Men’s Health was given a behind-the-scenes tour of Apple’s 23,000 square foot Fitness+ studio in Santa Monica, California. The publication also interviewed Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for health technologies, and COO Jeff Williams for the story.
From the story’s photographs and description of the studio, it’s clear that Apple has put a lot of effort and money behind the Fitness+ classes:
“We want these workouts to be magical. We’re creating a piece of art, a piece of inspiration, a piece of motivation,” says Blahnik. “Many people might not think about the importance of lighting a cycling class differently than a yoga class, but we think it makes a difference.” Blahnik’s worked in fitness for more than 30 years. He developed fitness devices and apps at Nike in the mid-2000s, and he’s also a rowing instructor. “Fitness+ creates incredible workout experiences that are also beautiful.”
Classes are shot with a sophisticated setup that allows Apple to create videos tailored to each type of workout:
Seven cameras and three trainers might seem like overkill, but there’s a method to this muscle-building moviemaking. Apple shoots with high-end Super 35–format cinema cameras, in high definition. Mounting the cameras on robotic arms enables smooth movement, creating an elegant and intimate feel. “We built the studio in a way that would allow shooting all the angles to make the right choices to show just the right angle at just the right time,” says Blahnik.
There are a lot of interesting insights about how the classes are created by Apple’s team of instructors and fitness experts, too, so be sure to check out the full article.