Peloton pulls back support for Apple’s GymKit for its Bike Plus and Bike Bootcamp classes [Update: Peloton’s new statement]

Apple’s GymKit, making it possible for Apple Watch to connect to gym equipment, launched some time ago. And one of the most exciting elements of Peloton’s Bike Plus was GymKit support when it launched. But now the company appears to be pulling back on that support.

Update (04/16/2021): After what was an understandably frustrating turn of events yesterday, Peloton has aimed to clarify why it has pulled back support for Apple’s GymKit and its own Bike Bootcamp. The short of it: Apple Watch doesn’t support alternating between cycling and strength training in the same workout. So the Apple Watch can’t support Bike Bootcamp.

Here’s the company’s statement on the matter, per The Verge:

Apple GymKit is designed to work with equipment-based cardio workouts. However, Peloton recently implemented GymKit with Bike Bootcamp, a multi-disciplinary class type that combines strength and cardio, which the feature does not support. Members can still use GymKit to sync their cycling-only workouts to their Apple Watch from the Bike+.

The original article continues below.

That’s according to The Verge, which is reporting that Peloton has confirmed it is limiting support for GymKit moving forward. Specifically, when it comes to the Bike Plus, GymKit will no longer be supported by Peloton’s Bike Bootcamp classes. Instead, Peloton says GymKit will support “only be available in cycling classes for now”.

Peloton went on to say, “Peloton is committed to bringing the GymKit integration to all workouts and disciplines within Apple’s terms of service”.

GymKit makes tracking workouts easy. But that support is required to make it happen. With Peloton pulling back on that support for the Bike Plus, which is Peloton’s first to support Apple’s fitness-focused technology, it makes it a bit more difficult for Apple Watch users to track that information.

With this change, Apple Watch owners are going to need to change their workouts manually, rather than simply being able to see the change happen on the smartwatch and keep working out. As noted in the original report, these users will need to start a specific workout, like cycling, end it, then start another workout to track. It’s not necessarily the most difficult thing, but it is a bit more hassle compared to offering GymKit support.

Resource: How to use your Apple Watch with gym equipment

Potentially eve more frustrating, though, is that GymKit makes it possible to show the user’s heart rate on the display on the Bike Plus. Without that support, that feature is no longer present.

This is probably bad news for Bike Plus owners, but hopefully it’s something that gets fixed in the near future.