Fitness technology is a $14-billion-a-year industry. You see it everywhere, flooding stores, expos, and electronics shows with devices that promise to make you stronger, fitter, better. Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned veteran, information can be your greatest weapon in the battle for a better body. Here, we have chosen five of the most exciting new developments in wearable fitness technology.
1. Readiband Sleep Tracker
Sleep impacts performance. Countless devices and apps track sleep, but Readiband is the only FDA-cleared device that can provide clinical-level insights. Using a military-developed “fatigue modeling algorithm,” the device correlates the data it collects directly to performance, providing an “effectiveness score.” With the ability to track travel, time-zone changes, and more, it’s no wonder that Readiband has become an invaluable planning tool for players in the NFL and NBA. Athletes, coaches, and doctors can view data in easy-to-read visuals on the basic web app or in combination with the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool (FAST) for more comprehensive analysis. This cutting-edge technology is only available to teams and workplaces for now, but it’s only a matter of time before it becomes accessible to the individual.
Price: Team and workplace implementation starts at $5,000
More info: fatiguescience.com
2. Apple Watch
It was only a matter of time before Apple got into wearables. The Apple Watch merges the capabilities of a highly customizable fitness tracker and an advanced sports watch in one lightweight aluminum package. An accelerometer measures total-body movement, a heart rate sensor tracks intensity, and GPS and Wi-Fi work with your iPhone to track how far you’ve moved. The activity app encourages you to sit less, move more, and increase your daily calorie expenditure. A dedicated workout app is more specific to sports and goals, and integrates with many other fitness-related apps. Over time the watch claims it gets to know your workout habits just like a trainer.
More info: apple.com
PUSH improves training one session at a time by producing actionable metrics that are sent straight from your forearm to your smartphone. This wearable device allows you to adjust your workout on the fly. The application’s technology understands the exercise you’re doing and tracks overall strength in addition to metrics like total reps, tempo, sets, and one-rep maxes. Recommendations are based on a chosen training focus: strength, speed, hypertrophy, muscular endurance, or power. The NBA, NFL, and NHL are onboard.
More info: trainwithpush.com
Should you dial it back today? Should you step it up? Omegawave, first-prize winner at the Under Armour Future Show, can tell you. The device takes a two-minute resting body assessment to identify recovery status and readiness. By analyzing your central nervous system, cardiac system, and metabolic readiness, it assesses your current state of being and uses it to determine how and when you should train, providing a safer and more direct line to your goals. Teams and gyms are already using this technology, but the Omegaware Personal platform promises straightforward guidance to make this easy to use for the everyman athlete who doesn’t have an army of trainers to help him.
For more info: omegawave.com
5. BioForce HRV
This device measures heart rate variability (HRV) in the rhythm of your heartbeat. HRV data helps pinpoint an athlete’s location on the fatigue and recovery curve, offering insights in optimizing the training process and schedule. Using any Polar or compatible heart rate monitor, data from a three-minute measure is connected to the downloadable app through a wireless receiver. The application calculates your readiness status and instructs you on how hard to train. By avoiding overtraining, you improve strength, power, and fitness in the shortest possible time. For the advanced athlete looking to maximize gains, especially one who trains near daily and wants to stand on the precipice of overtraining without jumping off, this information invaluable.
More info: bioforcehrv.com IM