Using The Apple Watch During Physical Therapy, Running, Cycling, And Lifting. Mini-Review Of The Fitness Use


If you follow me on Twitter or Youtube you probably saw I finally received my Apple Watch, 42mm Space Grey Sport to be exact. For the past few days I have been putting it through it’s paces and wanted to do a mini-review regarding how the watch performs on the fitness side of things. I have since tested it at least once while cycling, running, and lifting as well as at a few of my physical therapy sessions. Here are my conclusions:


Lifting At The Gym: Generally I do all sorts of things at the gym from normal curls and squats to machine work as well as stretches and planks. I also take a few breaks in between to get water or whatever. The watch performs a lot better at the gym than I thought. I start an “other” workout and have at it and then pause when I go to the bathroom or whatever. It’s so great to leave my phone in my pocket and just cycle through songs on my watch. Notifications are also a ig one, don’t want calls or texts interrupting my sweet gains. Contrary to running and cycling (which I used Strava to record pre-Apple Watch) I never knew how many calories I was burning at the gym but now I do so that’s a nice bonus. Battery life took a small hit but nothing crazy maybe 10% or less.

running woman

Running: This is where I think the watch shines. It has improved my running by a landslide. Usually I run with my iPhone in an arm band with headphones plugged in. The thing is I am super picky when it comes to music and like to change songs a lot but I can’t do that with the band. Also another thing is that if someone calls me my iPhone only gives me the option to “swipe to answer” when I’m running so I end up waiting for it to stop ringing and then continue my run and that messes my cadence and momentum up a lot. With the watch I just deny the call and can also see who it is. The workout app works great for running even on the treadmill (I did notice the watch was about .1 mile ahead and 20 or so seconds ahead of the treadmill stats). I haven’t tried running Strava and the workout app yet but it will work if you care to have your data on Strava as well since there is no way to transfer it, at least not yet. Also I thought sweat would be an issue (I sweat while running A LOT) but it was totally fine, more responsive than a sweaty iPhone. Battery life went down maybe 5% or so after a 2.2 mile run, better than I expected


Cycling: Finally got to try out cycling with the watch today and it’s pretty good to sum up my experience. I like having it on my wrist to be able to check my miles and the time (considering I usually bike before work) instead of pulling my phone out of my jersey. The one thing I don’t think I would use when cycling is the navigation. I like to plan my routes ahead of time but i’m also horrid with directions so I like to have a GPS with me but I can’t see myself taking my hand off the bar to check the map, that’s dangerous, so I would go with a Garmin mounted unit on that one. Otherwise it’s pretty good for cycling a little less so if you are a road rider like me due to the GPS danger but that’s entirely personal. The coolest feature was seeing my HR jump to 195 on a climb. Battery life went down maybe 5-10%

Disclaimer: I in no way recommend checking the watch while biking, especially on the road, as it puts you and others in danger. Pull off to the side and check the information you need.


Physical Therapy: I figured I would throw this in here because I found it interesting. I do PT 3 times a week for a back injury and wanted to try out the watch. I set it to “other” in the workout and just did what I normally do which includes stretches, lifting, squats, planks, etc. It was pretty cool to see I actually burned almost 500 calories while there and that my heart rate got into the 90s I thought it would be more to be honest. It also helped notification wise because I leave my phone in my bag there and sometimes I can hear it going off and I have to pause my PT session to check it which just messes everything up. With the watch I just dismissed them and saved them for later if they weren’t important. Battery life went down pretty normally this was the least demanding on the battery as I only checked it once or twice in the hour I was there.

Overall fitness wise the Apple Watch performs as I expected it would if not better. I left out the activity features because that will be included in my full review soon to come. This mini-review was just my experiences with different fitness activities. If you participate in any of the activities I mentioned I highly suggest looking into the watch, specifically the Sport model (for obvious reasons).

Written by: Spencer


About The Geek Intel

Owner and publisher for The Geek Intel. IT major, geek enthusiast.

Posted on June 13, 2015, in Tech and Electronic News and Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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