StrongLifts for Apple Watch: How to log workouts

You can log your full workout with Apple Watch, without using your iPhone

  • Work sets and warmup sets will show on Apple Watch
  • Timer between sets works on Apple Watch (with haptic feedback)
  • Once finished, workout duration, avg heart rate, estimated calories, etc will sync to Apple Health/Activity

How to log workouts with Stronglifts on Apple Watch

Open Stronglifts on your Apple Watch. You'll see this:

Start screen watch Stronglifts

To start the workout you want to do, just tap it. The watch will then start with the first exercise in that workout.

Exercise screen

You see today's Squat for workout A - 5x5 90kg, which requires 35kg on each side of the bar. The circle around the sets, reps and weights has five segments. Each segment stands for one set done (5 sets in this case).

Squat your set, then tap the screen on your watch to log this set. You'll see the rep input screen...

Set input

Each tap on this screen will lower the reps from five all the way down to 0 then back to five.

Change reps

Here you can use the picker to log more than five reps. You can also undo the last set, or add an extra set. Tap done at the top once you're done.

The rest timer will now show...

Rest Timer

The rest timer shows how long you've been resting. It will notify you when your rest period is over and it's time to do your next set. You can dismiss the timer anytime by tapping on the screen. The watch will then show the exercise screen again.

Squat set two

You can scroll down on this screen anytime to see the plate calculator. It shows you how many plates to add on each side of the bar, and which type.

Plate calculator

You can also scroll up anytime to see the warmup sets for this exercise.


If you tap the exercise name at the top, you'll get on the workout overview screen.

Workout overview

Here you can switch to another exercise if you want to do them in a different order. You can also use the buttons at the bottom to pause this workout, cancel it, or mark it finished.

Once your workout is finished, it will be synced with Apple Health.

Do Not Use The Apple Workout App

When you use two apps on an Apple Watch that both access Apple HealthKit data, only one app can access the data at a time. This means that if you start a workout with one app, and then start a workout with another app, the first app will stop.

This limitation is set by Apple to prevent conflicts and ensure data accuracy. However, if you use Stronglifts for your workout, it will send the same information to Apple Health as the Apple Workout app. Stronglifts workout data will fill up your activity circles and show up in Apple Health. We will send your workout duration, estimated calories burned, avg heart rate, etc

Therefore, there is no need to use the Apple Workout app if you use Stronglifts on your Apple Watch. This makes your workout flow easier since you don't have to switch between two apps that cannot work simultaneously.

Here's an example of one workout logged by the Apple Workout app and one logged by Stronglifts. You can see that the same information is sent to Apple Health.

Why are the estimated calories higher when using the Apple workout app? Because the Apple Watch overestimates the calories burned. See this study:

"The Apple Watch 6, Polar Vantage V and Fitbit Sense showed poor accuracy for energy expenditure during 5 different physical activities.... proceed with caution on the clinical utility of energy expenditure of these devices during the implementation of an exercise training or nutritional programme."

Lifting weights burns about ~300kcal/hour. See: We're using our own formula which gives a more realistic estimated calories burned.

Our formula is used when you log your workouts with your iPhone without using your Apple Watch. When you log your workouts with your Apple Watch using Stronglifts, the calorie formula from Apple Watch will be used. We cannot change the formula used when logging your workouts on your watch (Apple doesn't allow us to change that). That means you'll see different estimated calories burned if you log with or without your watch. For consistency, it's best to log your workouts the same way each time.

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