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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 128
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:07 am    Post subject: Fitness monitors for training Reply with quote

Fitbits and the like are popular for running, etc. I've been using a Garmin Forerunner for that and general walking around. I found it very useful, so I thought I'd try wearing it for some solo practice, throwing kicks, doing forms.

It confirmed with actual data what I expected, that I was getting an aerobic workout, though not quite as strenuous as my typical jogging pace. I think it's a useful tool for tracking your effort, and pushing you to train harder. I wouldn't recommend wearing one for sparring, of course!
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27735
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is interesting. I always wondered how those devices would perform when doing other activities, lifting weights. I know people who use these things, and its overwhelming to me how many people have become obsessed with "getting their steps in" during a day. I think they can be a useful tool, but I've been reluctant to jump on that bandwagon.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1718

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be a useful motivational tool for some, but if people start focusing on the device readings or obsessing over the results they might begin to think of the exercise as a chore instead of doing it for the good it does towards improving health, fitness and overall quality of life. What of just training for its own sake and the pleasure of it? Constantly staring at or checking a monitor takes away the enjoyment and after a while the activity becomes boring or very difficult to keep up. The Fitbit will not make the user more or less sore afterwards and the results will be the same.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
It could be a useful motivational tool for some, but if people start focusing on the device readings or obsessing over the results they might begin to think of the exercise as a chore instead of doing it for the good it does towards improving health, fitness and overall quality of life. What of just training for its own sake and the pleasure of it? Constantly staring at or checking a monitor takes away the enjoyment and after a while the activity becomes boring or very difficult to keep up. The Fitbit will not make the user more or less sore afterwards and the results will be the same.


Itís not just some gimmick to get people to buy and act like idiots. Many wonít use it for what it truly is but most will.

The GPS function is designed to give runners feedback on where they ran, the exact distance they ran, their time, and other stats like that. Runners love knowing these things; it makes their workouts more efficient and can lead to better fitness gains if they want them. I despise running so I have no use for it.

The heat rate monitoring is a fantastic tool. I use a Fitbit for this purpose. While working out, my goal is to get my heart rate up very high for a period, then down to almost resting rate for a period, alternating periods. Itís called interval training and/or HIIT. Itís a very efficient and effective way to work out and get results. Thereís countless ways to exercise using this principle, it I use it when hitting a bag. During rounds, I want to keep my heart rate up high, and during rest periods between rounds I want to get my heart rate back down to just above resting rate as quickly as possible for the entire rest period. The Fitbit has my pulse showing at all times, so I can check it while going and make sure Iím not overdoing it or Iím working heard enough. Looking at my heart rate tells me Iím fading a bit and to pick up the pace at times, and tells me to back off a bit so I wonít be too exhausted to finish in the late rounds. Itís essentially like a musician using a metronome for pace.

And thatís while Iím working out. After Iím done, itíll send information to my phone. Itíll show me a graph of my heart rate for the entire workout, time spent in each zone, duration of the entire workout, and calories burned among other things. It gets confused with the steps and mileage because itís most likely counting punches as steps (it gets step count by arm swing unless youíre using GPS). With all that information, I can tell how intense my workout was and do different things on different days. Looking at it, I can say I went really hard yesterday so Iím going to go lighter today and tomorrow, and go really hard again the day after that.

The Fitbit and the like can be nothing more than a toy, or it can be a very useful tool. Sure thereís the crowd who just wants to count steps and caller ID on their wrist. And thereís the crowd whoís actually getting their moneyís worth and using it to its potential.

I donít need the Fitbit. It certainly doesnít motivate me to work out. I havenít worked out in quite some time due to a back injury and other things. But it definitely enhances my workout by giving me the feedback I want. I can easily work out without it and did for decades. But itís easily worth the $125 I paid for it and then some.

My wife bought me my initial one as a birthday present. I was having some sleep issues and it has sleep tracking. I was also curious how much I was walking a day; Iím a school teacher and Iím constantly walking while working. Add to that I can discretely see whoís calling and texting me while Iím working without looking at my phone. If itís a truly important call like my daughtersí school calling or the like, I can excuse myself and take the call at times. Just for those reasons I really liked it. Once I started working out with it on, I fell in love with it. I bought a newer version of it about 2 years later because it had better features on it.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
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Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Fitness monitors for training Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
Fitbits and the like are popular for running, etc. I've been using a Garmin Forerunner for that and general walking around. I found it very useful, so I thought I'd try wearing it for some solo practice, throwing kicks, doing forms.

It confirmed with actual data what I expected, that I was getting an aerobic workout, though not quite as strenuous as my typical jogging pace. I think it's a useful tool for tracking your effort, and pushing you to train harder. I wouldn't recommend wearing one for sparring, of course!


Iíve worn my Fitbit during karate class a few times, but always took it off during sparring. It was genuinely a curiosity thing. I wanted to know if the workouts were as hard as I thought they were or if I was being soft My heart rate was actually consistently higher than I thought it would be.

The watch style heart rate monitors arenít the most accurate things out there. Theyíre accurate enough for a general idea at higher rates, but theyíre not nearly as accurate as the Polar chest straps. Those are the exercise physiology standard. They measure the heartís electrical activity rather than using light to see blood flow. Theyíre EKG accurate. Theyíve got their own inherent flaws too though, like everything else. Iíve used them in the past and would like to get a current version that uses a phone to transfer data rather than a watch, but I havenít pulled the trigger yet. And I wouldnít want to get hit in the chest while wearing one, more so for my sake, but for the monitorís sake too.

I keep telling myself I should buy one and tape some padding to the front of it to wear it during a sparring session or two, but I havenít gone that route. If I buy one it would be to wear it while I hit the bag. The Fitbit isnít the most comfortable thing to wear with boxing gloves on.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
This is interesting. I always wondered how those devices would perform when doing other activities, lifting weights. I know people who use these things, and its overwhelming to me how many people have become obsessed with "getting their steps in" during a day. I think they can be a useful tool, but I've been reluctant to jump on that bandwagon.

If youíre just going to use it to see how many steps you took or to monitor your heart rate during lifting, itís really just a toy with very limited actual use.

If youíre going to do heart rate driven stuff like hitting a bag, running, etc. then itís a great tool.

Although...
My brother is a mailman. He was curious about his walking and heart rate stuff during his route. I let him borrow my older one. He bought a new on mostly for the caller ID and text alerts on his wrist so he doesnít have to take his phone out of his pocket while carrying his bag. He gets calls from work that he has to answer and other important calls mixed in with random calls and texts. Having that information on his watch is worth it to him.

I liked it for that purpose initially while at work, but after a while I went back to my regular watch. I like my automatic Swiss Army and Hamilton watches more. I only wear the Fitbit during workouts now. I missed being able to tell who was calling while I was driving, but my Alpine car stereo has Bluetooth and caller ID on it, eliminating that need.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting thing to consider if anyoneís interested...

My Fitbit Charge HRís pulse monitor stopped working a while back. I contacted customer service and they sent me a new one. The looked at my data from my app online (dataís stored in the cloud), and immediately gave me a link and code to order a new one free of charge and shipping. They were fantastic about it. I even kept the broken one and gave it to my daughter. Sheís 8, so sheís just concerned about it looking cool, telling time, and counting her steps. She doesnít know about the whole heart rate thing anyway.

Poking around the net, I inadvertently figured out why the pulse monitor stopped working - repeated impact from hitting a bag ruins it. I saw a bunch of people online complaining about it, but they all said the replacement process under warranty was great.

I bought a Polar H-10 chest strap monitor finally. Some people hate the chest straps, but once you get used to it you donít realize itís there. Itís far more accurate for HR and wonít get ruined by hitting a bag. Iíve heard jiu-jutsu guys sometimes wear one during rolling too.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having Afib, Atrial Fibrillation, it is strongly insisted by my cardiologist and PCP, to always be wearing some type of monitor, which is mainly to help me keep an eye on by HBPM, Heart Beats Per Minute. Anything over 180 is a big no-no especially if that type of HBPM are maintained.

Ever since 2016 I usually bought whatever WalMart had, but then finally I did purchase the Polar H-10 chest strap monitor, and as JR says, you forget you're wearing the thing.



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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Having Afib, Atrial Fibrillation, it is strongly insisted by my cardiologist and PCP, to always be wearing some type of monitor, which is mainly to help me keep an eye on by HBPM, Heart Beats Per Minute. Anything over 180 is a big no-no especially if that type of HBPM are maintained.

Ever since 2016 I usually bought whatever WalMart had, but then finally I did purchase the Polar H-10 chest strap monitor, and as JR says, you forget you're wearing the thing.




The Fitbit stuff is accurate enough for casual use, but for Afib, no way would I trust it. The Polar H-10 is the stuff used in medical and exercise physiology scientific research.
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