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Discover the secrets of the Apple Watch Workout app

At first glance, the Apple Watch Workout app seems pretty simple. You just press the start button and you get sweaty. But it is more than meets the eye. Much more.

You can customize the layout in hundreds of different ways, change text size, position, calculations and even add a chart of your progress. Even if you use the app every day, chances are you still have not discovered all its secrets.

So check out our top 10 training app tips and get ready for a more effective workout. ->

. Map your progress with a training measurement

The fastest way to start a workout is to press the Open Target button. But if you do, you will miss out on one of the finest features of the Workout app.

Try pressing the ellipse button (…) and select a destination. That way, you see a Progress Ring during your workout. These look like Activity Rings, but with different colors: light blue for distance; red for active calories, and yellow for duration. It’s a great way to see for a moment how you are doing.

Add a Progress Ring to check your progress on your Apple Watch training.
Add a Progress Ring to check your training progress.

2. Streamline the screen

To clear the screen, you have two options:

  • Switch to single metric display: You can do this using the Watch app on iPhone. Go to Training> Training view and select Simple metric.
  • Decrease the number of calculations in the view for more calculations: Go to the Watch app on iPhone Training> Training view> Multiple calculations> [Workout Type: e.g. Outdoor Run] > Edit and delete a few calculations.

3. See more calculations from single metric view

For most users, multiple metric views are probably the best choice. However, if you have trouble reading small text, the Single Metric view may be easier to see. Despite the name, the single metric view does not limit you to just a calculation. You can use Digital Crown to browse all available calculations during training. They are even color-coded, so you can quickly see which one is which.

Get rid of clutter on the Apple Watch training screen with Single Metric View
Remove the screen with Single Metric View.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

4. Highlight the most important calculation

When you display a maximum of five calculations in the Multiple Metric screen, it can look a little overwhelming with so much type stuffed into such a small space. Fortunately, you can select one row at a time by scrolling with Digital Crown. Each calculation is highlighted in its special color.

5. Make the calculations bigger

Multiple metric screens automatically scale the type to make the calculations as large as possible using all available screen space. So if you want to make the type bigger, just select fewer calculations to display.

Choose fewer calculations to make the text larger in the Apple Watch training app.
Choose fewer calculations to make the text larger.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

6. Make time bigger

The Apple Watch always shows the time at the top right of the status bar when using an app. The problem is that when you smile around during a workout, it can be a little difficult to see.

Fortunately, you can make it bigger. (The training app is the only app that allows you to do this). In the Single Metric view or the Multiple Metric view when you select three or fewer calculations, the time is moved out of the status bar and displayed in large, bold type.

7. Switch between miles and kilometers

If you are serious about athletics, you may need to keep switching between miles (for running) and kilometers (for your courses).

You need to remember to do this when starting a workout. Press ellipse button (…). Select the type of training, then tap the screen. Two buttons will appear so you can switch.

8. Choose different calculations for different workouts

One of the nice features of the Multiple Metric view is that it allows you to select different calculations for different types of workouts.

For example, when running, Distance and Pace are important. But when you dance, heart rate and active calories are more interesting. So remember to check the Watch app on iPhone to make sure you have selected the best calculations for all the workouts you do regularly.

9. Do not use the Single Metric Display for swimming

Simple metric screen allows you to scroll through one calculation at a time using Digital Crown. The problem is that during a swim training, Water Lock is activated automatically, so you can not use Digital Crown. This means that you are stuck on a single calculation without changing the way it is.

So if you swim regularly, I recommend sticking to the More Metric view. (Also check out my top 10 tips for swimming with the Apple Watch.)

Use third-party training apps for even more options

The training app is by far the most customizable built-in app on the Apple Watch, but it still has its limits. This is where third-party training apps come in. For example, if you want to train your heart rate zone, Runkeeper provides a convenient color-coded chart. Or if you want directions, check out RunGo, which integrates them nicely into your workout screen.

The ideal training partner

The training app not only records your training activity. If you take the time to configure it properly, it becomes an indispensable companion that gives you exactly the information you need when you need it.

So make sure you spend some time configuring the optimal configuration. This will make the training much more effective.

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