Over the past three years, the Apple Watch has quickly become the go-to wearable tech accessory for both fitness and Apple enthusiasts alike.
However, one thing many users noticed when they were working out was the stats on their wrists rarely matched what’s being shown on their treadmill or elliptical.
But with the introduction of GymKit, Apple is drastically going to improve the gym experience for Watch users.
Following a successful rollout in both the US and abroad, the app is now available in Canada so you can wirelessly sync fitness data between your Apple Watch and cardio machines at the gym.
While GymKit is currently only available in Canada at Equinox’s Yorkville location in Toronto, Apple will continue rolling it out across Canada in the months to come.
Daily Hive had the opportunity to test out GymKit and experience it first hand. Here’s how it works.
What is GymKit?
Your Apple Watch knows so much about you, including your height and weight and can accurately measure your heart rate over time.
But prior to GymKit, the Watch wasn’t able to provide you with nearly as accurate metrics for pace and distance as the treadmill you’re using indoors.
Now thanks to GymKit, users can receive metrics more accurate than ever before, as their Watch can collect specific data from the treadmill, while the machines can display accurate heart rate and calorie data collected on the Watch during a working out.
How does it work?
When Daily Hive put GymKit through its paces, we tried out a newly upgraded Life Fitness treadmill at Canada’s first-ever GymKit-compatible gym.
To use GymKit, you simply tap your Watch on your cardio machine — which includes treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers — just like you would with Apple Pay.
Through NFC and Bluetooth, the Watch and machine are able to seamlessly connect and provide two-way data exchange instantaneously that will result in the most accurate measurements possible, including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline, and pace.
Meaning now when you view your exercise metrics during your workout, whether on your Watch or on the machine, the metrics are always the exact same.
Forgot to tap? No problem
What’s great about GymKit is that your Watch can sync your entire workout to your wrist even if you don’t pair it until the middle or end of your exercise session.
Apple designed GymKit so regardless of when you tap your Watch on your machine, you’re you’ll still be able to download your full workout, along with your past movement and heart-rate information.
You can end your workout on either your Watch or on the machine, and regardless of what you choose to use the other machine will automatically stop.
You will then receive a summary of your workout on both your Watch and your machine, and the data will then be stored in the Apple Health app on your iPhone.
No more looking at your wrist
While this might seem trivial, one of our favourite perks of GymKit was not having to look down at our wrist during our workout to track our metrics.
If you’ve ever used any form of a fitness watch, you know there’s nothing worse than looking down at your wrist during a high-intensity sprint and almost face planting.
Now you don’t have to worry because all the key vitals are shown on the machine’s screen, saving you the embarrassment of falling in front of a packed gym.
GymKit compatible tech
GymKit is compatible with a number of the biggest global manufacturers including Matrix, Technogym, and Life Fitness among others.
Currently, the system is limited to ellipticals, treadmills, step mills and stationary bikes. Resistance machines and other equipment aren’t feeling the GymKit love, at least for now, anyway.
As for the Watches, GymKit is only compatible with Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3.
Following our GymKit workout, we were really impressed with how simple the entire process was. The Watch syncs seamlessly without delay or complicated and time-consuming pairing.
We loved that we were able to get a more detailed and accurate breakdown of our workout, and GymKit is definitely a great addition to our in-gym workouts.
Too bad it’ll still be a while before most people get to try it out for themselves.