Apple partners with gyms to reward Apple Watch wearers


Apple Watch app to monitor athletic performance
Taking Apple Watch to the gym can earn you some perks.
Photo: Apple

Wearing your Apple Watch to the gym can now earn you some perks and in some cases, a discounted monthly membership.

Apple revealed its new Apple Watch Connected gym partnership today that is supposed to incentivize Apple Watch wearers to hit the gym more. Initial launch partners include Basecamp Fitness, Orange Theory, YMCA and Crunch Fitness with more gyms expected to be added throughout 2020.

The Apple Watch Connected Gym program launches at select gym locations on Thursday, January 23. Participating gyms have to support four different tiers of Apple Watch benefits to be included in the program.

Tier 1: Gyms must have an Apple Watch app that lets people track their fitness, see classes and log-in at the gym.
Tier 2: Gyms have to offer an option to “earn with Apple Watch”.
Tier 3: Gyms have to accept Apple Pay.
Tier 4: GymKit on cardio machines, unless it’s a studio like Orange Theory.

Apple Watch Connected gyms

Most of the gyms can put their own spin on Tier 2 rewards. For instance, Crunch Fitness will give you $3 to $4 in weekly credit if you meet certain goals. That amount is then deducted off your bill the next month. Orange Theory is giving out Nike and Apple gift cards to customers that hit their goals. And at the YMCA your workouts go toward providing free classes for kids.

Basecamp Fitness might have the best incentive of all though. The company will give you an Apple Watch Series 5 GPS model and let you earn it back by going to three classes per week for the entire year.

For now, the Apple Watch Connected program is only launching at a select few gyms. YMCA is launching at its greater Twin Cities locations this week with 22 additional YMCA branches adding it over the next few weeks. Crunch Fitness and Orange Theory are only launching at two Manhattan gyms this week with more coming.