Very frustrates with HR during workout

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by dmcgeogs, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. dmcgeogs macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2015
    so I've been wearing my AWS for a few weeks and use the "other" feature during my workouts which are HIIT. I'm very familiar with how to wear the watch snug etc and I'm confident that I have a good fit. My HR is all over the place. When I'm breathless it says my HR is in the 60s. It's very annoying. I've reset, unpaired and set it up again as a new watch, as instructed by AppleCare, but it's still being a jerk. Anyone have any remedies on how to get it to be at least a little more accurate?
  2. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Chest strap. Optical can be very accurate under the right conditions. However there are many scenarios that can throw it off.
  3. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    Watch HR reliability is highly user dependent. One additional factor I found is that cold weather throws off the HR. However, if I snug it up by one button on the sport strap, that solves it.

    What have been the weather conditions when you have erratic HR information? (Is it any better with indoor workouts compared to outdoor.)

    The other thing that will throw it off a bit is if you have your fist tightly clenched. For me, the snug one button also solves this.

    How long are your workouts. On colder days, I have seen my watch take at least 10 minutes before it finally gets a stable HR reading.

    Otherwise, it sounds like you have tried the major adaptations to get it to cooperate.
  4. dmcgeogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2015
    I workout indoors for 60mins and very rarely have my fists clenched during HIIT. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar to see what else I can do.
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    In my experience the AW HR monitor just isn't all that great. The readings it gets for me are extremely sporadic and often not accurate at all. My Garmin 225 works much better, worn on the same wrist similarly tight.
  6. Maui19 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    My AW's HR monitor is so flaky it is useless to me. In fact the entire fitness tracking function of the watch is very poor in my opinion. I love the watch for all it's other capabilities, but still use my Fitbit Surge HR for all my fitness feedback.
  7. Older bird macrumors regular

    Older bird

    Apr 26, 2015
    I agree. The AW is just not there yet for advanced fitness. I use a Garmin 920 for important workouts and swap out for the AW afterwards.
  8. paulmeyers42 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2014
    I've had similar issues with HIIT and strength training workouts, especially CrossFit.

    The watch just gets really confused, readings are all over the place. I still use it when I work out to make sure I get full "credit" with the activity rings, but I'm definitely not using to monitor max heart rate or anything like that unfortunately.

    Works great for me for running, walking and cycling though.
  9. Applenoob34 macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2014
    This isn't just an apple watch problem. I have a Garmin 235 that has the optical HR sensor and it struggles in many areas also. For all day tracking, wrist based HR sensors are fine. for intense workouts I wouldn't suggest relying on them. The chest strap is much more reliable. I have heard a lot of good things about the Schoche Rhythm sensor, which actually uses similar technology but on the forearm.
  10. telefono macrumors 6502


    Dec 17, 2007
    Like someone else here said, Chest Strap :) If you are really dedicated to Fitness and accurate readings get a fitness watch like a Garmin 235 etc, actually even dedicated fitness watches with chest straps can sometimes go crazy........

    When Apple announced the Apple Watch I was very interested in everything the Apple Watch does except the Fitness Features. I don't mind that it includes Fitness features as it motivates people to exercise (hopefully)

    Just my opinion :)
  11. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    Maybe activities with sharp, irregular movements is another factor that throws off the AW HR sensor. The few comments here seem to indicate that running walking, cycling, etc.-- activities with smooth and regular movements might be better.
  12. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I posted these in another thread here but there is a vast difference in the quality of readings I get from my Garmin vs. my AW. I don't have any real issues with the Garmin, and train and race with it regularly, relying on its detection of HR zones. I trained with a chest strap for years in the past as well.

    Unfortunately Strava doesn't plot the actual HR on the y-axis, but you get the picture. The Garmin takes continuous, generally accurate readings. The AW is highly erratic and often gets no readings at all for long periods of time. Wrist-based monitoring seems to be highly individual as to how well it works, but it can be quite reliable.

    This is the Garmin:

    This is the AW:
  13. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2015

    I have an AW and a Garmin 225 also, and that matches my experience exactly. The Garmin is very accurate, the AW not so much. Maybe it will be better in the next version AW2. Basically just wear the AW on my right wrist for music, and the Garmin does all the run tracking on my left wrist.
  14. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    How did you get the AW HR data into Strava? Is that from the Strava app on the watch or did you export the workout from AW Workout (or some other app) to Strava?
  15. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yes, this is using the Strava app on the watch.
  16. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Lets all hope the AW2 is much improved for the fitness aspects.
  17. T-Will macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2008
    I've noticed a lot of times mine is showing half of my actual heart rate (showing 60 instead of the actual 120). I'm hoping they tweak the algorithm (in software) or at least the sensor in the AW2.
  18. bripab007 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2009
    Overall, I've been happy enough with the Apple Watch heart rate data. It's not as precise as the chest strap (Watch takes pulse every 10s during workout while chest strap does every 2s), but it appears to be roughly as accurate, assuming it's tight enough on your wrist and you don't sweat too terribly much. It's great to know that I have two ways of tracking heart rate for workouts, in case one is on the fritz.

    These are two different runs, but just to give an idea.

    Apple Watch:

    Polar BT chest strap (when the air is cold and dry in winter, it sometimes doesn't start registering right away, so ignore the beginning of the graph):
  19. wx4olf macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    I have the Schoche and generally wear it on my upper bicep. Pairs easily with the watch and from the workout graphs I get on Strava i believe it is providing fairly accurate heart rate data. That being said i generally get pretty good reading from the sensor built into the watch with none of the problems other folks in the thread are having. Maybe that's due to pale to almost translucent skin.


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