Want to dial your Apple Fitness+ cardio workouts like HIIT, treadmill, cycling, and rowing workouts up a notch? Apple’s Fitness+ subscription offers just that with its trademarked on-screen Burn Bar.
So, if you want to add some challenge to your workouts with Apple Fitness+, the Burn Bar just might motivate you to up your game!
So, let’s take a closer look at the Burn Bar.
- Get fit with Apple Fitness+: a comprehensive guide.
- Complete Guide to the Workout App for your new Apple Watch
- Cardio Fitness levels feature on Apple Watch, here’s what you should know.
- Peloton Digital vs. Apple Fitness+; here is what you should know.
- Strength training using Apple Watch, a quick primer
Apple Fitness+ works with your Apple Watch to track your stats.
The beauty of Apple Fitness+ is how it integrates the Apple Watch’s workout app with your iPhone, iPads, and Apple TVs (no support for Macs–yet!)
Your Apple Watch’s sensor captures your workout data, like your heart rate, active and total calorie count, your distance, and of course, your workout length.
That data is then mirrored in a window on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV so you can easily track your workout on a larger screen. No more trying to peek down at your watch to see your stats!
Your Activity rings also appear on-screen, showing your current progress. And when you close any of your activity rings, it celebrates the accomplishment!
Okay, but where’s the Burn Bar?
When you choose high-intensity cardio workouts such as cycling, running on the treadmill, HIIT, and rowing, you also see the Burn Bar just below your other health stats.
The Burn Bar measures your metabolic equivalent of task (MET–basically, a measure of physical intensity) against other anonymous users who previously completed that same workout.
It calculates your level of “burn” using your heart rate. And the pink Burn Bar shows up on your screen about two minutes into your workout.
And yes, you can disable it if you don’t want to see it on-screen!
The Burn Bar is one of the best features of Apple Fitness+.
When working out in any of Fitness+’s cardio-intensive exercises, watch your Burn Bar slide to the right (in the lead) or left (falling behind) as it compares how your current effort (MET) stacks up against all the other Apple Fitness+ users who’ve done that same workout.
The Burn Bar offers a little healthy competition to motivate you to keep going and push your workout to your max!
The Burn Bar is balanced for weight, age, and gender.
The Burn Bar also considers your weight, age, and gender, so you compete with others similar to you.
That way, your screen’s Burn Bar accurately reflects your workout’s intensity and effort and gives you a realistic and achievable top mark!
Another feature we love is the Burn Bar’s feedback to keep going. And if (no, when!) you hit the high mark, it lets you know with messages like “ahead of the pack!”
The Burn Bar shows you other encouraging messages based on how many calories you’ve burned in your workout. These messages include:
- Behind the Pack
- In the Pack
- Middle of the Pack
- Front of the Pack
- Ahead of the Pack
During your workout, the Burn Bar updates continuously so you see different messages throughout the class.
And when you finish, the Burn Bar averages your entire workout and shows the final Burn Bar result in your workout summary.
The Burn Bar is not a live match!
The Burn Bar is not a “live” competition and doesn’t compare your current workout in real-time to others doing that same workout.
Instead, Apple compares your current workouts metrics to others who completed that same workout previously.
All the data Apple collects is anonymous and not associated with any Apple ID or other Fitness+ data, so you don’t know who you are competing against. Rather, you compete against their data!
Review your workouts Burn Bar calorie score
Once you finish your workout, in your workout summary, you’ll see your Burn Bar Results along with all your other stats, including total time, distance, average heart rate, distance, pace, and calories.
Just like the on-screen Burn Bar during your workout, you see a slider with your pinned final calorie tally comparing your final numbers to others who previously completed that specific workout.
Don’t like competing with others? The Burn Bar is optional.
If seeing how you compare to others is not your thing or stresses you out, it’s easy to turn it off.
Turn off Apple Fitness+’s Burn Bar in Fitness+ workout settings so you can focus on your own fitness goals and smash your personal best scores!
How to turn off Apple Fitness+ Burn Bar
- After choosing a workout, tap the metrics button in the corner before you start the workout
- Toggle the Burn Bar off
What The Burn Bar really shows
When a workout says it’s about the burn, that means (at least usually) that the exercise focuses on high-intensity training with your heart rate hitting your target heart rate zone to get the maximum benefit.
That’s why for these high-intensity exercises, it’s critical to monitor your heart rate to ensure you get the most benefit–and keep yourself safe.
About heart rates when working out.
When working out, it can be confusing to know your heart rate and what’s safe for you, given your age, gender, and fitness level.
You may even wonder, are you doing too much or not enough?
And that’s where knowing your target heart rate and monitoring your heart rate while exercising is important.
What’s my target heart rate?
Simply put, your target rate is 70-85% of your maximum heart rate. That maximum is around 220 minus your current age.
For someone 30 with a maximum of 190 bpm, their target heart rate zone is between 95-162 bpm.
And for someone 65 with a maximum heart rate of 155 bpm, that’s 78-132 bpm.
To find yours, check out this chart from the American Heart Association–and check out the link for even more info on heart rate zones!
So how do I use these heart rate numbers in my workouts?
First, pay attention to your heart rate while exercising!
For folks with smartwatches and trackers that monitor your heart rate, that’s easy! And it’s a good reason to own one.
With Apple Fitness+, your Apple Watch monitors your heart rate (HR) continuously and then that information appears right on your connected screen (via iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.)
Keep an eye on that heart rate!
If your heart rate shoots up beyond your target zone, slow down and ease up on your intensity.
And if it’s too low and not inside your target zone, amp up your intensity–do this in small increments with an eye on your numbers, especially if you’re a beginner.
Are you a newbie to high-intensity workouts?
If you’re a beginner, aim for a lower heart rate target of 50-60 % of your maximum. Believe me; you’ll still feel the burn and get its benefit.
Then, as you get more comfortable, build up gradually to that 70-85% target zone.
Keep your exercise within your range and ability–that’s keeping it safe. And don’t compare yourself to others. You’ll get there too!
Meet Apple’s trainers for Apple Fitness+
To get to know Apple’s trainers and, in particular, to learn a little more about the ones teaching the classes that offer the Burn Bar, check out this article: Get to know the 21 Apple Fitness+ trainers who will get your fitness goals back on track in 2021
The Burn Bar works with these classes:
- Treadmill (running)
Want to see the Apple Fitness+ Burn Bar in action?
Check out this short video Apple made about Apple Fitness+ and see all the exercises and trainers that offer the Burn Bar!