Is there any way to get exercise like weight lifting to count towards the "move ring" of the activity app. I realize it will count a small amount just from moving the wrist around, but some days I would like most of my calorie burn to come from weights and the basic app doesn't seem to cover this.

  • Good question. One wonders what Apple's definition of "Active Calories" is.
    – orome
    May 9, 2015 at 14:01
  • What specifically is "weights"? Could you edit that into your question. Move is about aerobic activity and weights are generally the opposite of aerobic activity. Most physiologists want you to achieve your base of aerobic movement and supplement with weights - but perhaps you have a different situation where you are actually moving with weights for added resistance?
    – bmike
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:12
  • I've edited this to have one question. The two other questions "can 3pp apps fill rings" and "what 3pp apps work for weight lifters" would be best answered in a new thread IMO.
    – bmike
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:14

4 Answers 4

  1. Make sure you are using the Workouts app on the watch as this will make the heart rate monitor get your heart rate more often. Therefore, it won't miss any spikes from lifting and moving about.

  2. Make sure your watch is securely fitted so the heart rate monitor can get an accurate measurement!

  3. Lastly, it's a bit hard for a device on your watch to know that you are using weight resistance, etc. so don't expect much. Perhaps we'll see some updates from Apple about this, here's hoping!

  • This is all solid advice. The heart rate and the accelerometer data are the only inputs that count for Move and active calories, so you will need to ensure your "weight" routing is hitting both of these to fill up those rings.
    – bmike
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:13

It doesn't seem like the Move ring can be filled with that sort of activity, though it would be nice. However, I don't do any weight lifting myself, but I do remember that just doing what may have been simplified bicep curls close to my body was able to fill it a little, and actually significantly upped the distance I had gone that day, as though the watch thought I was running.

For the time being, you're right that you'll have to use third party apps. This may help. It offers a few different options. I didn't read very far down, but it looks like you can use either Gymaholic or Fitlist based on personal preference, though Fitlist seems more popular in the thread.

Right now, third party apps won't be able to fill the "Move" ring. However, with the release of watchOS 2 this fall, you may have more luck. Developers will then be able to access health data on the watch, using sensors such as the heart rate monitor, etc., and creating their own haptic buzzes. I'm not positive that this new openness for developers will cover the Activity app, but it might. Time will tell.

There's also this, which again is not guaranteed. You can never quite know with rumors regarding Apple.

I suppose all of this adds up to say that for now, you'll have to use third party apps and their nonnative services, meaning that the Activity app will not be integrated with your weightlifting. But after a bit of waiting, come fall, you'll almost definitely see a whole bunch of native fitness apps pop up in the App Store, with weightlifting apps likely being among them.


Select and run an "Other" workout type. When you're done with the workout, choose "Name Workout" and then select one of the other activity types such as "Strength Training".

Once you've done this, "Strength Training" will appear as a top-level option for your next workout

Strength Training in Apple Watch Workouts

At the end of an Other workout, you can choose a name for your workout from a list of options. This can help categorize different types of activity, like dance, strength training, or cross training.



I set the workout to other when lifting. It's something

  • This post does not provide an answer to the question. Please post these kinds of questions in comments, "Improve an answer" and add useful data, or upvote
    – John K
    Oct 6, 2015 at 22:29

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