Apple today announced the launch of a new Apple Watch Connected program that should benefit both gyms and gym-goers.The program will reward gym-goers for using an Apple Watch to track their workouts, with incentives varying by gym. At participating Crunch Fitness locations, for example, members can earn up to $4 off the cost of their membership per week if they meet certain activity goals, according to CNBC.
In return, gyms could attract new customers who wear an Apple Watch and see increased loyalty from existing members.
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. Apple also encourages gyms to offer GymKit-enabled equipment for improved Apple Watch syncing.
Four gym chains are rolling out support for the program in the United States starting today, including Basecamp Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and the YMCA, according to CNBC:
Basecamp will launch Apple Watch Connected to all of its clubs over the next year. YMCA will start with its greater Twin Cities locations this week followed by 22 additional YMCA branches in the coming weeks before expanding further. Crunch Fitness is launching Apple Watch Connected in two Manhattan gyms this week with more coming. Finally, Orange Theory will deploy it in all U.S. facilities in 2020, starting with two Manhattan locations on Thursday.
Last month, Orangetheory Fitness announced that it would begin rolling out Apple Watch support to its gyms in the first quarter of 2020. The gym chain created a small accessory called the OTbeat Link that attaches to an Apple Watch band, allowing the Apple Watch to sync with the chain’s heart rate monitoring system.