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I used Apple Fitness Plus for 7 days: Here's my honest review

A trainer in your pocket makes sure you regularly close rings.

Published onMarch 19, 2024

An iPhone displaying Apple Fitness Plus rests on a studio floor among tennis shoes, a water bottle, and an Apple Watch SE 2.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

An Apple Watch Fitness Plus review has long been on my to-do list. As a wearables reviewer, covering fitness content comes with the territory. In fact, it’s a perk of the job. Typically, my workouts include whatever activities are required to test the heart rate monitor on a new fitness tracker or GPS accuracy on a fresh smartwatch. I’ll try a few niche workout modes (plus a couple of yoga sessions to appease my decrepit joints), but generally speaking, review periods often lead to repetitive interval work on a stationary bike and drawn-out neighborhood runs.

On a week without a specific device to test, I gave an entire platform my attention. I cycled, stretched, walked, and more to dig into what Apple has to offer its paying subscribers. I paired the app with my Apple Watch Ultra as well as my Apple Watch Series 8. Since then, I’ve also used the app with my Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to check out new updates. Find out what I discovered in my honest review of Apple Fitness Plus.

Apple Fitness Plus

What you need to know about Apple Fitness Plus

An iPhone at the end of a user's yoga mat plays a yoga workout from Apple Fitness Plus.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Like any workout app, Apple Fitness Plus aims to help users reach their fitness goals. The platform offers a huge library of prerecorded workout classes coving the gamut of at-home exercises, including Core, Cycling, Dance, HIIT, Meditation, Mindful Cooldown, Pilates, Rowing, Strength, Treadmill Run, Walking, and Yoga. Users can handpick workouts day by day or follow curated programs tailored to specific goals and themes. You can even create custom plans to ensure your workout routine fits your schedule.

Though originally for Apple Watch users, Apple opened the Fitness Plus experience to anyone with an iPhone who was willing to pay. The Fitness Plus subscription fee runs $9.99 monthly or $79.99 if you pay annually. New users can trial-run the service for one month free. With the purchase of an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Apple TV, new users can even pocket three free months before ponying up.

Apple Fitness Plus offers an extensive library of quality workout classes to anyone with an iPhone.

Still, Apple Fitness Plus offers a uniquely practical experience to Apple Watch wearers. When you work out wearing your device, your heart rate, calories, and activity stats will be displayed on-screen so you can watch your rings close in real time. This helps users stay motivated and gauge their intensity throughout their workout. Plus, as mentioned, a trial comes with new devices, so if you recently threw an Apple Watch Ultra 2 or Series 9 into your cart, Apple Fitness Plus is just a few taps away.

With or without a watch, Apple Fitness Plus is a powerful fitness platform for tapping into quality content and guided exercise. If you value structured workouts and peppy motivation, the service should be up your alley. Likewise, if you hate the smell of yoga studios or simply loathe the idea of wearing yoga pants out of the house, Apple Fitness Plus has you covered. It offers users the accountability and incentive of group fitness classes without leaving the comfort of their homes.

Fitness app experience

An iPhone resting on a stationary bike handle displays the app's Cycling menu.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

At face value, the Apple Fitness Plus service has a lot to offer. For starters, you can access quality instruction right from your home. Users will find a seemingly endless list of workouts ranging from five to 45 minutes in length for a dozen types of exercise, including meditation. Off the bat, I can see how the 45-minute max might be short for some serious athletes, but you can always double up with two classes in a row. Apple even introduced a Stacks feature so you can set workouts to play back-to-back automatically.

The easiest way to dig in is to select a workout type from the scrollable banner at the top of the app’s home screen. That’ll open a menu of workouts available for that exercise. If you’re new to a particular type of workout, like cycling, for example, the menu header includes a brief description of the workout’s benefits.

You can also watch a Getting Started video to learn how to get going. If this isn’t your first rodeo (or, in this case, ride), you can skip down to the workout list or filter the options by trainer, time, or music.

An iPhone resting on a mint yoga mat displays the extensive list of Apple Fitness Plus trainers.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The trainers on Apple Fitness Plus are a high point. I was impressed by the diversity in age, gender, race, and body type, and in the week I used the service, I encountered multiple instructors I genuinely enjoyed. I wouldn’t say I am easily put off by people, but I didn’t expect to immediately find favorites. I will be devastated if Bakari isn’t as nice in real life as he seems in his videos.

The platform features a diverse team of fitness trainers across each type of exercise.

The trainers also make appearances in each other’s videos to offer options for modifications. While limited by a knee repair, I appreciated the alt HIIT moves for a lower-impact workout. I could have used more modification in the singular Dance workout I attempted. Unfortunately, it turns out there’s no special set of moves for users with no rhythm.

An iPhone user reviews the workout information for a Yoga class with Jonelle.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Before you start a workout, you can read a short description of the class and watch a preview video to see what you’re in for. You can even glance at what music to expect. These landing pages are helpful, though not entirely foolproof. I would love to see courses rated for difficulty level within the app, like many other fitness apps.

The lack of difficulty rating ties to another major point: Apple Fitness Plus is a platform for the masses. Classes are approachable, and basic navigation is user-friendly. Maxing out at 45 minutes, the platform’s workouts are meant to help users fit fitness into their daily lives.

Instead of adhering to gym schedules, you can work out at your convenience with minimal equipment or commitment. Case in point: I was able to complete more than a dozen workouts this week, and all it took was shoving my couch aside a few times.

Apple Fitness Plus keeps classes approachable and easy to fit into your daily life.

However, the app also borders on being too basic. If you are heavily invested in a specific type of exercise, you may find the classes too easy or, again, too short. There are also no live classes, so if you are coming from an app like Peloton with human interaction, that may also be an adjustment. Not one to enjoy working out with other people, the recorded structure works for me personally.

An Apple Watch SE 2 on a user's wrist displays a Time to Walk workout in progress.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Two unique features Apple Fitness Plus totes are the Time to Walk and Time to Run audio experiences. Time to Walk includes stories from famous individuals who are evidently also taking a walk. Typically, the person describes the location where they are strolling and then tells stories about their life or career. Each session also includes a few of the headliner’s favorite songs.

For me, Time to Walk became a new binge. I regularly walk a few miles a day, so it was easy to incorporate this feature into my existing routine. Each episode felt like peeking behind the curtain into the life of someone I’d only ever known in a single dimension. Most times, the episode didn’t last the entirety of my walk, but I didn’t mind because I liked the chance to get lost in thought afterward as well.

Eventually, I found myself playing episodes while editing photos or prepping dinner, which isn’t exactly the point. I also became deeply enchanted by Dr. Jane Goodal’s story and may or may not have watched Tarzan after she talked about how much she loved the book as a kid.

The app's audio experiences for walks and runs offer a unique tool to users looking for entertainment out on the road or on the treadmill.

On the other hand, I couldn’t buy into Time to Run. This feature offers curated playlists and run coaching from a Fitness Plus instructor. Each episode also features a location the instructor describes between songs and shares photos of throughout the run. Overall, the series feels pretty convoluted and distracting. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about keeping my mind off my level of sweating or the volume of my breathing. However, Time to Run didn’t offer that type of welcome distraction; it was more of a disruptive and constant reminder that I was still, in fact, running.

That said, many users have a lot of positive things to say about the feature. It’s likely best suited to those new to running or just starting their training journey. For Apple Watch users, the automatic syncing between the workouts and your Fitness app is also helpful. For now, though, I’ll be sticking with Spotify playlists and my own thoughts.

An iPhone displaying Artist Spotlight rests on a brick path along with a pair of wireless headphones.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Meanwhile, Apple Fitness Plus also offers Artist Spotlight for the musically inclined, with workouts based on and grouped by popular artists. Currently, you can find collections from a diverse range of performers, including Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and, of course, Taylor Swift. The classes in these collections feature the artist’s music and draw inspiration from their song’s lyrics. In some cases, it feels quite forced. In others, it’s just fun. As always, the feature could use more variety, but Apple does a decent job of adding content regularly.

When you find a workout you love, you can add it to your library. Unfortunately, there is no way to group workouts into folders within your library. There isn’t really any way to organize your library coherently. I would love to tap into my library and pull up just yoga workouts or scroll through all my favorite Strength classes. In an ideal world, Apple would also add difficulty ratings so I could open my library and easily find a moderate cycling workout while I’m still half asleep at 6 AM.

Apple Watch integration

An iPhone balancing on a stationary bike handle displays a cycling workout with the user's live Apple Watch stats displayed.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Hands down, Apple Watch integration is the single biggest selling point of Apple Fitness Plus. Personally, I am fully capable of ignoring an upbeat trainer cheering me on. What I can’t ignore are numbers.

With an Apple Watch, your heart rate, calories burned, and fitness rings display right on the screen, so you can see your unavoidable stats in real-time. You can literally watch your rings close as you work to earn on-screen kudos. Throughout the workout, prompts alert you to what heart rate you should hit. Likewise, a Burn Bar shows you how your performance compares to other users of the same weight. It turns out I can be highly motivated by a “Behind the Pack” alert.

True to form, Apple offers dynamic integration between the Apple Watch and Apple Fitness platform that's a game changer.

Additionally, the Fitness Plus workouts automatically sync with your Apple Watch to start workouts and record data to your Fitness app. At the end of a workout, you can immediately review your stats in the Summary tab. If you want to do a Time to Walk or Time to Run workout, you can leave your phone at home and play content from your watch. You can also use your watch to pause and play workouts on your phone or Apple TV.

Will Apple Fitness Plus get you in shape?

An iPhone displays Programs available in the Apple Fitness Plus app.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The sad truth is no app can get you in shape. If I got a six-pack every time I downloaded a core workout app, I’d have entirely too many abs. Whether or not Apple Fitness Plus will help you reach your fitness goals is dependent on how much time and effort you put in.

To that end, Apple has made it very easy for people. Classes are energetic and quick. Trainers are articulate, helpful, and easy to follow. The app isn’t perfect, but it has a lot of tools that make working out easier and, in some cases, even fun.

If you’re a creature of habit, there is a good chance a trial period with Apple Fitness Plus will turn into regular use. The workouts are so manageable it’s easy to talk yourself into a quick spin before work or a HIIT class after dinner. There are also a few programs available for more dedicated training, such as Stay Active During Pregnancy or Get Ready for Snow Season. As mentioned, to help more users stay on track, Apple also introduced Custom Plans. Choose your preferred worked days, durations, workout types, themes, trainers, and music, and the app will create a Custom Plan for you to follow.

Custom plans are a major improvement, but the app could benefit from more programs, as well as more collections. Collections are similar to programs in that they help users stay focused on particular fitness or mindfulness goals. Examples include the 30-Day Core Challenge and Wind Down Before Bedtime. These sets make it easy for new users, in particular, to build momentum. Again, the options are somewhat limited.


An iPhone in a user's hand displays the Apple Fitness Plus Home Screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Compared to my regular review experience, working out with Apple Fitness Plus felt fresh and entertaining. Workouts were challenging enough to feel productive but not so hard that I dreaded the next one. The app is straightforward to use and a great experience with an Apple Watch involved.

However, I can’t imagine relying on Apple Fitness Plus exclusively. As mentioned earlier, I don’t see myself using the app for running, which is one of my main forms of cardio. There are also no swim workouts (for obvious reasons). Finally, I struggled to find meditation classes I would want to repeat or instructors I jived with.

Apple Fitness Plus is a solid investment for access to fresh content and a variety of exercises, but it's particularly valuable for those new to working out.

Whether Apple Fitness Plus is worth the cost depends on your fitness level. For serious athletes, I can see supplementing your regular routine with a few classes a week to mix things up. This may be worth $9.99 a month, but similar content might also be available elsewhere for free. In a perfect world, Apple would be more like Garmin and make these resources free to users. Additionally, depending on what fitness tracker you use, there may be a better alternative available.

For beginners or anyone new to fitness, the app is a great place to find structure and routine. Its Apple Watch integration is fantastic and useful. More importantly, the monthly price is likely worth shelling out to build better habits and find enjoyment in working out.


Absolutely! Any resource that promotes regular activity and exercise can be a powerful tool. That said, you still need to put in the work.

Apple Fitness is the company’s native activity tracking app and home to its famous rings. It’s preloaded on all iPhones and Apple Watches for free. Apple Fitness Plus is a workout video streaming platform that requires a subscription to use.

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