WorkOutDoors: the most customizable and fully functional workout app for Apple Watch

work outdoors app for Apple Watch on the trail

Looking for a fitness app for your Apple Watch that allows you almost endless customization of your watch’s screen display, build intervals, and tools to analyze your data in detail? Look no further than WorkOutDoors!

With so many workout apps on the market, what makes WorkOutDoors stand out? According to their website, WorkOutDoors is the only Apple Watch workout app showing full vector maps with 300+ fitness metrics.

This app is an excellent addition for Apple Watch users who like to work out AND check out their workout’s data and pretty much all the stats you want! Plus, you can set Target Heart Rate Zones for your intervals and load maps onto your Apple Watch for offline use!

The app is also one of the most configurable and customizable on the market. Let’s take a deeper look at what WorkOutDoors has to offer.

Suggested readings:

WorkOutDoors basics WorkOutDoors

First and foremost, you must have an Apple Watch to use this app. Unfortunately, if you have another type of fitness wearable, WorkOutDoors isn’t for you. 

With that being said, the app has received outstanding reviews for its functionality and wide array of features.

The app integrates with the Apple Health app and the Fitness app. Plus, you can export your activity’s data automatically to Strava and even import routes you’ve created in Strava into WorkOutDoors to show you a map with your location, orientation, and route.

And there’s an export workout option as a GPX or TCX file, which allows you to import into many other fitness apps and services, like Garmin Connect.

As with anything Apple Watch-related, you have to install the iOS app onto your iPhone, which then also installs the app onto the watch itself. Make sure you grant location permission so that the app can access GPS.

If you don’t see it on your watch, go to the Watch app > My Watch tab, scroll down to available apps, locate WorkOutDoors, and tap the Install button.

Your Apple Watch controls almost everything!

Most configurations for WorkOutDoors are done on the Apple Watch app or the Apple Watch itself. All customizations, metrics preferences, workout logs, etc., are controlled here. More on that later.

One of the coolest features, I think, is that the variety of workouts offered almost seems limitless. I am primarily a runner and cyclist, so these would be the screen options I would use.

Screens for Cycling Running

You can see below, though, that their workout options range from hiking to skiing and skating, and then even other activities such as golf, surfing, and wheelchair-based workouts are listed.

Screens for WorkOutDoors

These “screens” within the app are customizable and allow you to swipe through the specific metrics you would like to see.

For example, there are three default screens to start with. For running, in the first image above, you can see that one can monitor their heart rate, target (distance, pace, etc.), and the number of steps.

If you’d like, you can add in a handful of other customizable screens such as calories burned, elevation, and pace (among others).  You can go really deep into the customizations, which is one of the features that the app has promoted.

Just keep in mind that the more screens you add, the busier the user interface appears on your watch during a workout. I prefer to keep it simple and have three main metrics for me to keep an eye on.

These settings can always be changed later if you decide otherwise.

How do you use WorkOutDoors for a workout?

Creating a workout

You can create a custom workout via the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. It is truly customizable, so you can build a workout however you wish!

Choose a warm-up and a cool-down time. Create intensity intervals. Set targets for either a steady or fast pace. Incorporate recovery periods. You can repeat any of these sections as little or as much as you want.

 

Your custom-built workout are uploaded into the WorkOutDoors app and ready to be used on your watch whenever you choose to start your training.

Starting a workout

If you have created a custom workout as mentioned above, you’ll see your saved activities listed on your Apple Watch. This includes any new workouts, as well as older workouts you have created. This way, you can always complete a specific workout from the past.

If you’d prefer to do a generic workout – meaning one that you haven’t created and customized – you can select the type of activity you want to do. This could be anything from running, hiking, cycling, etc.

After selecting your activity, you can choose:

  • Open Workout: for generic open-ended runs, rides, etc.
  • Fixed Length: to set a specific distance, time, or calorie limit
  • Interval Schedule: for high-intensity interval training
  • Workout History: to view your past workout analyses for this particular type of activity

Make your selection, and then you’re off to the races! You may have selected your screens to show your pace, total time elapsed, calories burned, etc.

To view your separate screens, just swipe to the left or right on your watch to have different metrics pop up. You’ll also find your screen that displays your real-time map.

Apple Watch workout screens

When you’ve completed your workout, do a long-press on the screen, hit “Finish,” and you’ll be taken to a screen with your various workout metrics.

If you’d like more detail about your elevation gains, for example, tap that option, and you’ll be given more information about it.

Of course, using the iPhone app provides a much greater in-depth post-workout summary and analysis compared to the small watch screen.

Using the Vector Maps

WorkOutDoors says they’re the only app to display a fully functional vector map in real-time with your workouts.

This is a super-cool feature for any outdoor workout because it includes any paths, trails, and other tracks that are available to you.

It’s also nice to have this feature if you’re running in an area that you’re not as familiar with.

You can also manipulate the vector maps to zoom in, auto-rotate with its built-in compass, and create a “bread crumb” GPS trail of your every move along the route.

The graphics are quite impressive and easy to see, so this really is a nice feature of the WorkOutDoors app.

Advanced workout features

In addition to the core features of what this app can do, WorkOutDoors is capable of even more advanced features including:

  • Periodic alerts (e.g., for every mile, 1000 steps, etc.)
  • Configurable spoken metrics for each alert, heart rate zones, and target pace/speed
  • 26 different activity types
  • Exportable workouts via TCX or GPX files
  • Direct uploading to Strava

Visit the WorkOutDoors website for a comprehensive list of all these advanced features.

Leave your iPhone at home!

One of the best things about WorkOutDoors is that you DO NOT need to take the iPhone with you.

To use the app without your iPhone (or cellular data for the LTE watch model,) open the WorkOutDoors app on the phone and download the map of the area you want to workout in from your phone to your watch before you leave your iPhone.

Final thoughts for the WorkOutDoors app

This app really is a great addition when it comes to logging and analyzing your workouts. If you’re already an Apple Watch user, WorkOutDoors instantly provides you with more in-depth and advanced features and functions.

To date, it does cost a one-time fee of USD 5.99 to purchase the app, but for how feature-rich the app is, I think it is well worth it.

Due to its fantastic customizability, detailed route creation and tracking, easy user interface, and overall outstanding performance, we highly recommend this app for those who already enjoy tracking their workouts with an Apple Watch.

I am an occupational therapist and kinesiologist with a long history in the health and fitness industry. Plus, I'm also an avid cyclist with a passion for writing and travel that have helped shape my interest in the fitness tech world. You can catch me in a nearby cat café planning for my next road route or bucket list destination!

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