Fitness trackers are now a common sports gear for many fitness fans, many of which are doing crossfit. Unfortunately, there isn’t too many specialized fitness trackers meant for cross training as most are developed with runners or sleeping in mind. Having said that, there is a couple of fitness trackers that target crossfit goers. Are they good? Let’s find out.
Cross watch buying guide
Unlike buying a fitness tracker watch for running, using one for crossfit has its own considerations that you need to factor in.
- Avoid getting hit by kettle bells and such: One common issue when using crossfit watch is the high tendency to hit it when doing your kettle bell drills. As such, you either get one that is durable enough to withstand such shocks or buy one that you can comfortably position towards the inside of the wrist.
- HR tracking: most fitness trackers or watches don’t track HR very well for one is performing crossfit activities, relative to running. Most of these devices are design for a more stable and prolong tracking, rather than short and intense, like how many crossfit activities.
- Rep counting: The most important function for a crossfit fitness tracker is to count the reps since that is the most common activities we will be doing. Most running fitness trackers can’t do this at all.
Best crossfit watches
There isn’t much choice to choose from but I have selected two of the best selling to review.
Atlas waistband review
One of the first fitness tracker designed especially for tracking crossfit activities. This means it has the ability to count reps and monitor for different types of crossfit workouts, something that most other running fitness trackers are not able to do. Unfortunately, the execution is off from what it promised.
Firstly, the amount of exercises the crossfit watch can recognize is fairly limited so not all activities can be measured. Secondly there is a steep learning curve to using the watch. When you first start out, it probably wouldn’t recognize accurately what rep you are doing. You need to change some of your posture or actions until it registered. This is how you know the right actions you need to do to trigger the tracking.
However, after this initial learning curve, the Atlas waistband does work well. It can count the reps as well as measure the heart rate and resting time, although the accuracy might not be 100%. Overall, it definitely works as a crossfit watch if you can get pass the initial stage. And yes, it can tell the time as well LOL
Design wise, the watch is still a bit clunky at the moment, as is expected from the first version of any product. The same thing can be said for its UI although it is not bad to the point of being unusable.
Personally, I would not buy it now. Maybe the 2nd or 3rd generation will be a better purchase, if the startup can last that long! 🙂
The Gymwatch is another personal fitness tracker that is meant for tracking your gym workouts, rather than just running. It has no heart rate monitor but has much better motion recognition than the Atlas model. The first version’s recognition was pretty off and didn’t include most of the usual workout exercises. However, the current Android version is running pretty smoothly and should be able to track almost all kinds of cross training activities.
Having said that, the app is not something you can start straight away without going through a learning curve. My estimate is that you need to spend at least 20 minutes on the app before you can use it correctly. Without this initial learning, you will be left feeling frustrated so be prepared for this when you download the app.
The device itself is pretty basic and different from most other fitness trackers. There is no screen and such to view the stats. All information must be viewed from the app as the device acts mainly as a sensor. You can also see why it has no clock function to speak of. The benefit is that it is very light weight and can be worn of different parts of your body for improved tracking. In fact, there are 2 sensors with one package that allows you to track 2 location simultaneously.
When compared to Atlas, both devices have their pros and cons. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. In fact, the general conclusion is that this product category is still new and there is still a number of product improvement that needs to happen before the mass market will find them less cumbersome.