Fitness Trackers

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
What the thoughts on fitness trackers, I've looked at the Jawbone and Fitbit trackers and the Garmin ones seem to be very geared towards running biking etc. I have used MFPal before and it was effective and the accountability angle works well for me. I'm also a sucker for tech. On the other hand working out is fast becoming the one remaining area where you can hide from tech and digital noise. Using primarily barbells and Kb I also wonder how effective they would be??? Any thoughts?
 

Questionfear

Level 5 Valued Member
I have a very simple misfit flash, it tracks steps and sleep and that's about it. It does integrate with MyFitnessPal, which is handy.

I don't bother to use it for weightlifting/kettlebells/bodyweight, because it simply doesn't record well-either it picks up stray movements as a few extra steps, or it doesn't record anything at all.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I have a cell phone app I like that tracks distance and gives a little map of the route you covered. It kind of encourages me to get out and try to beat last month's total and it's fun to see the map of where you went.
 

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
I like the sleep tracker app on the fitbit. I have no idea how accurate it is though. I think it just uses an accelerometer to tell if you've moved while sleeping. Sometimes it tells me that I sleep terrible when I think I slept good.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
My iPhone seems to count my steps, distance, and stairs - never asked it to, but I look at it once in a while.

-S-
 

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I ditched all tech at some point. The data became an obsession and made me not listen to my body,
This is where I'm probably at and in many ways that's what draws me back into S and S, just plug and play. Adding trackers could just be another distraction.

" It's not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."
Bruce Lee
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I use a polar HRM, but don't use any fitness tracker for steps or any other such things. Find I don't really care about the info.

One thing I do suggest everybody use, however - a sleep tracker/smart alarm. The sleep tracking portion is mildly interesting, and can be somewhat helpful to let you know if you got a good sleep or not; combined with a few smart notes on your day (eg had coffee at 8 pm, exercised late, was stressed all day, etc.) it can help you learn to get a better night's sleep. So important to recovery. However, far and away the best thing and something I know swear by is the smart alarm, which you set a half hour window in which you want to wake up and the alarm goes off based on when you are in your lightest phase of sleep. I find it significantly decreases morning grogginess and consequently I feel much better throughout the day. I'm sure we all have experienced morning grogginess that does not dissipate very well later in the afternoon and makes for long days.
 

MattM

SFG1
Certified Instructor
@wespom9 I've always been curious about the accuracy of the sleep tracker. I use it often. Sometimes I wake up with many restless lines on my chart.

If I move my wrist slightly is it registering as restless? Am I truly being restless?​
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
I used one for a while, found it interesting at first, but then realized it wasn't really giving me any actionable data.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@MattM I question the true validity of it as well. microphone or accelerometer, whichever you use, will never be as precise as actually tracking brain waves with electrodes or whatever they use. The app I use doesn't do the restless lines like the Fitbit does, rather shows you when you were in deeper/lighter sleep based on your movements. Again, I don't think its 100% accurate, nor do I think it is worthless. As always, somewhere in the middle is the truth. As I mentioned, I don't follow the data too close. It works well enough to wake me at the opportune time and if I get mildly helpful data out of it in addition to a feeling of well restendness and immediate wakefulness, I will take it.
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
You may some stuff here on an old thread......

Fitbit heart rate tracking is dangerously inaccurate, lawsuit claims

.......that back in March. Still wearing mine, some good, some bad, some ugly:

Good.
Resting heart rate function and occasional look at how far I have walked and the use of it as a watch. A friend of mine has a pacemaker and she tests all wearables for a charity to compare against her very real pacemaker data. The charity can then advise punters with dodgy tickers. The Fitbit hr is the winner, so far.

Bad.
Anything other than above, I'm pretty 'so what' about other data but that's not to say it has uses, for you. I don't count calories, log food, don't wear it for training or exercise, other than my walks and, as others have said, there is more to sleep tracking than just time in your scratcher. I've thought about scanning my barcode result of disturbed sleep patterns at the shops to see what I can buy with it......sometimes it appears I've had no sleep but feel ok, others I wake up feeling I've been steamrollered yet I get awarded a star for sleeping well.......you know a bit crap, really. But, a few rubbish nights and I see a couple of bpm in my rhr, so interesting to know that but that is more to do with rhr tracking than sleep, still.....

Ugly.
If you are untrained or in poor health and going for working in a heart rate zone (as many people do) then, given its wildly erratic and unreliable readings during higher intensity, should it be used outside the admissions unit of a cardiac ward? I occasionally burst into a sprint walking with my dog........doesn't register a significant change of pace but can log some walks sometimes at a high heart rate, over my maf number when clearly it is an easy pace, so bit of an issue. Maybe I need to see a cardiologist!

Conclusion.
Great for tracking resting heart rate and probably really good for encouraging more low level activity for people who are inactive ie the steps goal. Mine was a birthday present and all said and done actually really like it......would I buy one? Probably not, haha!
 

DrFierce

Level 5 Valued Member
RE sleep. I’m a big fan of the light up alarm clocks made by Philips. I have used one for a year and not only does it help me wake up easier, it also helps me fall asleep a bit easier, likely because the AM light has shifted my body clock earlier.
 

Bro Mo

Level 6 Valued Member
Adding trackers could just be another distraction.
Or they could be a window into optimizing your training, health and performance?

I have a Polar M400 with chest strap that I use for KB and BB often. I can see when it's time to push harder or when to go easier as I've found that the way I feel is often incorrect in how my body is actually performing. The sleep tracker aspect of it I don't use as much as the recovery status aspect. It doesn't track steps but tracks accumulated motion which is helpful for knowing when I'm having too sedentary of a day.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
RE sleep. I’m a big fan of the light up alarm clocks made by Philips. I have used one for a year and not only does it help me wake up easier, it also helps me fall asleep a bit easier, likely because the AM light has shifted my body clock earlier.
Link, please?

Thanks.

-S-
 

DrFierce

Level 5 Valued Member
Link, please?

Thanks.

-S-
Hi @Steve Freides I started with something like this which worked great.

https://www.amazon.com/hOmeLabs-Sunrise-Alarm-Clock-Simulation/dp/B074NB5TNW

I eventually ponied up for the more expensive model as I like the orange to white light transition and I could justify it as a business expense (I’m a kid sleep doctor). However option 1 worked great.

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Simulation-Headspace-Subscription-HF3520/dp/B0093162RM
 
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