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As a trainer and gym owner, I was excited and obsessed with getting the Apple Watch because of all the health and fitness related apps and abilities it had.
I love testing out any new product that has the potential to make people move more and be more conscious of their health.
And I must say while it is a great motivational tool to get people moving more and hold them accountable, I was super disappointed to find out that all I am is “Other.” Here is my Fitness Review of the Apple Watch…
The Activity Tracker makes moving a game, a competition with yourself – especially if you are as competitive as I am.
In that first day I wore it, it made me even more aware of how long I was sitting for. And that nice little buzz at the wrist when I’d been sitting for an extended period, encouraged me to get up even while I was watching TV relaxing at the end of the day on a Friday night.
Of course, my husband was amused by the fact that I got up and started dancing just to get my minute of standing for that hour (hey…It was also still the happy dance since I’d just gotten the watch as a present from him earlier in the day…Best Hubby Award definitely goes to him).
But it made me want to move more because I had a clear goal and some accountability.
I actually harp on that as a trainer with my clients.
If you want to accomplish something, make the goal clear. And have small attainable steps you can take every day, every hour even like with the Activity Tracker Stand Goal.
And then once you have a clear goal and some small steps you can take to help you move forward, find a way to hold yourself accountable. Tell other people. Post reminders. Set alarms…
Or in this case, have a little Apple Watch around your wrist to buzz you when you’re watching Daredevil.
So of course, as a trainer, I was thrilled by not only the motivation the Apple Watch supplies to make you more active, but also the easily attainable goals and the accountability.
I was curious to then try it out when I worked out. I knew it had the heart rate monitor and supposedly tracked your workouts – time, heart rate, calories.
And I was curious to see what it would say.
However, when I opened the Apple Watch Workout App, I was disappointed to see that basically all my options were cardio options EXCEPT for an “Other” button.
Unfortunately, most of my workouts fall under the “Other” category yet all of my workouts are so different it seems sad to have to enter them under the same thing. It made me feel like it wouldn’t be near as accurate at tracking as it was for everything else because the others had their own categories, like rowing or running or even walking. Heck they even made a tab Indoor vs. Outdoor for many of the cardio activities.
So needless to say I was a little disappointed that I would have to track my interval cardio workouts with the same thing that I tracked my slow strength lifting days.
I think I was even more disappointed because I’d stalked the Apple Watch for the past few weeks and had seen Crossfit and functional training style workouts featured.
Yet the apps on the Apple Watch don’t at all cater to the functional lifting workouts and interval workouts that I usually do.
But I decided to give my “Other” workouts a try. I could then choose to enter a calorie goal, time goal or just have it be open with no goal. Humph…No goal…I had a goal…Just not a time or calorie goal!
So I did an “Open” workout with no goal.
I sweated. I huffed and I puffed.
And the Apple Watch did its best to track. However, I could tell it was struggling to track my heart rate as I lifted weights and swung from the monkey bars and jumped up and down.
It had done fine the day before when I’d tested it out on the rower and throughout the day.
But even though I had the thing as snug as possible around my wrist, it was struggling to read my heart rate as I jumped around and lifted.
Because the calories burned are based probably on an algorithm taking into account heart rate, age, gender, weight and height, it said I burned very few calories in my 30 minutes as I poured sweat and gasped for air.
It also told me my heart rate very rarely got up. Which, while I have a very low resting heart rate and didn’t necessarily expect it to skyrocket, was just not the case.
So after my workout I was a little saddened to see that my workout, based on my expectations, had not been tracked correctly.
But heck whatever. I moved and personally don’t care about the calories counted although I was curious to see the true up and down of my heart rate throughout the interval work.
HOWEVER, when I finished my workout and it popped up that I had completed my exercise goal for the day, I did have to smile. Even though I know I easily hit that 30 minutes every day, it was nice to almost get a little recognition. (The Apple Watch even gives awards and achievements first doing first workouts and such…Although not first “Other” workouts…”
That’s another thing I tell clients is important when working toward your goals. Give yourself credit and even a little recognition for even taking small steps forward. Because small steps add up!
So getting that little victory and that green ring complete, felt good. I could see how that would help keep people moving. Plus it continued to track the rest of the day and I felt like I got bonus points for going over that 30 minute goal.
I was excited the next day to get to try it out on my weekend walk with the hubby and my puppy Coconut.
I didn’t know how long the walk was exactly so it was nice to track it and to even see the pace we walked out. I was also curious to see what it tracked my heart rate at after the workout the day before.
I felt it was much more accurate at tracking my heart rate on the walk; however, that only made it more clear that it hadn’t been accurate the day before.
Because, in almost the same amount of time, walking at a pace where my heart rate never became as elevated as it had during my workout (even though the watch said at points it was even more elevated than it had been during the hardest part of my circuit the day before…HA!), I burned more calories.
I burned more calories walking at a pace where we chatted the entire time than during my interval workout of death.
And while I wouldn’t recommend caring about calories burned when you workout (because interval training has benefits that outlast the length of your workout and the calories burned immediately), it did highlight the fact that the Apple Watch is much better at tracking cardio than weight training.
Too many fitness apps favor cardio. Although I’m sure it won’t be long before someone develops a great weight lifting app for the Apple Watch…
All that being said though, I did also like the fact that the watch has tracked my steps and the miles walked/moved every day. I had loved that when we traveled a few weekends before and hiked and walked all around, my hubby’s phone had tracked our steps. I’m now excited that I can track our steps!
I also didn’t know how much I was moving on a daily basis and it gave me a great goal to shoot for.
The Apple Watch and the Activity Tracker is definitely a motivational tool and one that as a trainer, I like. It will help you remember to be more active and help give you easy goals to hit each day. Although I have to admit I wish “Move” wasn’t counted in calories…Too many people, ladies especially, obsessed with calorie counting…YUCK! Plus it puts an emphasis on doing MORE to burn more calories instead of working out smart. And doing too much just to get that number to read that you burned more calories, won’t necessarily lead to results.
Work out smarter…not necessarily more or even harder.
Even though the Apple Watch does have its flaws, if you want to move more during your day it will hold you accountable by buzzing and alerting you when you need to get up and move. And hey, if you do the happy dance too because you have the Apple Watch, don’t let anyone judge you. It’s movement toward your goals right!?!
Overall, I love the Apple Watch as a trainer, gym owner and fitness fanatic. It is a great way for people to stay motivated those hours when they aren’t in the gym with their wonderful trainer.
Move more and be healthier!
Who else has been working out with the Apple Watch? What are your thoughts?
P.S. I didn’t even mention the great timer, stop watch, interval apps and food log apps that you can also add to it. Plus I love the fact that I can change the volume on Pandora to adjust the music in my gym from anywhere!