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.
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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.
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. Most are available now, though some are coming soon and there's a few we are still having a play with.
Moov HR Sweat
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 your 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 good battery life, and 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
Garmin might be taking a more mindful approach with its latest fitness trackers, but it's still primarily catering for those who live in the gym.
Along with VO2 Max tracking and exercise detection, the vibrant Vivosport crucially offers automatic rep counting. That means when you jump into strength training it's able to measure curls, press ups and presses.
It won't correct your form, so it's important that you complete those moves properly, and you'll also need to tap the screen to rest between sets. We've tried it and found it to work suitably most of the time, but you'll still have to correct the reps a few times a session. If you're looking to pay a little less and you can live without GPS, the Vivosport's predecessor, the Vivosmart 3, also harbours rep counting smarts.
Wareable verdict: Garmin Vivosport review
Atlas Wristband 2
"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 device 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.b Thankfully, a slimmer option in the shape of the well, Shape has now started shipping.
Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
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
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 basic 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.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition
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 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.
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 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, 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.
Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition
While you get heart rate monitoring through the Sport Pulse Special Edition and wireless fun through the Sport Elite, the Sport Coach Special Edition brings you automatic rep counting that will track your sit-ups, press-ups and lunges.
Using the same motion sensor included in the first generation 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
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 or the Coach support on the Ionic, but overall it's significantly better suited for throwing into your gym bag than its predecessor.
Wareable verdict: Fitbit Charge 2 review
TomTom Spark 3
The TomTom Spark 3 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.
Essential reading: The big swim tracker test
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.
Have a look at our in-depth TomTom Spark 3 review to see what we made of the feature-packed sports watch, but be aware that TomTom has now officially exited out of the wearables game.
Like the GymWatch, the Beast sensor is all about tracking what you can lift. 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
The Actofit is a gym tracker that doesn't just want to be another fitness tracker. The wrist worn wearable that looks a bit like mash-up of a Garmin and Fitbit tracker packs in a 0.91-inch OLED touchscreen display and uses a 9-axis motion sensor setup (gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer) that combine to track movement in a 3D space.
It's able to identify different activities and you'll recognise 75+ gym exercises counting sets and reps as well as evaluating form. It can additionally monitor heart rate continuously thanks to the built-in optical sensor, as well as estimate velocity, force and power.
You can still track steps, sleep and there's an auto sport tracking mode, which does include running. Smartwatch-esque features include text and call notification support, a smart auto alarm mode, calendar reminders and NFC payments.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, it's now rolled out to backers with a global rollout currently being prepared.
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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