Apple Is Teaming up With the Buzziest Studios and Gyms to Reward You for Sweating

Photo: Apple
Working out is often a reward in and of itself. On the days when you feel like you could do literally anything else but exercise, there’s an instant payoff from those feel-good endorphins that make the effort feel worth it. Couple that with the longterm physical and mental health benefits, which include helping to prevent depression, promoting longevity, and enhancing balance and coordination, and the good times keep on rolling when you consistently work up a sweat. And now, there are some very tangible benefits to getting active, too: Apple is partnering with four of the buzziest studios and gyms in the country to launch Apple Connected, and there will be some pretty legitimate financial incentives to get your heart rate up.

Apple Connected is a new program that utilizes the fitness intel collected from your watch (and GymKit, a way to pair cardio machines to your Apple Watch to track your gains) to provide incentives to work out. At launch, Apple will kick off the program with six Basecamp Fitness locations, YMCA St. Paul Midway, and two New York Crunch Signature locations, as well as drumrollllll: two Orangetheory studios, which has us the most excited, so allow us to gush.

The ultra-popular high intensity interval training (HIIT) class— known for weaving treadmill, weights, and rowing machines into a single workout—is one of the first studios to join in the Apple Connected program and has some of the coolest rewards. Members who enroll will be able to earn gift cards (up to $15 per month) to Nike, Apple, and other brands, as well as receive their signature OTBeat Link, which connects the heart rate data from the Apple Watch to Orangetheory’s in-studio screens, for free. Sweat enough and those new Nike Infinity React sneaks could be on the house.

This program will start at two OTF studios in New York City (Astor Place and SoHo), then extend to the company’s nearly 1,200 franchises across all 50 states in 2020. “As a leader in heart-rate based interval training, we are thrilled to be one of the first fitness brands to introduce Apple Watch Connected studios,” says Kevin Keith, the Chief Brand Officer at Orangetheory Fitness. “By incorporating Apple Watch in and out of our studios, we’re helping our members stay motivated throughout their fitness journey.”

As with OrangeTheory, the program rollouts at the other studios and gyms will take place throughout 2020 to include additional locations. If you’re not close to any of these locations, stay tuned we’re betting that Apple is going to keep on rolling out the program in the years and months to come. Also, keep in mind that each set of incentives and rewards differ by location. At Basecamp Fitness, for example, those who participate in three classes a week can earn back the value of their watch over the course of the year. Those who sweat at Crunch can earn back dollars to their membership if they get their fitness on enough.

“We’re thrilled innovative and progressive health clubs and gyms are putting Apple Watch at the center of their digital ecosystem through the new Apple Watch Connected program," said Jay Blahnik, Senior Director of Fitness Technologies at Apple. "Apple Watch continues to help people live a better day by being more active and this deep integration with the device offers members an unparalleled gym-going experience.”

One of the best parts? If you don’t want to crush it at your given Apple Connected sweat box, your activity still counts. Whether it’s from a family vacation in the mountains to your morning walk with the dog, you don’t even need to log your sweat at a physical location to earn your clout. Once you’re signed up for the program at your given studio or gym, all activity counts toward your daily goals, making it possible to snag rewards even when you’re on the go. So, about those 2020 fitness goals—who’s ready to move?

Ummm, us? Here's what happened when one Well+Good staffer took an Apple Watch for a test-drive:

BTW: A cardiologist wants you to start paying attention to this metric on your Apple Watch, and this is what happened when one editor took on a biohacking workout.

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