Get ready, it’s time to Moov.
Remember that little voice in your head which tells you to keep going during or workout, or reasons with you to give in? Now Moov HR is here to act like your conscious, with artificial intelligence persuading you to push harder and get the best from every workout.
Moov HR is your very own artificial intelligence powered PT, which keeps you updated on how hard you're working throughout your workout via a heart rate monitor in a headband.
Heart rate in a head band? We’ve heard of chest straps, wrist watches and even in ear heart rate, but in a head band is a new one!
What is HIIT?
HIIT has become somewhat of a buzzword in the industry and I’m sure you must have heard of it. High-intensity interval training has taken the fitness world by storm and with good reason. HIIT has been scientifically designed to burn more fat in less time by having you give an all-out blast of effort followed by a short rest interval and then repeating intense bursts of effort to keep you heart rate high.
According to the Journal of Sport Sciences, this will cause you body to increase the calorie burn by up to 15 percent for as long as 30 hours post workout.
How effective is HIIT?
HIIT is most effective when you listen to your heart rate, and no I don’t mean listening out for that pounding in your chest. I mean using an accurate monitor to ensure you’re getting the best from your workout. For most people, this will involve wearing a strap. Which can often be difficult to pick up real-time data from, as either you review the data post workout, or you’re constantly having to look at a screen to see how you’re doing whilst trying to keep up the intensity of your exercise.
The Moov HR sweat is designed to give real-time coaching as you follow MOOVs very own HIIT workouts, to ensure you get maximum results.
Moov HR HIIT Workout Review
Setting up the Moov HR is really easy, you simply charge the sensor itself for around two hours and then insert it into the pouch in the sweatband.
Wearing the headband was daunting and I did feel self conscious, where the heart rate monitor causes the headband to stick out, I did feel like Mr Bump and having a pea head doesn’t help keep the band discrete - it covered half my face and did get a lot of attention.
Appearance and fit of the band : 5/10 - As this is a test product it’s likely that the sweat band will come in better sizing for males and females which can be more discreet and a better fit for female users.
The Moov HR works by tutoring you through a choice of 5 HIIT workouts, pictured below.
From the app you can view the exercises in each of these workouts which is worth doing so you’re familiar before your coach starts bossing you around.
In order to test the heart rate accuracy of the band, I wore my Wahoo TICKR X, which is reviewed here, this strap has the most accurate reading of all the monitors I have used (and there’s been plenty).
The head based heart rate is easy to pick up and takes about 20 seconds with minor adjustments of the headband and the reading matched that of the Wahoo Tickr X.
The workouts are simple and guide you through a warm up before entering into the workout itself.The electronic voice of your coach is a little weird when it first start shouting at you through your headphones, but you soon get used to it. The coach is great as you move through the exercises, keeping you posted on your heart rate so that you can make sure you're putting in enough effort to get results.
Whilst at the moment there are only a few different workouts, I’m sure once the app develops there will be more, making this a far more useful tool.
Moov HR Running
The Moov app is a great tool to use to accompany a run. I found that it was less embarrassing training in the headband, as it’s more of a familiar sight to see a headband being worn on a run, plus you’re never by one person for more than a few moments glance.
The run feature can be set up for indoors or outdoors, as I mentioned I wore the band outdoors and I found it great to know whether I needed to up the speed thanks to my in ear Moov coach.
The running workout can also be set up and customised for high intensity intervals which is great for burning extra calories and making the most of heart rate training.
Moov HR Heart Rate Accuracy
The heart rate on the Moov is great for those who struggle wearing a chest strap, it’s easy to put on and take off in public and has far superior accuracy to a wrist based watch, you can read our reviews on heart rate watches here.
To test the heart rate accuracy I compared the headband with the Tickr X and whilst it did remain accurate most of the time, I did experience a few technical difficulties.
1.As you move throughout the workout naturally the headband slips which can cause you to lose connection.
2.The headband makes you really hot, but if you mop your brow, you risk interfering with your heart rate. At one point I even became to sweaty to get a reading.
This aside, it is a great monitor, simple to set up with accurate readings.
Moov HR: Overall verdict
Overall I love the idea of a heart rate headband, and the personal coach, though odd at first, you will grow to love.
I struggled with the material of the band and size and do feel it needs to be made in varying sizes and a better sweat wicking material - this may well come in future developments of the band.I would recommend this to those who are running outdoors or training alone and need extra motivation to stay on track.
Take almost any workout and any metric and this heart rate strap will find it. Wahoo!
As a Personal trainer with a good few years of training under my belt, it’s safe to say I’ve used many a heart rate monitor, from chest straps to arm bands, wrist watches to pulse checks via your finger and your mobile phone. I’ve tried the lot.
This is the best heart rate monitor, I have ever used.
Is it perfect?
Let me tell you, it comes pretty darn close.
Wahoo Tickr X Features
At a glance the Wahoo Tickr X features:
Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor
Dual band Technology - Thanks to its Bluetooth hrm, the heart rate strap can signal to two devices at once, ie. your watch and your mobile phone.
Heart Rate Monitor App
Real time heart rate and calorie tracking - I prop my phone up and have the Wahoo app on display throughout my training, where you can clearly see all your top metrics including speed, calories and heart beat meter. Plus, an added bonus for fellow four eyes...it’s clear enough that you can see your scores whilst training without glasses!
Device Free Heart Rate Tracking
Internal Memory - As soon as you snap the strap to the monitor and it finds a heart rate, the tracker will start recording, meaning you can leave you phone at home, head out for a run and then download your data to your phone later.
Heart Rate Strap with Running Analytics
This is so unique for a heart rate strap, usually you would need a foot pod but this strap does it all. Monitor your cadence, smoothness, left-right, up-down, forward-backward, ground contact and oscillation, along with classic speed, distance and pace.
Indoor cycling Wahoo cadence - With separate workout screens for indoor cycle and even spinning; RPM, speed and heart rate on one screen.
Third Party App Compatibility
Wahoo itself has multiple fitness apps (more details later) plus the strap is compatible with all the main fitness apps, from Strava to MyFitnessPal.
Visible Heart Rate Connection and Alerts
The moment you strap the Tickr X strap together, it flashes to show it has made a heart rate connection. The computer can then be set to alert you with small vibrations for milestones such as distance traveled or laps completed. The main computer can also be used as a remote to control your other devices with its tap feature, allowing you to skip tracks or other features such as begin a lap or pause a workout (the action this command creates is set up in the app and can be different for each workout setting). Alerts play via headphones or speaker as you hit milestones and will tell you your average heart rate, pace and distance.
Heart Rate Tracking in Treadmill Mode
The Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor has a designated workout setting for training indoors on the treadmill - so your hard work still counts. You can track your speed and distance just as accurately as if you were outdoors.
This heart rate monitor takes in far more than just your heartbeat, using a combined measure of body motion and impact shock in 3 directions.
Take the heart rate monitor out for a run or ride and review your route on the app with GPS for precise location and distance feedback.
Wahoo Tickr X Setup
Setting up the device is simple either partner the strap with your regular fitness watch for heart rate readings direct to your watch or for the full user experience download the Wahoo Fitness App. The Tickr X is also compatible with Wahoo apps Runfit and 7 minute workout, but the Fitness app is the Wahoo hub. Here after entering details such as age, weight and height your user is set up and you’re ready to go.
Selecting and creating a workout
Once you’re ready to go the Wahoo Fitness app already has pre-programmed workout modes:
- Indoor Bike
- Spin Class
You can then add your own workouts - for example, I’ve added Metafit and Workout DVD.
Starting a Workout with The Tickr X Heart Rate Strap
Once you’re ready to start a workout with the accompanying app, you simply strap together the monitor across your chest and press go, a woman with a bizarre accent - let's call her Miss Wahoo, will count you in 3,2,1 (always embarrassing when you’re at the gym and this comes out on speaker making it look like you count yourself in) and then you’re away.
Whilst training with the app you can scroll through numerous pages of statistics, I like to have the heart rate screen up throughout training (if I’m not running) to ensure I stay in the right zones throughout my workout. You can’t lie to your heart rate. You can also scroll through the app to skip through music, meaning you don't have to multitask through multiple apps. Simple.
Heart Rate Monitoring during Running
9 times out of 10, this heart rate strap was spot on, however setting up the strap correctly is essential. I’ve had two blips with the watch thus far: 1) Taking too deep a breath and pinging the strap off (which I clearly hadn’t fitted correctly anyway) and then flashing half the local neighbourhood mid run as I tried to lift my top up to do it back up - not wanting to miss tracking any valuable data of course! 2) Leaving the tap setting as skip track, meaning when I’m running and there’s a bit of bounce with the old bust, I’m skipping tracks every other footstep and my playlist sounds more like a stuck old record than my motivational playlist that gets me bouncing off the walls.
When the watch does work, it’s great, super effective and every mile or kilometre depending on your preference your overall time, pace and average heart rate are stated by Miss Wahoo, like your very own robotic PT. This is really useful as it means when running with a phone, you don’t need to keep unlocking the device to view your stats, just wait for Miss Wahoo to keep you updated.
Stand Alone Heart Rate Monitoring
Forgot your phone? Hate running with a device? No problem. This monitor works all by itself. Once the heart rate strap is clipped together, flashing lights signal it is recording and that’s all you need to do. When your workout is finished you can unclip the device and download the workout to the app the next time you have your phone and heart rate monitor strap together to view detailed feedback.
Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Accuracy
I’ve now worn this strap for multiple types of workout, from HIIT to kettlebells, battle ropes to running, spinning to boxing. Throughout all these workouts the strap has kept up well 95% of the time. When compared with the Mio Fuse, the heart rate picks up and drops far more in line with real-time, allowing more accurate data. It is also paired with my Wahoo Balance scales meaning that I can get the most precise data feedback, as my profile updates every time I weigh myself. The only difficulties I have with this strap and in fact, all heart rate straps, is when it comes to chest exercises, as the strap often inevitably loses connectivity, this is the nature of where you wear the device, so I don’t feel it’s a deal breaker.
Wahoo Tickr X Speed
The Wahoo X also has the ability to monitor your speed during indoor workouts such as spin, indoor cycle and on a treadmill. Whilst during spin, I found the strap and bike corresponded exactly on my speed, the treadmill would often think I wasn’t even moving - even i’m not that slow! It was an odd anomaly for the heart rate monitor, as with all other speed monitoring and outdoor running, it has been spot on.
Additional Wahoo Tickr X Features:
Double Tap Feature
The double tap feature allows you to control multiple aspects of your workout, from starting a new lap, to adding a bolt into your workout, or my personal favourite - skipping a track. A simple double tap to the chest and the strap skips you to the next track on your playlist, meaning you can have all your best tunes, without having to stop training to skip through them.
Resting Heart Rate
For those who want the most accurate readings, the watch can do a test on your resting heart rate. From this it can then deliver your specific workout intensity targets for each heart rate zone - rather than using your age as a guideline. I found this feature useful - although the app does not explain that the best time of day to do this is when you wake up - prior to any caffeine, so you get the most fair and accurate reading.
Wahoo Running Smoothness
The Wahoo running smoothness feature is a revolution in heart rate straps, as normally you would need to wear a foot pod or additional device to monitor stride and technique. After a running session the smoothness graph details your minimum, maximum and average smoothness, your left-right, right-left and up-down smoothness, ground contact and oscillation. This wide array of feedback is great for those training towards running goals such as a marathon or even triathlon and ironman. Whilst this detail and level of feedback is fantastic, I do feel Wahoo has missed a trick in not detailing how you can fix area’s of issue to improve your score, rather than adjust your technique and see how you go, I’d like to be told what a poor left-right score means and how this can be developed.
When you open the app you are presented with a four week summary of your training history, but the app also stores all your workouts in it’s history, so it is easy to review your progress as the weeks go by.
Wahoo 7 minute Workout
This little app sets you 7 minute challenges and tracks your reps as well. It’s a great tool for upping your daily burn without having to take a chunk out of your day, or even worry about counting reps!
Wahoo Tickr Heart Rate Monitor Review
Overall, this is so much more than a heart rate monitor, it’s a fitness monitor and delivers so much feedback which can be used to adjust and improve your workouts, whatever they may be. It’s simple, easy to get along with and provides accurate feedback.
This brand is aptly named, because you’ll be shouting WAHOO I’m so happy I found this heart rate monitor …
Was that lap 31 or 32? Now with the Poolmate Two, you don’t have to worry.
Introducing the Poolmate 2, the perfect partner for any swimmer. This watch lives up to it’s name and then some, anywhere there’s water this watch will count your laps.
The watch itself is slender and fits snugly around even small wrists, the design is simple and effective allowing a secure and comfortable fit with a classic sports watch look. The blue band reminds me of old school swimming pool locker keys, (you know the ones some people pop around their ankle) I wonder if this was the purpose in its design?
The four simple buttons are easy to spot and press even when you are tired, slippery and wet. The buttons themselves aren’t waterproof, so it’s recommended you lift your wrist out of the water to use them, but I found I was doing that automatically anyway.
The Poolmate 2 is the new improved version of the original Poolmate with additional features such as speed and open water swim tracking. For those of you who are new to the Swimovate Poolmate watches, they offer tracking of laps, strokes, distance, speed, efficiency, duration, sets, rest time and calories burned.
The battery life of the Poolmate 2 is said to be extended from is predecessor and can now last up to 2 years. So I’ll keep you posted in 2018.
In the Pool
Setting up and using the Poolmate. The Poolmate setup is simple, strap up, select your pool size by pressing the up and down key and then push start. Once you're off you can then press up and down to view your stats in real time, push to pause and record drills (up to 99). Once your workouts over the latest stats are viewable with just one press, but also stored in your log for later viewing, making it easy to compare your progress over the last few sessions. Here you can also see your swim efficiency score, which has results that are explained in the watch manual.
To swim open water, you’ll first need to go for a calibration swim. This is a swim where the distance is already known. From this the watch can then make a distance prediction, like an in water pedometer, as to how far you’ve traveled. For more accurate tracking you’ll need a GPS sensor, but for the RRP of £70 this is a very useful feature for those brave enough to conquer a sea swim.
Out of water training
Out of water you can use the watch as a 99-lap stopwatch, so it’s great for sprint training and particularly triathletes, who have to switch between the two disciplines.
Up to 50 workouts
I can see why the call it Poolmate, this will be any swimmers new best friend.
Read more of our wearable reviews here.
Every step you take. Every move you make. I’ll be watching you.
If you haven’t tracked your run, does it even count?
What started as written logs and spreadsheets in the 1980’s has now become a band logging up hours on your wrist even when you're sleeping with live updates, 24/7 feedback and an industry that’s set to be worth 19 billion by 2018.
Why are we addicted to fitness trackers?
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Fitness trackers help you to put a plan into place. They give your walk meaning and they help to create a routine which adjusts to fit your daily activity. Fitness trackers give you a fantastic insight into where your fitness is at and where it should be going.
Fitness trackers give your workout accountability. Every activity will be there for you to view via the app and some trackers even share directly with your social media, so everyone knows what you’ve been getting up to. Fitness trackers also mean you can’t cheat yourself, what can’t speak can’t lie and so if you feel like you’ve been on the go all day but only completed 5000 steps and 10 minutes of exercise, your tracker will remind you it’s all in your head and you need to get moving.
The leading benefit of tracking your steps, distance, sleep, calories and heart rate amongst other measures is to keep you motivated to do more. Whether it’s to earn a Fitbit gold star or score higher than your friends on Nike Plus, fitness trackers enable that extra incentive that gets you moving more, eating healthier and going to bed earlier. Putting numerative data on your movement means you’re able to see progress and adjust your activities accordingly. Seeing is believing.
Before you reach to the biccy tin, knowing you're going to have to log your food intake and that biscuit might ruin your calories in vs calories out balance can lead to healthier habits. For those with destructive eating or exercise cycles, it also puts a physical break in the cycle by having to manually enter into a tracker what you are about to eat, or press go to begin monitoring exercise.
We copy our friends
In most social circles, they’ll be one character that’s the trendsetter and the rest will follow. There’s a metaphorical shepherd and sheep. Once one pal decides to strap up, the rest of the gang follow, adding each other and comparing who exercises the most and eats the healthiest. As with most things, nobody likes to be left out, so once one person starts a trend the others will join, motivating one another to become a more active group.
Those with a competitive streak love a fitness tracker, why? Because even if they’re not competing against their friends, they can compete against themselves. Quantifying your fitness makes it easy to monitor progress and up your game when needed. The better you are, the more bragging rights you earn and you’ll have the data to back up your brag.
The pro’s of fitness trackers in numbers (because we know people wearing trackers like numbers)
Fitbit users walk 43% more than non fitbit users.
13.5 million health and fitness trackers (HFTs) were sold in 2014 and the numbers are shooting up every year.
Currently around one in seven (14%) Brits own any wearable technology.
Fitbit (the largest wearable company) has 9.5 million active users.
Employees equipped with wearable technology reported a 8.5% increase in productivity and a 3.5% increase in job satisfaction.
Most people who use wearable tech are young; 48% are between 18 and 34.
Growth in the wearables market is expected to increase 35% by 2019.
Fitness trackers research
We were once warned “don’t let the scales run your life” but now it’s basically attached to your wrist, there’s really no running from it.
And they seem to be doing their job, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study looked into the lives of 51 overweight, postmenopausal women and found that those who wore a fitness tracker exercised for 38 minutes more weekly than those who just used pedometers.
But, the research isn’t always supporting fitness trackers, in fact an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that strapping up with a fitness band won’t actually make you any fitter, despite making people more aware of their fitness habits.
Research also suggests that the relationship we have with fitness bands may be more of a fling with fitness. A US survey of 6223 adults found that one in 10 people own a fitness tracker, but more than half admitted to no longer using it, and a third of those stopped using it within six months.
Activity readings for fitness trackers can vary by up to 25% for the same amount of exercise according to research, meaning that the research could not be taken seriously for any medical purposes.
Pricier isn’t always better: Lowa State University in the US analysed eight different fitness trackers and found that the cheaper models often had lower error ratings.
Are trackers our fitness handcuffs?
The problem with fitness trackers, comes with the obsession over numbers which aren’t particularly accurate, which can then rather ironically lead to some unhealthy habits. Is it good for your mental health to be obsessing over calories and steps every waking hour?
Picture the scenario: Person A is very tired, but has only walked 9823 steps, so, before bed they walk the remaining 177 steps pacing around and around their living room. Now person A is exhausted, they know they had a poor night's sleep last night, their tracker said so and so they’ve been walking around like a zombie all day and now lie in bed, worrying that they won’t get a good night's sleep tonight either. Would they have had more energy had their attention not been drawn to the lack of sleep? Would they be falling asleep easier if they weren't so worried about it? Are those extra 177 steps really going to make the blind bit of difference?
The same can happen for a high heart rate – the moment you know you have a high heart rate, you suddenly start wondering what’s wrong with you and this can ironically even have the effect of increasing your heart rate even further!
Person A has headed to the gym now and is ready for a session, they’ve had little sleep and they ache all over, but they’ve got to burn another 500 calories according to their watch. Person A spends their entire workout staring at their wrist to check they’re performing correctly. Don’t see an issue here? Whilst person A has spent so much time focused on the watch, they may have forgotten to listen to the best fitness tracker going, your body! Sometimes your heart rate may not be high on your tracker, but if your muscles ache and your body is willing you to stop, maybe it’s time to listen.
Person A is an extreme case, but it does highlight the risk of over reliance on fitness trackers.
We need to appreciate exercise for it’s health and wellness benefits to the mind, body and soul instead of just acknowledging the numbers on our wrists.
It’s no secret that I love heart rate training. In fact, I'm pretty sure my heart rate rocketed when I read Garmin’s press release revealing their two new activity trackers with wrist based heart rate. I’ve been itching to get my hands on one since.
The Vivosmart HR is the latest upgrade to the Garmin fitness tracker family, taking all the features of previous models and adding heart rate, floors climbed and minutes of intensity. Of the three, heart rate takes first place in the race to review, so let’s see how it held up.
How accurate is the Heart rate on Vivosmart HR?
At Rest (Heart Rate Accuracy)
The heart rate on the Vivosmart HR is 24/7, meaning you can scroll through your notifications to view your heartbeat live, at any time of day, or night…If you’re crazy enough to be awake. The heart rate screen displays your current heart rate, followed by your average resting heart rate. When it comes to accuracy here, I’ve found this to be fairly spot on, when I'm sat typing away at my desk (like now) my heart rates reading at 67 BPM, higher than resting but it’s pretty obvious I'm sat down. At rest, the vivosmart does well at tracking my heart rate and updates regularly, however whilst this is intriguing, it’s my active heart rate that I'm really interested in.
During Exercise (Heart Rate Accuracy)
The first workout I decided to test the Vivosmart HR with was legs. This is one tough routine, combining heavy lifts with plyometrics, keeping the heart rate high throughout with short rest intervals. The workout was set to be a challenge for both me and the watch, to see if it could respond quickly to the varying intensity and challenge my legs not to buckle beneath me! Before we look at the results, I compared with the Mio Fuse (see review here), I’ve been wearing this watch for some time now and have found it has the most accurate wrist-based heart rate of any of the watches I’ve reviewed.
Below is the feedback from the Vivosmart HR:
Heart rate view Vivosmart HR
Firstly, I started my warm up with a heart rate of 119 according to the Vivoactive, this was high. Worryingly high when I'm only walking. Fortunately the Fuse was there to keep me sane and show a more accurate 90bpm. As I continued to dive into my warm up, rather oddly the Vivosmart seemed to jump back down, quite the opposite as to what was happening.
Looking through the rest of the routine, the heart rate seems to remain, as a whole, fairly accurate. You can clearly see the peak where I’ve finished with a Tabata before coming into my cool down, and my heart rate remains fairly high throughout the bulk of the session. The Vivosmart and I shared a few odd moments throughout the workout, with me giving it the “WHAT?!” look after feeling like my heart's in my throat only for the Vivosmart to be telling my it’s around 130bpm, but then it would rocket up to 160 bpm again and our friendship would be restored.
When you compare the overall results with the Fuse, the average and the max aren't that far off, however throughout the workout, the Fuse kept up where the Vivosmart lagged behind. Sometimes, the Vivosmart had a mind of its own.
Heart rate view Mio Fuse
Last 4 Hours:
Along with the live feedback on the watch and graphs on the app, at any point throughout the day you can scroll to a graph of your heart rates last four hours of activity, which details a graph and your lowest and highest heart rate score in that timeframe. This is a cool tool, however it’s not very specific as there are no numerical details to the graph, just it’s shape.
Garmin Vivosmart HR Pro’s +
- The continuous and resting heart rate is accurate (for the most part).
- The 4 hour window is an easy to view feature to see if you’ve been varying your heart rate enough (and something I’ve only found on Garmin watches).
- Having heart rate at your wrist makes it easy to press go at any given opportunity without needing to wear any extra equipment.
- The Vivosmart HR broadcast heart rate via ANT+ but will NOT connect to other ANT+ sensors to read data.
Garmin Vivosmart HR Con’s -
- During training, the heart rate on the Vivosmart can be sporadic.
- The HR it sends via ANT+ seems to be fairly accurate for light sports’ usage. (Which really means it's inaccurate for anything more).