Apple’s fitness guru Jay Blahnik opens up about Apple Watch

“In walks Jay Blahnik. Apple’s director of fitness for health technologies is wearing black-and-blue Nike Frees, matching black athletic shorts and shirt, and a black-and-gray hoodie unzipped at the three-quarters mark,” Scott Rosenfield reports for Outside. “His movements are precise, and his smile sincere-looking but somewhat practiced in a way that makes you think he’s retired from the track to the studio. When we shake hands, I count to six before he lets go.”

“He’s published a bestselling book on flexibility, consulted with the biggest sports companies in the world, been named an international fitness instructor of the year, helped to create Nike’s social fitness platforms, and was a key voice on the Nike+ FuelBand, the last non-Apple wearable seen on the wrist of his current boss, CEO Tim Cook,” Rosenfield reports. “So, in the summer of 2013, when Apple went on a Watch-related hiring spree, they brought on Blahnik to lead a cadre of exercise science experts in imagining what exactly an Apple fitness device should do.”

MacDailyNews Note: We’ve also finally dumped our Nike+ FuelBands. NikeFuel tallies be damned. Maybe someday, Nike will make an app for Apple Watch that tracks NikeFuel the way the FuelBand did. We got tired of waiting – and of looking like cyborgs with Apple Watches on one wrist and FuelBands on the other. Unsurprisingly, the FuelBands lost that contest. Obviously, Apple wants Apple Watch owners to use Activity instead. Buh-bye, years worth of NikeFuel data.

“Their answer: Silence the noise,” Rosenfield reports. “‘The team really focused on saying, ‘As fitness and activity and trends come and go, what would always be a good recommendation?” Blahnik says. ‘It came down to sit less, move more, and get some exercise.’ That formula became the foundation of Activity, the Watch’s all-day fitness tracker app.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What we’d give for a screen (or – gasp! – a website; might we suggest that would allow us to display our total running mileage for the month from Apple’s Workout app. On our iPhones, the mileage total does not change even when we tap month, or day, or week in the Health app. The mileage number just sits there unchanging. We’ve searched a bit for the fix. Nothing helpful, so far. Does anybody know what’s going on? Are we missing something?

Otherwise, you can have our Apple Watches when you pry them off our cold dead wrists.

Apple hires Nike+ FuelBand developer Jay Blahnik – August 19, 2013


  1. Apple have been updating the workout app. When I am running now it will give the chosen readout (like heart rate) distance and pace. A lot more useful.
    I still use this in combination with the Nike running app on my phone which has a lot of my running history on it. My Fitness Pal pulls data from both apps so I end up having to delete one of those.
    Eventually I guess the Nike Watch running app will measure heart rate so I will probably drop the workout app for running if the display is good.

  2. A biased and self serving article. What the hell do people expect Jay to say except Apple Watch is the best thing for fitness since the invention of the barbell. If he wants his job he can’t give Apple Watch anything less than glowing praise.

    1. 1) you have no proof that what he’s saying is not actually true or actually what he believes (like quote somewhere else where he leaked he hated the Watch). You who are critical is making an unsupported assumption.

      2) The article isn’t trying to mislead anyone as he’s position at Apple is clearly stated.

      Unlike OTHER places … recently there was another article in Fortune: ‘Is Apple Watch Design a Flop’ which never revealed that the critic was lead designer for Fitbit (the article later amended after Apple fan sites complained). Can you see the difference? Can you see what OTHER companies would stoop to? You should complain about articles like THAT instead…

      but of course YOU are biased….

      1. “you have no proof that what he’s [Jay] saying is not actually true or actually what he believes”

        If the author reports it I presume Jay said it.
        If the author is lying about what Jay said then the whole article is questionable.
        If the author reports something Jay said is actually something Jay does not believe (i.e. Jay is lying) then Jay’s veracity is certainly diminished.
        Just because Jay said it doesn’t make it truth.

        “The article isn’t trying to mislead anyone as he’s position at Apple is clearly stated.”

        I never said the article is misleading. I merely stated that as an Apple employee Jay’s comments need to be taken in context. Obviously, this is something you have not learned yet.

    1. Not so sure they are restricted like the rest of them…When I use the Nike running app and then also use the apple watch’s built in running app at the same time, Nike app collects the heart rate data that the watch is collecting…CURIOUS!

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