Jay Blahnik, Apple's head of fitness, talks Fitness+ in new interview

Jay Blahnik Fitness Plus Announcement
Jay Blahnik Fitness Plus Announcement (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness technologies, sat down for a new interview.
  • The executive talked about Apple Fitness+, the company's new workout platform launching next week.

In a new interview with WSJ Magazine (via 9to5Mac), Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness technologies, talked about the company's upcoming Apple Fitness+ subscription service that launches Monday, December 14.

Apple Fitness+ is Apple's workout platform, similar to that of Peleton and a myriad of other online fitness companies. The service allows you to follow along in a virtual, prerecorded class on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. It also integrates with the Apple Watch, which will display your rings and heart rate on the screen as you exercise.

Blahnik says that, despite an at-home workout product launching in the middle of a global pandemic, that the company has been working on the service for quite some time.

"It does feel like people might think we built Fitness+ because of Covid," Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness technologies, tells me via a video call from the company's fitness studio in Los Angeles. "But we've been working on it for a very, very long time."

Apple Fitness Plus Launch Hero

Apple Fitness Plus Launch Hero (Image credit: Apple)

Including the progress you are making from your Apple Watch on the screen during your workout adds a level of experience not found in other services, says Blahnik.

"Metrics is motivation. The metrics react to the things the trainer says and the things that you do. We believe that makes it much more immersive than simply following content that's available anywhere else."

The executive went on to say that the service's integration with Apple Watch and Apple Music was intentional, as more and more people have Apple's wearable and listen to its streaming music service.

"We love the fact that Fitness+ is integrated with Apple Watch. It's really inclusive. We put music at the center to motivate a wide variety of people. We've made it really easy to find your next workout, whether you're a beginner or not, and allowed you to use it across all your screens." He sums things up with a running metaphor: "We treat all areas that we get engaged with as marathons, not sprints."

Blahnik is also hoping that the service helps you find workouts faster and vary them more often with its "Try Something New" feature.

"We always say: It shouldn't take 20 minutes to find a 20-minute workout. We have a carousel called 'Try Something New.' So if you tend to do more linear workouts, like running or cycling, you would be suggested things like HIIT or yoga, that would move your body in different directions."

Apple Fitness+ will launch on Monday, December 14. For those who have purchased the new Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE, the service will be free for at least three months. For everyone else, Fitness+ will cost $9.99 per month or, for those who subscribe to one of the Apple One subscription bundles, it is included in the Premier plan.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.