Monday, March 18, 2019

Garmin Fenix 5 strength and rep counting – First impressions

Garmin Fenix 5, 5s and 5x strength and rep counting beta

Just wanted to share my first impressions about the strength training feature and rep counting. Whilst I appreciate its still in beta at this stage and improvements will be made. I used Rep counting on the Garmin Vivosmart 3 review and I found it “ok” it was hit and miss at times (more hit though than miss). I found that doing for example shoulder press (military style) the workout would be recorded as bench press and I was hoping Garmin would improve the software over time and due to it being a great innovation and very new I didn’t think it performed that bad.

Links to the Beta

Must read review: Suunto Spartan trainer review

Garmin Fenix 5 rep and strength tracking

Garmin Fenix 5 rep counting impressions

My experience with the Fenix 5x rep counting as been impressive and a great improvement over the Vivosmart 3 and this maybe down to the hardware in the Fenix 5x, but still a great improvement

  • Out of the 5 times, I have used it, I have done 65 sets of 8 totalling a 520 reps. Out of the 65 sets, it miss counted 3 times! This is a dramatic improvement over my previous experience
  • I did have one issue yesterday when it recorded a 31 min workout and 23 something was rest and around 6 and half minutes as activity time. This was the wrong way around, but putting this down to beta software and its only happened once.
  • It’s correctly catching exercises and even this time identifying between shoulder press and bench press!
MUST READ  Garmin Fenix 5 music storage, will it come this year?

So overall I am happy with the progress made by Garmin and wondered what other experiences people have had? I would love to hear opinions on the experiences so comment below



  1. How in the world can it distinguish between a shoulder press and a bench press? From the watch’s perspective, isn’t that the same movement? The watch wouldn’t know the relative position of your torso while pushing weights up. What kind of witchery is this?

  2. I dont know why they didnt think to add the name of the excerecise while you are doing it…and only at the rest times.
    its not practical to memorized all the workout if you are using a sport smartwatch

  3. I have the 5X Plus and am unhappy with its strength training feature. I’ll do a 45 minute workout and it reads about 4.1 seconds of activity and 22 minutes of rest. I’m doing Oly lifts and/or progressions (i.e. Clean, snatch, clean and jerk, squats, etc…) but it doesn’t record the movements well. A more tech savvy person could construct a workout on the watch but anything more than informing it when sets are beginning would be too intrusive.

    I may add the weightlifting app to see if it gathers information more efficiently.

    I love the watch, overall, and would buy it again. The strength training function is its only downside.


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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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