By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS
Sleek design, sleek user interface, ability to use third party apps, effective GPS, text/phone call capability (at extra cost), exercise options for better tracking, easily accessible features like music, completely customizable interface.
The heart rate monitor is not as accurate as we would have hoped during intense sweat sessions, and it is not as easy to use with non-Apple phones.
All in all, with only fitness in mind, the Apple Watch is a great investment. I will say though: if you do not have an iPhone, I wouldn’t bother. The user interface isn’t as seamless for non-Apple devices, which I assume they do on purpose. But if you are an Apple user and a multi-sport aficionado (or an aspiring multi-sport aficionado), you’ll enjoy this new and effective tool.
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Apple has been pushing their Apple Watch as one of the best fitness trackers on the market. With a sleek design, there isn’t a watch more visually appealing, but is it worth the investment for fitness tracking? There have been reviews that say otherwise, but everyone has their own take—and as a fitness expert, I felt I should weigh in for my followers. You can read my comparison of the Apple Watch Vs FitBit here.
I’m the kind of sweat junkie who likes to switch it up all the time, so it was important for me to find a watch that was versatile, and would help me track everything no matter what I chose to do that day. It was also important for me to be away from my phone and still have the ability to see text messages, as I manage a large number of clients. So with those two things in mind, I did my research and chose the Apple Watch Series 4. I used my Series 4 watch through four different exercises to see how it tracked my performance and responded to my body, and to see if it was truly a tool I would continue to utilize during my sweat sessions.
Running: The watch was very effective during my running session. The new series has a GPS tracking system, so it will actually map out your entire run on a satellite-style map. It lagged at some points as I did not have my phone with me, but it figured things out pretty quickly. The only thing that’s inconsistent was the heart rate (HR) monitor. I don’t like to wear my watch tightly, so the constant movement during my run made that a tad inconsistent, but I just tightened my watch a bit and the problem was fixed.
Lifting: I track my lifts using the “open workout” option, and it is also effective during my weight sessions. I mainly track my HR here, as I like to make sure it stays within a fat-burning range that is set based on my body statistics.
Cycling: This is another sport where heart rate is important for me. It is very useful in keeping track of HR, because there isn’t a lot of wrist movement going on here. I prefer indoor cycling, so the GPS is a bit unnecessary for me, but it works well should you be the type of person who enjoys cycling outdoors.
HIIT Circuit Training: Here is where the Apple Watch became a tough read. I would feel, at times, that my heart rate was higher than it would measure, which can possibly be attributed to the fact that I don’t like my watch too tight around my wrist. My favorite feature of the Apple Watch during my HIIT sessions is the easily accessible music control. Music is important to me during my sweaty HIIT sessions, as I like to zone out and focus on the work out. So, with that in mind, it needs to be easy for me to adjust or switch my music so that I can make sure the wrong song doesn’t kill my focus and motivation.
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