Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Which workout service is best for you?

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton
(Image credit: Apple/Peloton)

This Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton face-off can help you decide which service is best suited for achieving your workout goals. Although Peloton is known for its pricey exercise bike, the brand’s standalone app is Apple Fitness Plus’s clearest competition in the saturated, on-demand training space.

Both Apple Fitness Plus and the Peloton App provide a variety of workout styles led by high-energy coaches and soundtracked to stellar playlists. Although Peloton is a more mature program with advanced benefits for cycling enthusiasts, Apple Fitness Plus undercuts its rival’s cost by a significant sum and caters exceptionally to Apple Watch users. 

So does Peloton for $12.99 per month or Apple Fitness Plus for $9.99 per month make more sense for your exercise preferences? Our Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton comparison has everything you need to know about the equipment, class selection and overall experience of these two sweat-inducing services.

Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Price

Whether you pay by month or by year, Apple Fitness Plus costs less than the Peloton App. Fitness Plus costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, the latter of which is more cost-effective. People who buy an Apple Watch 6 will get 3 months of Apple Fitness Plus free, while first-time users get one month free. 

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Fitness Plus is also included in the Premier-level Apple One bundle. For $29.95 per month, you could get Fitness Plus in addition to Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News Plus and 2TB of iCloud storage.

Meanwhile, a Peloton App membership costs $12.99 per month for users who don’t own Peloton equipment. Peloton Bike and Peloton Tread users must subscribe to the $39.99 per month Peloton All-Access membership to participate in classes from their machine’s built-in tablet. 

Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Equipment and compatibility

While you could use the Peloton App with no additional equipment besides your phone or tablet, you need an Apple Watch in order to workout with Apple Fitness Plus. Peloton is compatible with Apple Watch, as well as some of the best Fitbits or and any of the best fitness trackers with ANT+.

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Peloton)

Both services are BYOB and BYOT — bring your own bike or your own treadmill. You don’t need to own Peloton hardware or other expensive machines to take advantage of these workout formats. This $500 exercise bike and $500 treadmill from Amazon will do just fine. One difference to note, however, is you can sync your cadence to your Peloton class with certain bike models, while Apple Fitness Plus doesn’t offer Bluetooth support for cycling rhythm sensors.

For non-cycling and non-running users, you’ll probably want one of the best yoga mats for mindfulness and HIIT classes, and some of the best adjustable dumbbells for strength training ones. But again, you could manage without anything but a screen to view classes on.

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Apple)

For Apple Fitness Plus, that means owning an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. The Peloton App offers broader compatibility for Android smartphone and tablet users. It’s also available on Apple TV, as well as Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV devices, which gives you more options for viewing classes on a big screen.

Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Class selection

Since Peloton has been around since 2012, it has the age advantage in class selection. Its backlog holds thousands of workout classes, while Apple Fitness Plus has about 200 classes total. Peloton hosts several live classes every day, while Apple Fitness Plus uploads a handful of new classes every week.

Although it’s the new kid on the block, Apple Fitness Plus launched with a considerable range of workout styles. HIIT, yoga, core, strength, treadmill, cycling, rowing, dance and mindful cooldown are the 10 different classes available to subscribers. 

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Peloton)

Peloton offers strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, walking, cycling and stretching  categories, with advanced filters within each vertical. For example, within the yoga section of the app, you can choose restorative, flow, power or basics practices. The Peloton App also supports outdoor running and walking guidance, which Apple Fitness Plus does not (yet.)

Another feature the Peloton App has that Apple Fitness Plus does not is difficulty ratings. While Fitness Plus’s trailers give a sneak peak at the workout to come, it’s not enough to tell a user whether it’s right for their experience level. Peloton’s classes are rated 1-10 on difficulty, so beginners and pros alike know exactly what they’re getting into before the workout is underway.

Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Experience

How does the experience of working out with Apple Fitness Plus differ from that of working out with the Peloton App, and vice versa? In terms of visuals, Apple Fitness Plus’s So-Cal studios look more elevated than Peloton’s. Fitness Plus classes also feature multiple coaches, with one leading the workout and another often demonstrating movement modifications. 

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Future)

On screen both programs show the time elapsed and your heart rate, but Apple Fitness Plus also shows your active and total calories burned, as well as the real-time progress of your activity rings. When you workout with Peloton, an Apple Health-compatible program, you won’t see your rings move until the class is over.

Apple Fitness Plus and Peloton have separate approaches to gamifying workouts, too. Peloton shows you a list of fellow users taking a given class at the same time as you, live or not. All-Access members can also see an activity leaderboard from their Peloton Bike or Peloton Tread’s screen. You can’t see who else is taking your class in Apple Fitness Plus, but the optional Burn Bar feature will show you how many calories you’re burning compared to others who have completed the same workout.

Apple Fitness Plus vs Peloton

(Image credit: Peloton)

Although music might seem like an afterthought compared to the quality of each service’s exercise regimens, the soundtrack is a central element for both experiences. Classes are labeled by music genre and even offer a preview of the tracklist. That said, Apple Fitness Plus has a slight advantage here because users can launch class playlists in the Apple Music app if they felt particularly fond of a song they heard while working out.

Apple Fitness Plus vs. Peloton: Which is better for you?

The Peloton App has more classes, more trainers and more time on its side. It’s what Apple Fitness Plus wants to be, but the newer service needs to grow more if it hopes to exceed Peloton’s offerings or chip into its existing user-base. 

If you’re deciding which of these services to subscribe to for the first time, here’s our advice: The Peloton App is well worth the price if cycling is your workout of choice and the idea of live classes, or classes with more variety and difficulty ratings, appeals to you. 

On the other hand, Fitness Plus is a good option if you’re already committed to multiple Apple products. It’s a no-brainer for people who thrive on closing their Apple Watch rings, and it’s probably more cost-effective for you than Peloton. It’s certainly more affordable than an actual gym membership. 

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.