How to customize workout metrics on Apple Watch

By , Sep 26, 2016


If you’ll be using your Apple Watch’s fitness features, you’ll want to become acquainted with the Workout app, which helps you to keep track of your progress.

Starting with watchOS 3, you can customize your workout metrics, and in this tutorial, we’ll talk about all the ways you can do that.

What are workout metrics?

The workout metrics let you see a real time representation of what’s going on. For example, you can see things like how long you’ve been working out, your heart rate, the amount of calories you’re burning, and more.

There are two kinds of metric modes you can take advantage of on your Apple Watch: multiple and single. Examples of both are shown below.


Multiple vs Simple metrics

In multiple metrics mode, you can have up to five different kinds of metrics displaying on your Apple Watch’s screen during a workout at once.

On the contrary, single metric mode shows only one kind of metric on your Apple Watch’s screen during a workout at once and you can use the digital crown to scroll through more of them, one by one.

You can easily switch between these two modes from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Just go to My Watch → Workout → Workout View and choose the configuration you want:


Which is better? Honestly it comes down to personal preference. If you like larger text, you might opt for the single metric mode. On the other hand, if you like more information at a glance, then you might opt for the multiple metric mode.

Customizing the metrics for your workouts

If you choose multiple metric mode, you can customize the metrics that appear on your Apple Watch’s display during a workout based on the information you really want to see.

The metrics available depend on the type of workout you choose. For example, note the different metrics available in Outdoor Walk when compared to Elliptical:


To customize what metrics will appear on your Apple Watch’s display while you perform your workout, go to My Watch → Workout → Workout View and tap on the workout type you want to customize.

Once you’re in, you’ll see a list of metrics you can use. There are two headings: Metrics and Do Not Include. Any metrics you stick under the Metrics heading will appear on your Apple Watch and any metrics you stick under the Do Not Include heading will be hidden from your Apple Watch.

To modify the list, tap on the Edit button and use the grabbers to reposition any of the metrics under the two headers:


You can have a maximum of five metrics on the display at once, so you won’t be able to add any more than five to the Metrics header at any given time.

You can change the unit of measure for your metrics

You can also change the unit of measure for your metrics. To do this, you’re going to need to pay a visit to the Health app on your iPhone.

When you open it, tap on the Activity button, then scroll down to where you see various workout types and then tap on the one you want to modify.


In this case, we’ll be changing the Cycling Distance metric, so we’ll tap on it. When we do, we’re brought to the Cycling Distance settings and we’ll tap on the Unit cell to modify the unit of measure:


Since we’re dealing with a unit of measure for distance, logically we have two unit of measure options: kilometers or miles. The units of measure vary depending on the workout type you choose to customize.

Now that you know how to customize your workout metrics on your Apple Watch, you can set things up so your workouts are tailored to your needs.

Also read:

What workout metric settings do you use on your Apple Watch? Share in the comments below!

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  • Agneev Mukherjee

    This’ll come in handy after I get Series 2.

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    What are the data-s that iOS tracks natively?

    • BoghosAvetikian

      For the health app? The iPhone itself only counts steps, and flights climbed, as well as sleep if you use the sleep alarm thing in the clock app on iOS 10

      • Agneev Mukherjee


  • armyk

    Is there any way how to have different color then white? It gets boring…

  • bertal34

    Great article and nice flexibility here with the apps. I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced an issue I had over the weekend. Just finished a half marathon running with only my Apple Watch series 2. I was a bit disappointed because while using the workout app, metrics such as distance, time, pace were hidden! Every time I looked at my watch it said outdoor run with no metrics. The watch did record these metrics however the metric view seemed to be hidden on a separate tab. Meaning I could swipe left and partially see the metrics. I contacted Apple and they had not heard of this. Only had me restart watch and unpair with iPhone. What do you think happened?

    • Sounds to me it’s just a random bug. Did rebooting the watch or impairing/pairing again fix the problem?

      • bertal34

        You are probably right, it just happened at a horrible time for me. Rebooting the watch seemed to fix the problem and it hasn’t happened since.