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What I use my smartwatch for as a CrossFit coach

Never before did we have so much info about our day to day to lives with the use of smartwatches. However, most people have no idea how to use them or they are concerned with the wrong data points. 

So let’s talk about what I like to use my smartwatch (technically mine is a ring) for.


  1. Sleep
  2. Steps in a day
  3. Workout
  4. RHR and HRV

I am going to put this out there now…. I use this cool piece of technology for two purposes. One is a daily check in tool and almost like a journal prompt and two is accountability.

Let’s dive into the tracking topics. 


Sleep is a key component of health (both short and long term) and recovery.

Most smartwatch devices have the capability will tell you how long you slept and the quality of your sleep. Some have even more details than this like how long it takes you to sleep, how many time you wake, your optimal bed time, and more. 

If you have a watch already this is where I would look at first:

  • Tracking your average sleep hours.Use it an accountability tool. Aim for 7+ hours a night. Note when you wake up feeling good and see if there is any correlations with the amount of sleep you get. 
  • Quality of sleep. Not only does your total duration of sleep matter, but so does the quality.
  • Imbalance between REM and Deep sleep. You need both! 
  • Note if activities before bedtime disrupt your sleep (caffeine, alcohol, screen time, eating too close to bed) or enhances it. I have found for me having a little bit of carbs before bedtime knocks me the heck out and get me some quality sleep. Which alcohol knocks me out fast, but the quality of my sleep is garbage.  

Track Steps

Walking was our main mode of transportation for centuries, but that all changed in the last century. You can imagine what that has done for our health. 

Im not saying you get rid of your car, but what I am saying is move more throughout your day!

Use your watch as…

  • Accountability to get up and move. Most watches allow you to set a reminder if needed. 
  • Aim for 8k steps. If you are starting with a low walk count average (example 2k) aim for a lower number at first and be consistent with it!

Side note: Did you know you burn more calories during your normal everyday actives than during your workouts alone. Yet, we are more consumed and concerned about recording our workout data than anything else. 

Track Workouts

What most people track their workouts for:

  • Tracking calories burned

Oh how this pains me. This is probably the area where our smartwatches are the most inaccurate. Yet, people obsess over it. I truly would not worry about calories burned in a workout whatever so ever. AND if you are tracking your food. Please DO NOT link your watch to your MFP or whatever app you are using to track your food. 

So how would I use my smartwatch for workouts:

  • Just to check off that I did workout. That’s it. Once again, an accountability piece. This is also helpful when looking at the other data points like RHR and sleep to see if working out may have impacted those numbers. 

RHR and HRV 

This is truly where I spend most of my time when looking my smartwatch data. 

Learn more about it here:

Check THIS LINK for more on those.

Closing notes:

As someone who has use smart watches for over 7 years now both as an athlete and as now as a mom/business owner, try to not obsess over your smartwatch. I know it is easy to. Remember, these things are not perfect. You are not a robot. 

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Ask your self how do you feel and what do you think before you look your smartwatch then use the data from there. 

If you know these are numbers you need to improve on and want to get started with improving your fitness book a free consultation to learn how we can help.

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