Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up, Fitbit, and so many more. It’s like someone said “Let’s make wearable fitness gadgets a thing.” and everyone went ape shit in producing them.
Don’t get me wrong. Runners have used fancy watches with heartrate monitors, GPS, and other kinds of functionality for years, but we all know how I feel about jogging and distance running. If not, take a look at this post titled “The Lie of Cardio“. It sums it up nicely.
I suppose that’s my issue with many of today’s fitness gadgets as well – they are all geared to track running for the most part. Some of them say they can track any type of varying intensity workout, like treadmills vs outdoor running, elliptical machines, etc, etc, but they’re full of crap.
Then you have the complete and utter mystery of the Nike Fuelband. It has the least functionality of any other band out there, records things in imaginary numbers, but because it’s Nike and partnered with the Apple store, and has tons of marketing money behind it, it’s insanely profitable.
As consumers, we are all idiots.
Personally, as some of you may recall, I favour the Jawbone UP. Yup. I still use it every single day. Granted, I use it now for it’s secondary features more than the primary function of tracking my steps and jogging – since I don’t jog.
Vibration alarms are the single best way to wake up. Additionally, you can now set your own vibration timers on the UP, which is a perfect and discreet way to remind myself to go eat, as I keep to a strict schedule for eating.
And all of that preamble was to get to the point of today’s post – What about those of us that hit the gym, not the pavement?
Finally, some tech companies are listening and developing wearable tech that will record our gym workouts. Under Armour was the first to market with the Armour 39 chest band, but it is the biggest piece of crap I’ve ever seen. First to market rarely means best to market.
Thankfully, the Atlas is on its way. This kickstarter project smashed its fundraising goals demonstrating quantifiably that those of us hitting the weights want an easier way to track our progress. The Atlas is poised to deliver.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Atlas team and see under the hood, so to speak. The tech is impressive. It could tell the difference between a regular bicep curl and a hammer curl. It knew if I was performing tricep dips or tricep extensions.
And the single best part? I didn’t have to do a damn thing. At the end of my workout, I looked at the analysis screen, saw my strength to power ratio, saw where I started to dwindle on my level of effort, and watched as the Atlas made recommendations to my form, to my rest phase, and when I should drop weight to push through those final sets with even more exertion giving better overall results.
I’m impressed. I’ve pre-ordered. If you’re tired of entering data into apps, or writing your progress on a piece of paper, your solution may have arrived. It’s called the Atlas.