It is no coincidence that Apple Watch belongs to the smartwatch class. These devices can communicate directly with a variety of cardiovascular equipment in gyms. These can be treadmills, exercise bikes, ellipsoids, etc. As a result, Apple Watch will provide an improved and more complete set of important metrics: heart rate, running speed, distance, height, and more.
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In this article, we’ll show you how to use your Apple Watch with exercise equipment, including how to connect it to cardio devices. Our instructions will help you start and end such a workout by collecting the necessary data.
What is GymKit?
Under this name, Apple’s technology platform is known, which allows you to include third-party cardiovascular equipment in the Apple Watch workout mode: treadmills, cross trainers, steppers and exercise bikes. But spin-bikes, strength trainers and other equipment are not currently supported by the “apple” watch.
Synchronizing Apple Watch data with GymKit-enabled systems allows you to find out the most accurate distance, heart rate, pace, energy expenditure, and other possible indicators. Your heart rate is still measured by the heart rate sensor built into the watch, but is displayed on the machine screen. Apple explains that only a software update and a small update to the NFC proximity sensor are required to make GymKit compatible with these systems.
GymKit allows you to get important stats and synchronize them between your watch and cardio equipment in the gym.
Separately, information from indoor sports equipment and Apple Watch may be incomplete. The watch perfectly records the heart rate, but the distance and height cannot be accurately measured on the treadmill. Likewise, no one calibrates their treadmill in the gym, even using a chest strap does not correctly track calorie burn.
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What you need to connect Apple Watch to equipment and treadmills
To use GymKit, you need the following:
- Apple Watch Series 2 or later
- watchOS 4.1 or later
- cardiovascular equipment that support the GymKit program.
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GymKit officially debuted at the end of 2017. This feature is currently supported by several large gym chains. Apple says it has increased support for GymKit from major fitness equipment manufacturers, which supply eighty percent of the cardiovascular equipment used in gyms worldwide.
The largest manufacturer of GymKit-supported exercise equipment is the Core Health and Fitness holding (exercise equipment brands: Cybex, SCIFIT, StairMaster, Star Trac, Schwinn and Nautilus).
GymKit is available in the following gym chains:
- Life Fitness
- Matrix Fitness
- Octane fitness
- TRUE Fitness
- Virgin active
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How to connect Apple Watch to exercise machines
With NFC technology in Apple Watch, you can easily pair your wearable device with compatible fitness equipment:
1. Activate the Fitness Discovery feature on your Apple Watch. Go on watch in Settings → Workout on the clock (or in My Watch -> Workout in the Clock app on iPhone), and then flip the Hardware Discovery into an active position.
2. Make sure the gym has equipment marked “Connects with Apple Watch” or Connect with Apple Watch (Connect to Apple Watch).
3. For a quick connection, keep your watch a few centimeters away from the NFC proximity reader on the treadmill with the display facing the reader as if you were using Apple Pay.
The workout app should launch automatically. You will feel a slight vibration and hear a beep to confirm that the watch is paired with the machine.
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What happens if you do not enable the option Hardware Discovery in Apple Watch settings?
Don’t worry, you can still start your workout by launching the Workout app and then holding your watch close to the machine – again, with the display facing the proximity scanner. The GymKit logo will appear on the watch.
The amount of data from the simulator that will be displayed on the watch depends on the type of training selected.
After your run, you can see the calories, distance, time, average pace, altitude gain, average heart rate, and recovery rate. As with a normal treadmill, this is actually a comprehensive amount of data. You will be hard pressed to find this level of detail anywhere else when training indoors.
Cyclists will also be delighted with this innovation. In addition to this data, you will also find out the power expended and the number of wheel revolutions. Even professional cyclists need such information. If you work with a stepper, you will receive information about the number of floors crossed. Previously, this could not be measured with the Apple Watch alone.
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Forgot to pair your watch with the trainer before training?
Again, this does not become a major problem. Just hold your watch near the machine’s proximity scanner during your workout and watchOS automatically syncs your data.
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How to start and end a workout on a trainer connected to Apple Watch
By connecting your watch to exercise equipment, you can start and end your workout using the built-in controls rather than the Workout app. Here’s how you can do it:
- Start a workout: press “Start” on the simulator to start your workout.
- Finish workout: press Stop on the simulator to complete the workout.
As before, you can also start and end a session in the app “Workout”…
After completing a workout, the data from the equipment will appear in the workout summary in the app. “Activity” on Apple Watch and iPhone “
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GymKit and privacy
You can choose what to share with your machines at any time. Once your watch is connected to a GymKit-compatible device, the gadgets exchange data when you start and end your workouts. At the end of the workout, the simulator transmits its data to the watch.