Fitness trackers that count steps or monitor sleep are a dime a dozen. But what about if you want something to count your crunches or correct your form in the weights section in the gym?
Thankfully, there's a few wearable devices out there that can serve your muscle-building needs. While joggers have long enjoyed the benefits of GPS running watches, the latest gym wearables can guide you on your form, exertion and reps to help you get the best results faster.
Whether you're a die hard gym bunny or just looking for a way to add accurate information from your sessions to your daily activity tracking, there's a wearable to suit you.
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Where older devices that tracked your movement proved useless on the static machines in the gym, the latest crop of heart-rate sensing tech means that you can get an accurate picture of your calorific burn, whether you're hitting weights or indoor cycling.
Here are some of our favourite wearable gym aids. Some are available now, some are coming soon and there's a few we are still having a play with.
Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition
Jabra's second generation wireless sports headphones make up for the lack of heart rate monitoring included in the Sport Pulse with an automatic rep counting mode that will track your sit-ups, press-ups and lunges.
Using the same motion sensor included in the first gen Coach buds, you can now pick from a host of different cross-training routines (or make your own) and you'll get a mix of tracked and timed exercises to help you burn those calories and build that muscle.
We've tried it and it works, and despite the shortcomings in the battery department, these great sounding headphones make a great gym partner.
Wareable verdict: Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition review
Worn as an armband or on the upper leg, the GymWatch is one of the few wearables designed to measure strength. The user adds inputs the activity using the smartphone app, while the gadget measures motion. The resulting calculation delivers quantifiable strength data, whether its using free weights, pulley's or lifting the wearer's own body weight.
Through the special formulas it is able to calculate explosive strength, speed strength and muscle strength in real time, while it can also determine half/full reps and give users advice on posture.
The software is not without its issues, but with strong vocal feedback and a big catalogue of supported exercises, it's a good fit for building muscle.
Want to know more? Check out our full GymWatch review.
"The first wearable tracker that actually tracks your workout" raised $629k on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. It can detect motion on three axis and measures it against "exercise fingerprints" in order to determine what type of activity you're performing.
It knows if you're doing push-ups or bicep curls, and can even learn new exercises by analysing your motion. Atlas Wearables hopes to take advantage of the water resistant design in the future to so it can even track different strokes in the swimming pool.
It'll count your reps, measure your heart rate and won't let you get away with poor form.
Atlas has launched its second generation wearable (we'll have a review soon), but for now you can read our in-depth Atlas Wristband review to see exactly what we thought of the unique looking gym wearable.
Fitbit Charge 2
Successor to the Fitbit Charge HR, the Charge 2 builds on the gym-friendly features introduced in previous Fitbit trackers.
It still has a built-in heart-rate sensor, which provides continuous information in real time for your workouts. This makes it perfect for zone training, allowing wearers to maintain intensity or crank it up in order to reach goals. As the information is displayed directly on the touchscreen display, it's easy to make quick adjustments.
Fitbit's SmartTrack tech is on board to automatically recognise activities like yoga or weight training offering baseline information. The new cardio fitness level testing will also give you a better insight into your fitness level. Unfortunately it misses out on the FitStar integration included in the Fitbit Blaze, but overall it's significantly better suited for throwing into your gym bag.
Wareable verdict: Fitbit Charge 2 review
TomTom Spark Cardio + Music
The TomTom Spark is much more than a running watch and among its multisport tracking now includes a gym mode where you can monitor your heart rate from your wrist to see if you're working hard enough.
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It can also track treadmill and indoor bike sessions and monitor swimming sessions as well. There's also a built-in music player on board so you can grab some Bluetooth headphones and leave the phone in your gym locker.
Jabra Sport Pulse
You're already wearing headphones in the gym to keep you in the zone and block out all of the douchebag gym-bros right? So it makes sense to build the tracker into a pair of buds! The carbon-encased Jabra Sport Pulse earphones place the heart rate tracker right in the inner-ear.
There's a resting heart rate test while the Rockwell test allows users to calculate their VO2 Max by walking 1 mile at a comfortable pace. The Jabra headphones also team up with a companion app to offer voice guided zone and interval training.
Keep a look out for the new upgraded pair of Jabra Pulse in-ears, which add automatic and continuous VO2 Max level monitoring, improved sound quality and now comes with Comply foam tips to improve fit. We're busy testing them out, so stat tuned for our full review.
Sold on the Pulse? Check out our full Jabra Sport Pulse review.
The more affordable successor to the Skulpt Aim, the Chisel similarly measures body fat and muscle quality when placed on different areas of the body. It works by sending a small current to both the muscle and the surrounding fat.
As the current flows depending on the muscle's fitness, the app is able to determine the quality of 24 different muscle groups. There's no built-in screen this time, so users will have to track improvements over time and identify areas that require improvement using the companion mobile app.
Like the GymWatch, the Beast sensor is all about tracking what you can lift bro. Packing a series of motion sensors, the magnetic wearable can be worn around the wrist, on a Beast vest or slapped onto a weigh machine delivering a whole host of strength data including reps, intensity, starting strength and explosiveness.
Data is sent in real time to your smartphone or tablet or you can review progress through the web portal. You can also create custom exercises and get training advice on whether to up the load sets or the number of reps in your workout sessions.
From €249, thisisbeast.com
Athos, much like OMSignal and Hexoskin combines snug-fitting, biosignal monitoring sensor-loaded garments and a Bluetooth enabled wearable core chip in order to help athletes harness some of the most precise and in-depth workout data imaginable. Together the combo records the data of the entire body in motion and transmits it back to an app in real time.
Read this: The benefits of smart clothing explained
It is capable of recording every movement, muscle exertion, breath and heartbeat and could potentially revolutionise the way athletes train.
Core $199, liveathos.com
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