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The classic app: Streaks Workout

An app that helped you ‘workout’ that exercise streaks could be a good thing

The latest entry in our classic apps series wanted you to get fit – without making your wallet sweat.

Streaks on Apple TV

Streaks Workout on Apple TV.

What was Streaks Workout?

According to its creator, a personal trainer that you actually wanted to use. Which might have irked actual personal trainers. But it suited us, since it was a first-rate exercise app.

Why was it a classic?

It was insanely simple. You prodded a preset routine (avoiding the 30-minute ‘Pain’ option unless you wanted some) and got going. There was no need for equipment – all you needed was a floor. And determination not to keel over the second the app asked you to do a few reps.

Where is it now?

Streaks Workout is still on the App Store. Like stablemate Streaks, it’s evolved over the years, but the base app remains as usable and effective as ever.

Visit the Streaks Workout website or get Streaks Workout ($3.99/£3.99) from the App Store.

Streaks in 2023 on iPhone.

Streaks Workout in 2023 on iPhone.

Q&A: a brief history of Streaks Workout

We speak to Streaks Workout creator Quentin Zervaas about the app’s beginnings and subsequent evolution.

What were the origins of Streaks Workout?

When the new Apple TV was released in 2015, we wanted to bring Streaks to it. Doing so in its then-current form didn’t make sense – but an exercise app did. After Streaks Workout was released on Apple TV, we ported it back to iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad.

How did you decide which features to focus on?

We originally based the app loosely on the idea of a ‘prison workout’ or a ‘deck of cards’ workout. In other words, you could do a workout that didn’t need equipment and with only a few randomly selected exercises.

Selecting exercises in an early version of Streaks Workout.

Selecting exercises in an early version of Streaks Workout.

Streaks Workout always let you turn off specific exercises, and later gained many more customization options. Was it always important for you that people could personalize the app?

Very. Users have asked for the ability to do yoga, stretching, kettle bells, dumbbells, barbells – basically everything. We wanted to keep the core of the app in place, but allow a bunch of flexibility. We embraced custom workouts in the app early on, and expanded it over time so you can have a fully custom workout, or a custom ‘random’ workout – in that you can choose exercises you do or don’t want to do.

What moments from the app’s history are you most proud of?

While the app is branded with ‘Streaks’ in the name, we’re proud to have created a distinct app in a separate – albeit adjacent – category that stands on its own. Especially during the Covid lockdowns, where we had a lot of users use the app and tell us that they appreciated its simplicity.

Have any changes made to Apple hardware or software impacted on your app in an interesting way?

Apple Watch has probably been the big thing here – it’s a powerful device and right up the alley of an app like ours. And we’ve expanded its functionality over time. For example, if you start a workout on iPhone but you’re wearing an Apple Watch, this will automatically start the heart-rate monitor and show your heart rate live on your iPhone. In time, we’d like to make use of Live Activities, so you can start a workout on your iPhone but continue to use your iPhone for other purposes while a workout is in progress.

The Streaks Workout family

The Streaks Workout family, circa 2016.

Why do you think your app has stood the test of time? And what are your favorite recent new features?

The heart-rate tracking on iPhone has been one of my favorite additions. We’ve experimented with this on Apple TV as well, and are hoping to bring that to the app in the future.

I think the app has stood the test of time because it’s super easy to get started with. But if you need advanced features, custom workouts, custom exercises and a bunch of icons to choose from, it can also provide huge flexibility for almost any type of workout.