Looking to track your workout sessions at the gym? Here’s our pick of the best sports watches for the gym in…

Until recently, the world of fitness tech and wearables has been heavily focused on runners, making it tricky to track down the best sports watches specifically for gym workouts.

Pick up a Garmin or an Apple Watch, head to the exercise screen and you’ll find the promise of being able to track pretty much every activity under the sun. Except that when you hit that Start button before a lifting session or a CrossFit class, the reality is pretty limited.

It’s simply not a level playing field when you see the level of monitoring, metrics and insights on offer for a runner or a swimmer, compared to someone who favours muscling up over running quicker.

For many sports watch companies, it’s clear the kind of features that can bring real value to strength training hasn’t been high on the list of priorities. But that’s beginning to change. There’s now a greater appreciation that people are taking a more multimodal approach to fitness.

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Wearable tech expert Michael Sawh rounds up four of the best fitness watches for gym lovers on the market at the moment.

Best Sports Watches For The Gym

  1. Polar Ignite ($189.61 / £174.50 / amazon.com)
  2. Garmin Venu ($144.95 / £188.80 / amazon.com)
  3. Coros Apex 2 Pro ($499 / $499 / amazon.com)
  4. Whoop Strap 4.0 (from £$18 / £14 a month / whoop.com)

The Best Fitness Watches For The Gym | Men's Fitness UK

Polar Ignite


$189.61 / amazon.com

£174.50 / amazon.co.uk

Not as bulky as your typical sports watch, the Ignite houses Polar’s latest heart-rate sensor technology to reliably track effort levels and power features that can tell you more about the effects of your training.

It will also match daily workouts based on optimal recovery time and looking back at your most recent training history.

Be sure to also check out the newer model, the Polar Ignite 3 ($329.95 / £289)

The Best Fitness Watches For The Gym | Men's Fitness UK

Garmin Venu


$144.95 / amazon.com

£188.80 / amazon.co.uk

Garmin’s first watch with a colour touchscreen display lets you follow preloaded or custom strength and cardio workouts with animations. This will help you to correctly perform them.

It will also automatically count reps and will let you make adjustments if it over or under reports your sets.

Also check out the new Garmin Venu 2 Plus ($449.99 / £329)

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coros green apex fitness watch

Coros Apex 2 Pro


$499 / amazon.com

£499 / amazon.co.uk

This watch is primarily built for triathletes. However, it proves useful in the gym with automatic rep counting and the ability to follow workout programs designed by other athletes.

It even lets you see whether you’re dedicating enough time working all parts of the body. Plus, it’s got the kind of battery to keep you away from the charger for weeks as opposed to days.

The Best Fitness Watches For The Gym | Men's Fitness UK

Whoop Strap 4.0


From £$18 / £14 a month /  whoop.com

More smartband than fitness watch, the Whoop Strap shifts the focus on recovery, but also offers features like a strain coach to let you know whether to push harder or ease up in your sessions.

It’s available on a subscription plan. Plus, it has been spied on the wrists of the likes of LeBron James and Rory McIlroy.

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Words: Michael Sawh