Amazing Apple or perfect Peloton? Which fitness app is better for you?

Looking for a fitness platform to kickstart a new exercise regime? We look at Apple Fitness+ vs Peloton app

In the competitive world of on-demand workout platforms, the Apple Fitness+ vs Peloton app matchup sees two heavyweights go head-to-head.

Apple is best known for its hardware, and Apple Fitness+ is a relatively new element in its offering, launching in December 2020. Peloton is famous for its eye-wateringly expensive exercise bike, but the fitness app has been around since 2018, potentially giving it the edge in this contest. 

Both apps offer a wide range of workouts, delivered by a diverse collection of coaches. They both have curated classes, and try to cater for everyone, no matter your fitness level or experience. But there are a few differences between them, which may mean one is more suitable for you. 

The Apple Fitness+ Home Screen displayed on an iPhone, and the Peloton app details screenCredit: Apple/Saga Exceptional

Apple Fitness+ vs Peloton app: Price

Peloton is cheaper, and also more expensive. We’ll explain.

When it comes to cost, Apple’s pricing structure for Fitness+ is significantly simpler than Peloton’s. You have two options: a monthly subscription for £9.99, or, if you pay in full for 12 months’ worth, it costs £79.99.

In return, you can access everything on the platform. New users can take advantage of a free trial, to see if you feel Apple fitness+ is worth it. 

The revamped Peloton app introduced a tiered pricing structure. Access to all the content on the app, including equipment-based workouts (that let you use your own exercise bike or treadmill, for example) costs £24 a month, or £240 for a year.

To access everything, including content that’s exclusive to Peloton equipment (such as Lanebreak and Scenic), will cost you £39 a month.  

Lanebreak is a “gamified workout experience” where riders race along a six-lane tack using a virtual wheel. Users must match and sustain their metrics according to the on-screen cues. There are several difficulty settings, workout types and a choice of music genres. Workouts are between five and 30 minutes in length. 

Scenic takes you on virtual rides and runs through a variety of scenic locations. Users can choose from travelogues, distance-based content and timed content. Peloton has also added a new feature called Scenic Radio, which allows users to choose from different playlists during the class.  

You can get Peloton for free

While this is significantly more expensive, Peloton does have an ace up its sleeve: there is also a free tier, offering a curated selection of 50 classes taken from 12 of Peloton’s 16 different class types. These don’t include equipment-based workouts, or live classes. The 50 classes available are regularly rotated, so you won’t be stuck doing the same workouts over and over.  

If you want a little more variety, a basic paid-for membership costs £12.99 a month. For this, you get access to many more classes including strength, cardio, Pilates, meditation, and up to three cardio equipment classes (cycling, treadmill or rowing). This is arguably the closest comparison to Apple’s membership fee. 

There’s no clear winner in this category. Apple is much cheaper if you want access to everything, but Peloton offers a free tier, which is obviously the cheapest overall.

A lot will come down to how much content you want. If you’re just getting back into exercise, then that free tier from Peloton may be a great starting point. But if you want access to everything, Apple works out significantly cheaper. 

Workouts

Both apps are very competitive

While price may be what tempts you in, you aren’t going to stay if the workouts aren’t up to scratch. And both of these platforms have plenty to offer.

Peloton

The Peloton app has up to 16 types of workout class – 13 “regular” workout categories, plus three that are exclusive to Peloton bikes, rowing machines and treadmills: 

  • Bike bootcamp 
  • Rowing 
  • Rowing bootcamp 
  • Outdoor 
  • Treadmill running 
  • Treadmill walking 
  • Cardio (which includes HIIT (high-intensity interval training), shadowboxing and dance cardio) 
  • Treadmill bootcamp 
  • Strength 
  • Meditation 
  • Cycling 
  • Stretching 
  • Yoga

In addition, it also offers a service called Peloton Gym, which provides step-by-step workout plans that you can use at a regular gym, at home or anywhere else you choose to exercise. These include upper body, lower body, core, and full body workouts.

There are also collections of class types, and some curated programmes that tell you what workouts to follow on what days (although in our Peloton app review, we felt these were somewhat limited).  

Overall, there are thousands of workouts to choose from in the Peloton app library, as well as live classes that are being added all the time. It’s a deep well to draw from. 

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+ is also no slouch, offering 12 different workout categories: 

  • Meditation 
  • Strength 
  • HIIT 
  • Yoga 
  • Core 
  • Pilates 
  • Dance 
  • Kickboxing 
  • Cycling 
  • Treadmill 
  • Rowing 
  • Mindful cooldown 

As with Peloton, there are also curated collections and some workout programs you can follow, if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. New workouts are added weekly, so there’s no shortage of content to work your way through.

There’s also Time to Run and Time to Walk, which are audio experiences designed for going outdoors to exercise, using your Apple Watch or iPhone. Unlike with Peloton, there are no live classes available. 

Both platforms offer an enormous variety of classes. If live classes are important to you, then Peloton may just shade this category, but otherwise the two are very closely matched. 

Equipment

What workouts do you want to do?

When choosing which platform to use, another factor to consider is what equipment you’ll need. This will be largely decided by what workouts you want to do. On either platform, there are many workouts that require no equipment. Some may need a set of dumbbells, and if you want to do any of the machine-based workouts, you may need an exercise bike, treadmill or rowing machine.  

With the Peloton app, you have the option of using the Peloton Bike (from £1,345), and the Peloton Tread (from £3,345). Non-Peloton machines will suffice, unless you want to do the dedicated workouts that are solely for Peloton equipment.

Featured product

Peloton Bike

RRP: £1,345

Peloton Bike

Featured product

Peloton Tread

RRP: £3,345

Peloton Tread

Apple doesn’t manufacturer exercise equipment, so you will need to source your own if you want to do its bike, rowing machine or treadmill classes.

Finally, you might want to consider one of the best yoga mats if you plan to do any yoga, Pilates or meditation, just to make yourself more comfortable.

Apple Watch

You used to need an Apple Watch to use Fitness+, but that’s no longer the case. Using the watch alongside the app will allow you to easily track your workouts, and even display your metrics onscreen as you exercise. If you don’t want an Apple Watch you can still use a different fitness tracker or smartwatch to track your exercise.

The Peloton app lets you connect your Apple Watch, and is also compatible with a range of Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung devices.  Some of these will connect and display your progress on screen. The integration is arguably a little less smooth than Apple’s Watch with Fitness+, though.

Availability

Apple Fitness+ doesn’t play with non-Apple products

One crucial distinction is in the availability of these two fitness apps, with the Peloton app available on a wider variety of platforms than Apple Fitness+. 

The Peloton app is available on Android and Apple devices, plus certain smart TVs including Android TV, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. Fitness+ is only available if you have other Apple products – specifically, an Apple TV, iPad or iPhone.

If you’re already an Apple user, this probably won’t be a concern, but if you use Android or other non-Apple products, you won’t be able to access Apple Fitness+.

User Experience

One looks slicker, while the other makes it easier to find workouts

We prefer the look and feel of Apple Fitness+. The sets it uses are more polished, whereas Peloton feels surprisingly low budget in comparison.

Many of the Peloton workouts are led by a single trainer, while on Fitness+ tends to involve three different trainers, one leading the session, and one of the others demonstrating modifications (this is immensely helpful when moves are difficult).

The Fitness+ interface is also a little more visually appealing, and just feels smoother to use. But looks aren’t everything, of course. 

When it comes to choosing a workout, Peloton has the edge. While both apps offer filters that allow you to search for workouts based on (for example) time, trainer or exercise type, Peloton’s filters also include difficulty (something we think is hugely beneficial to ensure you’re choosing something suitable), and even which body parts you want to focus on. 

When we reviewed the Peloton app, we felt it had a more detailed preview of what each workout entails, breaking down every move, showing you what muscles are being worked, and generally offering clearer insights into what you are about to do. Sometimes it can feel like a step into the unknown when you start an Apple Fitness+ workout. 

Apple Fitness+ vs Peloton App: Which is right for you?

Take a bite from the Apple, or join the Peloton?

Both platforms have been around for a few years now and are well-established offerings. For some people, the choice will be very simple; for others, perhaps less so. 

Peloton has the potential to cost you far more than Apple Fitness+, especially if you plan on buying any of the company’s exercise equipment. But it also offers a free tier, which is ideal if you just want to dip your toe in the home workout waters. Apple has a far less complicated pricing structure, and for some, that simplicity – and relative affordability – will win out.  

Both platforms allow you to take your workouts with you as you go, and even if you may not be able to do everything (unless you’re packing your treadmill), there’s still plenty to choose from without needing equipment. Peloton Gym is another nice feature that can support you in a gym environment. 

Apple users may be drawn to the seamless integration of Fitness+ with the company’s other services and devices, such as the Apple Watch and Apple Music (which can take music from your workout and add it to your Apple Music playlists). Non-Apple users don’t get a choice, but may prefer the greater ease of finding a suitable workout that Peloton offers. 

Ultimately, these are two well-matched fitness platforms that offer plenty. Whichever one you decide to use, you’ll only get out what you put in. Choosing the one that offers the best chance of committing to it and showing up consistently will be the right one for you. 

Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him

Updated:

Steven Shaw has been a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar. His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.