Best Fitness Watches For Crossfit in 2024

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Fitness trackers and watches come in many different forms. Some are specific to running. Some are geared towards outdoor activities like hiking or cycling. And some are jack-of-all-trades, with a bit of everything.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any specifically designed for CrossFit. The good news is that many watches are excellent for CrossFit—you just need to know what to look for.

Our top pick is the Garmin fenix 7. This is a pricey watch but it’s got all the features for CrossFit, plus it looks great as well.

But we have other great options on our list. These are the best fitness watches for CrossFit to help narrow your choices.

We delve into why we believe each one is great for WODs and AMRAPS, so check it out and pick one that suits you!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Garmin fenix 7

 

  • Pulse Oximeter (Pulse Ox)
  • Sunlight-readable display
  • Built-in feature for interval training
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COROS Pace 3

 

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Excellent battery life
  • Customizable workout
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Garmin Venu 3S

 

  • Sleek, stylish design
  • Bright AMOLED display
  • Built-in Advanced Strength Training
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Best Overall

1. Garmin fenix 7

The Garmin fenix 7 is a multi-sport watch that makes a great choice for CrossFitters thanks to its handy combination of features and functions.

What We Like

The fenix 7 has a sleek, good-looking design that goes well with gym clothes or a suit. But there’s more to it than just comfort—it’s durable enough to withstand being put through its paces in the box.

A strong build, stainless steel bezel, and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass on the lens, you can throw yourself as much as you want, and this watch can handle it. Plus, it’s waterproof up to 10 meters, which means no amount of sweating can ruin it.

It also has a surprisingly decent battery life for all the features, lasting up to 18 days in smartwatch mode. You won’t have to worry about it dying mid-workout as long as you know it’s got a decent charge on it.

The built-in sensors on the watch automatically track things like intensity, stamina, and recovery to help you figure out your current workout or the workout you’re planning.

It has a handy HIIT workout profile that can track all your EMOMs and AMRAPs directly on the watch. But for more scope, you can connect to the Garmin Strength+ app or download a CrossFit-specific app, which is great if you’re already using an app.

Lastly, a nice novelty feature if you’re into videoing your workouts or taking photos, this watch features the VIRB Camera Remote function, which allows you to control a compatible VIRB camera from your wrist.

Why We Like It

This watch really has everything a CrossFitter needs to work out, track their progress, and compare workouts easily. Plus, it’s quite stylish.

What to Consider

This watch can look a little bulky on slim wrists, so it might not be the optimal choice for some women or men who prefer more petite watch designs.

PROS:

  • Comfortable and durable design that can withstand the rigors of CrossFit
  • Built-in sensors help monitor your intensity during workouts, stamina, and recovery
  • Long battery life to track your workouts, and you won’t have to worry about it running out of power in the middle of a workout
  • Built-in activity trackers, including a HIIT activity profile that can track all your AMRAP and EMOM
  • Connect to the Garmin Strength+ app or download a CrossFit-specific app and get access to a library of WODs and training plans

CONS:

  • Watch screen might be bulky for petite wrists
 

Top Value

2. COROS Pace 3

The COROS Pace 3 offers excellent value for its price point, with the ability to track gym workouts, count reps, and provide a unique muscle map.

What We Like

For its price, the COROS Pace 3 manages to pack a LOT into its frame. One of its most noticeable features is its light—just over 1 ounce with the nylon band and a touch more than that with a silicone band. You won’t even feel it while you’re working out.

Its spectacular battery life is the second thing that sets COROS apart from everyone else. You can get up to 24 days of battery life in regular use before recharging. In tracking mode, it’s up to 38 hours depending on the type of GPS setting you use. It only takes 2 hours to fully charge.

We particularly love the Muscle Heat Map feature. It tracks which muscle groups you’ve worked out and how many sets you’ve done for each one. This gives you valuable insight into how to structure your workouts, so you don’t overdo it on any particular muscle group, or neglect any group.

It’s got a bunch of great activity profiles to choose from including a Gym Cardio option. It’s also pretty accurate at tracking reps during a workout.

You can also customize each workout by changing the exercises you’re doing, how much weight you’re lifting, and your intervals and rest periods.

Why We Like It

The COROS Pace 3 durable construction and ergonomic design are big plusses when you are working out. We also like that the Pace 3 can be pre-programmed for running and gym workouts. It offers Gym Cardo as an indoor workout activity.

What to Consider

While we like the COROS Pace 3 display, it can sometimes be hard to see in certain light. It’s also got a slight learning curve if you haven’t had a COROS before. We’d say it’s not hard to use, but it’s not as intuitive as other watches.

What’s New

The Pace 3 looks very similar to the Pace 2 – size, weight, and screen resolution are almost exactly the same. It it has an improved battery and more GPS options for improved accuracy when tracking outside.

You can also listen to music via the watch and Bluetooth now, too. However, you need to manually upload your music to the watch – a slight pain and not user friendly.

PROS:

  • Ergonomic and lightweight design
  • Muscle heat map tracks sets per muscle group, which can reduce your risk of injury and help you plan your workouts more effectively
  • Long battery life
  • Customize your workout by adding exercises, weight lifted, intervals, rest periods

CONS:

  • Less cross-training activities than other watches
  • Potential screen visibility issues
 

Best Women’s CrossFit Watch

3. Garmin Venu 3S

This watch is not only petite and pretty, but it also has excellent women’s health tracking and gym workouts, perfect for HIIT and CrossFit.

What We Like

The Garmin Venu 3S is a smaller-sized watch from the Venu series. It fits well on smaller wrists. It also comes in some pretty color combinations if you want a more women-oriented look, or classic black or white.

The case size of 40 mm looks great on a smaller wrist and won’t feel bulky or heavy during workouts. Despite its small size, it still packs in many amazing features.

A bright AMOLED display adds to the attractiveness of the watch, and it’s protected by Corning Gorilla glass, which is resistant to scratches and can handle some impact. You can work out without worrying about your watch being damaged.

We love that this watch includes HIIT training timers for AMRAP, EMOMs, and Tabata. This makes it easy to do whatever form of exercise you want at the time. It also comes with animated instructions, so it’s great for newbies or those who need a reminder!

An Advanced Strength Training profile lets you track your PRs on your watch, so you know what you’re working toward!

Why We Like It

The Venu 3S comes in a smaller form than most other watches with this many features. It has every feature a CrossFitter could want, plus the ability to download third-party apps if necessary.

What to Consider

Some users have reported that although the screen is always on, there’s a slight delay once you lift your wrist as the watch face adjusts its brightness. This watch is also a bit pricey. Go with the Pace 3 if you want to save some cash.

What’s New

While not specific to CrossFitters, the Venu 3 and 3S now has a built-in microphone so you can take calls with the watch. The battery life has been improved as well, although this will vary depending on the GPS settings and whether you are listening to music.

PROS:

  • Sleek, stylish design that fits comfortably on smaller wrists, and it doesn’t feel bulky or heavy
  • Bright AMOLED display that’s protected by rugged Corning Gorilla Glass
  • High-intensity training timers for Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM, that also has animated instructions
  • Built-in Advanced Strength Training activity profile that lets you keep track of your PRs on your wrist

CONS:

  • Slight delay in brightness adjusting when lifting wrist to look at watch
 

Top Watch for Fitness Apps

4. Apple Watch Series 9

Those who enjoy connecting to third-party apps will find the Apple Watch Series 9 ideal. It’s extremely versatile and can connect to many fitness apps to enhance your training experience.

What We Like

We really like that this watch integrates seamlessly with a range of third-party apps, including many CrossFit-specific ones. Whether you’re already using an app you like or you’re looking for one, this is a great choice.

Aside from the ability to connect with other apps, this watch has a variety of workout profiles for all your needs, plus automatic workout detection, which is great if you’re switching from one thing to another quickly.

Advanced sensors allow you to track not only your workouts, but also your health metrics, so you can monitor your general state of health and fitness at any time.

It gets a thumbs-up for its Low Power Mode, which switches off battery-consuming functions to preserve battery for important things.

This means that even if your battery is low, you don’t have to worry about it dying during your AMRAP. It also means that other notifications or things coming in won’t compromise your data.

Why We Like It

If you’re an app junkie, this watch is perfect. It’s versatile enough to keep things interesting, but has all the features you need to CrossFit safely and effectively.

What to Consider

The obvious con here is that those who aren’t Apple users either won’t be able to use this watch, or will have to change their entire device stack in order to use it.

What’s New

The Series 9 has only made small strides compared to the Series 8. The screen is brighter, the processor is faster, and the storage is bigger. There is also a new double-tap gesture that lets you control the watch with one hand and without touching the screen.

PROS:

  • Integrates seamlessly with a variety of third-party and fitness apps like WOD Insight, SmartWOD Timer, and Captime
  • Advanced sensors track your activity and health metrics to help gauge your exertion levels so you can optimize your training intensity
  • Low Power Mode ensures that all your workout metrics are accurately measured throughout your workout
  • Automatic workout detection can recognize various types of workouts, including HIIT workouts

CONS:

  • Won’t be an option for Android users
 

Best for Automatic Rep Counts

5. Garmin Forerunner 265

Rep counting is a convenient and appreciated feature on a smartwatch, and the Garmin Forerunner 265 performs this function very well.

What We Like

We like that this watch has an automatic rep count that not only accurately counts your reps, but also identifies the type of exercise you’re doing.

To complement this function, it borrows COROS’ Muscle Map feature and displays real-time data on how many sets each muscle group has done.

This information, plus a Training Readiness Score, help you structure your workouts so that you’re less likely to overtrain or create muscle imbalances.

The AMOLED screen has been updated from the previous version and it looks great. It’s easy to see in almost any light, and customizable enough to create your own personal log book right on your wrist!

Why We Like It

The Garmin Forerunner 265 has a great rep counting function and multiple other CrossFit-related features that make it easy and effective to wear.

What to Consider

The AMOLED screen is beautiful, but it drains the battery faster than another screen. Keep this in mind if you like this watch.

PROS:

  • Automatic rep counting identifies the type of exercise you’re doing and counts the reps during workouts
  • Training Readiness Score helps you prevent overtraining and ensures that you’re getting the most out of your workouts
  • On-Screen Workout Muscle Map tracks how many sets each muscle group has done
  • Color AMOLED screen is customizable and easy to see on the go if you need to check your reps or metrics

CONS:

  • The AMOLED screen may drain the battery faster
 

Best for CrossFit and Running

6. COROS Apex 2

If you do Crossfit and are a serious runner, you can’t beat the COROS Apex 2. It’s extremely user-friendly, and it has tons of features for both running and CrossFit.

What We Like

This value-packed watch is an excellent buy. Not only is it impressively affordable, but it’s loaded with features that make both running and CrossFit easier and more convenient.The watch itself features over 200 preloaded exercises so you can build your own workout, which gives you great flexibility over your exercises. It also features COROS’ Muscle Heat Map, so you can ensure you’re doing balanced workouts.

You can view your muscle maps over a month, 3 months, or six months to compare and make sure your workouts are effective. Training load and recovery time are also handy tools for maximizing your exercise.

The overlap between CrossFit and running comes in the interval training mode, which is completely customizable and can be used for running or for CrossFit-related sprints and intervals.

Other excellent running tools include VO2 max, super fast GPS tracking, and profiles for indoor, trail, and track running as well as normal running.

Plus, you can get up to 17 days of battery life out of one charge, which is surprisingly good for a watch with a touchscreen.

Why We Like It

It’s affordable, lightweight, and value-packed. Plus, it contains so many features you aren’t missing much for running or CrossFit.

What to Consider

Although there’s a touchscreen and the crown doesn’t have to be used, it may get in the way a little for those who wear their watch on the left hand.

PROS:

  • Over 200 preloaded exercises so you can create your workouts or WODs
  • Muscle heat map shows you which muscles you’re working the most and breaks it down over 1, 3, and 6 months
  • Customizable interval training mode lets you set up specific work-rest ratios for CrossFit and runs
  • Training Load and Recovery Metrics provides valuable insights so that you can optimize your training by balancing intensity and recovery
  • Super fast GPS/GLONASS/BEIDOU connectivity tracks your GPS data, including your speed, distance, elevation, and pace

CONS:

  • The crown may get in the way, especially for those who wear their watch on the left wrist
 

Most Durable

7. Garmin Instinct 2

This could be Garmin’s most rugged, durable watch. Aside from its strength and shock-resistant properties, it features all the typical Garmin functions for exercise.

What We Like

The Garmin Instinct 2 is a rugged outdoor watch designed to be able to withstand almost anything. You can throw a kettlebell against this watch, scrape it on the ground, get sweat on it, or worse—it’ll survive.

With military-grade durability, you can wear it comfortably no matter what level of exercise you’re doing. It’s also waterproof up to 100 meters, so you can sweat as much as you want, it won’t affect your watch.

A wide variety of exercise profiles are built into the watch, so you can enjoy CrossFit and any other type of cross-training.

It’s worth noting that there are 5 different versions of this watch. The cheapest standard version, a solar version, and three specialized versions: Surf, Camo, and Dezl, designed for truckers.

Each one is just as durable as the next, but they come with differing features. All are great for CrossFit and running, though!

Why We Like It

This is one of the most durable watches we’ve come across, designed for extreme outdoor experience. If you want something that’ll handle all your adventures—including CrossFit—this watch can do it.

What to Consider

Some buyers have complained that they accidentally bought the wrong version of the watch due to confusion over so many different variations. Keep this in mind and be careful when buying!

PROS:

  • Rugged military-grade durability can withstand the demanding environment of CrossFit workouts
  • Waterproof up to 100 meters, making it extremely tough and able to withstand sweaty workouts and light rain
  • Five different versions of the watch, including solar and a special Dezl option designed for truckers
  • Wide range of exercise profiles for both indoor and outdoor workouts, covering you no matter what exercise you’re doing

CONS:

  • Easy to accidentally choose the wrong version of this watch and miss out on a feature you wanted
 

Buyer’s Guide – Crossfit Fitness Watches

Looking at buying one of the best watches for CrossFit? These are the features you should search for when you shop to get the best watch for your activity.

Durability

CrossFit workouts are more intense than average, which means your watch needs to be able to withstand it. Opt for a watch that’s known to be durable, because you don’t want to be replacing your watch too often.

Water-Resistance

Although you’re not likely to be in the pool during your CrossFit workout, water-resistance is an excellent feature to protect against sweat. It can also help if you’re working out outdoors in light rain.

Heart Rate Monitor

A heart rate monitor can be a valuable tool for gauging your intensity. Working in heart rate zones can also help you immensely, as different zones are better for different goals.

Most watches can also set alerts for abnormally high or low heart rates, which will give you an indication if you’re overreaching during your workout and need to slow down.

GPS Tracking

Accurate GPS tracking will allow you to track your distance during sprint intervals. This can be handy if you’re working out in a place that doesn’t have a designated distance, or if you’re doing pyramid workouts with changing distances.

Stopwatch and Timer

An interval timer is an excellent feature to have built into a watch if you include time-based intervals in your CrossFit workouts.

This will allow you to set up your own intervals beforehand, so you can simply press a button and do your workout while tracking all the stats you need.

Rep Counter

A good rep counter is super handy for CrossFitters. It means you can focus completely on your workouts, and if you lose track of where you are with your reps, it’s as simple as glancing at your watch to get back on track.

Battery Life

You don’t want your watch to die halfway through your workout! Choose a watch that has a decent battery life so you don’t have to worry about that, but you also don’t have to charge it every day.

Also, look for watches with various battery modes to save battery life, or battery-saving features like silencing all other notifications when in workout mode.

Training Modes Specific to Crossfit

Most of the watches on this list contain a variety of training modes to choose from. Make sure the watch you choose has training modes that are specific to the kind of workouts you’ll be doing.

These may include HIIT training, weight training, and rowing, amongst others. Double-check the training modes before buying to ensure you’ll get what you need.

Compatible With Fitness Apps

Currently, no watches are designed specifically for CrossFit, meaning third-party apps are a must. The watch that you choose should be compatible with third-party apps that work for Crossft.

Check if the watch you like is compatible with the app you like before you buy it. Otherwise, you may need to switch apps to match your watch, which could be annoying and you might lose data.

FAQs

Why is Crossfit good for runners?

Runners have very resilient legs, and this is because running works the hip flexors, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles, as well as activates and strengthens the core muscles. That doesn’t always equal physical strength, and often their upper bodies are less developed. This can lead to an imbalance in a runner’s body.

Crossfit is a full-body workout that uses functional movements performed at a high intensity to increase overall strength.

These functional movements are what you do throughout your day without giving much thought to it. They include things like squatting when you sit, and pulling and pushing movements like when you’re opening and closing the door.

Runners can benefit from the strength training that Crossfit offers, as it will help with your balance, coordination and endurance. It will also develop muscle, which will help support and strengthen the joints and tendons. This will lead to an increase in speed when you’re running, as well as a lower chance of becoming injured.

What features should a fitness watch have for Crossfit workouts?

When you’re looking at getting a fitness watch to help monitor and track your activity during Crossfit, there are a number of features that you want:

  • Different sports modes that include Crossfit.
  • An accurate heart rate monitor. When you lift weights in Crossfit in intervals, your heart rate will spike, unlike a runner’s which stays more or less even throughout their run.
  • You want it to monitor HIIT and Interval Training.
  • Crossfit has WODs – Workout Of the Day – and you want to be able to add the custom routine before starting.
  • Automatically detect the exercise and count the reps.
  • Personalization of exercises that can be added to the database.
  • Monitor and analyze your performance so that you know where you can improve.
  • It should tell you the amount of calories burned during the workout.
  • Flexible wristband that won’t restrict movements when powerlifting.
  • A visible display that’s durable and will hold up to the rigors of Crossfit.

What is Pulse OX?

The Pulse Ox (pulse oximeter) measures and monitors the oxygen saturation levels in your blood. This will let you know when to go all-out to achieve your personal best, or when to tackle that high-intensity interval. It will also let you know when to take a rest day, even if you feel like you don’t need it.

By monitoring your energy levels and oxygen levels, you’ll be able to maintain an effective oxygen level, which can improve speed, endurance and overall performance.

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AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.