No doubt fitness tracking technology is popular and very useful to measure workout performance. That being said, what type of tracker is best for you? Let’s take a brief dive into it.
What’s important? Accuracy, of course. It should be the most important consideration. So, who’s algorithm do you trust? Functionality and wearability add to the workout experience as well.
I have used both the wrist tracker and the chest tracker. I prefer the wrist tracker for functionality and wearability, and I feel that my wrist tracker is sufficiently accurate.
“…in reality, the choice between strap and wrist isn’t black and white. For many people chest straps are a no-go and even they can’t provide spot-on accuracy.” http://www.wareable.com/sport/heart-rate-monitors-chest-straps-v-wrist
Generally, the chest band is considered to be a bit more accurate because it is worn closer to the source of the data. However, a word of caution here because all algorithms are not created equal…
Recently I took a popular 1 hour circuit training session from a large studio chain and I used their chest strap. I also used my Apple Watch to track calorie burn for the one hour workout. My watch tracked my calorie burn at 417 (which is about the average of my 30 minute HOTWORX workouts as tracked by my watch). The studio’s chest tracker measured that same workout for me at 778. Wow, what a discrepancy!
If that studio’s algorithm is accurate, then my Apple Watch is tracking at almost 50% under my actual calorie burn! Their formula would make my 30 minute HOTWORX workouts average 800+ calories burned per session! That would be great, but it’s just too good to be true for my height, weight and level of conditioning. I trust the Apple algorithm more than the algorithm of the studio! Beware of false positive tracking tied to membership sales!!
I have tracked more different types of workouts than any other person I know and I can say with certainty that I burn more calories per minute with HOTWORX than any other workout that I have done. I track all of my workouts with the same tracker, my Apple Watch. For me it works and I feel that the data is consistent and accurate. In my research I have noticed that FitBit and Garmen get very good reviews as well.
I would argue that knowing the amount of calories that you burn during your workout and right after your workout is the most important measurement of training success.
My best advise is to find the tracker that you trust and one that enhances your workout experience!