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The Wall Street Journal Interviews Apple’s Jay Blahnik on Fitness+

The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Vanderbilt nabbed an interview this week with Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness technologies. The two discussed the strategy for Fitness+, Apple’s new subscription workout service which is launching next week. From the article:

“Metrics is motivation,” says Blahnik, who in the early 2000s helped launch Nike’s connected running program. “The metrics react to the things the trainer says and the things that you do. We believe that makes it much more immersive than simply following content that’s available anywhere else.” Portability, he says, is also key. A Fitness+ workout is meant to be done anywhere, on any screen, on any machine, from a gym to a hotel room to—more than ever—at home.

This is an insightful look into the kind of content which Fitness+ will hold. Workouts (at least at launch) will likely be highly accessible due to not requiring advanced gym equipment. There will also be a personalized suggestion engine designed to encourage cross-training for a well-rounded fitness routine:

Another innovation, says Blahnik, is the system’s personalization engines, which will suggest workouts from a growing library based on your history—both inside and outside of Fitness+. “We always say: It shouldn’t take 20 minutes to find a 20-minute workout.” That doesn’t mean simply guiding cyclists to ever more cycling workouts; rather, as Apple says, “it looks for a way to gently encourage you to cross-train.” As Blahnik notes, “We have a carousel called ‘Try Something New.’ So if you tend to do more linear workouts, like running or cycling, you would be suggested things like HIIT [high-intensity interval training] or yoga, that would move your body in different directions.”

The whole article is worth a read, although most of it is behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall if you aren’t a subscriber.