What you need to know
- Jay Blahnik, Apple's head of fitness technology, sat down with Fast Company to talk Apple Fitness+.
- The executive talked about how the service is making fitness more approachable for everyone.
"We feel like this is an iteration of the things we've been doing since the very beginning, which is to try to make it easier for people to be motivated and inspired to be more active and more fit, and so it fits right into that," Apple's head of fitness tech Jay Blahnik tells me. Blahnik is known for developing fitness devices and apps at Nike, and for his work on the Nike+ Running app in the mid-2000s. He now leads the development of Fitness+ at Apple.
Apple heard from its Apple Watch owners that, despite there being a ton of workouts to choose from in the Workouts app, it was difficult for beginners to get started. Fitness+ is designed to make it easier than ever to start and follow along with a workout that you feel you can handle.
"One of the things we've heard that's been consistent is that working out is tough for people," Blahnik tells me. "If you're a beginner, it's tough because you don't know what to do, you don't know where to start, or maybe you're not in great shape and going to a gym or taking a class is actually way too much . . . of a commitment when you're brand-new ... It was clear to us from the very beginning that if we could do something to make working out a better experience for everybody, that felt like a really great thing to do for Apple Watch customers," Blahnik says.
According to the report, the Apple Fitness+ library will eventually have thousands of potential workouts to do in order to always keep it fresh for those who don't want to get stuck in a rut. The app will also intelligently suggest workouts it thinks you will enjoy so you don't spend your time mindlessly scrolling through the app to find the "perfect" one.
"Our mantra internally was we didn't want people to take 20 minutes just to find a 20-minute workout," Blahnik says. "And so we've done some really intelligent things to make it simple to get to your next best workout ... I actually used it just this morning; I woke up and I said 'I want to do HIIT, I like Jamie Ray, I want 20 minutes, and give me some hip hop,' boom," Blahnik says. "Then the only thing left were the workouts that fit that criteria—literally in 10 seconds I was off to the races."
Apple Fitness+ will launch to everyone on Monday, December 14. For those who recently purchased an Apple Watch, it will likely be free for at least three months. For everyone else, the service will cost $9.99 per month or come included with the Premier bundle with Apple One.