Fitness Technology

I Tried Smart Goggles That Feel Like Having Your Own Personal Swim Coach in the Pool

Photo: Form
Despite the fact that swimming delivers a challenging, low-impact, full-body workout, it’s never been my first choice for cardio. I’ve always found it too hard and too monotonous, with the minutes I’ve spent doing laps feeling like hours.

That’s why I’ve been on the lookout for any tool that can help me get in (and stay in) the pool. And the Form smart goggles are the most enticing I’ve come across yet, thanks to their latest updates.

form smart goggles
Form Smart Swim Goggles

To snag a pair of these smart goggles, you’ll need to buy a monthly membership to Form. The goggles come with a minimum six-month subscription at $24 per month (for a total of $144) or a 12-month subscription at $19 per month (for a total of $228).

Form’s smart goggles are a wearable for the pool that both track and guide your activity. They have a tiny computer built onto the side that’s able to calculate the distance you swim, and they send that data to a companion app where you can view your stats and progress.

The lenses also have a text overlay that sort of makes you feel like Robo Cop. It displays your swimming stats, so you can see how far and how long you’ve been swimming while you’re underwater. You can just choose a free swim option that’ll record your stats in real time, but the goggles also have guided workouts. They’ll give you specific distances to swim, tell you when to go easy, fast, do a different stroke, or—my favorite—when to rest. I think permission to rest was something missing from times I’ve tried to just swim on my own. And doing an occasional set of sprints in between kicking or easy pace laps was invigorating.

goggles with metrics
Photo: Form

The latest updates, rolled out this summer, build on the workouts feature. In the app, you can select a “plan,” a series of prescribed swims that’ll help you master various stroke skills, work up to different distances, or prepare for races like triathlons.

Your plan syncs with your goggles, so when you hit the pool, you don’t even have to choose what workout you want to do—your goggles are your personal trainer, and they’ve got your training program ready for you.

Who’ll get the most out of Form smart goggles

The beginner workouts are totally doable even if you’re not a swimmer, because they often mix up the efforts you’re supposed to give, and offer you plenty of recovery time in between sets. Recently, I tested out a beginner’s plan working up to a moderate distance. On the days when I was at a pool, I was incredibly motivated to do a workout, and not just sit on a lounge chair like I usually do when presented with a body of water.

But Form is also clearly a tool that’s not just designed with beginners in mind: The goggles’ newest feature, custom workouts (called the Workout Builder), is designed for more experienced swimmers who want to put their specific training plans into the goggles. To me, this seems useful if you’ve already got a workout plan you follow and just want feedback on how you’re doing.

Final thoughts

I think that if you’re a regular swimmer, or a beginner who is incredibly motivated to start swimming (maybe you just joined a gym with a pool, or have to swim out of necessity due to an injury), Form goggles and their swimming plans are a fun and useful way to organize your pool workout regimen. They'll help you build skills, endurance, and break up the monotony that I have always found so difficult to overcome while doing laps.

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