Apple Watch Sport Sleeves & Straps from Twelve South – Copy WHOOP & Improve Cross Fit Accuracy

Apple Watch – Turn Your Apple Watch into a WHOOP for the Gym with Twelve South

WHOOP 4.0 is probably the de-facto tech for cross-fit and is also widely used in the gym. Obviously, you also see a lot of Apple Watches in your local gyms.

One of the best ways for WHOOP users to achieve accurate heart rates for ALL exercise types is simply to wear the WHOOP strap on the bicep. Indeed the same is true of all optical heart rate tech…it simply doesn’t work very well on the wrist when there are lots of strong wrist movements, like when you are lifting weights. So you can simply relocate the sensor right? – Well, the problem will be that your watch strap is simply too small to go around your bicep or forearm.

To solve this, WHOOP 4.0 now comes with compatible clothing which contains special pouches to insert the sensor. My favourite of these is the arm sleeve which goes over your bicep and, at the same time, keeps the WHOOP sensor snugly in contact with the skin.

Must Read: Detailed WHOOP 4.0 Band Review

That brings us to trying to achieve the same end with the Apple Watch. Let’s consider some upper arm mounting options for those who just need a watch face that WHOOP can never offer.

Must Read: Detailed Apple Watch 7 Review

twelve south & Nomad Goods

Nomad makes a wide range of high-quality, Apple lifestyle accessories and I’ve either got or used most of the ones that are geared towards sport. They are great products.

twelve south is a relatively new discovery for me with broadly similar offerings to Nomad but with a few novelties…which is what sparked this post in the first place.

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twelve south ActionSleeve

Simply remove your 40mm or 40mm strap and slide the watch into the protective casing and you will be good to go with a strap that can handle biceps up to 43cm/17″.

It’s comfortable to wear and the velcro fastening is secure with both the comfort and fastening aided by the decently wide strap. There is a good centimetre or so of ‘give’ in the material to allow flexing as you workout.

One final, nice detail to point out is where the strap loops through at the far end. That loop has a protective lip underneath to protect against the strap rubbing your skin.

When using this with Apple Watch 5 or 6 there are no problems with the always-on display. However sometimes on Watch 4 and Watch SE you have to make more of an exaggerated movement to wake the screen.

It’s nicely washable and can be kept hygienic. there is no screen protector included with this but they are cheaply available on Amazon.

Me? I plan to use this quite a lot. Although as a reviewer this will make the Apple Watch VERY handy as a device I can move away from my wrist so that I can free up some space for another watch at the same time. If you are sensible you might just simply enjoy using it in the gym!

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Note: Twelve South say that the 45mm Apple Watch 7 does not fit in their bands but mine does! they will be releasing a Watch 7 version soon. Otherwise, they already have stock of Watch 4/5/6 bands

WHOOP 4.0 – Arm Sleeve

The WHOOP 4.0 Body Sleeve is expensive but does the job of nicely holding the WHOOP 4.0 sensor in place. In my dirtier moments, I guess I would do 4 run/bikes before washing it (I know, I know!) in the washing machine. I’ve only used it in relatively cool and dry weather, so let’s see what Summer 2022 brings with dirt and sweat galore.


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twelve south ActionBand

twelve south’s ActionBand is a boucle wristband exuding 1970’s RETRO style. You get two of these bands in the pack, one of which has a sturdy case for your Watch 4/5/6/SE to clip into.

I’ve got skinny wrists and these are too loose for me to wear on the wrist. They are comfortable enough there but the watch moves about and impacts the heart rate accuracy. However, a neat trick is to just slide it a little way up the forearm and voila! a sweet forearm position for your watch. This gives improved accuracy for heart rate when compared to the wrist and there is no detrimental impact on how well the turn-to-wake screen is fired up.

Me? I will probably end up using this a lot, just because it frees up both a bicep and a wrist for extra devices! It’s going to require regular cleaning though, as it will soak up sweat and dirt like there is no tomorrow.

Nomad Rugged Band

20% off Nomad Sitewide with Code: TREATYOURSELF

The Nomad Rugged Band is a little too rigid for me for 24×7 usage. However, it is of supremely high quality and the super-key benefit of Nomad’s rigid strap is that it locks the Apple Watch in place on my wrist and this strap above ALL others seems to encourage the most accurate heart rate readings. In an ideal world, I would prefer to wear the woven & more comfortable Apple sport loop bands (below) for sport, and I do sometimes wear them, but they quickly get dirty and the velcro loses grippiness after a while leading to heart rate recording inaccuracies.

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Me? So it’s often the Nomad rugged Band for me. Plus it has the advantage of being SUPER tough and SUPER waterproof. This is a band you will definitely want to have a post-workout shower with, that’s an ideal time to give your watch and band a good soaping down.


A woven Apple sport loop band – blue & grey edging, the orange strap is from Watch Strap Co (WsC)

Nomad Sport Band

I must be a bit thick. I just can’t get these strap types to fasten anywhere near tight enough. It has the same (what I call) silly closure design as Apple’s sports band. ie a non-closure design.

Me? nah. This is a shame as Nomad’s Sport Band is a well-made and superior strap in every other respect. If you like this particular kind of fastening mechanism then this is a superior strap to Apple’s equivalent.

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nomad strap sports apple watch
Nomad Sport Band – If You Like The Apple Sport Band Go For This…If not…Don’t

Nomad Active Strap Pro

This is another of my favourite sports’ straps. You can see from the photo that this appears to be a rather elegant brown leather strap. And it is. But it’s been specially treated and designed for wearing in sport. It also looks good in my smarter moments too.

Me? I’m surprised I don’t wear it more often.

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Best Apple Watch SPORT Bands straps in UK for working out

Best Apple Watch Band for Running 🏃 Sports Strap – Definitive Guide | Workout | Fitness | Adventure |




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