Apple Fitness Plus to get kickboxing, Beyoncé, and sleep meditations – The Verge

Just in time for New Year’s resolutions, Apple is adding a massive update to its Fitness Plus service. Starting next Monday, the company is adding kickboxing workouts, a series of classes set to Beyoncé’s music, and sleep meditations. The service will also add three new trainers and kick off a new season of Time to Walk.

With kickboxing, Apple’s expanding its roster of equipment-free full-body cardio workouts. The classes will feature rounds of kickboxing moves that are then combined into a final one-minute, all-out intensity interval. Users can select from 10-, 20-, and 30-minute long classes. Apple has also recruited Nez Dally, a Muay Thai fighter who became the first woman to compete in Thailand with a hijab, to co-lead the classes with existing treadmill and HIIT trainer Jamie-Ray Hartshorne. Apple will also add Brian Cochrane as a new HIIT trainer and Jenn Lau for strength classes.

Adding kickboxing is a savvy move for the platform if it hopes to gain more at-home users. Thus far, the majority of the platform’s cardio options involve equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, and rowers. And while HIIT is good for the heart, the intensity can often be off-putting to beginners — and Apple has clearly stated it intends for Fitness Plus to be an inclusive platform for all skill levels. You can see that ethos in the new trainers as well, as Apple’s consistently made an effort to showcase a diverse set of coaches.

Beyoncé is a popular fixture on fitness tech platforms.

Beyoncé is a popular fixture on fitness tech platforms.
Image: Apple

Meanwhile, Apple’s kicking off a new round of the Artist Spotlight series with Beyoncé. The Artist Spotlight series is essentially a playlist of classes set to the music of a single artist and is a clever means of integrating Apple Music into the Fitness Plus service. The Beyoncé series will feature songs from her latest album, Renaissance, in cycling, dance, HIIT, pilates, strength, treadmill, and yoga workouts. Peloton previously launched a similar collection of classes set to Beyoncé’s work that ended up being a big hit with users. (I mean, it’s Queen Bey.) Later this month, Apple is also adding classes set to the Foo Fighters and Bad Bunny.

Aside from workouts, there will also be a new category of meditations dedicated to sleep. The move makes sense. Sleep-related content is a staple on many fitness and meditation apps; adding it to Fitness Plus just gives users another reason to stay within the app. To launch the new theme, there’ll be a new program of four 20-minute sessions to help users relax and fall asleep more easily. Going forward, new sleep meditations will be added on a weekly basis.

Those are the major updates, though Apple is adding a hodgepodge of other updates as well. Time to Walk will launch its fifth season, including guests like actor Jamie Lee Curtis and figure skater Nathan Chen, who won the gold medal at the 2022 Olympics. Apple is also adding two new Collections (curated workout playlists): a six-week program to help users get back into fitness and, later this month, additional core workouts that use dumbbells.

While Apple has continually expanded Fitness Plus since launching in 2020, this is one of the bigger updates we’ve seen thus far. With on-demand fitness content, having an extensive library is crucial, especially if you’re hoping to lure users away from other established platforms. In recent months, it’s also clear that Apple wants to hook more users into its fitness and health ecosystem. For example, in October, Apple opened up the service to non-Apple Watch owners so long as they have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. iPhone users can also now join in “closing rings,” whereas both of these things were previously limited to Apple Watch owners. It’s a savvy move that aligns with Apple’s pivot to services from just hardware alone. If you end up loving the service, you’re way more likely to buy an Apple Watch — and stay in the Apple ecosystem as a result.


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