We’re having a drought here in Central Virginia so I have not done much paddling during a time of year where I typically love being on the water and logging many of my annual kayaking miles.
So in the absence of much to talk about in terms of my kayaking and on-water adventures, let me explain several of my recent posts involving fitness tracking technology.
I started searching for a fitness and gym tracker a few years ago in order to log and track my training both in the gym and on the water. Being able to track paddle cadence on the water and progress in the gym would be very useful.
I started out with the Amiigo device, then moved to the Xiaomi Amazfit Arc followed shortly thereafter by the Atlas Wearables Wristband 2.
As a result of reviewing those units in YouTube videos and on this blog, two other companies reached out to me and sent me devices to evaluate in exchange for fair and honest reviews. Those devices were the Actofit Wearables tracker and the MBHB Sport Smart Bracelet.
I have also researched countless other devices to find the right one.
So far not a single device meets all my needs.
Many of them do not count paddle strokes as “steps”, some are not reliably waterproof, and some do not have the battery life to last for an all-day outing or ultra-marathon kayak trip or race. Some let you train new movements or exercises while others do not.
The one device I am truly in love with is the Atlas Wearables wristband for in the gym. It recognizes my exercises, lets me train new ones and allows me to enter the amount of weight on the bar or edit the number of reps right on the wristband during my workouts. It has completely replaced my clipboard with paper exercise log in the gym and the online dashboard lets me review my training progress and areas of focus over time. It is a great training tool for the gym, but is not intended for all-day wear.
I am looking forward to seeing what Atlas Wearables comes out with next. This is the one company that seems to be truly innovating and delivering on their promises and their customer service and support is awesome.
Aside from the Atlas device, there are many, many other fitness trackers out there that all do the same basic things and maybe have one or two unique features such as blood pressure measurements that set them apart. There is no lack of affordable trackers with basic functionality if that is what you are looking for.
But, again, I have not yet found one device that meets all my needs.
I have also been approached by a few companies doing market research asking me what I’m looking for in a fitness tracker so I thought I’d share what I’m looking for in a next generation device.
My ideal next-generation fitness tracker would be/have:
- Comfortable and stylish enough for all-day wear even in professional settings
- 5+ day battery life before the need to recharge
- Good tracking exercises in the gym and allow you to train new, custom motions/exercises (such as kettlebell sumo squats and the kayaking wing paddle stroke)
- An online dashboard that allows you to track progress over time
- Export capabilities of all data so data can be imported into a spreadsheet for long-term tracking and analysis
- A display on the device that allows you to edit exercises and change functions during exercises and activities without access to the paired phone (my phone is either in a kayak hatch inside a dry bag or in a gym locker people!)
- Automatic sleep tracking
- Ability to measure blood pressure on-demand
- Heart Rate (HR) capabilities both on-demand and automatically at pre-set time intervals
- Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measurements to better understand recovery
- Basic functions such as steps, calorie burn, distance, etc.
I just don’t understand why this device is so elusive. There are trackers already that do all of these things, but not one single one that does them all.
If you find it or know of this elusive beast, please let me know.