For swimmers, MySwimPro is the best application possible. The free app will let you create and track swim workouts (instead of just tracking how many lengths you’ve swum). If you really try to form rather than just exercising, it makes a big difference.
There’s also an Elite subscription plan ($20/month) that will give you personalized coaching if you want it.
Price: Free and optional elite from $20/month, which adds coaching and other features.
Best apps for outdoor activities
Continued use of GPS on your Apple Watch will drain its battery faster than regular daily use. Therefore, if you are planning a multi-day backpacking trip, you will need to bring a battery. For most half-day hikes or casual ski sessions, however, it should be fine.
Work outside adds vector maps to your Apple Watch that can even be stored for offline use. If you’re hitting the trails for a hike, run, or ski tour, you can add a GPX route to follow so you don’t get lost.
Basically, it’s the app that turns your Apple Watch into something closer to one of Garmin’s adventure watches.
Ski slopes is the ultimate ski tracking app, at least if you’re skiing on lift-accessible slopes. It can track the number of runs you’ve completed, your average speed, and of course, the vertical you’ve managed to ski so far that day.
Then you can look back on the ski day and see everything on a 3D map of the terrain on your iPhone.
Best apps for the gym
One area where the Apple Watch excels is in the gym. If you want to track your weights, reps, and sets, or sweat heavily during interval training, there are apps that make it easy.
strong lets you record your entire workouts, including all your exercises, reps, and sets, without your phone. It’s great if you want to avoid the distraction of Twitter during downtime by leaving your phone in your locker.
With the free version of the app, you’re limited to three custom routines at a time, which is enough to record a push/pull/leg split. If you want more custom routines, Strong PRO starts at $5/month.
Price: Free and optional Strong PRO from $5/month for more custom routines and other features.
If high-intensity interval training is more your kind of thing, Pro Seconds is one of the best apps out there. You can create as many brightly colored, easy-to-read custom timers for your workouts as you need to sweat.
And get an external heart rate monitor
Wrist-based heart rate tracking, like with an Apple Watch, is not as precise as chest straps, and the harder you train, the worse it gets. If you want your Apple Watch to be able to record your heart rate when you’re in the deepest pain, an external heart rate monitor will go a long way.
Check out our guide for best heart rate monitors for some suggestions.
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