Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Apple Fitness rings with a female coach in the foreground holding a dumbbell and the text "Top Secret"

If you’re like me, sometimes weight and fitness can be a struggle. Especially when you’re trying to motivate yourself without a trainer, it’s so very easy to say I’ll do it tomorrow.

That said, I’m SUPER motivated to close my rings every day on Apple Watch, and I’m currently on a streak of 377 days of closing the Move ring without fail. The stand ring is normally filled at 12 hours by mid-afternoon. Gamification is real and motivates me. And now Apple has brought that to Workouts too. Later in the video I’ll give you the top 5 reasons I think Apple Fitness+ is well worth a look.

Apple Fitness+ Custom Plans

It’s said that building a new habit takes 21 days. That’s both really quick and a lot of days that you can just forget that you had something to do before it’s a part of your routine. But with iOS 17 Apple released a new feature for Fitness+ which I didn’t hear about, so maybe you didn’t either. Apple Fitness+ Custom Plans lets you build a routine super easily and quickly, keeping you on track and guiding you through your fitness journey.

On your iPhone or iPad, assuming you’re subscribed to Fitness+, tap on Custom Plans in the Fitness app, pick your weekly schedule with which days you want to work out (and rest days are important too), how many minutes a day, and then what kind of workouts you want to do. If you have a stationary bike at home (or want to do this at the gym) then great, but there are plenty of workouts with just a pair of dumbells, or a mat, or no equipment at all. You can choose up to 5, and I’ve gone for Core, High-intensity interval training, strength, mindful cooldown and Yoga, and I’ve just set a two-week plan this time. That way I can switch up the activities if I’m not feeling them, The last time I gave this a go I found I just didn’t enjoy the kickboxing workouts and that threw me off a bit.

You can add in extra activities whenever you want, and even pick your favourite trainers and music styles for each type of workout. But here’s the really useful part – it will remind you when you’re getting towards the evening automatically if you’ve not done the scheduled workouts, helping to keep you on track. If you’re like me, that little push of social pressure, even if it’s just from your device is often enough to make you do it. And yes, I sometimes find myself working out at 11 pm, but it’s still a win. It’s still done. That’s the point.

So the top 5 reasons that Apple Fitness+ is a great way to at least start your fitness journey?

5: It’s pretty great value!

It’s 9.99 a month or 79.99 a year, vs about 40-45 a month for a gym membership here in the UK. Of course, you don’t get access to all the kit or those oh-so-nice communal showers, but your own shower is much closer. Plus, you can share that membership with up to 6 family members on Apple’s family plan for no extra cost!

4: Work out wherever you are!

For a lot of people, going and working out with other people in a communal gym can be intimidating. Maybe you’re worried about the way you look, or that you don’t know how to use the kit. Fitness+ fixes that so you can work out at home, or if you’re travelling, even in your hotel room.

3: Time efficiency.

When you’re ready to work out, you don’t have to travel either side. You can get a super quick workout in right away when you find that gap in your schedule. Especially if you work from home!

2: It plans for you.

When I used to go to the gym, I’d do the same thing every time. A bit of elliptical to warm up, then the same resistance stuff every time, pull-downs, rows, curls, chest presses. Then a little walk to cool down. And maybe the massage chair at the end. Fitness+ plans give you a variety of movements and guide you through the whole thing. There’s also a less intense version of every workout that an additional coach will demo, great if your fitness level isn’t super high at the start. I do kind of miss the massage chairs though.

1: Apple’s Ecosystem.

You can’t talk about anything Apple does without saying the word ecosystem. Fitness+ shows a lot of the benefits, from starting the workout from your watch while you use your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to show the video, to your rings from the watch appearing on screen too. And of course, your watch is measuring your exercise, feeding that to your health app which gives you trends over time for your VO2 Max, recovery times, activity levels and more. If you connect other apps and accessories too you can also track things like weight and blood pressure too, or log them manually from non-connected equipment

I’m going to be doing this, I’ve just weighed in and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been right now, 98.5kg. Thats 217lb for the Americans. And I feel it. So, wish me luck!