Science or Expensive Gimmick: Fitness Trackers (Do They REALLY Work?)

You may want to leave your fitness tracker at home on your next run, and this is why. ***Make sure not to miss a single video from Performance Ground! Click here to SUBSCRIBE:

The technology in the fitness industry is a relatively new concept. Cyclists, tri-athletes, runners, endurance athletes, have been using heart rate monitors for decades and that technology has developed, but with the likes of Fitbit and Apple and Garmin, they’ve taken this technology and brought it to the mass market.

Now we can track all sorts of things: calories burned, footsteps throughout the day, heart rate, sleep quality, to name a few. This could be good for our training if you’re an athlete or it can also hinder your progress.

Fitness trackers are wearable devices some of them have a GPS unit built in, so they track your mileage and your speed.

Having a fitness tracker or some activity tracker on your wrist is almost acting as a source of surveillance. It’s keeping an eye on how much you do throughout the day and where your high and low peaks are.

On average a person will do 20% more steps during a day if they’re wearing one of these fitness trackers. That’s because you’ve got a number, a quantitative number, to progress with or to keep track of your activity, your steps.

With this, you also get information like calories burnt throughout the day. Your heart rate throughout the day. You can see the number so that you can try and progress and improve on these numbers. Burning more calories throughout the day or even checking your heart rate and almost seeing the progress of your resting heart rate dropping, or when you’re training, see how high your heart rate is getting during your training.

If you do leave your activity trackers at home when you go out for your next workout or your next run what are the alternatives? What else can you do to monitor your training if you must? Obviously, just pen and paper. Write down your sets and reps or your miles, speed or times while you’re running.

But if you really must give it an intensity, you can use an RPE scale. So from one to ten, how intense was it. Ten being absolute maximum and one like a walk for the dog. Another alternative, it’s the oldest one in the book, and just how do you feel. If you feel really tired and fatigued, you probably want to try and also regulate your training a little bit and bring back the intensity.

But sometimes you need to push this to get the adductions we need. If we’re coming close to a competition, we’re going to feel tired, we’re going to feel fatigued, but you need to push through your training. You should know your own body better than a little piece of technology does.

If you feel good, push your training. If you feel a little bit tired, bring your training back. You shouldn’t have to rely on a watch or your phone to tell you to do that.

If you do use an activity tracker, if you have a Fitbit or any of the other brands, let us know how you use it, how often you use it, and if you think you can kind of wean yourself off it. Let us know in the comment section below. If you like this video, hit like and don’t forget to subscribe.