Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Want to win an Apple Watch activity challenge? Here are 3 ways to make it happen

Challenge accepted. Now how do I win?
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Min Shin
Hand with Apple Watch Series 8 walking stats
Christina Darby/ ZDNET

One of the fastest fitness motivators is good ole competition. 

The Fitness feature for Apple Watch makes it easy to challenge fellow users to a week-long workout match

Also: Your Netflix subscription includes Nike fitness classes now

But what's the secret to successfully crushing your competition?

Sure, making sure you clock more hours in the gym than your competition is a way you could win, but there are even simpler and more efficient ways to ensure victory. 

Also: The best under-desk treadmills

For those eager to win, we broke down three ways that bring you closer to earning a virtual Apple Fitness trophy, and of course, all the gloating glory. 

3 ways to win an Apple Watch activity challenge

1. Rack up your points

Since you and your Apple Watch opponent aren't likely to share the same move, exercise, or stand goals, it can take someone significantly more or less effort to close their activity rings. Apple uses a point system to determine the winner so that the competition isn't skewed.

Here's the breakdown: 

  • You'll earn a Fitness point to every percentage point you add closing your daily move, stand, and exercise rings.
  • Completion of all three goals (rings) -- stand, move, and exercise -- brings a total of 300 points. 
  • Since you can go over 100% of your goal, it's possible to get over the desired 300 points. But, only 600 points, which would mean doubling your daily goals, go towards your daily challenge total. 
  • You can ultimately earn up to 4,200 points a week. Whoever is the closest to the threshold wins the challenge. 

While the points system fosters a more holistic approach to the challenge, you can still manually compete with your friends to see who took the most steps or biked the most miles. 

Pink Apple Watch Series 8 on a young woman's wrist displaying activity stats.

I've completed 35% of my daily move goal, 10% of my exercise goal, and 50% of my stand goal so far, giving me a grand total of 95 points out of my daily 300 point goal. 

Christina Darby/ZDNET

2. Record specific workouts

Before you literally run off to complete your daily exercise, remember to select which workout you're about to complete (HIIT, outdoor walk, indoor run, boxing, cycling, etc.) in watch's "Workout" tab. 

Also: Apple Watch SE (2022) vs Apple Watch SE (2020): Should you upgrade?

While the watch passively tracks your steps, recording the specific workout before you start makes for more accurate tracking -- especially for low impact exercises. 

3. Take advantage of Fitness+ workouts

Not only does your Apple Watch track your workouts, but it's the key to unlocking Fitness+. Offering classes along with running and walking guides, Apple Fitness+ has elevated my simple treadmill workouts lately. Most importantly, Fitness+ automatically syncs your watch to your streaming device and displays your stats in real time, doubling a workout tracker and motivator. 

Also: The 6 best fitness apps with online workouts

Like how recording specific workouts helps ensure point accuracy, starting a workout on Fitness+ is sure automatically record your exercise while elevating your workout and heart rate.

Apple Fitness+ on phone with person working out in the background

Apple Fitness+ offers exercise classes that automatically sync up to your watch, tracking your workouts more accurately and potentially elevating your fitness routine. 



How do I get my Apple Watch score to 600 points?

You can get 600 points by doubling your daily goals. Since there are three goals, or rings (move, stand, and exercise), completing each by exactly 100% would mean a total of 300 points. So, to reach 600, you'd have to close each ring twice. 

Can I send an Apple Watch challenge to myself? 

While you can't send a challenge to yourself as you would to another party, you can use your rings as a benchmark for competition, even challenging yourself to double your rings or beat daily records. 

Can I manually add workouts to my Apple Watch? 

If you forget to record, but still want your hard work to count towards the competition, you can manually input the exercise data on your iPhone's Health app. Once you're in the Health app, tap the "Activity" tab under the "Browse" section, then select "Workouts," and "Add Data" in the upper right hand corner. 

Editorial standards