Tech for your connected self

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

Let these trackers supercharge your gym sessions

Fitness trackers that count steps or monitor sleep or GPS running watches that track your runs are a dime a dozen. But what about if you want something to count your sit-ups or correct your form in the weights section of the gym?

Proper gym trackers are slowly but surely on the rise to help serve your muscle-building needs, whether it's for bodyweight workouts or a session in the weights room. The latest gym-focused wearables can guide you on your form, exertion and reps to help you get the best results faster.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches to buy

Whether you're a die-hard gym bunny that loves spinning or you're just looking for a way to add accurate information from your sessions to your daily activity tracking, there's a wearable to suit you.

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.

Below are some of our favourite wearable gym aids whether it's HIIT, weights, spinning and even boxing. We've put them all to the test. Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

Hot sports watch deals

Garmin Forerunner 935 - save $60
Garmin Forerunner 935 - save $60
$430
Garmin Forerunner 735XT - save $65
Garmin Forerunner 735XT - save $65
$335.06
Garmin Vivoactive HR - save $100
Garmin Vivoactive HR - save $100
$141.46
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - save $190
Garmin Fenix 5 Sapphire - save $190
$510

Wareable may get a commission


HIIT training

Moov HR Sweat

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

Moov's latest tracker dares to do something a little different. Rather than going for the wrist like everyone else, it's going for your forehead with a headband. It makes you feel a little silly if you're not used to wearing something on your head, but it does what it says it'll do: accurately track your heart rate for your HIIT workouts.

Moov decided to put its tracker up near the temples on your head because of the increased blood flow and thin skin. In our tests, we found that the Moov HR Sweat was able to keep up in the heart rate department with the Polar H10 chest strap. Paired with Moov's great ecosystem and coaching, plus its good battery life, the Moov HR Sweat is a winner. If you can get past how it looks in the gym, that is.

Wareable verdict: Moov HR Sweat review

$99.95, moov.cc | Amazon

MyZone smart shirt

Best fitness trackers and wearables for HIIT workouts

Heart rate monitoring chest straps like the Polar H10 are pretty much our go to choice if you want reliable, accurate heart rate data from your high intensity workouts. But not everyone likes to wear chest straps, so what if you could get still get that accurate data from a shirt.

We're big fans of the MZ-3 heart rate monitoring chest strap, and with this connected t-shirt you can connect the tech straight into the garment.

Designed to be worn as an under layer in cold weather or a standalone top layer, the MZ-3 sensor clips right onto the shirt much like it does on the MyZone sports bra, which is also available.

This makes it easier to tap into the personal bpm platform, where it's a perfect partner for HIIT training. It's already being embraced by fitness studios, letting users and teachers keep an eye on workout intensity during class time.

$69.99, myzone.org | Amazon

Wahoo Tickr Fit

Best fitness trackers and wearables for HIIT workouts

Another chest strap alternative is the heart rate monitoring armband with Wahoo's Tickr Fit one of the options to move recording BPMs to another part of the body.

The Bluetooth and ANT+ Fit can be paired with a host of wearables and, along with real-time heart rate data, dishes out calorie burn information, too. Apple Watch integration means you can gather heart rate data in the Apple Workout app and you can also expect up to 30 hours worth of tracking from its rechargeable battery.

There are alternatives out there like the Polar OH1 and the Scosche Rhythm24, but we've spent a lot of time with the Fit for HIIT and we think it does a great job.

$79.99, wahoofitness.com | Amazon

Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

You're already wearing headphones in the gym to keep you in the zone and block out all of the eye-roll-inducing gym types, right? So it makes sense to build the tracker into a pair of buds. The carbon-encased Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition 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.

With the new upgraded Pulse, you also get add automatic and continuous VO2 Max level monitoring, improved sound quality and Comply foam tips to improve fit.

Sold on the Pulse? Check out our full Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition review. And if you prefer the same features without the wires, check our in-depth look on the Jabra Sport Elite.

$159.99, jabra.com | Amazon

Strength training

Strenx by GymWatch

Worn as an armband or on the upper leg, the GymWatch is one of the few wearables designed to measure strength. The user inputs the activity using the smartphone app, while the gadget measures motion. The resulting calculation delivers quantifiable strength data, whether its using free weights, pulleys 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.

$99.99, gymwatch.com

Atlas Wristband 2

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

"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. It'll count your reps, measure your heart rate and also grade the form of each set.

With its second generation device, Atlas upped the memory, expanded the exercise library database and now lets you store more exercises to work out with. You can now also take it for a swim.

When we first sampled the wearable in our Atlas Wristband review, we enjoyed the smarts but had some reservations about the design. The same was true when revisited through a strength training diary, though what's impressive about the Wristband is that it's still a superior option to most despite its age. Thankfully, a slimmer option in the shape of the well, Shape has now started shipping.

$199, atlaswearables.com

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

The Gear Fit2 Pro is an upgrade on the original Samsung fitness tracker, but not a huge one. You still have built-in GPS, an onboard music player and offline Spotify, an optical heart rate monitor and notifications from your smartphone, but the most notable difference is waterproofing.

For those looking at the device as a prospective gym partner, you also get an Automated Dynamic Workout Tracking mode to automatically recognise exercises, as well as rep counting to keep tabs on the likes of crunches, lunges, squats and star jumps.

Thanks to these features and that gorgeous curved super AMOLED display, Samsung's Fit2 Pro is a solid all-round performer. However, it's worth bearing in mind that the previous generation is still available and can offer a similar tracking experience for the gym.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro review

$199, samsung.com | Amazon

Garmin Forerunner 935

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

Garmin recently introduced strength training features to a host of its wearables and it even made it onto the Garmin Vivosport. But the small screen on the feature-packed fitness tracker is not the most ideal for making use of the new mode, so we'd suggest going for one of the watches that include it like the Forerunner 935.

It's essentially the Fenix 5 packed into a smaller body and as far as strength training, it will count reps for a series of bodyweight exercises as well as weights machines that will have to of course involve your arms. You can edit rep counts, set timers and breaks in between sets when you need to take a breather.

When you throw in the fact that the battery life is stellar on the Forerunner 935, you'll have to put in a fair few sessions before you're reaching for that charger to power it back up again.

Wareable verdict: Garmin Forerunner 935 review

$499.99, garmin.com | Amazon

Halo Sport

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

Now for something a little bit different. Endorsed by Olympic gold medal winners, NFL stars and legends like Michael Johnson, these headphones use neurostimulation to help you train more effectively. Oh, and also play music.

Working on the principle that the brain learns from repetition, the Halo Sport's tech stimulates your motor cortex for a period of 20 minutes during athletic training (neuropriming) and increasing the excitability of motor neurons, puts your brain into a state of heightened plasticity known as "hyper plasticity" or 'hyperlearning', for up to an hour. Essentially, wearing the headset during your toughest, highest quality workouts has the potential to accelerate gains in strength, explosiveness, endurance, and muscle memory.

Data is tracked in the iOS app with an Android version in the works, this is a gym wearable for serious athletes.

Intrigued to find out more? We trained with Halo Sport to see if they really can unleash your inner athlete.

$499, haloneuro.com | Amazon

Treadmill

Lumo Run

Best wearables for treadmill training: Devices to help you improve indoors

The Lumo Run is one of our favourite wearables we've taken out running and was highly commended at the Wareable Tech Awards in our Speciality Sports Wearable of the Year category.

Why did we like it so much? Well, it's because the sensor that clips onto the back of your running kits serves up real-time coaching and tracks key metrics like cadence, bounce, braking, drop and rotation.

While it's best used outdoors where it can piggyback off your phone's GPS to map out your session, it does still provide useful data and real-time coaching on the treadmill as well. Just make sure you turn off auto pause in the app settings to ensure the app doesn't think you are just stationary.

Wareable verdict: Lumo Run review

From $99.99, lumobodytech.com | Amazon

Vi

Best wearables for treadmill training: Which devices can help you improve indoors

While there are plenty of Bluetooth headphones out there that will let you tap into smart metrics during exercise, crowdfunding success Vi, from LifeBEAM, is one of the first to hone in on AI coaching.

After initially only being able to provide you support for the outdoors, LifeBEAM recently added the ability for Vi to be used on the treadmill. Much like the standard outdoor mode, it'll take advantage of the onboard heart rate sensor and track steps and cadence to offer personalised coaching in real time.

This is a hearable primarily aimed at beginner and intermediate runners, so don't expect any wild marathon training coaching here, but this is still a very solid choice for anybody wanting to block out the eardrum-popping gym music and get insights from the same device.

Wareable verdict: LifeBEAM Vi review

$199.99, getvi.com | Amazon

Boxing

Hykso

Boxing wearables to help you dominate in the ring and at the gym

Hykso is our fave boxing wearable option, which offers a pair of trackers — one to fit under each of your hand wraps — that keep tabs on the number of punches you throw, as well as the type and speed.

Wareable verdict: Hykso boxing wearable review

Interestingly, Hykso also offers the Intensity Score metric through its companion app, which is central to your use of the trackers. This measures the output exertion of the punching motion, with this beginning at 0 at the start of each round before increasing through measuring velocity, type and how well speed is generated behind the punch. Essentially, this provides fighters with a benchmark to track their effort during a workout.

Hykso has generally operated through gym chains, but those looking to get their mitts on the rackers can now do so. Hykso recently introduced its new Fightcamp boxing-fitness classes that embraces the punch trackers to monitor performance and ensure you're getting a proper sweat on.

$189.95, hykso.com | Amazon

PIQ Robot

Boxing wearables to help you dominate in the ring and at the gym

Following a recent deal to partner up, sports tracking joint PIQ and US-based Everlast have now launched their first wearable dedicated to boxing — the PIQ Robot.

The sensor-packed wearable actually shares its form its tennis tracking sibling, allowing you to get a grasp on punch speed, G-force at impact and retraction time for punches. Since AI tech is also on board for the fight, it means throws are analysed in real-time on the companion app to provide you with feedback on how to punch harder, faster and more efficiently.

Wareable verdict: PIQ Robot review

You can even track those shadow boxing sessions in front of the mirror, as well as bag work and sparring sessions. Like Moov's option, this is designed for fitness boxing, as opposed to heavyweight battles inside the ring.

$99, piq.com | Amazon

Spinning

Wahoo Tickr X

Best fitness trackers and wearables for HIIT workouts

When you're on a bike, a static one at that, attaching them to other parts of your body can be a whole lot more effective. That's where the Wahoo Tickr X, a heart rate monitoring chest strap with added smarts, comes in.

As well as offering unwavering heart rate tracking, the Tickr X plays host to its own sensors that when running can measure distance, and in a spinning class can keep tabs on your cadence, a favourite and relatable metric of cyclists.

Yes, there are many who don't like wearing chest straps, but we found the Tickr X to be pleasingly comfortable and in no way restrictive during our tests. The strap is easily adjustable, and you don't need to have it uncomfortably tight for the sensors to pick up a solid reading.

Wareable verdict: Wahoo Tickr X review

$79.99, wahoofitness.com | Amazon

Moov Now

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

The Moov Now is a Wareable favourite, giving you the option to track and receive coaching in a number of sports and exercises at a high level of consistency.

We love it for running and swimming, but it's also great for indoor cycling. Especially if you have the Moov Sweat HR headband to combine it with as well.

Once you've placed the sensor around your ankle like you do for run tracking, it can be used for HIIT cycling where it will tell you to increase cadence or intensity to be able to comfortably get up to the next target interval zone.

We've used this one a lot and it really will make sure you push yourself to get the most out of your indoor cycling session. It's also powered by a standard coin cell battery so you won't have to replace it for at least six months.

Wareable verdict: Moov Now review

$109.90, moov.cc | Amazon

TomTom Spark 3

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

Wrist-based heart rate monitors are not the greatest when it comes to accuracy, but the TomTom Spark 3 is the most reliable we've used and we think it'll make a good spinning partner.

It can be paired with a cadence or speed sensor to record indoor biking data alongside your heart rate data. The screen is nice and big, and the UI means you can quickly get a good sense if you're hitting the right zones.

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.

Have a look at our in-depth TomTom Spark 3 review to see what we made of the feature-packed sports watch. Be aware that TomTom has now officially exited the wearables industry but you can pour that workout data into a host of third party fitness apps.

$249.99, tomtom.com | Amazon

Yoga

NadiX

Work out smarter: Best gym trackers and wearables to look out for

There is a bunch of yoga apps for the Apple Watch while fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit offer limited support for yoga tracking. So if you want something built for yoga, these smart leggings could be a good fit.

Wearable X's Nadi X Pants and Pulse are a line of yoga clothes that react to your body. They're embedded with technology that senses how you're moving and uses haptic vibrations to correct your movements.

So, for example, if your form is off around your hips or knees, the vibrations there will signal to you that you need to tighten up, or move a certain way. Everything syncs to your smartphone app, iOS or Android, and the pants basically work by themselves.

The clothes are available in four sizes and four colours – midnight, midnight gray, black and white, and navy gray.

Wareable verdict: Nadi X review

$299, wearablex.com




18 comments

  • meza530 says:

    hows doe atlas actually measure form ? 

    • m.sawh says:

      Hi, the Atlas identifies any exercises that require wrist movement and uses the built-in motion sensors to capture that action in 3D. As I understand it, there's a list of exercises the Atlas will work with (about 50 to start with) and should hopefully grow over time. Hope that helps!

  • alinaprokho says:

    Which product can best help me in the gym? will anyone recommend a workout for me. I feel like i am not always doing the workouts correctly, is there a way to ensure that i am getting the most out of my workout?

  • Gadgety says:

    Wareable @Chris Smith: If you rate the apps as in "best" you have to have used them if you want to be credible and creat a readership Wareable. This is just a listing of what is, almost, available. So let the heading read "Gym wearable trackers alternatives." 

  • rficocie says:

    BUYER BEWARE!

    DO NOT PURCHASE A WATCH FROM THIS COMPANY. I would like to begin by saying that I feel it is important to allow the company to make things right with the customer before going to social media; however, I have allowed more than enough time to have this situation rectified and it has not been.

    The watch does seem to have some really great features; however, after my experience it is my recommendation that you go with a competitor’s option.

    I ordered the watch as a gift for my fitness buff boyfriend; after charging the device for two days, it still would not turn on. I would like to add that I am no beginner to these types of technology, so this is not operator error. I emailed the support line that had been helpful in answering questions for me in the past. Email is the only way to contact; the phone number provided on the website is for a google line, which in my experience is never answered. I would like to mention that prior to purchasing and receiving the device, every time I reached out to Atlas Wearables via email, I was quickly responded to, for ALL inquires, within the hour.

    This time I asked for the directions to return my device. I received a response that had trouble shooting tips for turning on the device.I kindly replied to email explaining that I did not request troubleshooting tips, I requested return information. I was then sent the instructions to return the device, which requires waiting for an RMA number to be sent to my email, so that I may return the device at cost to me, which I am willing to do. So, I sent the information required and I have yet to receive the RMA number and it has been two weeks. I did receive one email stating that they have never had a device not work before and they cannot figure out how to process a return unless I use the troubleshooting tips and confirm that the device is not working. I have only received that one response since the last request. I am accusing this trying to keep me past the 30-DAY return policy by intentionally ignoring my emails. I am disgusted and so sad that this is occupying my time and currently my work day. We enjoy fitness a lot in my home and I was excited for this device, and I thought that you were a respectable company that I could trust; I see that I was wrong. I will continue to warn people about your company and encourage them to reach out to companies who will provide customer service without terrorizing its customers. I will only retract my statements if I am provided with the RMA number, and upon the return of my device I receive a refund.

    Thank you for ruining my gift, stealing my money, and ruining my work day.

    Rose

    • SupaMonkey says:

      @rficocie Thanks Rose, but you failed to mention what watch 'this watch' is. Please let us know what you're talking about because the article refers to a couple of watches.

      • Mikeymike says:

        she said the atlas watch

  • Jschuley303 says:

    I was given a "beast sensor" for Christmas this year and have had a horrible experience working with the company to get one that does work. As of today, February 15, 2016 I still have not used or received a working device. This device is $200 USD. Only email communication is available and have been told numerous times that they will ship one to me. I have now asked for a refund as this is unacceptable service. I thought the device would be perfect for my crossfit style workouts only to realize that I no longer even want the device  after all the hassle. I hope this helps anyone who is shopping for a wearable. If only I had a large social media presence.

    • BeastSensor says:

      Dear Jschuley303,

      We are really sorry for the inconvenience you experienced with our product. Our support team tried to help you as much as they could, keeping explaining the company’s policy regarding your issue and asking you two videos with different OS, just to be sure of the nature of the problem that was affecting your device.

      At last, we refunded your entire purchase.

      We’d like to apologize again for this unhappy experience and we hope you could try our product again in the future.

      Best regards

  • Jschuley303 says:

    I received a "beast sensor" for Christmas 2015 from my girlfriend. I though it was great and that I couldn't wait to use it and it's capabilities. I got to the gym and it didn't work at all. I emailed beast sensors and they asked me to take a video of the sensor. So I did this with my iPhone since it states it's iPhone  compatible. After sending this, beast technologies asked me to take the same video with a android. I don't own an android but used my friends and performed the same steps they wanted and recorded it again. With no success I sent the video and they said it was damaged. Since the early part of January I have been told from their email customer service that a new one would be shipped. The last time I was told it would be shipped was on Febraury 2, 2016. I still haven't received a working device other than a couple free years on the web portal. At this point I pretty much just want my money or my girlfriends money back from the company since there is no reason a company should be acting this way. 

    • BeastSensor says:

      Dear Jschuley303,

      We are really sorry for the inconvenience you experienced with our product. Our support team tried to help you as much as they could, keeping explaining the company’s policy regarding your issue and asking you two videos with different OS, just to be sure of the nature of the problem that was affecting your device.

      At least, we refunded your entire purchase.

      We’d like to apologize again for this unhappy experience and we hope you could try our product again in the future.

      Best regards

  • LCh says:

    Pretty disgusted in how overpriced and bloated the wearables tech field is today. Low quality, made in china watches by brands that wont be around in 2 years going for $199. Makes no sense.

  • julianneave says:

    I've been reading your various reviews over the last day and they are great - thanks! I'm after a watch that will allow me to accurately count how many calories I burn over a  variety of work outs including rowing, swimming, cycling, hiking and circuits/weights in the gym.  It looks like you'd suggest the TomTom Spark? is that correct? Would the TomTom Runner Cardio work or does that only work for running? Thanks.

  • Frank008 says:

    Hi

    Is any of the optical heart rate monitors accurately able to track your hart rate in weight training. I have so far tried three (Adidas, Fitbit Surge and Apple watch) and none of them were able to keep track of the heart rate once your hands start moving.

  • Jrtxun says:

    I just want something I can setup intervals on that will vibrate to let me know when to lift/rest. 3-4 sets 30sec work, 15sec rest; then 30sec to setup next exercise and repeat. With an easy pause. Gymboss closest I've seen but gotta hold a button for 3 seconds to pause.

    What do you recommend? Right now I'm using my phone but would rather not

    • j.stables says:

      TomTom Spark has a good interval session tool on the watch.

  • Cestasol22 says:

    watch is so awesome.....

  • Niovi says:

    Hi!

    I cannot do typical gym workouts and I need to do low repetition physiotherapy exercises both for my legs, hands and back. I remember there was one tracker that tracked exercise repetitions that were no less than 15 minutes, but most of the exercises I do are way less than that. 10 or 20 repetitions each. Is there anything that tracks open exercises with low repetition count? The predetermined gym workouts are not good for me since most things I do are not your typical gym exercises.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.