An Apple exec says Apple Fitness+ aims to make working out easier.
In an interview with Fast Company, Jay Blahnik, Apple’s head of fitness technology, says that the upcoming Apple Fitness+ workout subscription service is an evolution of the Apple Watch:
“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 says. “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 that Apple’s real goal with Fitness+ is motivated by helping people. “What we realised in the beginning of building the [Apple] Watch was that from the very start, one at its core tenets, was to help people live a better day by being more active.”
“We found different things motivate different people,” he continued. “But the one thing we constantly hear is no matter if you’re advanced or you’re a beginner, working out is tough. We’ve thought for a while that if we could create a service that was connected directly to the Apple Watch, we could help a lot of people make working out easier.”
“And we see it as just a part of a very, very big roadmap of continuing to build delightful fitness experiences. Whether it’s a simple message to stand up because you’ve been sitting too long all the way to your first 30-minute class with the world champion rower at home.”
Blahnik also suggested Apple Fitness+ was a great entry point for a lot of people. “They can actually graduate and feel like they understand what yoga is and feel like they understand what walking or running might be like and not be so nervous about going into a health club.”
Apple Fitness+ brings studio-style workouts to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, intelligently incorporating workout metrics from Apple Watch for a personalized and immersive experience. At launch, there will be 10 of the most popular workout types, including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill (for running and walking), Rowing, and Mindful Cooldown, led by a team of trainers.