'Apple Watch Connected' Program Will Offer Rewards for Working Out at Participating Gyms

Alan Wynn

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Sep 13, 2017
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Last I checked, Apple was a private company, as are all the other companies involved with this effort. This is just like any other loyalty program, but with a goal that can encourage healthy behavior (“ask your doctor before beginning any exercise program”).

However, you mentioned health insurance companies offering discounts for “clos[ing] your rings” and act as if that is a bad thing. It makes great sense to support things that encourage healthy behavior and therefore cut their costs. Aetna (among others) offers a program that gives provides gift cards to participants in their Attain program that complete certain healthy actions every day. These are customized based on the user, and update as goals are met. I was 40 pounds heavier (clinically obese) when I started and they wanted me to burn 750 active calories a day (my regular Apple Watch goal was 750 any way). As my weight has dropped (thanks to the simple formula - eat less, move more - also known as “diet and exercise “), my daily requirement from Attain has dropped as well. It is now down to 600 active calories a day (still 20 pounds from my goal weight - 4 months in, 3 more to go), although I have not adjusted my Apple Watch active goal from 750.
 
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Hodar1

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I would love to see a means to calibrate the Apple Watch to a machine. I'm a geezer, and while I have dropped 48lbs in the past 6 months (Keto diet), I have found that the gym's Elliptical is often 25% off of what my watch says, after a 60 minute medium workout. The heart rate, weight, age and all input into the equipment, and the equipment knows the resistance setting. The watch knows my age, weight, height, gender and pulse rate - yet after an hour the elliptical says ~725 calories and the Watch says ~600 calories.

As the equipment knows the resistance, I think the equipment is closer to reality. I wish there was a way to input what the gym equipment said, vs just being stuck with the calculated calorie is based on heart rate. Not everyone has the same pulse rate.
 

brinary001

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Ooo yes please! My building has a gym on the bottom floor, but I'd probably start going to a more traditional gym if this ends up coming to One Life fitness here in Kansas City.
 

Adoniram

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Aug 7, 2016
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There are several Apple Watch apps that can do rep counting. JaxJox sells a set of connected kettle bells that enables tracking weight. Finally, I also remember seeing a set of weight machines that had gym kit integration to track weight and reps as well.
That's awesome! Having data to track performance over time would be amazing, especially if the app could suggest ways to mix up your workout (i.e. change weight/reps, change machines, etc.). I'd buy an Apple watch just for that. Of course, it would require connected gym machines and perhaps a nifty NFC interface for quick access... That's probably 5 years away :( (not from a technology standpoint, but actual common market implementation)
 

Alan Wynn

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Sep 13, 2017
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That's awesome! Having data to track performance over time would be amazing, especially if the app could suggest ways to mix up your workout (i.e. change weight/reps, change machines, etc.). I'd buy an Apple watch just for that. Of course, it would require connected gym machines and perhaps a nifty NFC interface for quick access... That's probably 5 years away :( (not from a technology standpoint, but actual common market implementation)
I like both the Strong App and Streaks Workout. My boyfriend and I have been done a work out everyday since the 22 of June last year and a Daily Yoga (another app we use) yoga session since International Yoga Day (21st of June. We started using both thanks to Apple Watch’s Yoga Challenge and both have really helped me get back into shape.
 
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AtikCzaTok

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May 10, 2016
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Last I checked, Apple was a private company, as are all the other companies involved with this effort. This is just like any other loyalty program, but with a goal that can encourage healthy behavior (“ask your doctor before beginning any exercise program”).
So is Apple paying the Gym $4 if you wear your apple watch, or is the Gym taking a loss of $4?
Either way- it's good to know it's an altruistic endeavor and nothing to do with data mining.
 

sw1tcher

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Jan 6, 2004
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It is free for gyms to join the Apple Watch Connected program, so long as they meet the requirements, including having iPhone and Apple Watch apps to track workouts, offering rewards and incentives, and accepting Apple Pay.
If Apple was smart, they'd implement a requirement that people sign up and pay for gym membership through an app where Apple would get a 30% cut of fees.
 

andiwm2003

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Mar 29, 2004
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Boston, MA
The insurance company I work for has a program that allows people to buy down their deductible by meeting certain walking goals. I think it’s great. Incentives for healthy activity is a good thing especially in a country where obesity and diabetes are so prevalent.
In principle it is a good thing to have these incentives and I certainly benefit from them.

However it makes me also worried that this is a hidden price increase for sick people because they can't do these activities and pay full price. In the end it is always a mixed calculation. When you give rebates to one group, the rest has to pay more. And the purpose of a health insurance should be to distribute the costs of healthcare somewhat evenly between us healthy and the sick people.
 

8CoreWhore

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Jan 17, 2008
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Crunch Fitness costs $110/mo. so they have plenty of room for discounts. LA Fitness costs me $30/Mo... Maybe they'll do something else like a discount at protein bar or some classes, etc.
 

AZMecha

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Jun 30, 2015
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Well, I hope my LA Fitness gets some new equipment and switch from crappy DSL to Cox Gigablast!!!
 

Relentless Power

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Crunch Fitness costs $110/mo. so they have plenty of room for discounts. LA Fitness costs me $30/Mo... Maybe they'll do something else like a discount at protein bar or some classes, etc.
Uhh....$110 a month for what? I know plenty of clients that use Crunch fitness and have total access to the full package with the classes/amenity programs and it comes out to like ~$80 monthly. Where are you coming up with $110? That must be specific cost to your region, because that certainly is not the cost where I am for Crunch, and if someone’s paying $110 a month, then there severely losing money.
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What about Planet Fitness?
It’s possible in the future, but Planet fitness is the probably the one gym environment that doesn’t like to participate/be conjoined in the other ‘health spectrums’, because they really do their own incentives/goal progress, But I’m not saying it’s not possible. It’s a very ‘anti-company’ a lot of things based on what they stand for.
 
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Ant2369

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Jul 20, 2011
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Makes me wonder: how good is the Apple Watch at tracking weight lifting? I was under the impression that most tracked activities are currently cardio-related.
check our Gymaholic I’ve been using it for years...It takes a little bit of set up is on the preloaded with the workouts. But it does give you the ability to make your own customized workouts as well. It Is a game changer when it comes to tracking weightlifting type workouts.
 
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Alan Wynn

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Sep 13, 2017
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So is Apple paying the Gym $4 if you wear your apple watch, or is the Gym taking a loss of $4?
Either way- it's good to know it's an altruistic endeavor and nothing to do with data mining.
It may or may not have anything to do with data mining. Loyalty programs serve many purposes:
  • Bring in new members
  • Support retention
  • increase customer satisfaction
Given that one is already tracked by one's gym (or can be if they choose to do so since one has to be a member), I am guessing that data mining from the gym's perspective is not the number one goal. My having better data about what I do in a gym could certainly help the gym improve my experience. When I sit down with a trainer, I can show a log of what I am doing and it makes it easier to determine how to help me best.

Again, no one has to participate and there is not much of a down side for it.
 

Alan Wynn

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Sep 13, 2017
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In principle it is a good thing to have these incentives and I certainly benefit from them.
These incentives are great because they can benefit society as a whole, not just those who qualify for them.

However it makes me also worried that this is a hidden price increase for sick people because they can't do these activities and pay full price.
First, many of these programs are personalized, meaning that they try to encourage a person to do more within what they can do.

However, one can be pretty sure that insurance companies are not passing along all their savings, and programs that encourage people to improve their health and fitness benefit not just those able to participate, but everyone else as well. If people need fewer services and are better able to support themselves, it lowers costs on the health care system as a whole. In addition, fewer sick days cuts costs for employers companies, either lowering prices or preventing price increases.

When you give rebates to one group, the rest has to pay more.
Incorrect. If doing this decreases the cost of covering these users, and cuts the burden on the system as a whole, it is not the sick subsiding the healthy, it is a way of decreasing the overall cost to society of an unhealthy population.
 

nick82

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Apr 29, 2010
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If Apple was smart, they'd implement a requirement that people sign up and pay for gym membership through an app where Apple would get a 30% cut of fees.
They are brilliant (at times), the article says they're forcing the Gyms to accept ApplePay for any incidental fees/rentals/etc.

What they're creating, whether they realize it or not, is a walled garden where customers will have ApplePay on their watch and no phone, credit-cards, etc. in their pockets. What better way to get the public more comfortable with mobile payments than to offer convenience in a situation where they literally can't fall back to old habits.

Nick
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That's awesome! Having data to track performance over time would be amazing, especially if the app could suggest ways to mix up your workout (i.e. change weight/reps, change machines, etc.). I'd buy an Apple watch just for that. Of course, it would require connected gym machines and perhaps a nifty NFC interface for quick access... That's probably 5 years away :( (not from a technology standpoint, but actual common market implementation)
They've been on the market for a few years now and rolling out as new clubs are built out. You can even buy them for home use but they're only the high end machines. Look at LifeFitness's Discover S3HD on their Platinum Club series machines. I'd say this announcement is acknowledging that the tipping point has arrived where clubs are asking about connectivity when they refresh/expand.
 
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Relentless Power

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Is PF even considered a gym 😂😂😂
I can understand why some don’t like PF what they stand for with the whole ‘No judgement’, I had the chance to visit one of the latest generation gyms in the past in my city (We have three of them), they had some of the latest cardio machines with decent tech, they had multiple ‘hammer strength’ machines, [which are very expensive and actually are even geared towards bodybuilding], some of their weight benches were really unique in terms of how they’ve improved with height adjustment settings/wider for better stability, And they had four ‘rowing machines’ that other gyms didn’t even have at the time when I was visiting. Not to mention, it was about twice the size of the gym that I normally attend. But in fairness, this was one of the later generation gyms, maybe the older ones don’t have nearly as much new equipment/space.

Also, There’s a lot equipment at PF doesn’t offer for various weightlifting, but for beginners and/or inexperienced gym go-ers, it’s a good start, even though there’s quite a few things that they are lacking.
 
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Ant2369

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Jul 20, 2011
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Connecticut
Usually when people say these types of comments, they have zero experience with Planet fitness, I’m not defending them, just giving my own personal antidote off my visit.

Even though I can understand why some don’t like PF what they stand for with the whole ‘No judgement’, I had the chance to visit one of the latest generation gyms in the past in my city (We have three of them), and it was nothing to scoff at, they had some of the latest cardio machines with decent tech, they had multiple ‘hammer strength’ machines, [which are very expensive and actually are even geared towards bodybuilding], some of their weight benches were really unique in terms of how they’ve improved with height adjustment settings/wider for better stability, And they had four ‘rowing machines’ that other gyms didn’t even have at the time when I was visiting. Not to mention, it was about twice the size of the gym that I normally attend (Which if you frequent a gym, you would know that having extra space is much appreciated when it’s crowded.)

I’m not trying to pick on your post, but if you make ignorant comments like that, you should probably have a fair assessment of what PF offers before posting. They’ve come along way, even if PF is not for everyone.
I actually have a TON of experience with PF. I managed their largest location in my state for almost two years. They are FAR from no judgement. During my first week in training I was working out on my lunch break when an area manager came in and pulled me aside afterwards saying “ do not ever workout in tank top again you are the exact type of person (what they called a Lunk) we don’t want in our gyms and you are managing one of them. Saying this because I have muscles and tattoos.

they also strive for people to join they $10/month white card in hopes they’ll come once or twice and never again but not cancel so can can collect the money..

and let’s not even get started on pizza Monday’s and bagel Tuesdays... so yes 2 years as a manager with first hand knowledge of the business model I 100% stand by what I said 😂
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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I actually have a TON of experience with PF. I managed their largest location in my state for almost two years. They are FAR from no judgement. During my first week in training I was working out on my lunch break when an area manager came in and pulled me aside afterwards saying “ do not ever workout in tank top again you are the exact type of person (what they called a Lunk) we don’t want in our gyms and you are managing one of them. Saying this because I have muscles and tattoos.

they also strive for people to join they $10/month white card in hopes they’ll come once or twice and never again but not cancel so can can collect the money..

and let’s not even get started on pizza Monday’s and bagel Tuesdays... so yes 2 years as a manager with first hand knowledge of the business model I 100% stand by what I said 😂
That’s fair. And I admit, I actually edited my post after you responded, so that’s my own fault there. I don’t think PF is a ‘bad place’ to work out, but I do agree with your comments that I’ve read/heard about how they really don’t want specific type of people working out in that gym with the whole ‘no intimidation.’

And you’re right, the lunk alarm is absolutely ridiculous, as it’s meant to humiliate/embarrass those who are allegedly doing things they shouldn’t. If they don’t like certain things that people are doing, they could simply address it with them in person versus blaring some alarm expecting for the member to hear it with their headphones on. The ‘lunk’ alarm is juvenile and completely unnecessary.
 
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schneeland

macrumors newbie
May 22, 2017
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check our Gymaholic I’ve been using it for years...It takes a little bit of set up is on the preloaded with the workouts. But it does give you the ability to make your own customized workouts as well. It Is a game changer when it comes to tracking weightlifting type workouts.
Thanks! I'll take a look.