The new year is almost upon us, and not only are more folks gearing up to slim down in 2022, but they’ll be doing it at home instead of filling the gyms. In the past few years, a ton of new options have emerged to meet this explosion of demand for at-home group workouts.
One of the first movers in this technology is Peloton, which we’re all familiar with by now. But tech giant Apple has recently rolled out its most robust version of their Fitness Plus app that pairs with an Apple Watch to deliver group workouts almost anywhere.
Considering the minimum buy-in cost of an Apple Watch is less than a third of what a Peloton Bike costs, there are some serious reasons to take a look at what Apple’s Fitness Plus has to offer. Read on and decide for yourself whether Peloton’s latest hardware tech outweighs the less hardware-centric Fitness Plus.
How Does Apple Fitness Plus Work?
To start, let’s be clear that Fitness Plus requires an Apple Watch and either an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. So no matter what, you’ve got to spend $399 or more if you want to get in on the app’s classes. The Fitness Plus dashboard makes it simple to discover classes and workout types organized by categories, new workouts, beginner-friendly classes, popularity, and by trainer. Class descriptions detail what to expect, such as the music playlist, necessary equipment, and description of the workout movements.
As you start doing more workouts, the app learns your preferences and suggests workouts based on them. You can also filter classes by duration, which makes it easy to get in a quick session whether you’re in a hotel room, the office, or at home before work. Most workouts don’t require more than a yoga mat, and any Apple TV will sync with your Apple Watch to display classes without even needing to sign in to your account—the Watch is your key!
When you start a class, your Apple Watch syncs your heart rate and calorie data to the Fitness Plus app, allowing you to view real-time stats on your wrist. As you workout, goal achievement notifications come in the form of “ring” completion animations. If you won’t have an internet connection where you’ll be working out, you can even download classes to an iPhone or iPad.
Fitness Plus Workout Categories:
- Treadmill Walk
- Treadmill Run
- Mindful Cooldown
Group Workouts with SharePlay
Fitness Plus lets you and up to 32 of your friends work out together in a virtual group workout. Kind of like a huge FaceTime group chat, you can cheer each other on or talk smack to your friend’s faces, along with seeing when someone in the group closes an Activity ring.
Apple Fitness Plus App Compatibility
Apple Fitness Plus requires iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, watchOS 7.2 or later, and tvOS 14.3 or later.6
For the newest features, you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 8 paired with iPhone 6s or later with iOS 15, or an iPad with iPadOS 15, or an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD with tvOS 15.
Schwinn IC CLASSIC Spinning Bike - $1,199.00
Apple Series 7 Watch - From $399
App Subscription Costs: $9.99/mo, three months free with a new Watch Series 7 purchase.
The Favorite For Cycling Enthusiasts
Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or just prefer it for exercise because of the low-impact benefits, Peloton offers the most fun way to workout overall when compared with the less interactive Fitness Plus offerings from Apple. That said, the app subscription itself costs 30% more than Apple’s Fitness Plus subscription. So how does their workout app deliver on this price premium for users?
Peloton Offers Full Workouts, Not Just Cycling Classes
Run Outside With The Peloton App
You can use the Peloton app for guided workouts in the great outdoors as well. You’ll be able to track performance metrics like pace, splits, and elevation with GPS support on iOS devices. That said, you don’t have the health metric tracking that you get from having an Apple Watch.
Weight Training With Peloton Guide
Peloton’s new Guide weight training hardware uses innovative camera technology that enables you to follow along on-screen and track your movements as you lift. For anyone that’s done remote weight-training coaching, this is a huge improvement over videotaping your workouts and texting them for later analysis. Not to mention it beats trying to use a mirror while lifting heavy!
Optimize Your Programming Weekly
With the Body Activity feature, you’re able to quickly see which muscle groups you've already worked on in the last week to get personalized training recommendations. If you’ve been paying for programming, this could save you far more than the monthly subscription cost for the app.
Interactive Cycling With A Built-In Screen And Auto-Resistance
The newest bike from Peloton has upped the ante on interactivity. For about $800 more than the basic model, you get a rotating screen with 360º of movement to easily switch from cycling to strength, yoga, and other fitness workouts.
But the real value is the Auto-resistance function, which controls the effort of your ride along with the instructor cues. With this feature, you can keep your hands on the bars and focus on pedaling through the pain, which is more realistic than turning a knob constantly to mimic hills.
When it comes to the versatility for full-body workouts and interactivity of auto-resistance, the newest hardware that syncs with the Peloton app delivers a more complete overall fitness package that doesn’t require owning a lineup of Apple products.
Of course, that means you’ll have to spend a handsome sum on Peloton hardware if you want the full lineup for cycling and strength or running and strength. At least with an Apple Watch, you have a broad range of functions that a Peloton stationary bike has when it comes to overall health and productivity. For one, you can track your sleep with an Apple Watch, along with your Blood Oxygen levels. You can also stay up to date on your calendar and read texts throughout the day.
Peloton App Costs & Compatibility
Works on just about any type of smart TV hardware like Roku, FireTV, Chromecast, etc.
Strength - $499 (plus weights)
Peloton Bike - $1,495 - 21.5” HD touchscreen, manual resistance knob
Peloton Bike+ - $2,295 - 23.8” HD, anti-reflective touchscreen, rotates 360º, Auto-resistance
Which Option Should You Choose?
While it’s easy to argue the logic of buying a $399 Apple Watch over a $2,295 Peloton, the fact remains that Peloton still offers the superior option for cycling enthusiasts who prioritize interactive fun over the freedom to workout anywhere.
If you almost always work out at home and have a decent-sized home, Peloton has a lot to offer. But if you don’t have much space to spare for bulky equipment or you travel often, Apple’s Fitness Plus serves up a sweeping array of options for working out in 45-minutes or less.
Whether you’re working out using Peloton’s app on an S21 Ultra or Fitness Plus on a 13 Pro Max, you’ll need to keep your phone safe from acc idental drops when you’re running down the trail. Rokform’s lineup of phone cases for Android and iPhone provides superior drop protection. And, we make it easy to mount your phone to the handlebar of a Peloton or spinning bike with one of our bike mounts.