Up-and-Coming Fitness Gadgets That Could Replace Your Personal Trainer
If you're a CrossFit addict, Olympic lifter, powerlifter, athlete, or all-around barbell lover, the FORM Lifting Collar might change your lifting life. It attaches onto the barbell to hold the weights just like a normal clip, but syncs up to a smartphone app to send real-time metrics about each lift. Using three different sensors, the collar measures force applied to the bar and bar speed to provide metrics on hip drive, speed under the bar, and max force. It can identify eight different types of lifts, including cleans, squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.
It was created by Scott Mahr, an engineer who fell hard for CrossFit but craved a way to measure the improvements in his lifting technique. "I've been an athlete my entire life, and for half of it, an engineer. Both of these have taught me one thing: In order to improve anything, you first have to measure it," he said in their Kickstarter campaign video.
This device is a game-changer for avid lifters, and can help perfect form, prevent injury, and train athletes with crazy precision—which is why it got fully funded on Kickstarter thanks to 491 backers. You can pre-order now for an estimated delivery of August 2016.
Ollinfit might look like just a few small heart rate sensors, but those sensors pack the punch of a real live personal trainer. The device uses three sensors (two straps and one clip) that you place in different spots on your body depending on the particular exercise; they then give you live feedback on your form using voice guidance and vibrations ("keep your back still and straight" in seated rows, or "keep the bar above middle of your feet" in squats.) After the set, you can review more detailed feedback on the smartphone app, as well as recommendations for increasing or decreasing weight. And besides correcting your form, the devise also measures calories burned and counts your reps.
Ollinfit is still accepting backers and pre-orders for their Kickstarter and have yet to reach their goal, but the company has raised over $35,000 dollars towards making digital personal trainers a reality. (Until then, consider these reasons you should hire an actual human trainer.)
Forget to throw your tracker or heart rate monitor in your gym bag? This new fitness tech clothing by Athos would totally eliminate that problem—because the trackers are inside your gym clothing. The tops and bottoms are outfitted with eight to 12 EMG (electromyography muscle activity) sensors and two to four heart rate monitors that sync straight to a smartphone app to analyze muscle effort in real time. A light-up human body diagram allows you to see which muscles are firing and how hard. (So if you've been cheating your way through a bench press by using your shoulders? Not anymore.)
Wiht more sensors than any other fitness tracking device, Athos can get super specific in decoding your workouts. Suddenly, a simple wristband seems so inadequate. (Check out more Workout Clothes That Double As Wearable Tech.)
You can strap the GYM WATCH sensor around your arm or leg to track the reps and speed on any exercise—bodyweight, free weight, or machine. Plus, you get audio feedback via your headphones and smartphone app with form correction tips and intensity control. The best part? This German-made tech is available right now for about $150 (it found a ton of success after raising over $164,000 on Indiegogo.) Want to see what else is on the rise? The GYM WATCH is just one of the too-cool devices we saw at this year's CES.)
If you're torn between buying just one or all the above products, this Beast Sensor hybrid tracker might be the one for you. The magnetic sensor is compatible with free weights, machines, and bodyweight exercises, making it super versatile for whatever workout you're tackling. You can wear it on a vest, wristband, or place it on the weight stack of a machine. It measures more data than you'll know what to do with (including strength, speed, power, time under tension, index of fatigue, calories, and starting strength for each lift) and gives suggestions for load weight, sets, and reps based on your training goal.
But if you're looking for a piece of tech that goes better with your fave work outfits and looks just as good while you're out on the town, you might want to try one of these trackers instead.