What equipment do I need to maximise my Apple Fitness+ experience?
In this post, I want to highlight the equipment I use to ensure I get the most from Apple Fitness+. It was a gradual upgrade to ensure I can do all the workouts but it was worth it. Just a disclaimer, while, I am recommending and sharing links, I don't get any commission so these choices were purely out of quality and price.
First things first, you need the basics to even start. This is an Apple Watch and some form of viewing device whether it is an iPhone or and iPad.
Here's an excerpt from the a wonderfully written macrumor article:
The Apple Fitness+ service is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 or later with watchOS 7 and it requires an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 14 or later, an iPad with iPadOS 14 or later, or an Apple TV with tvOS 14 or later.
Why? Whilst you are able to workout without one, an Apple Watch will allow you to measure your effort during a workout as well as provide a better calculation on how many calories burned.
Apple Watch 6 (44mm), £409 I just went with the biggest and latest to ensure it worked with no hassle.
The Viewing Device
Why? The Apple Fitness+ app exists on either iPhone or iPad. So it's crucial to have one of these to be able to workout at all.
Personally, I use an iPad Air 10.9 (4th generation). £729 Although I can use my iPhone 12 Pro Max £1199 (the biggest iPhone size), I have tried it a few times and found that I have had to move my head closer to the iPhone to see what the trainers are doing. Whilst it's not a major hindrance, the size of an iPad is just right.
You can also have it on an Apple TV device but this depends on how much space you have in front it of it and whether its practical.
Viewing Device Stand:
Why? Viewability and ease-of-use
Whilst you can make do with tables, drawers and bookshelves, it might be a good idea to get an iPad stand. This will give you the flexibility to enjoy Apple Fitness anywhere. I do my workouts in the hallway so I had to get one, otherwise it would be on the floor which is hard to look at especially when most of the workouts are on your feet. It has adjustable height and a flexible head. This one I got off Amazon £23.98 (with promotion)
Tablet Tripod Stand, Indoor Outdoor Portable 360° Rotation Floor Tablet Holder, 56 Inch Extendable Tablet Stand for All 9.5"-14.5" Tablets
Fitness Mat and Yoga Block:
Why? Be nice to your body. With exception to Dance workouts, all the other non-machine workout types use a mat. A mat helps with friction for stability, preventing injury if against hard surfaces and protecting the carpet or floor from sweat!
Inspired by the Apple Fitness endorsed brand. I went on a search for Manduka. I bought from yogamatters.com as it was cheaper.
Manduka PRO Yoga Mat - it's a nice large and sturdy mat for £100.
Manduka Lean Cork Yoga Block - A bit small but portable, I purchased one for £14. In hindsight, I should have got two because particularly in yoga, there are balances that require two blocks
Variety Set of Dumbbells:
Why? These are needed mainly for the Strength workouts but HIIT also features weights now and then. You will need to have a variety as different exercise moves are better suited with either light/medium weights to prevent injury and harder weights to increase the intensity.
The Apple endorsed dumbbells, whilst I am sure are ergonomic and durable, they are pretty expensive. They are at 7 euros per 2.5kg, so if I wanted 2 x 2.5kg and 2 x 5kg that totals 15kg that would cost me £89. So if So I opted to go budget and find a set that would save me the hassle and expenses of getting individual dumbbells.
Argos-owned Opti offers a set of 6 dumbbells a wallet-loving price. I got mine for £19.99
Smart Water Bottle:
Why? Hydration is fundamental when working out to prevent dehydration (duh) and depending on the intensity of the workouts, the trainers encourage you to keep hydrated.
Whilst it is not necessarily the same bottle as used by the trainers, there is a smart water bottle that can make drinking water both fun and accountable.
I bought a HidrateSpark STEEL Smart Water Bottle (as seen on the Apple Store) for £69.99 from Amazon (because it was cheaper). This bottle allows you to quantify actual measurements of water intake, rather than guestimating. It has colourful base light which reminds you to drink throughout the day and an app that helps you track water and even how much plastic bottle usage you helped by using the bottle.
Now... onto the machines...
With machines, there is so much choice and prices that I cannot give justice to the variety out there. I can however say which ones I have and how much it cost me.
Indoor Cycling bike:
Why? The most common workout in Apple Fitness+ is cycling. It's low-impact and provides a workout where its intensity is governed by you.
I got a Schwinn AD2 Airdyne exercise bike. It cost me £450 off eBay. I got lucky. The reason I went for an airbike is because after reading the pros and cons of having one, it just appealed to me better. Not only is the resistance based on how much push I give it but I can also work my arms at the same time. The air that comes out is refreshing and while the satisfying whoosh of air can worry some, it doesn't bother me. I have my AirPods in anyway.
Another note is that by adding the extra effort with the arms, I am hitting ahead on the burn bar in most cycling workouts.
You can get one for from the fitness superstore for £499 (on sale).
Why? Unlock another machine that enables your own intensity in the shelter of your home. A great cardio workout that will get you sweating. The flexibility of the Treadmill workout is that you can opt to walk or to run.
Like the dumbbells, if you were to get the Apple endorsed ones, you are likely going to have to re-mortgage your home. With variations at over £15k or the cheap version at just slightly above £3k, you can understand that they aren't for your regular consumer.
Again, like the dumbbells, I opted for Argos-owned Opti. In particular, the Opti Folding Treadmill. At just £266.94 (inc. shipping), I thanked the stars that I didn't have to rob a bank to get it. The folding ability of the treadmill means that it doesn't take as much room as it's heavier and unmovable counterparts.
The speed is a maximum of 12km/hr which suits me just fine. I tend to have my base pace as 8km/hr, moderate at 10km/hr, hard at 11km/hr and finally 12km/hr as all out.
Just be aware that there are 3 hill gradients but they are manual. This means you do need to set them before your workout and it is likely you will stick with one throughout. This isn't a deal-breaker for me as I am now on the max gradient and push for speed on the hill sections.
Unfortunately, the one I got is Out of Stock but there is an alternative models that seem to have some improvements at a slightly more dearer price. Just google Opti Easy Fold Treadmill.
Why? This complements a whole body workout and gets you closer to that trimmer body!
When I first started with with Apple Fitness, I had an old rowing machine, a AXOS magnetic rower which over time grew cranky. It did the job but due to the stiffness in the ropes, it made rowing really tough. So tough that the rope complete gave way and I was left without a rower for a few months.
The reason why it took a few months was because I wanted to get the same feel and experience that the Apple trainers were experiencing. So I looked into water rowers. They seemed to be just slightly cheaper than the Apple-endorsed ones and so I decided to treat myself to a Life Fitness Row HX Rowing Machine at £1295 from GymEquipment.co.uk.
There was an issue with supply and so when it finally arrived, they set it up in my room (where my old one perished) and it went so smoothly. The quality of the material feels great compared to my old magnetic rower. The aesthetic of the water whooshing around each pull is really immersive and therapeutic. An added bonus was that it can be made to stand vertical so reduce space taken.
For these reasons, I feel the water rower was worth the money.
Sadly, probably due to demand, the price has gone up. At the time, I went with Gym Equipment as they seemed more reliable and was cheaper.
That's all folks!
That's it! A round-up of all the things I am using to maximise my potential with Apple Fitness+. I hope you have been inspired to get yourself well-equipped and ready to meet those fitness goals!