Apple Watch crossfit. How I Finally Embraced the Apple Watch as a Fitness Tracker
How I Finally Embraced the Apple Watch as a Fitness Tracker
I’ve worn an Apple Watch on and off since it debuted in 2015, but only recently have I embraced it for health tracking for three reasons:
- I started getting serious about fitness because my health has steadily declined for a few years.
- I recently came down with COVID-19 and wanted to monitor my heart, sleep, and overall condition, both to stay on top of any side effects and to gauge when it would be safe to go back to the gym.
- I realized that the Apple Watch itself is a decent fitness tracker, but Apple’s fitness-tracking software is weak. However, the advantage of the Apple Watch over competing fitness trackers is you can use whatever apps you want to interpret the watch’s sensor data.
I’ll share what has been working for me, and I hope it will give you some ideas about how to take better advantage of your Apple Watch’s fitness-tracking capabilities.
Keep in mind that all fitness trackers present educated guesses based on subtle sensor data. All the sleep-tracking apps I’ve tried can show wildly different results from the same measurements, and step-counting apps may show steps taken when you haven’t even gotten out of bed. They’re primarily useful for giving you a rough idea of trends and making you more aware of how active or inactive you are.
The Problem with the Activity/Fitness App
Activity (called Fitness on the iPhone) may be the most well-known Apple Watch app. It seems as though every new Apple Watch owner wants to fill their Activity rings and share their streaks on social media. But I’ve also noticed that the enthusiasm for keeping up with the rings doesn’t always last long. While the ring concept is fun and simple to grasp, the way Apple calculates activity is both confusing and discouraging.
If you’re not familiar with the Activity rings, they are:
- Move: The red Move ring displays how many active calories you’ve burned (as opposed to passive calories that your body burns purely by existing). While I’m skeptical of the calorie calculation, this is probably the most useful Activity metric, if primarily in the “more movement is better” category. You can change the calorie goal to whatever you want, so it’s easy to ensure success or challenge yourself, whichever you prefer.
- Exercise: Apple says the green Exercise ring measures how many minutes of “brisk activity” you’ve done, but it doesn’t go into specifics. We think it’s a combination of movement and heart rate when you’re not using the Workout app.
- Stand: The blue Stand ring shows how many hours per day you stand up. Not how many hours you’re standing, but how many hours within which you stood up, even briefly. The goal is to stand up at least once in each of 12 hours every day. It’s good to get sedentary Americans to stand more, but I’m not sure it’s that helpful. Despite hitting this target nearly every day, I developed terrible hip and back pain over the past few years. It’s also annoying when it wants you to stand up during a movie, while riding in a car, or when the seatbelt sign is on during an airplane flight. Even more annoyingly, those who stand all day get reminders to stand anyway, since it only notices a change in position, not the position itself.
I’m most perturbed by the Exercise ring. It matches up well with typical cardio workouts like running and cycling, but not with activities like strength training and farm work. There have been many days when I spend the entire day working outside but the Exercise ring doesn’t budge. And I’m not just sitting on a tractor. I don’t even own a tractor! I cut almost all of my grass with a scythe, which should count as exercise. It’s frustrating when I walk inside absolutely exhausted at the end of the day and the Exercise ring has hardly moved. Then I get a notification at bedtime encouraging me to walk a mile to close my rings. Behavior like that has made me hate the Apple Watch for years.
The screenshot illustrates the absurdity of Activity’s rings. I spent 90 minutes lifting weights in the gym and walked over 10,000 steps for the day. Granted, I had just recovered from COVID, so I was moving at an easy pace, but I still put a lot of work in. Athlytic, an app I’ll describe shortly, gave me a rating of 6.4 out of 10 for daily effort, which seemed fair, yet I still hadn’t closed my Move ring, and my Exercise ring was only a little over halfway full. Absurd.
If you’ve found yourself discouraged by the Activity rings failing to reflect your actual activity, you’re not alone. I can’t think of anything more demoralizing than working yourself to the bone and then having your watch tell you you’re a lazy bum.
I hope Apple improves the Apple Watch’s built-in fitness tracking in watchOS 9. The company has dramatically improved almost every other aspect of the watch.
Heart and Health Are Pretty Good
My experience isn’t entirely bad. The constant heart monitoring and having an ECG on my wrist are incredible. I particularly appreciated them when I was sick with COVID since I could monitor my elevated heart rate and take an ECG every day to make sure nothing funky was going on. I could then see when my heart rate started to drop back to normal.
I’ve said many uncharitable things about the Health app over the years, and its interface leaves a lot to be desired. But as a technology for allowing apps to share health-related data, Apple Health (which seems to be how third-party apps refer to the back end) is amazing. It enables my activity-tracking app, calorie-counting app, and Smart scale app to talk to each other, giving me a good idea of my calorie intake versus output and how that corresponds to my weight and body fat percentage (see “Track Your Weight with the Eufy BodySense, an Affordable, HealthKit-Compatible Smart Scale,” 13 July 2018). The fact that I can use apps from three different developers to gather and see that information is incredible.
If you look at the Health app as a front-end to Apple Health’s database of sensor readings, the mediocre interface makes a little more sense. The problem is that Health tracks so much data that it’s overwhelming. The trick is to set the metrics that most interest you as Favorites so you can easily see them on the main Summary screen. If you have a specific health condition, your doctor may have already told you to keep an eye on certain metrics, but if not, it can be hard to know where to start.
Here are the metrics I’m currently tracking in favorites and why I’m tracking them:
- Body fat percentage: automatically measured by my Smart scale. important than mere weight, this number helps me keep track of how much fat I’m losing (or gaining) over time.
- Body mass index (BMI): also measured by my Smart scale. BMI isn’t all that helpful compared with body fat percentage. For instance, if you’re muscular, your BMI might classify you as obese. However, I am not, so I’m keeping tabs on it for now since it’s trending down and that’s encouraging.
- Cardio fitness: an estimate of VO2 max and an indicator of overall cardiorespiratory health. Mine is pretty low, so it’s an incentive to get on the exercise bike.
- Heart rate variability (HRV): a subtle but important metric of overall health. I like tracking HRV to see if it’s increasing over time, though apps like Athlytic are better for putting it in context.
- Resting heart rate: a useful indicator of recovery from stress or illness. I’m hoping to see this trend down over time as I become more active, and it also helps me monitor my stress level.
- Sleep: how many hours of sleep, tracked by the Apple Watch. It’s a good thing to track if you’re tired all the time or are suffering from other problems.
- Steps: the well-known 10,000 step goal comes from marketing, not science. A workout plan I’m on suggests this number of steps per day, but I’m starting to lean against it.
- Weight: again, captured by my Smart scale. Weight doesn’t say much in context, but when I’m trying to lose some pounds, it’s encouraging to see my weight trend down.
If you need to monitor health conditions that your life literally depends upon, like blood pressure or blood sugar, it’s worth investing in Bluetooth-enabled devices that sync with an Apple Health-compatible app so you can easily view your stats and trends. I can’t speak about glucose monitors, but my experience with automatic blood pressure cuffs has been spotty. My wife’s doctor helped us calibrate our cuff to record mostly accurate measurements.
Where Health falls flat is in helping me understand the data it presents. Health does explain the metrics but often leaves out important context. Just one example: Health tells me my average breathing rate while asleep has decreased over the past week. Is that good or bad? If I want to find out, I need to do a Web search (the normal rate is 12–20, so I’m guessing that lower is better, within reason). Third-party apps often do a much better job of providing context.
One last point about Health: the trends feature introduced in iOS 15 is helpful but could use some work. It’s good to know that my resting heart rate trended lower after recovering from COVID, as you can see below. But I wish there was more history and context here. Stats will drop from trending to not trending without any notice, and it would be helpful to know what’s stalling so I can try to figure out why.
If Activity/Fitness and Health don’t meet your needs, as they don’t meet mine, here are some alternatives.
Athlytic for Activity Tracking
So if your Activity rings aren’t a great measure of your activity, what’s better? I recently started a routine that specifies walking the classic 10,000 steps per day. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to glance at your step count on an Apple Watch, even though you can find it (scroll down) in the watch’s Activity app. The free Pedometer app handily solves this, offering a complication with your daily step count.
However, I’m starting to shift away from steps as a metric because I find the exercise bike easier and more effective. Plus, it’s in my warm, dry bedroom, so I have no excuses for not spending a few minutes a day on it.
TidBITS security editor and EMT Rich Mogull turned me onto another app, Athlytic, which emulates the tracking capabilities of the popular Whoop fitness tracker. The Whoop Band is free, but the required subscription costs anywhere from 18 to 30 per month. Athlytic is free to try but costs 24 per year to unlock all capabilities. Plus, the Apple Watch is a far more capable device than the minimalist Whoop Band.
Athlytic has become the core of my fitness-tracking regime. It tracks four metrics:
- Recovery: based on your heart rate variability. The higher your HRV, the better. Based on that, Athlytic recommends how hard to train on any given day and whether you need to rest. That was especially handy after I returned to workouts after recovering from COVID.
- Exertion: an estimate of how hard you’ve worked in a given day, based on heart rate. Each day, you’re given a target exertion number that ranges from 0–10 based on your recovery. If your recovery is good, the app will recommend for the next day a target of 10, which the app makers admit is impossible to achieve, but one that lets you know you can train as hard as you want.
- Sleep: tells you the total time asleep, how many interruptions you had, your total time awake, etc. Of course, it works properly only if you wear your watch to bed, but if you don’t, it will try to guess. It also charts out your sleep per day and your consistency, as well as your heart rate and HRV during sleep.
- Energy: gives you an estimate of calories burned versus calories consumed. To get the most out of the Energy score, you’ll need to use a food tracker like Cronometer that connects to Apple Health. on Cronometer later.
Of all the apps I’m using, if I could only go with one, it would be Athlytic. It does pretty much everything, and the subscription fee is entirely reasonable. It offers several Apple Watch complications for recovery, exertion, energy, and blood oxygen (if you have an Apple Watch Series 6 or later). I use the Exertion complication to know how much more I should exercise on any given day.
I keep the Exertion complication on my health-oriented watch face, and I find it a much nicer reminder than Apple’s finicky and judgmental Activity rings. If it’s near lunchtime and my exertion is near zero, I know I need to either go for a walk or hit the exercise bike. I try to aim for an exertion score of around 6 on my gym days and 2 on my off days. The exertion score is also a nice backup to my step counter when walking isn’t feasible, either due to work or severe weather.
Athlytic recently revealed something interesting for me. During a recent period of high anxiety, my heart rate was noticeably higher, which was reflected in higher-than-normal exertion scores and correlated to poorer sleep. That leads me to believe that my overall energy levels will improve if I can better manage my anxiety. Plus, my exertion dropped the day after an anxiety-ridden workout, so that’s more motivation to get in the gym.
AutoSleep for Sleep Tracking
I’ve long had unusual sleep patterns because I’m naturally nocturnal. Unfortunately, my kids are not. As I’ve sought to put on more muscle, sleep quality has become paramount because lifting is only half the equation. Quality sleep and diet are necessary to build muscle following that initial stimulus. And when I had COVID, I wanted to make sure I was maximizing my sleep every night so I’d recover faster.
You don’t need a separate app for basic sleep tracking. Just wear your Apple Watch to bed and put it in sleep FOCUS by pulling up Control Center, tapping the moon, and selecting Sleep (see “Apple’s New Focus Feature May Be Overkill,” 20 January 2022). That prevents annoying notifications and keeps the screen from lighting up. You can check your metrics in Health each morning.
Various apps can offer different sleep metrics, but I’m not entirely satisfied with any of them. While testing sleep-tracking apps, I found a huge range of variability in the readings, as much as a couple of hours! The app I’ve found that’s closest to Athyltic’s approach is the 4.99 AutoSleep, which reports on metrics like respiration rate and HRV. It also offers a nightly sleep rating that I can use to gauge whether the efforts I’m employing to improve my sleep—like taking a shower before bed, getting in bed earlier, taking melatonin, etc.—are actually working. Remember, as Adam Engst points out in “Can Sleep Tracking in iOS 14/watchOS 7 Help You Sleep Better?” (16 October 2020), tracking by itself isn’t helpful; you need to make lifestyle changes if you want to sleep better.
Cronometer for Calorie Counting
I’m not a fan of calorie counting. At best, the numbers are guesses since macronutrients like carbohydrates, fat, and protein are metabolized differently by the body, and every person metabolizes them differently. In short, calorie intake doesn’t connect well with calorie expenditure. Plus, regularly tracking calories is tedious. Thankfully I’ve stumbled across a sustainable diet that has helped me lose nearly 40 pounds over the past few months without calorie counting and even during the holidays, when I usually balloon up.
However, calorie counting has its place, largely in the “fewer is better” approach. I lose weight more consistently when I count calories because it provides a better sense of just how calorie-dense and carb-laden some foods are. In my case, I’m more worried about protein intake—even beyond needing more protein to support my weightlifting, many older people don’t consume enough protein, given that our bodies cease to absorb it as completely as we age.
For the past few years, my food tracking app of choice has been Cronometer. It has a simple, clean interface, a good database of foods, and a lot of great features for free. Cronometer Gold, which is 7.99 per month or 44.99 per year, adds useful features like a recipe importer and suggestions of foods to eat to hit nutritional targets.
Cronometer has been revealing, especially when synced with the activity data from Apple Health. I discovered that, with my current diet, I typically eat well below my maintenance calorie threshold. In fact, I probably need to eat more to encourage muscle growth, but I just can’t because the nutrient-rich foods I’ve been eating are so filling. That’s likely fine for now, but it might be a challenge if I get down to my ideal weight and want to build more muscle.
I also discovered that my diet is consistently low in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin E, pointing toward adjustments I need to make or supplements I need to take. It’s also low in magnesium, vitamin D, and zinc, but I had already been taking supplements for those.
Stronglifts and Strong for Weightlifting Logs
When working on a lifting plan, it’s important to record your weights and number of reps so you can track progress and know how much you should lift in subsequent sessions. Numerous iPhone apps offer this capability, and although I’ve tested some, none has met all my needs.
I started with the free and simple Stronglifts 5×5 plan, which focuses on five lifts split over three days per week. There are two workouts. Workout A is squat, bench press, and barbell row. Workout B is squat, overhead press, and deadlift. Stronglifts has its own app that’s free to use for following the plan, with short video demonstrations of all the core lifts—essential when starting out.
I really like how well Stronglifts syncs with the Apple Watch. I can start a workout on my iPhone, complete sets on my Apple Watch, and view my rest timer on the watch, along with my heart rate. Data seamlessly flows between the iPhone and Apple Watch apps. And it integrates with Apple Health, logging my workouts as weight-training sessions.
But Stronglifts focuses on squatting to the point that it makes you feel like a failure if you’re bad at squats. Despite years of stretches, my hips just don’t move that way, so I wanted to try another routine. Stronglifts supports custom routines but only if you subscribe to StrongLifts Pro for 4.99 per month or 29.99 per year. There are also family and lifetime subscriptions.
Instead, I tried another highly recommended app: Strong, which is free to use with an optional subscription at the same as Stronglifts. I like Strong’s extensive exercise library with step-by-step instructions and animations.
Unfortunately, Strong drops the medicine ball with its Apple Watch support. By default, its Apple Watch and iPhone apps don’t communicate beyond the watch sending your workout data over to the iPhone app when you’re finished. A Live Sync setting is supposed to facilitate two-way communication, but it doesn’t work well, and the Apple Watch app crashed when I tried to pick up a workout I had started on my iPhone.
Later on, it worked better until it was time to end the workout. The iPhone app warned me to stop the workout on the Apple Watch so I didn’t lose data. I did that, and Strong still lost the set of crunches at the end of my workout. I was able to edit my workout on the iPhone, but it was still annoying and makes me leery of using Strong across both platforms.
I have many more weightlifting apps to try, but if I’m not happier with any of them, I might spring for a Stronglifts Pro subscription because of its superior Apple Watch integration. It’s nice being able to track a workout from my wrist while my iPhone sits quietly in my gym bag. If you have any recommendations in this arena, let me know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев.
Draw Your Own Rings
If you own an Apple Watch but have been unsatisfied with Apple’s Activity rings, the good news is that you have numerous alternatives to try. With Apple Health, the company has built a flexible platform that lets third-party developers read and analyze Apple Watch data however they want, which may be more helpful for your fitness goals.
However, it’s important not to let a fitness tracker run your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of obsessing over calorie counting or using a poor readiness score as an excuse not to work out. Likewise, I’m not going to stand up just because my Apple Watch tells me to. Especially if I’m driving.
As I said at the beginning, a fitness tracker can only provide educated guesses that might help inform the process of achieving your fitness goals. Don’t mistake those metrics for your actual health and progress.
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These are the 10 best Apple Watch bands for working out in 2023
Whether you’re looking for a durable, sweat-proof, or waterproof Apple Watch Band for working out.- or something comfortable and stretchy for yoga class, we’ve got you covered.
Best Apple Watch bands for working out
No matter your chosen workout modality, when it comes to Apple Watch fitness bands, you’re in the game for good material, durability, longevity, or something cost-effective. And of course, a Band that is distraction-free so that you can FOCUS on your workout.
While the Apple Watch silicone Band is a decent choice for workouts, you might find that the silicone gets grimy after a while, and the color fades.
Read from AppleInsider
Also, since Apple Watch bands can be pricey, separating your casual watch Band from the one used during workouts might be advantageous.
Just like you separate your gym clothes from the clothes you wear to work, it’s probably a good idea to switch out your casual Apple Watch for one more appropriate for hot yoga, for example.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best Apple Watch bands for working out that are functional, easy to clean, and able to withstand the sweatiest of workout. From Peloton spinning sessions to weight lifting, yoga to long runs, and even water sports like surfing.
Tefeca Breathable Sport Loop Arm Ankle Band
Not all Apple Watch bands need to go on the wrist. The Tefeca Sport Loop Band works on both the arm and ankle, the perfect choice if you’re an accident-prone wrist-flailer and are looking for something a little more out of the way for your workouts.
Tefeca Breathable Sport Loop Arm Ankle Band
Some upper-level Apple Watches (think the Series 8) can run you over a thousand dollars (check Apple Watch Series 8 prices). Nothing is worse than hearing the hollow bong of hitting your costly Apple Watch against equipment at the gym.
For workouts like weightlifting, keeping your Apple Watch on your arm instead of your wrist will keep those nasty watch knocks at bay. The Tefeca sport loop also comes in handy for workouts like boxing, where the hands and wrists should be free from impact.
The Apple Watch strap is breathable, soft, and made of black mesh lycra, letting moisture escape intra-workout. The fit is secure and comfortable, giving the wearer that barely-there feel.
The Band is additionally secured with a hook-and-loop design closure, making it easy to adjust.
The Tefeca Band fits arms and ankles up to 15 inches and is compatible with all versions of the Apple Watch. It is available for 17.99 on Amazon.com.
Twelve South ActionBand
For germaphobes who like to keep a clean wrist, the Twelve South ActionBand boasts a terry cloth fabric, making it easy to pop into the wash with your other workout clothes after exercise.
The ActionBand hugs your wrist for a secure fit, but not too tightly to induce throbbing of the wrist. It also absorbs sweat and, most importantly.- keeps the sweat from trickling down the wrist to the hands.
This means that during your pull-ups, you won’t lose your grip on the bar because of sweaty hands. In addition, the ActionBand includes a protective frame for the watch face, keeping your Apple Watch safe from those dreaded knocks and bangs against gym equipment.
The ActionBand includes one pair of machine-washable wristbands; one with an Apple Watch covering for a more protective fit, and one without, for softer workouts like yoga. safe from gym equipment.
The ActionBand is available in sizes 40mm.- 45mm on Amazon.com for 25.00. 30.00, with several sizes currently on sale.
Dot Outfitters Yoga Band
If you are a yogi, the Dot Outfitters Yoga Band is for you. It is fashioned from a stretch knit fabric that feels (and looks) like a scrunchie. It is comfortable enough for slower, equipment-free workouts and for sleeping.
The Band is breathable, wicks moisture, and is machine-washable. It does not irritate the skin like leather and silicone bands can, so it is perfect for those with sensitive skin.
The Band comes in an array of colors, is compatible with all Apple Watch models, and fits all wrist sizes. The small Band fits wrists up to 7.5, and the medium/large Band fits wrists over 7.5.
To keep the watch Band looking newer for longer, consider ordering a darker color.
The Dot Outfitters watch Band is available directly from DotOutfitters for 34.50.
LaBold Apple Watch Band
The LaBold Apple Watch Band is for all-weather athletes and adventurers who want to keep their pricey Apple Watch safe. This Band includes a Band and case for complete protection of your watch face, and it is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, snowproof, and scratch-resistant.
This makes the watch Band an excellent choice for snowboarders or surfers.
The Band can withstand a maximum submersion depth of 6.6 feet for one hour. To err on the side of caution, however, we suggest getting an Apple Watch Ultra for water sports.- just in case.
The Band supports wireless charging, is responsive to touch in the case, and has an adjustable Band for a wrist circumference of 6.6 inches to 10 inches. It is made of soft silicone and can be cleaned with soapy water after your workout.
The LaBold Apple Watch Band with water resistance is available from Amazon.com for 23.99.
Apple Sport Loop
If you’re a die-hard Apple fan and refuse to invest in off-brand accessories, consider the Apple Sport Loop.
The Sport Loop includes a hook-and-loop fastener for easy adjustment during your workout. It is made of woven nylon and features a double-layer weave pattern that provides soft cushioning during exercise.
In addition, the weave pattern makes it easy for sweat to escape, keeping the Band breathable. Because of the woven design, the Sport Loop outdoes Apple’s Sport Band for breathability.
A precise, comfortable Apple Watch Band fit is essential when selecting a fitness watch Band. One upside to the Sport Loop is that there are no premade anchor holes in the Band, meaning that the wearer can loosen or tighten the Band precisely to their liking.
It is available in five colors, fits 41mm and 45mm cases, and is compatible with most versions of the Apple Watch. It comes in one size, fitting 130 to 200mm (5.1 inches to 7.9 inches) wrists.
It is available from Amazon.com and BestBuy.com for 49.00.
Arae Stretchy Watchband
For under ten dollars, the Arae Stretchy Watchband is another high-quality, versatile, and affordable choice.
It is easily adjustable without premade adjustment holes and provides a secure, snug fit. So for those rushing to get out of the locker room after work and into their workout class, switching out your casual Band for this workout Band is a seamless affair.
It is compatible with Apple Watch and is available in two size choices. Choice one covers 38mm, 40mm, and 41mm sizes of Apple Watch, while the other is meant for 42mm, 44mm, and 44mm sizes.
The watch is constructed of nylon and includes a stretchy, adjustable Band with metal clasps, allowing you to adjust the watch to your comfort level. The Band fits wrists up to 8.66 inches in circumference.
The Arae watchband is available from Amazon.com in sixteen colors for 7.49.
Apple Watch Nike Sport Band
The Nike Sport Band is a fantastic choice for runners. It is made from a high-performance fluoroelastomer material, a type of rubber that has wide chemical resistance, with compression-molded perforations for breathability.
Apple Watch Nike Sport Band
This fluoroelastomer material won’t disintegrate or lose color after multiple hand washes or hand sanitizer splashes.
Often, getting a durable watch Band means the material can feel stiff on the wrist, but this rubber Band is surprisingly soft. In addition, the pin and tuck closure ensures that the Band won’t budge on the wrist intra-workout.
The watch Band fits 41mm cases and is available in S/M and M/L sizes, fitting most wrists. The Band is available in a variety of colors, but keep your eyes peeled for those neutral colors; these are often sold out.
The Nike Sport Band is available from Nike for 49.00.
Orobay Shockproof Band
Often, watch Band and case duos fall short when encasing the watch face without gaps. The 2mm raised bezels on the edges of this OROBOY Band ensure the watch is shockproof and resistant to table and weight-machines knocks.
In addition, it is made of soft rubber, waterproof, and durable without feeling clunky.
The case covers the watch meticulously with no overlap or visible gaps. This Band and case duo includes a rear opening design, making it easy to take on or off.
The back opening also improves the accuracy of heart rate data, fed from your wrist directly to the watch.
The clasp is strong, does not come loose during a challenging workout, and does not pinch the wrist. Purchase a screen protector separately if you want extra peace of mind.
It is compatible with Apple Watch 42mm, 44mm, and 45mm cases. In addition, it has a lifetime warranty, which is a huge perk considering its low price.
The OROBAY shockproof Band is available from Amazon.com for 14.99.
Nomad Sport Band
If you are looking for longevity, quality, and comfort, look no further than the Nomad sport Band. This Band is waterproof, offers ventilation through perforated holes, and comes in an array of colors.
It is comfortable for all types of workouts, is durable for higher-intensity workouts like HIIT, and is breathable.
It is also oil-resistant, meaning it doesn’t allow sweat, oils, or dirt to build up. This makes the watch easy to clean after a sweaty exercise class.
The design is modern and sleek, and the material is constructed from a soft and flexible FKM rubber. The pin-and-tuck aluminum closure ensures that the watch won’t budge during your workout.
It is compatible with all versions of the Apple Watch and fits wrists from 150mm (5.9 inches) to 200mm (7.7 inches) in size.
The Nomad sport Band is available direct from Nomad for 59.95.
Top 7 Best CrossFit Watches
Start shopping around for the best CrossFit watches to help track, monitor, and improve your workout performance, and you may discover that it’s almost as challenging as your favorite WOD.
Sure, there’s a whole plethora of fitness-orientated wearable technology out there, but while most of them are great for sports like running and cycling, very few seem well equipped to suit the unique nature of CrossFit training.
The good news is that there are some smartwatches on the market which do make a perfect addition to your CrossFit gear.
Below, we’ve rounded up seven of the very best to help you find the one wearable that’s right for you.
Top 7 Best CrossFit Watches
Screen Size: 1.3″
Display Type: LCD
Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, ANT, Wi-Fi
While FitBit may be the smartwatch of choice for casual fitness fans and those who simply want to improve their health, Garmin has proved itself to be the go-to brand for those who take their fitness training seriously.
The Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is a perfect example of why the company’s wearable technology has become such a hit, not only with CrossFit athletes, but runners, rowers, climbers, and other athletes.
The highlight of this one is the unique Pulse Ox sensors which monitor your body’s oxygen saturation levels and an innovative body battery that gives an estimate of your current energy reserves.
This can prove incredibly useful for knowing when it’s time to really give it your all and when it’s time to take a rest day.
Elsewhere, compatibility with Garmin Strength, and a number of top Garmin CrossFit apps make it possible to access and track a number of pre-designed WODs, with performance statistics saved so that you can access them via the Internet to analyze your workout.
Combine all this with an in-built interval training mode which is ideal for CrossFit and other HIIT training activities, and it’s no wonder the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the top CrossFit watch on the market right now.
- Display can be easily read, even in sunlight.
- Includes advanced sleep monitoring to make sure you’re getting enough rest.
- Features music storage and compatibility with third-party streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
- High price tag makes it one of the most expensive watches around.
- Some users report that it takes time to learn how to use all of the Fenix 6 Pro’s features.
Screen Size: 1.61″
Display Type: Always-on Retina display
Connectivity Technology: GPS
Garmin may have a few good apps for CrossFit, but nowhere near as many as you’ll find on the Apple App Store.
From top CrossFit timer apps to those with pre-set WODs, heart rate monitoring, and more, if you’re serious about using the best tools to optimize your workouts, the Apple Watch Series 7 may be the one for you.
Apps aside, the biggest selling point of Apple’s latest wearable is that it features an always-on retina display. With that mode enabled, all of your performance data is visible the whole time, meaning you don’t have to stop halfway through your next Grace WOD just to check on your activity.
Using the Functional Fitness setting, you can monitor your heart rate and compare it across several workouts to note where you’re improving, while the main display shows not only average heart rate, but also training session length, estimated number of calories and more.
Finally, we’re big fans of advanced features like blood oxygen monitoring, ECG testing, and recovery monitoring, all of which make the Apple Watch Series 7 an ideal choice for tech-savvy CrossFitters.
- Larger than average screen size makes it easier to view the display.
- Highly durable design with crack-resistant screen.
- Features in-built fall detection for solo workouts.
- Battery doesn’t last as long as with other watches.
- Charges using a USB-C cable which isn’t compatible with older charging blocks.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Coming in at a lower price point and with less features than the Fenix Pro, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 still helps track your energy levels using the Pulse Ox.
Plus, it calculates respiration, stress, estimated heart, hydration, menstrual cycle, and more. Thanks to its over 20 preloaded indoor and GPS sports fitness app, you can record all your metrics during your workout.
If you want something slightly different from CrossFit, you can get easy-to-follow, animated workouts on the screen with workouts such as Pilates, yoga, and strength and cardio exercises.
The Garmin Vivoactive 4 has an extended battery life, enabling you to use it in various modes without developing battery anxiety. You can use it for up to 8 days in smartwatch mode: 6 hours in music and GPS mode.
There are also tracking and safety features such as incident detection during particular activities. Once you pair it with a compatible device, you can also get assistance, sending your real-time location to emergency services.
- Large LED screen
- You can pair it with both Android and Apple devices
- Animated workouts
- Tracking and safety features
- Great battery life
- Body battery energy monitoring
- Can play music
Screen Size: 1.2″
Display Type: LCD
Connectivity Technology: GPS
Though all of the best CrossFit watches featured in this guide scored high marks for accuracy, none scored higher in this category than the Polar Vantage V.
The high-end smartwatch takes advantage of Precision Prime Sensor Fusion technology which results in the highest heart rate accuracy levels of any watch around.
The best part is that the optical HR sensor is integrated into the device, meaning you can enjoy accurate readings without the need for a chest strap.
Not that accuracy is all that this one has going for it.
The Vantage V comes pre-loaded with two excellent programs; Training Load Pro and Recovery Pro.
Working in unison, these apps give you extensive insights into the intensity of your training sessions and how those sessions affect your body, as well as how you’re progressing with recovery.
If you’re the type of athlete that gets so enthusiastic about CrossFit you’re sometimes guilty of overdoing it, this can prove very valuable in reminding you to take a day off or at least take it a little easier.
Finally, it’s hard not to be impressed with the battery life, which offers up to 40 hours of training time on a single charge.
- Lightweight-yet-durable design.
- Comes with Polar Flow App with HIIT option for tracking CrossFit training.
- Provides complete training data to help you analyze and improve your performance.
- Doesn’t offer pre-set WOD plans.
- Touch screen is less responsive than other smartwatches.
Screen Size: 1.27″
Display Type: LCD
Connectivity Technology: GPS, Bluetooth
If you like the idea of a top-level Garmin but found the expensive Fenix 6 Pro was just a little out of your price range, the Garmin Instinct may be a better option.
Our pick of the best budget-friendly CrossFit watch around right now, the relatively low price tag is in no way indicative of low quality.
Track your favorite Hero workout, and you’ll be able to access a wealth of useful, CrossFit-relevant data such as Vo2 max, heart rate, intensity minutes, threshold power, and more.
What’s more, if you’re prone to going so hard that your smartwatch takes a bit of a beating, you’ll no doubt appreciate the U.S military-grade construction quality with in-built thermal, shock, and water protection.
While the Instinct may not be the most elaborate or feature-rich Garmin CrossFit watch out there, for an affordable, entry-level model, there’s nothing better on the market right now.
- Excellent battery life of up to 14 days in smartwatch mode on a single charge.
- It comes with preloaded activities and workouts.
- Compatible with Garmin Connect.
- Some users report reliability issues with the heart rate monitoring feature.
- Step counter and sleep tracker aren’t as reliable as on other watches.
Screen Size: 1.2″
Display Type: LCD
Connectivity Technology: GPS
Much like the Vantage V, the Polar Ignite 2‘s best feature is the Precision Prime sensor fusion technology which allows for industry-leading levels of accuracy when it comes to heart-rate monitoring.
However, what we really like about it is the HIIT profile on the in-built Polar Flow app, which allows you to perfectly and accurately track times as you’re going through your favorite WOD and offer performance-based workout guidance to help you optimize your workout.
Elsewhere, the rest and recovery monitoring features are second-to-none, helping you to ensure that whether you’re trying a new rowing WOD, you’re always feeling fit, refreshed, and ready to go.
- Integrated optical sensors eliminate the need to wear a separate heart-rate monitor.
- Built from glass fiber polymer for maximum durability.
- FitSpark feature offers custom-made workout suggestions.
- Not very good at tracking strength training.
- Some users report issues with pairing the Ignite 2 with their smartphone.
Screen Size: 1.97″
Display Type: LCD
Connectivity Technology: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
While other watches scored the highest marks in categories such as accuracy or all-around features and functionality, the Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR‘s biggest strength is, well, its strength.
Make no mistake about it, this is one tough piece of kit. The highly-durable mineral crystal glass face is next to impossible to crack, while the steel bezel provides added protection for your device.
As with all good fitness watches, it’s waterproof, too, so you don’t need to worry about it getting drenched in sweat during a particularly intense workout.
That said, there’s a lot more going on here than simply excellent materials and top-grade construction quality.
The Spartan features multiple sports modes, with a dedicated CrossFit mode that lets you track and record all aspects of your WOD, including steps, reps, lifts, and more.
Connect to the Suunto Movescount app, and you’ll also be able to access purpose-built timers for EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) and Tabata sessions, ensuring that you can spend less time configuring your watch for a workout and more time actually getting the training done.
Meanwhile, the ability to customize which data is displayed during your workout allows you to FOCUS only on those stats that you really care about, whether that’s reps completed, the time elapsed, or calories burned.
- Affordable price for a smartwatch.
- Battery life of up to 40 hours on a single charge.
- Real-time heart rate tracking is displayed in graph form.
- The Movescount app isn’t the most user-friendly fitness app out there.
- Heavier than other watches, which may affect comfort.
How to Choose the Best CrossFit Watch: A Buyer’s Guide
So, you’ve seen what we consider to be the top seven very best fitness watches for CrossFit athletes to wear while training, but how exactly did we reach that decision?
How did we decide that these six models are better than anything else out there?
importantly, how do you decide which one is ultimately worth spending your hard-earned money on?
To answer these questions, we’ve put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide in which we discuss the key factors we considered when making our selections, as well as advise on how each of these factors may influence your final buying decision.
With so much technology and advanced features to offer, it’s often easy to overlook the fact that a fitness watch is still very much a watch at the end of the day.
That means it’s crucial that it remains comfortable during your workouts.
First of all, it needs to be a good fit, which means finding a watch with an adjustable strap is always a good idea as you’ll be able to set a fit that’s neither too snug nor too loose.
Sweat-resistant materials are also a popular choice for fitness watches. After all, what could be worse than having your wrist irritated by a watch rubbing up against stinging sweat while you’re trying to train?
Finally, the weight of the watch may also make a difference. While no smartwatch is necessarily heavy, some do weigh a little more than others, and this can make them feel like a burden to wear.
Let’s be honest, the last thing you want is for your new watch to die out on you mid-workout, nor do many CrossFit athletes really want the hassle of having to charge their watch every day simply because the battery becomes depleted after every WOD.
This is why, no matter what your other priorities may be when it comes to buying a smartwatch, battery life should always be something you take into serious consideration.
The best fitness watches offer at least 40 hours of training time from a single charge, though there are some models out there that can continue to perform at their best for an uninterrupted 14 day period without the need to be recharged.
For most CrossFitters, one of the main factors motivating them to buy a smartwatch is the ability to properly track, monitor, and analyze their workout data in order to help them continually improve their performance.
At a bare minimum, any good watch that you buy should at least offer heart rate monitoring, and if this can be done via the watch’s own in-built sensors without the need for third-party wearable monitors, all the better.
It’s also worth noting that some fitness watches are essentially fancy pedometers. While that may be great for runners, it doesn’t help you much when it comes to the part of your workout where you need to lift weights.
As such, it’s a good idea to check that the watch you’re thinking of buying is set up to track weight sizes, reps, and other lifting metrics.
Accuracy is one of those factors that some athletes take super seriously while others barely pay attention to.
The truth is that all good CrossFit watches.especially the ones in this guide- offer a good degree of accuracy, though most of these are based on best estimates which may not be entirely on the nose.
For some CrossFitters, that may well be fine. If you simply need a good idea of how you’re performing and the ability to compare multiple workouts, any one of our watch selections will be fine.
However, if you really do need your tracking to be right down the point, you might want to skip most other options and FOCUS on models offered by the Polar brand. These watches utilize a special precision sensor to offer the most accurate tracking around, making them a great option for data-obsessed athletes.
A good CrossFit watch shouldn’t just be there for you while you’re sweating away in the gym, it should also be there for you in between workouts too.
After all, we can only really perform at our best in the CrossFit box if we’re getting enough rest, recovery, and proper sleep out of it.
That’s why we gave extra marks to those fitness watches which featured built-in recovery options which help to track your sleep and monitor your physical well-being. Using these features, you gain a better understanding of when it’s time to push for a new personal best and when it’s time to engage in a lighter workout, or even treat yourself to a well-earned rest day.
Whether you’re buying a smartwatch, a brand new kettlebell, or a new pair of CrossFit shoes, strength and durability should always be an important factor when buying CrossFit gear.
This is especially true when it comes to watches, as even the most affordable ones still run to several hundred dollars in cost.
So, if you’re spending all that money, you need to know that you’re buying a product that’s built to last, ensuring long-term value-for-money with none of the drawbacks of having to order expensive repairs or replacement parts.
Water-resistant, shock-proof watches with crack-resistant screens, solid bezels, and unsnappable straps always make for better options.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to also look for a watch that comes with a decent warranty just to be on the safe side.
If you only want a fitness watch for basic features such as heart rate monitoring, this last point may not be such a big deal.
However, if you want to really use a watch to its full potential, looking for one that comes with pre-set CrossFit workouts – or at least the ability to create your own custom workouts- is going to be a Smart move.
Ease of Use
Last but not least, let’s remember that smartwatches are supposed to make our lives easier, so if they take hours to set up or they’re cumbersome to use, that pretty much defeats the whole point.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to look for watches that offer a well-designed, intuitive interface, clear navigation, and a simple set-up process so that you can spend less time tinkering with your tech and more time focussing on giving it your all during your next workout.
Frequently Asked Questions About CrossFit Watches
What fitness watch do CrossFitters use?
Many CrossFit athletes opt for Garmin fitness watches, with the Fenix 6 Pro and the affordable Garmin Instinct proving to be the most popular models.
What features should I look for when buying a fitness watch for CrossFit?
Heart rate monitoring, timers (especially ones pre-built for CrossFit workouts), and recovery monitoring options are some of the most valuable CrossFit features to look for when buying a CrossFit watch.
Are FitBits good for CrossFit?
FitBits can be used to track certain CrossFit activities, though they only really count steps and calories and aren’t very accurate when it comes to tracking the unique and diverse range of exercises in a typical WOD.
What is the Best CrossFit watch to buy in 2022?
Our aim with this guide was to arm you with all the information you could possibly need to know to make the best possible purchasing decision when it comes to buying a new CrossFit watch.
We’ve told you what this year’s top seven watches are, what makes them so good, and what to look for when choosing one of your own.
Ultimately though, the one thing you’ll need to look for more than anything else is a watch that best aligns with whatever your priorities may be.
If you’re looking for a top-quality CrossFit watch, but you’re turned off by the high price that comes with many of the best-selling models, you might want to look at the Garmin Instinct, which is our pick of the best budget-friendly watch on the market today.
If you want the most accurate tracking features possible, then either the Polar Vantage V or the Polar Ignite 2 with their Precision Prime sensor fusion technology may be the one for you.
However, if you want a top-grade CrossFit watch that scores high marks in terms of accuracy, durability, and comfort while also offering an extensive array of CrossFit-compatible features, look no further than the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, a watch that proves itself to be the very best of the best.
Whoop vs Apple Watch Why I Wear Both (for 2 Years Now)
I’ve used both the Whoop (version 3.0 and 4.0) and the Apple Watch (Series 5, and now 7) for over two years now at the same time. They each have things I like about them, and things that could be improved. For someone who works out 4-5 times a week like myself, I love having them both.
I have both, an AW series 6 and Whoop strap 4.0 and I wear both daily. For me they perform two different functions. – NearbyFix9591
In this post, I’ll share my experience using both the Whoop and Apple Watch together, and who might benefit from one over the other.
Whoop vs. Apple Watch Features
Activity and Workout Tracking
Both the Whoop and the Apple Watch have workout tracking that automatically recognizes some different types of fitness activity. The key to this functionality is heart rate, and so the activity has to raise your heart rate above a certain level in order to register.
For Whoop, your heart rate must be elevated from resting for at least 15 minutes and achieve a “metabolic strain score” of at least 8 (we’ll discuss what that means later).
The Apple Watch can automatically detect different workouts with different measures but only tracks 16 different types compared to Whoop’s 87.
The special thing about Whoop is that when it can’t detect what kind of workout is happening, it logs it as ‘other.’ If you later type in what workout it was, it learns what physical signals it has for you and will log it in the future. Overall, this gives the Whoop the leg-up in the long term.
Update: March 2022 – Whoop has continued to get better at tracking what type of workout I do. It usually gets it right without me having the use the app to update it now.
The Apple Watch’s workout scoring is fairly simple. It tracks activity minutes and compares this to your chosen exercise and goals. Activity minutes are each full minute of elevated heart rate. This works well enough for most people but isn’t a particularly sophisticated or deep look into one’s workout.
Whoop’s approach to workout scoring is much more rigorous. Whoop’s “strain score” is based on a formula that compares your resting heart rate to your max heart rate to provide a sense of how much strain a particular exercise exerts on your body.
Essentially, these measures allow the device to calculate an activity detection threshold and to measure out how much strain the activity is having on your body at any given time. If your heart rate goes above the threshold, you’ll be in exercise mode with low strain. Then, the closer it gets to maximum heart rate, the higher your strain score will become. It’s fairly simple once you get the hang of it, but also very useful. You’ll be glad you have it.
Both scores work well for what they are, but the Apple Watch is much more simplistic overall. It really doesn’t provide enough insight into one’s actual fitness needs. The Whoop is more nuanced and better for fitness enthusiasts.
The calorie tracking on both the Whoop and the Apple Watch doesn’t consider basal metabolic rate (BMR), making them estimates based on the average BMR for your age and gender.
It’s helpful as a general measure of how many calories you are burning in a day, but for real accuracy, both companies need to allow BMR data to give more accurate estimates. At the moment, neither is particularly useful as is.
Chest Straps and Heart Rate Broadcasting
The Apple Watch supports the use of external heart rate chest straps, which better monitor one’s heart rate during intense physical activity.
The Whoop does not support any kind of chest strap. However, it supports heart rate broadcasting through Bluetooth. This allows you to use a different app to collect data from your workouts and activities.
These facts can teach you one way or the other. If you like the built-in apps, then the additional accuracy of an external heart rate chest strap is nice with the Apple Watch. But, the broadcasting is great if you aren’t a fan of the app.
Both fitness wearables provide workout recommendations based on your fitness goals. Whoop uses its Strain Coach to track your recovery, previous strain, and sleep to recommend the best amount of activity for the day, depending on whether it’s a day for recovery or fitness gains.
The Strain Coach is useful to help you get into the right mindset each day. It’s also nice to have the app providing solid fitness recommendations based on your previous activities. It has a robust algorithm that combines your history of activity and sleep data with lifestyle questions it periodically asks in order to give you the best possible recommendations.
Unfortunately, the Apple Watch’s usefulness in this regard is much worse. It only tracks how many minutes of exercise you’ve had from previous days and gives minor recommendations to stand up and take deep breaths from time to time.
The Apple Watch provides a whole suite of standard post-workout analysis stats through the iPhone’s Fitness app. You’ll find metrics such as workout time, active calories, average heart rate (and graph), and a heart rate recovery graph in each logged workout.
These are solid metrics that can be helpful to know overall but do require some interpretation.
The Whoop, on the other hand, provides clear guidance on what to do with the stars that are being provided. It not only provides information on things like how much you are building endurance over time with a given workout but offers recommendations for how much time to spend at a given heart rate for best results.
It also asks about how hard a given exercise was and whether I had to give up on intended goals. It then uses this information to improve its recommendations for future workouts.
All in all, the overall experience of the Whoop is just way easier to interpret into a meaningful change in one’s exercise routine.
Sleep Coaching and Tracking
The quality of one’s sleep plays a significant role in one’s ability to work out during the day and affects the ability of muscles to build during the night. That’s why recovery days are so important as well.
What’s valuable about a sleep tracker is the ability to detect the different sleep stages, especially REM vs. slow-wave sleep. Unfortunately, most trackers aren’t entirely accurate on this front, but they can give you a good approximation.
The Apple Watch is not particularly accurate when it comes to tracking sleep. However, it does have a few features, including total sleep time, sleep consistency, and silent alarms.
Whoop, on the other hand, has a fantastic sleep tracking system. Its advanced sensors allow it to accurately track sleep, including the differences between deep and REM sleep.
The battery life is a lot longer on the Whoop, allowing you to keep it on at night without having to charge it. However, the Apple Watch doesn’t last a whole 24 hours, and therefore you have to be strategic with the timing if you want to use it at night.
Whoop also provides recommendations based on your sleep quality for how you should approach upcoming sleep.
Your recovery score refers to how close to baseline your biometrics are. One way to measure this is by tracking heart rate variability (HRV), which should be higher than your baseline heart rate to indicate that your nervous system can currently handle stress.
The combination of HRV, resting heart rate, and your sleep data can give you a good idea of how ready your body is for exercise on a given day, a handy measure!
HPV is best measured during deep sleep to avoid any other factors influencing it. Therefore, the Whoop measures it during this time.
Whoop also checks in with a series of questions of your choice to help correlate lifestyle changes with recovery score. You then get a personalized assessment of what is having an effect on your performance each month to help improve your recovery score.
As one could probably guess, the Apple Watch doesn’t provide this kind of information.
Hardware and Sensors
- 3D Accelerometer and gyroscope
- Optical Heart Rate Sensor (with green, red, and infrared LEDs)
- 100x per second sample rate while working out
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Interchangeable straps
- 3D Accelerometer and gyroscope
- Optical Heart Rate Sensor (green LEDs)
- NTC (negative thermal coefficient) body temperature sensor
- Electrodermal activity (skin conductance) sensor
- 100x per second sample rate
- Interchangeable straps
The LEDs let the monitor check the heart rate. Green LEDs work more accurately when moving (such as during a workout), whereas red and infrared are more accurate when stationary. It’s hard to say whether the Apple Watch’s addition of red and infrared LEDs add much to the overall accuracy. One difference is the sample rate, because while both sample 100x a second during workouts, the Apple Watch only samples once every few minutes otherwise.
For relatively ‘stable’ exercises such as running, the LED monitors work well. A chest strap is the best way to measure heart rate for more intense and variable exercises accurately. Only the Apple Watch allows you to use a chest strap if you want it.
Otherwise, the two use different additional biometric measures. The Apple Watch has an ECG, where the Whoop has an NTC body temperature sensor and an electrodermal activity sensor. It’s hard to tell which are the most important for measuring fitness goals.
Finally, both the Apple Watch and the Whoop have lots of different strap options, as both allow you to change up the strap with third-party straps if desired. It’s important to get the right fit.
For the Apple Watch, there are two different apps, the app on your watch and the fitness app for the iPhone. Currently, at watchOS 7, the fitness app is still relatively basic, focusing on minutes of activity. It also provides info on your current goals, a list of recent workouts and activity trends, and recent awards.
The Fitness paid app provides lots of guided workouts, such as yoga and dance. These are very helpful for beginners and enthusiasts alike.
The big difference between Apple and Whoop here is that the already fairly basic stats are not made into meaningful analytic information or recommendations for you.
With the Whoop, the combination of strain, sleep, and weekly assessments are put together to provide solid recommendations of what you should do for exercise.
The recovery score especially is a huge boost of information, as it helps you to understand your body’s overall strain.
The Whoop app also offers different coaching features to help manage your strain based on the previous recommendations.
Apple provides fun awards for achieving your fitness goals. But, unfortunately, once you’ve got a few of them, they lose their appeal. There isn’t enough difference between them or special qualities to them to keep their value up after the novelty has gone away.
The other big community factor is the ability to share and compete with friends and family on calories burned, exercise minutes, etc. This can be really fun in small groups to get people to motivate one another, and for those who love connecting through social media. Unfortunately, there’s also a dark side to such competition, as some people find it demotivating when others are doing well and showing off.
Whereas Whoop has ‘teams’ that share some metrics with each other. The interesting thing with teams is they are autonomous in themselves, where each team can invite new members, allowing you to join public teams all around the world.
Connecting to your fitness classes in this way is one fantastic way to use this feature.
Both styles are exciting and work well, but Whoop’s may just be the way of the future due to its ease and flexibility. I like the ability to join and leave teams without too much guilt, and to seek them out all around my area.
Be careful that a bit of friendly competition doesn’t turn into resentment or disappointment in one’s results. Remember, each journey is our own.
Battery Life and Charging
The Apple Watch tends to get about 16-20 hours of use depending on how much you do with it in a day.
One of the big functionalities of the Apple Watch compared with the Whoop is that it has a lot more uses than just a fitness device. For example, you can input calendar events, see the weather and temperature, and other quick and important information.
Whoop’s battery lasts up to 5 days. Usually, the Apple Watch’s battery life is not a problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
Apple has the app HealthKit, which stores heath and fitness info into a database. This is compatible with chest strap heart monitors, and therefore can be used for a more robust fitness tracking experience overall.
Whoop is more of a closed system. It doesn’t really have anything to integrate with, not even a chest strap of their own design.This is a big problem going into the future as Apple has a lot more options already and will only gain more as time goes on.
The two use different pricing models, so it can be a little hard to compare.
The Apple Watch costs 399, depending on your configuration. Some decked-out Apple Watches can cost quite a bit, and it’ll also depend on how often you expect to get a replacement.
Apple’s software tends to update much more slowly than Whoops, meaning you get more new features and updates with Whoop than you do with the Apple Watch.
The Whoop is a monthly plan, from 18 a month if you commit to a three-year plan or 30 a month without one. That is very expensive at 300 / year if you plan on using it for years at a time.
The benefit of these different options will clearly depend on how often you replace your Apple Watch. It can be quite a bit cheaper to go with the Apple Watch if you plan on using it for over three years.
The Apple Watch can be less expensive, has more non-fitness features, and is compatible with more third-party accessories and software. However, its fitness apps and features are much more basic than Whoop’s. We saw that it’s really lacking in biometrics it tracks, and it doesn’t give the kinds of recommendations the Whoop does.
- Relatively less expensive
- Lots of useful non-fitness apps and features
- Chest Strap compatible
- Friendly competition and awards
- Step Counter
- Robust LED heart rate sensor
- Fewer fitness metrics
- Shorter battery life
- Fewer direct fitness recommendations
- Cannot track REM vs. slow-wave sleep accurately
The Whoop 3.0 is a powerful fitness device that tracks many biometrics and provides useful recommendations using the data it collects. Overall, its whole ecosystem is more useful for tracking sleep, lifestyle, and workouts accurately and providing advice using that data. Unfortunately, the monthly plan can get expensive over time, and it doesn’t have any additional uses outside fitness.
- Tracks lots of fitness metrics accurately
- The more accurate sleep tracker
- Useful fitness recommendations based on data gathered
- Longer battery life
- Recovery score is a useful metric
- Broadcast metrics through Bluetooth
- expensive overall
- Few uses outside fitness tracking
- No chest strap support
Is Whoop the same as Apple Watch?
They perform similar functions, but they are different in many details. The Whoop is a better fitness device, providing lots of helpful metrics and recommendations for workout activities. The Apple Watch has greater all-around functionality but is much simpler when it comes to tracking fitness.
Is Whoop worth the money?
It can be. The Whoop is great for those looking to step up their fitness game. It gives excellent, customized recommendations for pursuing one’s fitness goals using the vast array of metrics it tracks. Overall, it is in a similar price range as an Apple Watch, and so if you are considering one, you can consider the other.
Can I wear an Apple Watch and a Whoop?
Yes, you can wear both at the same time for more data and features overall. It’s certainly cumbersome at that point, but nothing is stopping you if you do have both and want the functionality of each one.
Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Whoop 3.0 are great fitness tracking wearables. The question comes down to the level of detail and data each provides that can be used to make actionable goals and changes to one’s fitness routine.
Hands-down, the Whoop wins in that regard. It tracks fitness, sleep, and lifestyle in a much more valuable and robust way, with useful metrics like the strain score and recovery score to help you make decisions about your fitness journey.
However, it’s not that simple because the Apple Watch does have a few features up on its competition. First, it is compatible with a chest strap for measuring heart rate. Second, it has an array of other features by being connected to the Apple store – most of which aren’t related to fitness but are nonetheless helpful. Then again, some are related to fitness, like the HealthKit app.
Finally, in the long run, the Apple Watch will usually be quite a bit less expensive than the Whoop. For all these reasons, no clear winner can be chosen between the two. The Whoop will serve you better when it comes to fitness, but the Apple Watch might still be worth it for some.
Hi! I’m Scott, Engineer, very average CrossFitter and owner of WODReview.com
I credit CrossFit for getting me into the best shape of my life in my 30’s. I love the sport and community.
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