Another buzzy fitness brand will soon integrate with Apple Watch

Key Points
  • Orangetheory Fitness will roll out support for the Apple Watch to all of its 1,300 locations during the first quarter of 2020.
  • The Apple Watch will work with a small new device that links it to Orangetheory's existing proprietary heart-rate monitoring system.
  • Orangetheory will also roll out new apps for employees that will run on iPads and iPhones.
Gym goers take part in an Orange 60 class at Orangetheory Fitness in Fairfax, VA.
Matt McClain | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Orangetheory Fitness announced on Thursday that it will roll out a small new device, called "OTbeat Link" that connects customers' Apple Watches to the fitness company's in-studio heart rate monitoring system.

The partnership with Apple will allow customers who own Apple Watches to track workouts on screens inside the gyms without requiring an additional heart rate monitor. So, instead of going to the gym and strapping on a clunky heart rate device, you can just wear your Apple Watch while you work out. All of the stats you'd normally see on the Orangetheory displays will still appear. Workouts can be viewed in the Activity app on an iPhone afterwards.

Orangetheory Fitness employees will also operate a new app called OTassist on iPads that will allow them to check members into classes, manage class schedules and check in on member performance. Coaches will have a new iPhone app called OTcoach that can be controlled from an Apple Watch and allows coaches to control their classes or view coaching materials normally kept in a book.

Orangetheory said Apple Watch support will roll out to all of its 1,300 studios during the first quarter of 2020, starting with the Astor Place and Soho studios in New York City.

This is Apple's second integration with a buzzy fitness brand this month. Last week, Peloton announced its apps and services will sync with the Apple Watch to monitor workouts.

It's also part of Apple's broader push to expand into health and fitness, beginning with the Apple Watch. Apple has software tools for developers called GymKit that lets the Apple Watch sync with connected gym equipment. Users can then track their workouts on the Apple Watch and through the Health and Activity apps on iPhone.

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