This Apple Watch feature will change the way you use it at the gym for the better

However, I recently discovered a very cool feature that helps me with reps and rests. Below I explain what it consists of and how you can configure it to start using it today in your next weight training session.

The Apple Watch for going out for a run and also in the gym

Generally, the Apple Watch has always stood out for being a smart watch capable of recording outdoor exercises via GPS signal, offering detailed metrics for sports such as cycling, running or swimming. However, when it came to gym workouts, yoga, lifting of weights and similar activities, the options to track your progress were quite limited. Typically it was a display of heart rate, calories burned, and generally speaking, that was it.

When it comes to keeping track of reps, weight lifted, or time holding a position like a plank, many people prefer to turn to note-taking apps or even traditional pen and paper.

Until now, my gym routine was based on wearing my Apple Watch only to record data such as heart rate and calorie expenditure, in addition to checking the time and being able to control the music on my AirPods. However, that has all changed thanks to the new Custom Workouts feature in the Traditional Strength Training profile.

Custom Workouts on Apple Watch to create workout routines at the gym

Personalized Workouts allow you to create your own exercise routines, divided into segments that can correspond to a kilometer traveled, a lap on the track or a completed set. I have long used this for my workouts and series sessions when I go running. The most interesting thing is that you can also configure it to perform intervals of activity with weights in the gym.

Plus, with the Apple Watch Ultra it's even better, I simply press the Action button once I have completed my weightlifting set, and a two-minute rest countdown automatically begins. Once the timer runs out, the workout moves on to the next segment, while actively tracking my heart rate and calories burned during weight lifting.

When I finish a set, I press the Action button again to repeat the process, taking advantage of those two minutes of rest to recover or change stations. This functionality not only helps me stay focused between sets, but also allows me to plan my workout routine in advance. I can go to the gym ready to perform four sets of squats, lunges, box jumps and planks, and all I have to do when I get there is select my Personalized training tagged as 'Leg's day'.

Apple Watch personalized training

How to set up a Custom Workout on the Apple Watch?

Setting up a Personalized Training is easier than it seems. You can do this on any Apple Watch, although the Apple Watch Ultra makes it easier to switch between segments thanks to the Action button.

The key requirements are; have an Apple Watch with watchOS 10 and an iPhone with iOS 17.

  • Select the Strength Training Profile: Access the “Functional Strength Training” or “Strength exercises with machines” profile and touch the three points located in the upper right. Then, scroll down and select the option «Create training” and in “Personalized”.
  • Set up your segments: Once inside, you will be presented with two options: “Free” (ideal for sets with a specific number of repetitions) or “Time” (perfect for sets that involve holding isometric positions).

Choose the option that best suits your routine and set the duration if you select “Time.” Then, press the “Add” button again and choose between “Work” or “Recovery” to continue building your routine.

When you've completed setting up your routine, scroll down and tap “Custom Title«. Give your workout a name, such as 'Leg's day' either 'arms day', and press «Create Training«.

create Apple Watch workout for the gym

At the bottom you can also see what the personalized view will be that will be added to your Apple Watch when you are carrying out the training. You can switch between this view and typical views during your workout by simply turning the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch.

Now, you will have access to this routine every time you choose the “Functional Strength Training” or “Strength Exercises with Machines” profile on your Apple Watch. This feature allows you to plan your training sessions in the gym ahead of time, which can be very useful to maintain your concentration on the physical exercise you are doing, without distractions.