Maybe Peloton should worry about Apple Fitness+ after all

Analysing which activities people seem to do on Apple’s (comparatively cheap) fitness service suggests that it’s the same ones that Peloton focuses on — but for less time

Charles Arthur
7 min readJul 24, 2022


On Apple Fitness+, Cycling for 20 minutes is one of the most popular workouts. Photo: Apple PR

When Apple launched its Fitness+ service in December 2020, there was a fair bit of doubt about how it could match up to existing services. OK, there were lockdowns all over the place, but Peloton in particular was seen as the giant of the space, and — as so often when Apple launches into new spaces— this attempt was sure to go wrong.

Here was Techcrunch when the service launched:

Its creation also adds to the increasingly crowded field. Fitbit is just one company that has its own service that’s tied to its hardware. Then there are the host of fitness apps. For instance, Aaptiv, a Netflix-style app-based startup that connects people to a range of trainer-led indoor and outdoor fitness and wellness sessions, raised fresh capital back in April.

Since then Fitbit has sold itself to Google, and Aaptiv was acquired in October 2021 by Pear Sports. But the app-based personal fitness business is reckoned to be promising: worth $1.1bn in 2021, forecast to grow 20% every year through to 2032 to reach $8.1bn, half of it in “exercise and weight loss”. (Ignore that. These predictions never hold.)

Who moved my workout?

I’m an Apple Fitness+ subscriber: I’ve got a rowing machine (Concept 2, if that means anything to you) and the Fitness+ classes are a far more enjoyable way to spend the time than setting yourself a target (distance, time) and grinding along. In rowing, they come in 10, 20 and 30-minute classes, and I began doing them as they arrived. Personally, I found the 10-minute segments too short, and the 30-minute ones usually too long. So I did the 20-minute ones, working from the earliest available, not repeating.

Recently, I noticed that I was running out of new 20-minute workouts. Was the shortage because one of the rowing coaches, Anya, was pregnant — perhaps on maternity leave? — and unavailable to make them? But they replaced her with someone else. Also, I reflected, if the demand was…



Charles Arthur

Tech journalist; author of “Social Warming: how social media polarises us all” and two others. The Guardian’s Technology editor 2005–14. Speaker, moderator.