Tracking Your Workouts Is About to Become Way Easier With Apple GymKit

Ever since I’ve gotten an Apple Watch, I’ve been obsessed with tracking my activity and workouts in the — you guessed it! — Activity and Workout apps. Well, almost obsessed. Often times when doing cardio, I forget to start my Workout app, meaning all that hard work doesn’t get logged.

Technically, I could get my workout data (calories burned, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace) from the machine I’m using, but I’ll be honest: I never actually input my personal info (gender, weight and height) each time before a workout because it’s too time-consuming and I just want to quick start and go… and that means machine data won’t be accurate.

Even if I do remember to start my Workout app, that standalone data isn’t totally accurate, either. For example, if I were to incline on the treadmill, the Apple Watch wouldn’t be able to track that incline, since it measures elevation using a barometric altimeter (Note: Series 3 of the Apple Watch is the only series with this capability).

But now, tracking indoor cardio workouts accurately is much easier with Apple GymKit. First announced in June 2017 and freshly launched in Canada at Equinox Yorkville, the GymKit allows Apple Watch users pair their Apple Watch to their favourite cardio equipment from global manufacturers like Life Fitness, Matrix and Technogym for accurate real time measurement and results.

 

All you have to do is tap your Apple Watch to the NFC reader (kind of like how you would tap your watch to a card reader when using Apple Pay) which will automatically open the Workout app. From there, you confirm you are ready to begin and voila! Everything from your heart rate to distance travelled, elevation and more will be synced to both the machine and your Apple Watch, with real-time results on display of both.

And if you forget to tap at the beginning of the workout? Not to worry. Simply pause your machine, tap your Apple Watch, and all of the previous data from that workout will sync to your device (in other words, you’ll get full credit for your workout). You can choose to disconnect when you are finished your workout, but stepping off the machine will also end your workout automatically, and also end the connection between the machine and your Apple Watch, meaning your data won’t be available for the next user.

“We know that exercisers really want something super simple when they get on the machine to track their data and manage their health,” says Lauren Platt, public relations manager at Life Fitness. “You don’t have to log into another app or put in your password or anything like that, so exercisers have been loving it and we’ve been really excited to launch it.”

“There’s always been this point of friction of having to log into a treadmill console,” adds Samir Desai, chief information officer at Equinox Fitness. “There’s a big reason people aren’t doing it! But now they have the ability to just tap and have that data, and also have the ability to make that data more accurate.”

Currently, Apple GymKit is only available at Equinox Yorkville in Toronto, but it will be rolling out to other Equinox locations in Canada. And considering Apple is working with 80 per cent of the world’s cardio equipment manufacturers, which will include Apple GymKit by default for new equipment, it’s expected to launch in many more places nationwide soon.