Discover the secrets of the Apple Watch Workout app

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Have you found the right Workout app layout for you?
Have you found the right Workout app layout for you?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the Apple Watch Workout app seems pretty simple. You just tap the start button and get all sweaty. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. A lot more.

You can customize its layout in hundreds of different ways, changing the text size, position, metrics and even adding a chart of your progress. Even if you use the app every day, chances are you still haven’t discovered all its secrets.

So check out our top 10 Workout app tips and get set for a more effective workout.

Nail your New Year’s fitness resolutions with Apple Watch

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Cult of Mac magazine cover, issue 330
Your Apple Watch can help you nail your New Year's fitness resolutions.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

New year, new you! With the Twenty-twenties just getting started, it’s time to get rolling on your New Year’s resolutions.

If you want to make amends for pigging out and get in shape for the new decade, we have an essential guide to nailing your New Year’s resolutions with Apple Watch.

Plus we have a guide to getting started with HomeKit automation, some juicy new iPhone 12 rumors, and advice on how to control a remote Mac using iMessage screen sharing. It’s all in this week’s free Cult of Mac Magazine.

How to win Apple Watch Activity Competitions every time

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Apple Watch arm wrestling
Apple's Apple Watch business grew 50% last quarter.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch Activity Competitions are a perfect way to fall out with friends and colleagues. Simply send a challenge via the Activity app on your watch and, if they accept, a seven-day grudge match commences.

With Activity Competitions, a new feature in watchOS 5, it’s not the taking part that counts. It’s the winning. The winner receives a shiny virtual medal to add to their awards, while the loser gets zip.

Fortunately, when you know how Activity Competitions work, you can maximize your chance of winning every time. Here’s how.

How Apple Watch pace alerts will make you run faster

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watchOS 5 pace alerts are like having a running coach strapped to your wrist
Pace alerts in watchOS 5 are like having a running coach strapped to your wrist.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple made three big strides for runners in watchOS 5, adding Pace Alert, Rolling Mile pace and Cadence features.

In this post, I’ll focus on Pace Alerts, which let you set a specific pace for your run. This handy new feature is not just designed to keep you moving by warning you if you slow down. Pace alerts are ideal for lactic threshold workouts, which will help make you a faster runner. And you can use them to develop your pace awareness — an essential skill if you want to achieve a personal best this marathon season. Here’s how to get up to speed with pace alerts on Apple Watch.

How to sync your Apple workouts to Strava automatically

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Strava is ready to play nice with Apple
Strava is ready to play nice with Apple
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your shiny new Apple Watch is great for logging workouts. But it comes up short when you want to review your training progress and share your workout history with friends. Everything gets bundled in the Activity and Health apps on your iPhone, which are pretty basic.

That’s where third-party apps like Strava come in. Strava offers all the essential fitness analytics that Apple overlooks. The trouble is, Strava’s watch app sucks for logging workouts.

If only you could have the best of both worlds: logging your workouts with Apple’s excellent built-in Workout app, then syncing the data automatically to Strava. Well, thanks to a brilliant indie app called HealthFit, you can.

Apple Watch Move ring vs. Exercise ring: What’s the difference?

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Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Don't get your Move and Exercise rings mixed up
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Closing your Apple Watch Activity Rings can become such an obsession that it’s easy to forget why you’re doing it. It’s not just to keep Tim Cook happy in his giant, ring-shaped office in Cupertino. So, what does it really mean to close a ring?

The Stand goal is obvious. We all know we shouldn’t sit around on our asses all day. But how about the Move and Exercise rings? Aren’t they kind of the same thing? Actually, no. They’re very different, and understanding that difference is massively important if you want to achieve your fitness goals.