Put your fitness to the ultimate test with Apple Watch

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Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you want to get in shape, the best way to get started is with some fitness testing. That might sound challenging, but luckily your Apple Watch is all you need to test yourself to the limit.

Fitness tests enable you to establish a baseline so you can see how your physical condition improves over time. And if you are already a fitness fanatic, regular testing enables you to identify areas of weakness and optimize your training program. Here’s how to make the Apple Watch a part of your essential fitness testing.

Withings’ futuristic scale measures cardiac health

The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
Photo: Withings

Getting a checkup on the old ticker used to require a visit to the doctor, but thanks to Withings’ incredibly smart new device, soon all you’ll need to do is put your feet on a scale.

The new Withings Body Cardio is trying to completely change the expectations of the modern scale by adding a technology called Pulse Wave Velocity to get a holistic view of your health by measuring your weight, BMI, body composition, and most important of all, cardiac health.

Apple Watch no closer to knocking Fitbit off its throne

Apple Watch
Fitbit won't be worried about Apple Watch... yet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Despite its focus on helping you get fit, Apple Watch is still no closer to knocking Fitbit off its throne.

The company’s much more affordable fitness trackers have helped it claim 61.7 percent of the U.S. wearables market so far, while Apple’s first smartwatch has grabbed just 6.8 percent since making its debut last April.

Weighing the options for monitoring your body fat

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Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the
Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the "gold standard" for body fat analysis (right)
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you want to lose weight, your Apple Watch can help you sustain healthy habits, but it can’t actually monitor your progress. For that you need to step onto scales.

Any scale will measure your weight, but that is only part of the story. Whether you are dieting or bulking up, it is just as important to keep track of your body fat. The trouble is, this is notoriously hard to measure accurately. As I discovered when I bought a new Withings Smart Body Analyzer, if you think you already know your body fat percentage, you are probably way off.