Week 1: Conor’s strength training diary – Getting hench with wearable tech

Exploring what can help you pump iron in the gym
Conor’s strength training diary

Like many people, I prefer to head to the weights section of the gym instead of pounding the pavement or hitting the pool. If you're a runner, cyclist or swimmer, the benefits of strapping on a piece of motivating wearable tech are plain to see. But what if you don't care about any of the standard activities?

Over the next few months, I'll be exploring the wearable tech that's out there for those looking for a gym accessory to help them achieve goals in strength training.

Read this: The best gym wearables

Your everyday smartwatches and trackers aren't generally dedicated devices to help you track specific exercises and view your progress, but many do possess the capacity to bring you the basics, be it through in-built modes or third-party apps.

Now, of course, it's not just trying to figure out which devices can assist my bench press and bicep curl. When you plunge yourself into strength training, it's crucial to understand that the physical element is only a portion of the equation. Your habits inside the gym can be solid, but if you're spending your hours in between sessions drinking alcohol, eating pizza and getting minimal sleep, you'll inevitably hold your progress back.


And, listen, in the interest of full disclosure, these are all things I positively enjoy indulging in, so trying to keep up this routine consistently will be quite the subplot here. I'm not a complete slob, don't get me wrong – I usually manage to get through a couple of runs a week – but I've been out of the strength training game for the entirety of this year. And unlike running, I feel this is something that requires a more regimented routine due to the payoff taking time to show.

When I am running during this period, it will almost always involve HIIT elements in order to burn fat, as opposed to endurance efforts that would break into muscle mass.

As for my diet, well, I'll simply be following the same plan as I have in the past: a protein shake after a morning workout and one later in the day. Maybe some pre-workout will sneak in if I'm struggling for energy, but generally I don't want to stray too far from the focus here: the tech.

Week 1: Conor's diary - getting hench with wearable tech

Speaking of which, let's get into what I'm planning to use throughout the duration of this trial. First up to the plate is the Apple Watch and its bevy of third-party apps, before I pivot over to wares from Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung and potentially some lesser-known devices made just for weight lifting.

Along the way I'll also be speaking to personal trainers, the companies making the devices and, hey, maybe even some of the people waiting for me to stop tapping my wrist and get off a machine.

By the end of it all, what I'm hoping to come out of this with is a gym companion that not only makes my life easier through counting reps and tracking weight amounts, but also one that motivates me to actually head to the gym and not miss a workout.

From a personal point of view, the goals are to build muscle mass, keep body fat percentage to a minimum and still maintain my cardiovascular fitness through the running on the side.

So join me on this wearable tech ride, featuring hand blisters, fast food cravings and tears – it's the least you can do.


The best smartwatch deals on Amazon

Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Ionic
$299
Fossil Q Marshal
Fossil Q Marshal
$153.45
Apple Watch
Apple Watch
$253.85
Asus ZenWatch 3
Asus ZenWatch 3
$199

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