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    Default Fitness watch...thoughts?

    Is there such a thing that does it all reasonably well? I've never had a fitness/smart watch before and when needed, monitored my activity through phone app. Here's what I need it to do:
    1. Monitor pace (per km) when running
    2a. Read accurate heart rate with HIT/crossfit (dont mind wearing a heart strap)
    2b. Easy to set lap or interval training beeps etc
    3. Be compatible for water activities
    4. Track steps/sleep/calories burnt which in turn will motivate me to sleep better/move around
    5. Tell time

    What's out there that does all this? I read online that garmin has better reliability than Fitbit so leaning towards Garmin. Thoughts?
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    For actual accurate distance you want one with a GPS. Nothing that estimates based off stride length will be as good. Also, I dont think the heart rate is quite as accurate as the chest straps.

    I'm a big fan of the low end innaccurate ones for directionally indicating a level of fitness or exertion. So for me, I only focus on your #4. But it sounds like you want something a lot more accurate.
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    I've had experience with 2 watches.

    1. Vivoactive 3
    2. Apple Watch 4

    For the Garmin, I really like that hear rate monitoring was an all day affair and that battery life closer to 36 hours vs the 18 hours of the apple watch.

    1. I don't use it to run, but use it for biking. The Apple watch with Strava is hands down way better than the Garmin. I found the Garmin would have me "stopped" when in the trees when climbing a trail. When I climbed Pneuma it had me "stopped" for more than half the climb. I guess I am too slow. Did the same trail with the Apple watch and it stars and stops where it is supposed to.
    2a. I found that the Garmin read a bit low. The Apple watch matches my chest strap with in +/- 5 bpm. I verify this 4 times a week as I use a chest strap at 9round to track my workouts there and track the same workout with my Watch.
    2b. Don't use that function as 9Round has a beeper.
    3. I've taken both in the Ocean and clean them in the shower after a workout.
    4. I found the accuracy of stairs climbed is better on the Watch over the Garmin. I know someone who works for Garmin and gave that feedback. Maybe they are working on it. I would guess the calories burned on the garmin is actually calculated from your heart rate (checks every second), where as the Watch is likely guesstimated unless you are in a "workout" (sometimes the watch goes an hour or more before collecting a data point).
    5. both do it fine.

    I picked the Apple Watch over the Garmin because the integrated functions like Wallet (Credit cards, membership cards, Starbucks card, boarding passes) is seamless. Replying to text messages when you phone is not reachable. Strava app. MyQ app for my garage door opener so I don't need to take my phone (I don't have the Cellular watch). The outlook app on the Watch is great for finding my next meeting.

    The Vivoactive has the ability to have custom watch faces. Also, the configurable information on the screen was better for what I liked is way better than the Apple Watch.

    Charging is better if you have a cradle for the Watch as it is wireless. The Garmin has a proprietary plug.

    Garmin has a plastic traditional watch strap. I found I had to tighten it quite a bit for it to maintain my heart rate monitoring.

    I like the velcro sport strap on the Watch. I can leave it at the same tension always.
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    If you want a true fitness watch, get a garmin. If you want an extension of your phone, get the Apple.

    Optical HR are a waste of time, so I wouldn’t worry about accuracy claims of them vs a strap. Costco has the Fenix 5 on sale, and that is a do everything watch if you’re using a Hr strap. And the battery life of the Fenix is easily a week if you’re not GPS tracking every day. The need to charge the Apple every day completely voids the usefulness of the thing for me. If you can’t do a 12 hour day with GPS on, what’s the point?

    I’d also recommend the tri strap over the regular strap, as it can store data and then add later. Useful for swimming (optical HR won’t work under water) or activities that you can’t wear the watch (soccer, for example.)

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    I use my Apple Watch for runs and mountain biking. I love it, January will be 3 years with it and still going strong. Lasts a day and a half, I literally wear it everyday. I don’t track gym workouts but the wife does, tracks her calories and heartrate. I’ve got zero complaints about it.

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    All these fitness watches seem like a big waste of money.

    Fitness and watch doesn’t make sense.

    I guess if you like collecting data as a hobby but I see zero benefit from a fitness stand point.

    Seems silly

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89coupe View Post
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    All these fitness watches seem like a big waste of money.

    Fitness and watch doesn’t make sense.

    I guess if you like collecting data as a hobby but I see zero benefit from a fitness stand point.

    Seems silly
    Makes a big difference if you’re actually using the data for things like tracking km biked, power, climbing, determining workout loads, peaking, tapering, etc. If it’s just a step counter, then sure.. I’d also say it motivates a lot of folks to get after it

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    The motivation is the biggest part and probably the most difficult thing for most people. I know 89coupe doesn't need it, but helps hacks like me. I really like seeing the calorie totals add up, even if they may be only directionally accurate.
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    My son wears his Garmin in the car and thinks he has taken 5000 steps later because we drove to the store. Do they have any actual accurate information?
    Originally posted by SJW
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    steps =/= fitness..

    Just an example of actual fitness tracking vs steps...
    Capture.jpg

    Add a power meter, and you have a very accurate calorie counter for biking, and heart rate training with a strap is a difference maker for endurance sports
    Last edited by Brent.ff; 09-30-2019 at 08:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.ff View Post
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    steps =/= fitness..

    Just an example of actual fitness tracking vs steps...
    Capture.jpg

    Add a power meter, and you have a very accurate calorie counter for biking, and heart rate training with a strap is a difference maker for endurance sports
    Cool. Thank you.

    Are the caloric burn rates reasonably accurate? I do wonder about these things, I have been thinking of trying to step my fitness up over the winter.
    Originally posted by SJW
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    Originally posted by snowcat
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRSC00LUDE View Post
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    Cool. Thank you.

    Are the caloric burn rates reasonably accurate? I do wonder about these things, I have been thinking of trying to step my fitness up over the winter.
    Hard to say if they're accurate or not, but i suspect they are 'decent' if you're using a heart rate strap and/or power meter they are far more accurate then just a wrist-based one..? I trust calories about as far as steps on these devices, and dont think i'd use them as a calorie counter for meal planning. I use them more for heart rate zone training, tracking km, tracking pace, tracking m gained, etc
    Last edited by Brent.ff; 09-30-2019 at 09:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRSC00LUDE View Post
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    My son wears his Garmin in the car and thinks he has taken 5000 steps later because we drove to the store. Do they have any actual accurate information?
    All of the objective testing I have ever seen has shown fitness trackers to be wildly inaccurate pretty well across the board. They are fine for very basic tracking, or as a motivation tool, or for comparing your ambiguous data with others for a friendly competition, etc. Basically just a tracking/motivation tool, which is completely fine if that's what gets you going. The step counters in particular I believe are the most inaccurate (like in your example), but the heart rate monitoring is actually the only decent thing (~5% avg error). If you want really accurate heart rate though you still need to wear a chest strap or similar. The other problem with wearing it on your wrist is lots of other individual factors start to affect it's accuracy, such as BMI and even skin color.

    Stanford Medicine did a big study on all the major trackers including the Apple Watch and found calories/energy expenditure (what most people are interested in) was off by 27% on the most accurate device and 93% on the worst - so pretty well useless in that regard. Also, the variances went both ways, so even directionally they are at best just a very rough indication (i.e. in terms of if you did better or worse than the day previous).

    They are fine as a novelty or as a motivation device, but you really don't want to be basing any medical or nutritional decisions off the data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.ff View Post
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    Hard to say if they're accurate or not, but i suspect they are 'decent' if you're using a heart rate strap and/or power meter they are far more accurate then just a wrist-based one..? I trust calories about as far as steps on these devices, and dont think i'd use them as a calorie counter for meal planning
    Fair and, agreed as to how I perceive them at least. The bigger question I suppose over their accuracy is their consistency. If you calibrate them however you do and they consistently then benchmark the same I suppose it would make for a reliable reference point regardless of technical accuracy?
    Originally posted by SJW
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    I have a Garmin Fenix 3 for sale if anyone is interested.

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    I've been looking for a good fitness/sleep tracker because my Fitbit sucks and is grossly inaccurate basically across the board.

    Was listening to a Podcast and this was one of their sponsors - https://www.whoop.com
    Has anyone tried Whoop?

    It's a subscription based model. I think its fairly new. I've never heard of it. Thoughts or experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by 89coupe View Post
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    All these fitness watches seem like a big waste of money.

    Fitness and watch doesn’t make sense.

    I guess if you like collecting data as a hobby but I see zero benefit from a fitness stand point.

    Seems silly
    People use them for heart rates, sleep tracking etc. I think it's useful depending what you use it for. As a general step tracker, that would be waste of money, but I do see a benefit in tracking sleep and heart rate.
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    8237F766-D79B-45C9-AC4E-D3EA322B14E7.jpg

    Very accurate... I’m soooooo fast

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    I'm now also curious about whoop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
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    I use my Apple Watch for runs and mountain biking. I love it, January will be 3 years with it and still going strong. Lasts a day and a half, I literally wear it everyday. I don’t track gym workouts but the wife does, tracks her calories and heartrate. I’ve got zero complaints about it.
    Do you turn off the wifi feature to make the battery last that long? I personally dont understand why my watch even needs Wifi - everything shared through the phone is via bluetooth so I have the wifi off and the battery lasts about 1.5-2 days before I need to charge it. Even when it comes up and tells me it has 10% left it still lasts about 4 hours before I need to charge it.

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