Apple Fitness+ in the test: gym at home

Apple Fitness+ offers eleven types of workouts

Three colored rings must be closed per day. Red represents movement, green training, and the blue ring shows sedentary people how often they get up during the day. The Apple Fitness+ interactive streaming platform offers eleven different types of workouts to help you reach this daily goal. The service has been available in Germany since November 2021. Stiftung Warentest put it through a quick test.

Apple Fitness+ in the test - home gym

Visualized success. If all three colored rings are closed, the daily goal has been reached. © Source: Apple Fitness, Screenshot Stiftung Warentest, Getty Images (M)

A course has several levels of difficulty.

Whether it’s yoga, strength training, or rowing, if the trainer’s exuberant nature lifts you up, the fitness spark quickly leaps your way. Usually there are three of the trainers. Sometimes they perform the exercises (simultaneously) with different intensities. Within sports, users can filter by, for example, coach, training duration, training equipment (such as Theraband or dumbbells), and music genre.

The program works technically without problems.

Technology also plays a role: the Apple Watch seamlessly sends vital data like heart rate and calorie consumption to the iPhone or iPad. They are shown in the training video and can be shared with the community if needed. Especially on the iPhone, the videos are too small for practical use. For good readability, we recommend streaming the offer in English with German subtitles on a modern AirPlay-2 compatible smart TV or Macbook. However, the smart TV only shows the vital data if it is connected through an Apple TV box.

Apple device only

The complete Apple Fitness+ package can only be used by those who are in the Apple universe anyway. An installation without Apple Watch and iPhone or iPad? Impossible. If you don’t have one, you must first account for several hundred euros in acquisition costs. For those who are already in the world of Apple, the subscription to the online gym is quite cheap at ten euros per month.

The training plan is missing

As of September 2020, we examined five online fitness studios and three YouTube fitness channels. What we missed with Apple Fitness+ compared to the other online gyms was the ability to create a workout plan for individual goals like muscle building or weight loss. With over 600 videos, it can get confusing fast.

Apple Fitness+ in the test - home gym

Long selection. Apple Fitness+ offers many different sports, but no training plan. © Source: Apple Fitness, Screenshot Stiftung Warentest, Getty Images (M)

refreshingly diverse

Apple breaks down the clichés and shows off sports cannons of all body shapes. Pregnant women and older people also train. Training sessions are also moderated inside and outside in sign language. Other online fitness studios tend to rely on young trainers with slim, athletic bodies, one seeks inclusion to no avail.

Conclusion: Good deal with an annoying drawback

Overall, Fitness+ is a well-thought-out, balanced offering with high-quality videos in a simple, modern design, just like Apple does. The lack of a training plan is a wasted potential, since it would be easy to link the service to the calendar.

Tip: In the “real” gym, trainers sometimes step in to correct things; online, this is not the case. For self-correction, inexperienced people can exercise next to a mirror and compare themselves to the original on the screen, says Theodor Stemper. He is a professor of sports science at the University of Wuppertal. If you unlock our online gym review, you’ll find even more helpful training tips.

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