Fitness+: Apple's Comprehensive Digital Workout Program

During Apple's September event, Apple announced its new fitness subscription service: Fitness+. Apple says Fitness+ will create comprehensive, personalized workouts that include music, metrics, and instructors for all lifestyles and fitness levels. This is a logical offering in a time when many gyms are closed and many people are looking for safe and solitary ways to stay fit, but with so many free fitness programs out there, how will Fitness+ differentiate itself and justify the monthly price tag? One unique feature is that this is the first digital fitness program to synchronize with the Apple Watch, so tracking your activity, heart rate, calories, and more will be easier and more in-depth than if you were using a different program, and workout suggestions promise new levels of personalization. Users will play a workout on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV while their Apple Watch tracks and records their activity. And even though the Apple Watch will be collecting and analyzing more data than ever before, Apple promises that all the information, from instructors to calories, will be kept private.

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Fitness+ at a Glance


  • $9.99/month
  • $79.99/year
  • Free three-month trial with the purchase of an Apple Watch


Apple Fitness+ runs on the Apple Watch but you can play the videos on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.


Apple has not announced a release date but says it's coming late 2020.

Fitness+ Features

Smart Suggestions

While many of us already have digital fitness programs we follow, Apple Fitness+ is the first that fully integrates with your Apple Watch. Apple says this means your Watch will know exactly what workout you are doing. Because of this, it may offer more accuracy in its readings, data, and suggestions than with other fitness programs which may not have the same comprehensive metrics built-in. Whether or not this will add to a workout routine in any sort of meaningful way remains to be see, but a promising feature is that the program will be able to see if there is any part of a complete fitness routine that you are missing, and suggest ways to fill in the gaps. The intensity ranges all the way from cardio, HIIT, and strength workouts to Mindful Cooldown. 


What's a workout without music? Apple Fitness+ provides playlists aplenty, a solid offering for those who do not already have their own workout playlists curated. However only Apple Music subscribers will be able to download playlists from Fitness+ to enjoy at other times.

Qualified Trainers

In a world where free virtual fitness classes are abundant, it's increasingly important to be careful about who is instructing you. Poor form can lead to injury and lasting problems, so finding top-notch trainers is not only a bonus, but a safety must. Apple says that their team of trainers are all specialists in their own field, providing safe, effective, high-quality workouts you might not get by browsing YouTube.

iPhone Life team member Erin Smith, a certified personal trainer with the organization NASM, is especially happy to see this attention on quality.

"The coronavirus pandemic has made working out from home not only more common, but also sometimes a requirement, so of course Apple rose to the occasion," she said, when I asked her for her thoughts on Fitness+. "As a personal fitness trainer, my biggest concern with those working out from home has always been a lack of health guidance from a professional who knows how to give cues for form and other safety needs. This is another area where Apple could distinguish itself. They announced Apple Fitness+ with specific mention of the caliber of the featured fitness professionals, so it's highly likely we'll see more than just cheerleading from the fitness pros, especially with Apple's increased holistic focus on health and safety."


Of course, one of the things Apple does best is take high-level tech offerings and make it easy to use. Fitness+ looks promising in this area. While we'll have to wait until its release to be sure, it is likely that intuitive design and high usability will be among some of the strongest features of this program. As the cold weather closes in and most people are still avoiding the gym, a thorough, safe, usable custom program is just what we need. Here's hoping it lives up to the hype.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.