Do you use your Apple Watch at the gym? Soon you may be able to get a discounted membership or Apple gift cards just for reaching your goals. Apple is launching a partnership program for gyms today called “Apple Watch Connected” that’s meant to highlight chains that integrate with its wearable and offer perks for owners.
Certain gyms have Apple GymKit integration that allows you to use NFC to connect your smartwatch into gym equipment, and this would be used to track your progress. According to CNBC
For a gym to get the Apple Watch Connected branding, it’ll have to offer four things:
- An app for iPhones and Apple Watches that offers information like class times
- Support for Apple Pay to buy things at the gym
- Some kind of perk for wearers, like membership discounts
- Fitness equipment that supports GymKit, Apple’s system for syncing an Apple Watch with equipment like treadmills and ellipticals
At the launch today, there are four Apple Watch Connected gym partners: YMCA, Crunch Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, and Orange Theory. It’ll also only be live at select locations for each. Crunch is the only gym offering membership discounts for people who work out regularly; Orange Theory is offering gift card perks, and the YMCA will donate classes to kids. Basecamp is advertising a program it already offers that can give subscribers an Apple Watch for free.
Gyms can join the scheme for free but there’s a lot of hoops to jump through to be able to do that, such as having GymKit-ready equipment and an app for iPhone.
However, it is unclear at the moment how extensive the discounts to membership will be or how much you can get rewarded for meeting your goals.
Each gym brand seems to be offering its scheme – for example, Crunch Fitness is discounting memberships while Orange Theory is giving out gift cards.
Exactly how you set your goals has also not been made clear yet, but we’d anticipate those would be different for every person who’s using the scheme.
Apple has yet to confirm whether it will be bringing the Apple Watch Connected scheme to other countries. GymKit connected gyms are available in a variety of countries including the UK, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility that the company will one day launch it outside the US if it proves successful.