Men’s Health did a very cool feature about Apple’s “top secret” fitness facility. Writer, Ben Court, was given access to the facility to see how Apple is transforming the fitness industry. I encourage you to take some time to read the whole article for yourself. It’s really cool to see how much work Apple is putting into studying fitness and fine-tuning the way their products work for fitness tracking. There are sub-zero rooms and rooms heated to feel like the Sahara Desert. Fitness tracking equipment is set up on cyclists, swimmers, and runners. Just in case the fitness focus wasn’t clear enough; the rooms here are named Higher, Faster, and Stronger. Now I need to go listen to “Stronger” by Kanye West. One minute…

…Alright I’m back. Man, Graduation was a good album.

new Apple Watch Series 3
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The real question that comes up after reading this entire article – at least for us tech enthusiasts – is, “Why would Apple let a writer into their supposed top secret facility?” This place isn’t a part of Apple’s main headquarters.There is security that checks you in. This isn’t somewhere you can just pop in for a visit. Clearly, Apple opened their doors for a reason.

This is most likely because the new Apple Watch Series 3 release is right around the corner. Apple wants to build some hype and their focus is clearly on the fitness tracking market. If the new Apple Watch Series 3 wasn’t getting launched soon, why would Apple open their doors like this? That would basically be showing their cards to all of their competitiors and giving them time to answer. Instead, Apple has shown their cards and there isn’t enough time for competitors to act, assuming that the new Apple Watch Series 3 is released next week alongside the iPhone X.

This article in Men’s Health isn’t the first sign we have had that Apple is taking direct aim at the fitness industry. Leaked information shows that Apple wants to add specific workouts to their Apple Watch tracking capabilities. There isn’t any time to waste for Apple, either. With the announcement of the FitBit Ionic – FitBit’s first smartwatch with a fitness focus – Apple will have plenty of competition in the smartwatch market that they have dominated until recently.

I you take the time to read the Men’s Fitness piece you can see that Apple’s goal isn’t just to make a great fitness tracking device. Apple wants the new Apple Watch Series 3 to be your personal trainer. They want the Apple Watch to become your workout partner. This is more than just a watch that tells you how many calories you burned.

In addition to new workout tracking, the Apple Watch Series 3 is rumored to have some more features that should be welcome for fitness enthusiasts as well as anyone who wants an Apple Watch. The design should be new from the last model. Most people aren’t expecting a huge design change but we could very likely see a slimmer, lighter Apple Watch this fall.

As well, there are also rumors that the new Apple Watch Series 3 will get LTE connectivity. This should be awesome news for anyone who wants to be able to use their Apple Watch on the go without requiring  connection to their iPhone. Obviously, this feature will appeal most to runners who don’t want to haul around their iPhone while they get their daily exercise.

There has been some talk that the Apple Watch Series 3 could also launch with a camera. Again, this is great news for anyone who doesn’t want their iPhone to have to be attached to their hip. If the Apple Watch can snap some selfies or take a few photos then that should help people feel confident that they can get by if they choose to leave their phone in their gym locker or sitting at home on their nightstand.

The timing of this Men’s Health article is very telling. Apple doesn’t reveal their secret research labs and give journalists tours without having a plan in mind. Apple wants to make sure that people see the Apple Watch as more than just a cool tech product. This is a fitness partner for your wrist. Apple doesn’t do things without thinking them through. This article, interview, and tour was very cleverly planned to help brand the new Apple Watch Series 3 as a fitness-focused device. If Apple can accomplish that in the minds of consumers then they should be able to fend off any competition from companies like FitBit as they take aim at the dominant Apple Watch.

What do you think? Does the article about Apple’s intense testing make you more likely to buy the new Apple Watch Series 3 or will you hold off to see what the reviews say?