The best fitness watch for the gym

Our pick of the fitness watches that connect with your goals.

Three of the fitness watches, including the Garmin Forerunner, the best fitness watch for the gym

by Gemma Lavers |
Updated on

When it comes to supercharging your workouts, having the best fitness watch for the gym can a helpful companion. These high-tech devices have evolved further than mere step counters. Now offering an array of features to enhance your gym sessions and overall fitness journey.

Gym-focused fitness watches offer a comprehensive suite of health tracking capabilities. From basic metrics like heart rate monitoring and calorie expenditure, to advanced reports on menstruation and VO2 max. With the ability to record ad analyse various exercise metrics, you can fine-tune your workouts, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that you're making the most of your time at the gym.

The best fitness watch for the gym at a glance:

• Best overall fitness watch for the gym: Garmin Forerunner 245 - View now on Amazon
• Best budget fitness watch for the gym: Honor Band 6 - View now on Amazon
• Best Fitbit fitness watch for the gym: Fitbit Versa 3 - View now on Amazon

Beyond simply just exercise tracking, another element to look out for is the watch's durability. Gym environments can be tough on tech, with potential exposure to sweat, heavy weights and water. Therefore, a rugged, well-made fitness watch is vital to withstand the demands of a workout and provide lasting performance.

Additionally, motivation plays a pivotal role in any gym routine, and the best fitness watches often come equipped with features to keep you inspired. When investing in such gadget, look for goal-setting options, real-time feedback and even free training plans. This will inevitably maintain your enthusiasm and push you to improve. Luckily, you won't need to look any further. Let's delve into a selection of the best fitness watches for gym enthusiasts suitable for all budgets, from cheap and cheerful fitness watches to high-end and everything in between. We're here to help you to make an educated decision on the right tracker to support your fitness aspirations.

The best fitness watch for the gym

Best overall fitness watch for the gym

The Garmin Forerunner 245 is a cutting-edge GPS running watch designed to meet the needs of casual joggers and serious athletes. Packed with advanced features, it provides extremely accurate tracking of distance, pace and heart rate. This enables users to monitor their performance with precision. Its sleek, lightweight design ensures comfort during long runs. Meanwhile the vibrant, easy-to-read display makes it effortless to check your stats on the go.

What sets the Forerunner apart from competitors is its comprehensive performance analytics, allowing users to access their training effect, recovery time and VO2 max estimation. In addition, it also offers smartwatch capabilities, including notifications and music control with Spotify, making it a versatile companion for all aspects of an active lifestyle.

So whether you're training for a marathon, or simply looking to keep a close eye on your daily fitness, the Garmin Forerunner 245 is a reliable, feature-rich choice for tracking and improving your running experience.

Pros

  • Accurate GPS tracking which ensures you can monitor your progress and plan training effectively
  • Wide range of health and fitness metrics, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking and VO2 max estimation - helping you gain insights into your overall fitness
  • Free adaptive training plans from Garmin coach, or create your own custom workouts with the Garmin connect online fitness community

Cons

  • At 30.4mm the screen size is rather larger, which may be an issue for individuals with smaller wrists

Best budget fitness watch for the gym

If you're looking for a fitness watch for the gym, but don't want to break the bank, the Honor Band 6 could make for a great option. With its feature-packed offerings, an AMOLED display and 14 day battery life, what's not to love about this fitness tracker. It boasts an array of fitness modes to cater to various workout regimens, ensuring accurate monitoring of your activities, heart rate and sleep quality. So whether you're taking a brisk walk, or undergoing an intense workout, the Honor Band records your activities and afterwards offers valuable insights.

Pros

  • 1.47 inch AMOLED colour display with touch screen, providing a clear screen for easy viewing of fitness metrics
  • 14-Day battery life so you can stay connected throughout the day without the constant need for recharging
  • The tracker supports the period-calendar so women can view their estimated fertile window and cycle - giving women a well-rounded view of all aspects of their health

Cons

  • No GPS option meaning it relies on a connected smartphone for tracking during outdoor activities

Best Fitbit fitness watch for the gym

Fitbit Versa 3 - best fitness watch for the gym
Price: $199.00

The Fitbit Versa 3 offers a range of health and fitness tracking features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep analysis and SpO2 tracking. With built-in GPS, it accurately records your workouts and outdoor activities, allowing you to monitor your progress and routes without needing to carry your phone.

The Versa 3 also integrates with the Fitbit app, where you can access personalised insights, set goals and join challenges with a community of fitness enthusiasts. This makes the Fitbit Versa 3 a well-rounded companion for individuals seeking a balanced and connected approach to a healthier lifestyle.

Pros

  • Syncs with the Fitbit app, offering a wealth of additional features such as personalised insights, goal setting, and the ability to engage with a community of like-minded individuals through challenges and social features
  • Able to track your REM sleep, and receive a Sleep Score to better understand your sleep quality each night
  • Fast-charging function which means you can get one day of battery in just 12 minutes of charge

Cons

  • Some found the strap wasn't the most comfortable

Best high-end fitness watch for the gym

If you're a fan of Apple products, and want their entire ecosystem, this fitness watch could be a good one for you. Its Series 9 builds upon the strength of its predecessors, offering advanced health monitoring, a sleek design and expanded functionality that aligns with the ever-evolving needs of Apple users. For example, the blood oxygen sensors incorporate LEDs and photodiodes in the back crystal for better accuracy. Another great feature is the double tap, which is where you can tap your index finger and thumb together to answer a call, open a notification and play music. This means that even if your hands are full, you can still access everything you need.

Pros

  • Great selection of different band colours for the ultimate personalisation options
  • Offers cellular connectivity so you can send a text, make a call and stream music without your iPhone nearby
  • Comes with innovative safety features, like Fall Detection and Crash Detection to connect you with emergency services

Cons

  • Compared to other smart watches, the battery life of an Apple watch is poor

Best mid-range fitness watch for the gym

The Huawei Watch Fit 2 is a sleek and feature-rich offering that makes it an appealing accessory for casual and activewear. Beyond just telling the time, its smartwatch offers a comprehensive suite of fitness and health tracking features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep and stress tracking and SpO2 measurement. This allows users to monitor their wellbeing in real-time. The Watch Fit 2 also boasts an impressive battery life, lasting up to ten days on a single charge. Overall, the Huawei Watch Fit 2 blends style and substance, catering to the health-conscious and tech-savvy alike.

Pros

  • Press-to-release Link design which makes swapping straps extremely easy
  • Supports independent music playback, so the playlists you set up on your phone can be aligned with specific workouts
  • One full charge powers up to ten days of typical use, or seven days of intensive use so you can use the watch non-stop, and you can get a whole day of use on just a five minute charge

Cons

  • Isn't compatible with some smartphones

Best Android fitness tracker for the gym

If you're an Android user on the hunt for a fitness watch tailored to your needs, the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 should be your number one option. It combines a great circular design with an extensive set of fitness features. This includes automatic workout tracking, stress management and advanced sleep analysis. It's particularly impressive for those who appreciate in-depth running and cycling metrics. The Watch 4, with the Samsung BioActive Sensor that captures your body composition in real-time ensures a seamless gym experience.

Pros

  • Vibrant display for an aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly experience
  • As an Android-compatible smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch4 integrates with the Google ecosystem and numerous fitness and health apps
  • Features the Samsung BioActive Sensor to capture your body composition in real-time

Cons

  • Some reviewers have had problems with its short battery life

Best all-round fitness watch for the gym

While the Garmin Venu Sq may not be as high-end as some of Garmin's premium offerings, its Venu watch is a versatile and capable device. It boasts an accurate heart rate monitor, GPS for precise workout tracking, and a variety of pre-loaded sports apps to cater to different types of workout. It also offers compatibility with Garmin's Connect app, allowing users to evaluate their activities and get an overview of their fitness levels. On top of this, the app can be used to change your display designs.

Pros

  • Contains more than 20 pre-loaded sports apps to allow for any desired workouts
  • Vibrant touch-screen colour display housed under Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for durability
  • Easily personalise your watch with thousands of free watch faces, apps and widgets from the Garmin Connect app

Cons

  • Screen only wakes when touched and doesn't stay lit for long

The best fitness watch for the gym: FAQs

Should I wear a smartwatch to the gym?

Wearing a fitness watch to the gym can be extremely helpful to many fitness enthusiasts. Its watches are equipped with advanced fitness tracking features that allow you to monitor your heart rate, track your workouts and measure your progress. They can help provide motivation, and accountability, helping you set and smash your personal best's. Additionally, fitness watches often have the convenience of music control and feeding your notifications from your phone to your watch. Even keeping you connected while you're exercising.

However, a fitness watch isn't for everyone. Some individuals may find the features distracting, while others may appreciate the multifunctionality. Before investing in a smartwatch, it's essential to consider your comfort, the specific fitness features you require, and your preferences for staying connected while you workout.

Is a Fitbit a smartwatch?

A Fitbit can be considered a smartwatch. Saying that, Fitbit's primary focus has always been on health and fitness tracking. Fitbit devices, like the Versa and Sense, offer a range of smartwatch features including phone notifications, music control, apps and contactless payment options. While they excel in health tracking, they also integrate smartwatch features to make them versatile and convenient for everyday use. So, in a battle between a Fitbit and an Apple Watch, the Fitbit may not be as feature-rich. But, Fitbit's bridge the gap between dedicated fitness trackers and full-fledged smartwatches, offering a great combination of both.

Are fitness watches accurate?

The accuracy of certain fitness watches has certainly been up for debate. Most modern fitness watches are reasonably accurate when it comes to measuring basic metrics. Let's say step counts and heart rate tracking. However, it's essential to be aware that accuracy can vary from brand to brand.

Factors like sensor quality, placement, and user-specific variables, such as skin and activity type can also influence the reliability of the data collected. It's key to remember that even the best fitness watch for the gym isn't there to be a medical device. Plus, their accuracy may not always meet clinical standards. Nevertheless, they do provide a convenient and informative way for individuals to stay motivated and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Even if the watches themselves are not always 100% accurate in their measurements.

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness Writer for What's The Best. When she’s not travelling or writing, Gemma loves spending her weekend completing home workouts, or attending yoga, Pilates or Zumba classes.

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