So the trials of an unfit, slightly overweight tech fanatic continue. On this weeks “episode” we delve into the problem of Gym apps and the joy of the Nike Fuel band.
Non Tech News:
Currently I have lost 10lbs and feel much fitter. I have been going to the gym 3 times a week and after a training session with the personal trainer I have got a good system in place. I really dislike using the cardio machines as I find them tedious and due to my weight running is a pain, literally. But with the help of my Smart headset and the Techfoolery and Nerdist podcasts I struggle through the 30 min of cycling. I am surprised by how much I actually enjoy going to the gym as I always thought I would hate it. I like to do weights at home but at the gym I find I push myself more because I don’t want to look like a little girl in front of the people there.
Oh and I have lost an inch round my waist and added an inch to my chest.
The Tech News:
This week I have been trying out various apps with a greater or lesser degree of success. All the apps I have used seem to focus on outdoor exercise such as running or cycling. They mainly concentrate on using the gps to measure distance and speed thereby giving them the metrics needed to work out calorie burn and the like. When you are on a treadmill however you don’t get any of that so you have to input the info in manually negating any reason for having your phone with you in the first place. Using Runkeeper after the gym I can track my cardio work with no problems but the weight training is much harder.
If anyone knows of a good weight training app for android or even just a good gym training card app let me know.
My hardware of choice in the last few weeks has been the Nike fuelband, a handy little wrist band that gathers metrics for you during the course of the day. These metrics can be shown as either steps, calories burned or Nike Fuel. Nike fuel seems, at first, to be a bit of a gimmick but as the days have moved on I have found them more and more helpful. I have no idea how they are worked out and really it doesn’t matter, all that matters is the goal. Each day you get to set your own fuel goal and then try to beat it each day. Currently my goal is to reach 3500 on a normal day and 4500 on a gym day. According to the website that appears when you plug your band into the PC my average daily use is 3100 so I try to push myself to walk a little more or run up and down stairs for a little while to reach my personal goal.
That’s really all the nike band is. It’s like a friend saying to you “come on buddy, you can do just a little extra can’t you? Just push it a little harder” it’s a real good feeling when you hit your goal and see the flashing lights.
One really big issue with the band however is the lack of support for Android. The iPhone has a dedicated app for the fuel band which can be used to set your daily goals and read metrics from the band on the fly. Due to the partisanship of Nike (Tim Cook is on the board) they have said they won’t be supporting Android and will concentrate on iOS instead. Concentrate.. like it takes the combined forces of the Nike company to keep the iOS app from becoming sentient and taking over the world. Ridiculous.
So if you, like 50% + of smartphone users, are an android user I can’t really recommend this over other alternatives such as the FitBit which does support Android. The lack of a working app cripples its use as it must be docked into the laptop to be able to view any details.
If you are an iPhone user though, it’s a great little piece of kit. The battery lasts about 4 days and is easily charged with the USB connector and the band itself has extra spacing to increase its size if you have big wrists (like me)
At £129 the fuel band is definitely a luxury but if you are serious about training and want to push yourself past the “wall” then it is a good purchase. Oh and you need to have an iPhone too.
So if there is anything you guys would like me to try out specifically let me know I will try to get hold of one and let you know how it goes.
Remember: Go Hard or Go Home