New “Apple Watch Connected” Gym Initiative Launches in U.S.

Apple has today announced the lunch of a new “Apple Watch Connected” gym initiative in the U.S., which includes partnerships with gyms like Basecamp Fitness, Orange Theory, YMCA, and Crunch Fitness to enable Apple Watch owners to track workouts, buy stuff and even earn rewards for working out (via CNBC).

Apple watch gym

“I’m confident this will help member retention and keep members active and engaged,” Crunch Signature CEO Keith Worts said during a press briefing at a Crunch Fitness gym Wednesday.

The program is free for gyms to participate as long as they meet Apple’s criteria. The new platform includes the following four tiers that must be supported by a gym to participate in the program.

  1. An Apple Watch Connected gym has to have an iPhone and Apple Watch app that lets people track their fitness, see classes and log-in at the gym.
  2. Gyms have to offer some sort of option for Apple Watch owners to “earn with Apple Watch.” For example, Crunch will give you a $3 to $4 in weekly credit if you meet certain goals, like working out a certain amount of time per month.
  3. The gym has to accept Apple Pay. That means you can leave your phone in the car and just use your Apple Watch to buy stuff like water, food or other goods only using your wrist.
  4. A fourth tier requires GymKit on cardio machines. These are special machines that will automatically sync your workouts to your Apple Watch, providing more information than the Apple Watch might be able to get on its own.

Crunch is currently the only gym offering membership discounts for people who work out regularly, whereas Orange Theory is offering gift card perks and the YMCA will be donating classes to kids.

Earlier this month, we told you Orangetheory was set to launch its Otbeat Link fitness device in Canada this spring, which attaches to a user’s Apple Watch. No word if this program will reach Canada, but stay tuned.