work.
The name of the background track is displayed like this. If you have an Apple Music subscription, it’s easy to add it from the video card
My friend speaks English at an elementary level, so it was very difficult for her to read Russian subtitles and understand and duplicate dance workouts. I was not very surprised by this, because I observed a similar situation in childhood, when my mother barely had time to repeat the active actions of the models recorded on cassettes. Only repetition and understanding of what follows will help here.
A ten-minute HIIT almost didn’t make me sweat, but raised my heart rate to 180 beats per minute. Already looking forward to taking a couple of 30-minute workouts to fully work out.
I am sure that the vast majority of users will be able to extort themselves with loads.
The trainer from the screen turned out to be better than the real one
Over the past two years, I have had 4 trainers in different gyms, and only one of them actively involved in the process. It was an athlete with whom I began to communicate through friends. With her, I had the best results in technique, which helped me to radically change the approach to some loads.
The rest were contract employees in the gyms, and this slightly corporate detachment was noticeable.
At Apple Fitness+, trainers smile all the time and show their commitment to the process with all their might. It’s energizing, although some showed that the full-width smile was slightly strained.
Unpleasant Cons of Fitness+
We didn’t have time to warm up, but we already squat in the first minute
Below, I’ve compiled a list of things I got frustrated with during testing.
⚠️ Take into account that these are shortcomings regarding the ideal sports service, which does not yet exist at all. Competitors can’t do much more.
► No voice acting in Russian.
This is the first time I’ve resented an undue weakness in the localization of Apple services.
For example, when watching movies, subtitles are enough for absolutely everyone.
But in training, the text on the screen is difficult to see, and copying movements is inconvenient, because during yoga or Pilates the head is directed anywhere, but not at the device.
I can already see how this will be a problem for my grandmother or mother, whose level of English will not allow them to perceive information exclusively by ear. Walks with audio accompaniment in this case are completely useless.
For people without knowledge of English, the chic layer of Walking monologues disappears. The first story is immediately touching, and the narrative is diluted with images from stories that appear contextually on the Apple Watch
► No training program for a long time. You are on your own in choosing the videos you will be engaged in, the type of activity and its frequency.
Apple gives you complete freedom, which, in my years of experience in the field of fitness, is detrimental to achieving your goals.
In the future, I would like to see a welcome screen that will determine the level of preparation, draw up a rough plan and give recommendations for development.
Apple has done a great job with reminders to move and meditate in watchOS, and I have no doubt that they will be able to make a pleasant experience here too.
► Not everywhere there is a warm-up or a reminder to do so.
I deliberately did not stretch the joints and muscles in order to appreciate this part of the service.
I was shocked when a 30-minute HIIT workout without warning from the very first seconds begins with squats. Any school teacher and adequate coach will make you at least swing your legs back and forth.
In the same Nike Training Club, regardless of the intensity of the complex, there is always a warm-up of the muscles, but in Fitness + I saw it only in the section for beginners. And that one was short.
Perhaps Apple’s service writers assume that experienced subscribers will do such workouts, but it would not hurt to give a warm-up warning or introductory warm-up minutes with the possibility of skipping.
► No Mac support.
iPhone blocking any image capture
I suppose the problem is in the tight synchronization of iron. I am sure that the Fitness app will someday appear on macOS, but will only be available to owners of devices with Apple chips.
By the way, you can duplicate the video via AirPlay, but you won’t be able to see the status of the workout. Casting from iPhone to Mac via Screen Recording in QuickTime does not work.
Yoga is a failed part of the service
In the classical sense, this system of practices is aimed at harmonizing the body and spirit in order to bring them to a common balanced denominator. Not all people are suited to the same type of practice.
For example, those who have a lot of energy, including mental energy, which is expressed through anxiety or increased excitability, are more suitable kundalini yoga.
People with low tone should look at hatha yoga. It tones the muscles and accelerates the mind. This type is more common, based on which you get the first recommendations on YouTube.
Perhaps because of the popularity of hatha yoga, Apple chose exercises from it. I say “exercise” because it doesn’t sound like spiritual practice..
Fitness+ has two styles to choose from: slow and dynamic.
But, unfortunately, both are too intense to concentrate on their sensations. Banal observation: in both styles of yoga plays Hip-hop and R&B, street genres with rough music. My sharp conclusion about the inappropriateness of such a combination was confirmed after the first launch.
It seemed that the trainers were in a hurry to fit in the time frame, they commented too actively on each movement and did not allow the user to make movements consciously.
In loads where you need to work out every micro-movement of the body and breathe correctly, you are forced to gallop through the asanas
I’m afraid that with this approach, Apple may do more harm to people’s attitude towards yoga. After a couple of intense runs, many will not want to return to practices even outside of the service, because they will not understand why they did all this.
But I will use meditation most of the time.
Meditation with Christian Howard
This is the only type of exercise that does not start Workout on the clock and mindfulness.
Unlike hyperactive yoga, meditation is designed the way you expect it to be. Measured, sedate, on various topics.
This category leads in the number of entries, there are already 86. And rightly so: it is diversity that captivates. Sometimes I ask Alice to meditate, but her skill mindfulness implies only one finished record.
And then, while you listen to everything, you will forget what the first videos were about. And you can start over.
Fitness+ Quick Benefits
➕ If the equipment has a weight, it will be called both in feet and in kilograms.
➕ Through sign language, trainers indicate that the introductory monologue is over and the training begins.
➕ For quick access, workouts can be added to your library, which is located at the very bottom of the tab.
“Basement” with bookmarks from your favorite sets
➕ Videos are available to download to your device to practice in a place where the Internet is bad.
➕ If the watch is empty, you will be allowed to practice without it. Calorie data will not be recorded.
➕ You need minimal equipment: a mat, rarely dumbbells, even less often an elastic band. Bodyweight training is the safest and most affordable.
Is it hard on iPhone and Watch batteries?
Service launch night was short, yeah
In 2 hours and 40 minutes of a complex of strength training, HIIT, yoga, meditation, recovery and walking, the Apple Watch Series 7 (41 mm) was discharged from 100% to 40%.
During the same time, the battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro, on which the videos were broadcast, fell from 58% to 23%.
These were extreme conditions during the testing period that no one will repeat.
If you include one of the longest 45-minute activities per day, you will not see any terrible and accelerated battery consumption in the daily use of devices.
Everyone has long known that when tracking your Apple Watch workouts, get tired faster, and for the iPhone, such a session will replace watching YouTube.
The perfect entry ticket and opportunity to stay in shape. But not a replacement for the hall
Apple Fitness+ is an everyday workout that doesn’t require you to mentally prepare, donate a lot of money and free up a precious evening on a weekday.
Given the Apple Watch’s focus on health, a significant proportion of wearers are at least trying not to turn into couch monsters. Therefore, the launch of a service for convenient, fast sports practices that rarely require equipment occurred according to understandable logic.
In the service, it’s not just that training does not exceed 45 minutes, when experienced athletes spend up to two hours in the halls.
You need to create a program and follow the technique yourself, and this is the main factor why such services cannot replace and, moreover, kill the real fitness services
According to Apple itself, the company strives to make the service as accessible and inclusive as possible, and they succeed. Recently, complexes have appeared, including for pregnant women and the elderly, and trainers show in sign language when the introductory part is over and the exercises begin.
The bar appears in the upper left corner and shows how much you are ahead of other users in diligence in a particular workout. According to the confidentiality agreement, this data is anonymized and encrypted
Looks like this
The minimum entry threshold for the most unprepared for the sport seems to be the right decision. I just want to put half of my family on it, so that it would be easier for them to be active. That’s just the Apple Watch so far only I have.
Don’t get me wrong, most Fitness+ workouts will make you sweat profusely. It’s just that you won’t be taught how to do a deadlift and they won’t correct the dumbbell if you took it away incorrectly.
And the service for 250 rubles a month should not do this. As a result, my conclusion is approximately the same as we did in the Apple Watch reviews.
Just like at the end of a regular workout, after a Fitness+ session, the end of the workout flies to the clock. Only now with a name. My hand is already
Apple Fitness+ is a great addition to your fitness routine, but it’s no substitute for a real trainer. It will motivate those who already want to exercise, but will not make you get out of bed on a Saturday morning.
The service will diversify your exercises and give clear statistics if you want to collect it yourself.
And most importantly, all these useful functions specifically in Russia are limited to 250 rubles, which are many times more pleasant than any other subscription sports applications.
The service won’t hurt anyone. Most importantly, don’t forget to stretch.
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