Over the shoulder view of young active woman using exercise tracking app on smartphone to monitor her training progress after exercising at home
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No matter what your workout looks like, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you get the most out of every second you spend sweating in your home gym, logging miles on your favorite running route or powering through your favorite bodyweight exercises at home. But staying in the zone can be tricky without the right tools -- HIIT involves frequent and fast changes between exercises and intensity levels.

That's why a great fitness tracker (or smartwatch with fitness-tracking capabilities) can be a powerful ally. The best fitness trackers make it easy to set time intervals, keep track of which exercise you're on, and even create and save your own custom routines that you can follow from your wrist. Instead of checking your phone, setting new timers for each interval or just guessing at your intensity level, a fitness tracker gives you instant access to all the information you need. All you need to do is focus on your form.

Keep reading for the best fitness trackers you can get in 2024 with the features you need for a flawless HIIT workout.

Best fitness tracker for HIIT overall: Garmin Venu 3


The Garmin Venu 3 boasts an improved touchscreen display. It's also larger and more responsive, so you can easily check metrics and navigate features mid-workout. The fitness-focused Garmin smartwatch can track heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen levels and more. But what really sets it apart is the ability to customize the display to show you the metrics you care about.

Speaking of that workout, the watch comes preloaded with routines that target different muscle groups or performance goals. When you pick one and tap start, the watch not only starts a timer but shows an animated display of how to perform the exercise you're doing in each interval. 

As you cycle through your intervals, the watch will show you which exercise you're on and alert you when your interval ends. So there's no need to look at your phone at all. Just tap start on your watch and focus on your workout.

If you don't want to use a preloaded routine, the Garmin app has a database of more than 1,400 exercises, categorized by which muscle groups they work. Build your own custom routine in the app on your phone. Then download it to your watch and get moving. The smartwatch has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon. Get if for $450.

Why we like the Garmin Venu 3:

  • Preloaded workouts let you jump right into a session with no prep needed.
  • Create your own custom workouts in the Garmin Connect app and then access them from your watch.
  • Follow along to animated workouts on your wrist.
  • Set custom HIIT timers or choose from multiple preloaded timers.
  • Track heart rate, respiration and more during your workout.
$450 at Amazon

Best budget fitness tracker for HIIT: Fitbit Charge 6


The Fitbit Charge 6 is a slim, lightweight wearable -- more so than other Fitbits. So it won't feel clunky even when you're running or lifting weights. It has Fitbit Pay and built-in GPS so you can go on a run without your phone, and still be able to navigate your way home (or pay for a drink).

The Charge 6 also has a skin temperature sensor and an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor so you'll get detailed insights into your health and wellness. You can even take an ECG for a more accurate read on your heart.

You can get the best-selling Fitbit for $155 at Amazon.

What we like about the Fitbit Charge 5:

  • This fitness tracker includes all the most advanced features for health, fitness, stress and sleep tracking.
  • The Charge 5 is the only other Fitbit aside from the Sense 2 that comes with an EDA sensor so you can take an ECG and track your stress levels.
  • The built-in GPS lets you track your route and navigate back home during your run or bike ride without your phone in tow.
$155 at Amazon

Best fitness tracker for outdoor workouts: Garmin Instinct 2 solar


One of the best smartwatches runners can take on the trail, the Garmin Instinct 2 solar boasts durability that can withstand life's adventures, including shock resistance and water resistance up to 100 meters.

The GPS watch from Garmin connects to three global navigation satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, so you can track your routes no matter how far off the beaten track you are. It also features "TracBack" routing, so if you get turned around, just let your watch guide you back to your starting point.

We like that track back feature for hikers, climbers, runners and adventurers to help navigate the back to your starting point. The battery life is a plus as well -- unlimited in smartwatch mode (thanks to solar charging) and up to 48 hours in GPS mode.

Train with pre-loaded activity profiles and monitor heart rate, activity and stress, to make this one of the most efficient smartwatches.

It also comes with advanced safety features like incident detection, which automatically detects an emergency during outdoor activities and sends a message to your emergency contacts with a LiveTrack link showing your real-time location.

The rugged outdoor smartwatch is on sale for as low as $280 on Amazon (reduced from $300).

$280 at Amazon

Best for iPhone users: Apple Watch Series 9


With the new Siri Health upgrade, starting a new workout and getting status updates along the way is a breeze with the Apple Watch 9. Instead of navigating the watch screen, just say "Siri, start an outdoor run workout" or "Siri, start a yoga workout." Your new watch will immediately start tracking the activity, even when you're not connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

It also tracks all the essential metrics like heart rate, blood oxygen levels, body temperature and more for a clear picture of how hard your body is working during each exercise. Plus, it's crack-resistant and swim-proof so you can wear it confidently no matter what your HIIT session involves.

This makes the Apple Watch 9 a great choice for people who need to interact with their watch during workouts to check stats or start and stop timers. The hands-free functionality will seriously improve your workout experience so you can accurately log your activity without having to fuss with your watch.

The Apple Watch 9 recently lost its pulse oximeter following a patent dispute with Masimo but it still offers plenty of HIIT-friendly features even without that health metric. 

The smaller-sized 41 mm version is $349 at Amazon (reduced from $399).

Why we like the Apple Watch 9:

  • HIIT workout mode lets you create custom interval timers.
  • Personalize the fitness features by connecting the watch to your favorite apps.
  • Advanced tracking features give you a clearer picture of key health metrics.
  • Follow workouts, listen to music and more without keeping your phone on you.
  • Access tons of workouts through the Apple Fitness+ app and follow them from your watch.
$349 at Amazon

Best for all-in-one training management: Coros Pace 3


The Coros Pace 3 is the only fitness tracker on this list that can count your reps for you during your workout. Using data from the gyroscope, accelerometer and other sensors it can detect repetitive movements and count how many repetitions you do.

For the most accurate results, do the same exercise at least four times so the algorithm can recognize the repetition and pay attention to your form. The more consistent you are, the easier it is for your watch to tell what exercise you're doing and when each rep starts and finishes. 

While the rep counting might be its coolest feature, the Coros Pace 3 also offers tons of extra built-in fitness tracking features that are hard to find in other smartwatches. 

Runners will love the race predictor. It analyzes the performance data and environmental conditions of your past runs and compares them to the conditions you're in right now. So you can predict your average pace and finish time for distances ranging from a 5k to a full marathon.

The sleek, lightweight smartwatch is priced at $229 on Amazon.

Why we like the Coros Pace 3:

  • Preloaded workouts give you pro-crafted routines you can follow from your watch.
  • Create custom workouts on your phone and download them to your watch.
  • Create a training calendar to get reminders from your watch when it's time to work out and what your goal is for that day.
  • Sync logged workouts to that calendar to easily see how your performance is improving over the course of your training plan.
  • Recovery timer tracks your fitness and energy levels to tell you when your body is still in recovery and when you're ready to push yourself to the limit again.
$229 at Amazon

Shop more HIIT-friendly fitness trackers on Amazon

What are the benefits of HIIT?

Instead of pushing yourself to maintain peak intensity for an entire session, or giving up and opting for an intensity level way below what you're capable of, HIIT involves short periods -- usually 60 seconds or less -- of high-intensity activity where your heart is pumping at between 80% and 100% of your maximum heart rate. Those short bursts of intense exercise are followed by short periods of rest or low-intensity activity -- like slowing from a sprint to a walk.

This approach makes your workout less daunting, given that you just have to focus on getting through 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, rather than 30 to 45 minutes. It's also super easy to adapt to even if the busiest schedule. Even if you don't have time to get to the gym every day, you can probably find a few windows of time during the day to squeeze in one or two 5-minute HIIT workouts.

From a health perspective, it's even more beneficial. Research shows that it can increase metabolism, increase muscle mass, improve endurance and provide all of the other benefits of regular exercise but in a fraction of the time that you would need to spend on steady, moderate-intensity exercise.