I’m a week later, and not only have I started to lose weight, but I̵
I weighed in on Monday 4 January at 105 kg (around 231 pounds). On Monday 11 January, the weight had dropped to 103 kg (227 pounds). It’s a small change, but I’m very happy with it in just one week. I have been training every day, mostly using Apple Fitness Plus classes, mixed with a few longer cardio sessions using the Zwift cycling app on a Wattbike Atom.
This is how I have found Apple’s service so far.
The classes are fun and engaging. I was worried that they would be too “gymbro” for me, but I like the coaches I have experienced so far. It’s a decent mix of gender and age, and they’s encouraging enough in the workouts to keep me moving and wanting to complete each exercise. The app works seamlessly with min Apple Watch Series 6, which shows heart rate and calorie consumption on the iPad screen to check that I put down the effort. In a dance class, I noticed that the heart rate was only 115 bpm – a more demanding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class so the number jumped to 182 bpm.
But what I feel I lack in the service is proper guidance on exactly which classes I should focus on in order to achieve my goals.
My goal is first and foremost weight loss, but I also want to be stronger and better. So which classes do I choose? Will a HIIT class be better than a cycle class? Will a core workout help me more than a strength workout? Should I combine several classes in one session, and if so, is it better to do together than others? I know that it is not good to overwork certain muscle groups at the same time, but I also do not know enough about what is involved in each class to make these decisions.
It’s easy to do a 20-minute strength class, close the activity rings on the Apple Watch and pat myself on the back when I consider today’s workout. And maybe I had done enough – or maybe I should have done more. I was hoping to see more guided solutions in the service, based on your own personal goals, be it losing lots of pounds after the holidays, improving your core strength to help your posture, or training hard for a cycling competition.
While there are sections such as “More of what you do”, “Try something new” and “Popular”, these do not provide the kind of guidance I need to safely put together a good weight loss routine. Without guidance, Fitness Plus sometimes seems more like just a collection of well-produced workout videos. It would also not be difficult to get professionals to put together what would really be playlists in classes, such as “A month of weight loss” that I can upload every day and do exactly what I have been told by the training professionals.
Instead, I have built my own exercise program that mixes a variety of exercises a week, including several cardio-based sessions such as dance and HIIT classes, as well as strength and yoga classes. Based on my limited knowledge of training, it seems like a decent versatile program, but I’m worried that I’ll basically pick it up as I continue and can use my time better if I change it.
The second problem I found the first couple of days was understanding the way the hours work on the difficulty level. While there are “absolute beginner” classes to introduce you to the different types of classes, the main training videos are not separated in the form of “beginner” or “challenging”, but appear to be different from each other only by the coach running the class. and the music genre you want to practice.
I finally realized that there are several trainers in each video, and you will be able to do the “easier” workouts with one (such as having your knees on the ground during a pushup), do standard training with the head trainer, or add an extra challenge with the third coach. I guess the idea is that it means everyone can get something out of every available video, but I did not quite get it to begin with and thought it was a bit difficult to navigate, and used a “Well, I guess this one will do ” approach. Again, more tutorials in the app would have made a big difference for a beginner.
That said, I have really enjoyed my first week of training and I am thrilled that I have already lost weight. Here is what I otherwise liked:
- The dance classes are fun, especially when I train with my partner. I can not follow the movements properly, but as long as I beat my arms and legs like an electrocuted spider, my heart rate keeps me high, and I seem to get a good workout. We laugh a lot, and it quickly becomes a fun thing we do together during lockdown.
- The music in many of the classes is not what I would choose, but it works well for the training sessions, and the classes are done with the music, so often when the rhythm drops, the movement picks up a gear. It feels like I’m really in a training course.
- I’m not really in a training course. This means that I am not in a busy gym either, I am forced to sweat and feel embarrassed in front of 20 other people, and then have to change, inevitably next to the one man who insists on standing there with his gentleman sausage. (Is a towel really that much trouble, buddy?)
- Cycling on the Wattbike Atom is fantastic. It’s comfortable, and I really enjoy using the Zwift app for my longer cardio sessions. I tried my first social cycle, and met a friend of mine who used Zwift with his own exercise bike at home. We were able to cycle “together” in the virtual Zwift world in Watopia, and at over 16 miles uphill and downhill in the hour we spent. It was a lot of fun, and time seemed to fly by.
- Even though I train in a small room, there is just enough space for me to do most of the hours with my partner, with only one occasion during a dance session when she almost smacked me in the face in a particularly energetic moment (she promises it was random). I have used my iPad Pro, since there is not enough space to train in our living room where the TV is – it is not the most elegant solution, but it works.
It has not taken me long to begin to understand how Apple Fitness Plus works, and the weekly routine I have put together seemed challenging enough to leave me exhausted at the end of each one, but not so sore I could not manage the next day either. When I mix the longer cycles with Zwift, I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy the process and, crucially, continue to lose weight.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare professional regarding questions you have about a medical condition or health goal.