T Nation

Data Mining and Training


#1

Did a search and didn't find anything specifically on point.

I'm curious as to whether people have used any of the data mining physical activity bands (Nike FuelBand, Fitbit, etc) and if so:

  1. How did you incorporate it into your overall programming?

  2. How was it as a tracker of overall physical activity?

  3. Did you find you became too OCD with the new information?

  4. How would you recommend others use it? Are you considering changing anything about your approach? Do you think it's only right for some types of people and not others?


#2

I had a Nike Fuel Band for a while and I used it mostly as a watch… Most of them are pretty useless unless the only activity you do is walking. They are just expensive pedometers for the most part.

trainwithpush . com seems promising, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


#3

I have a garmin that measures distance, elevation, heartrate, and you put your age, weight and height in it. It is suppose to use all of that to accurately calculate calorie expenditure. It was cool so see how certain activities affected heartrate, but the calorie counter was practically useless. I wore it for two different 24 hr periods and never got above 2200 kcal, yet I lose weight quickly on less than 3000.


#4

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
Did a search and didn’t find anything specifically on point.

I’m curious as to whether people have used any of the data mining physical activity bands (Nike FuelBand, Fitbit, etc) and if so:

  1. How did you incorporate it into your overall programming?

  2. How was it as a tracker of overall physical activity?

  3. Did you find you became too OCD with the new information?

  4. How would you recommend others use it? Are you considering changing anything about your approach? Do you think it’s only right for some types of people and not others?[/quote]

I recently bought a Jawbone UP Move.

I’m not sure if they all work this way but here’s how this one works: it simply counts your steps and acts as a glorified pedometer. The app, and not the device itself, is what makes it useful. The device has no idea if your steps came from walking to the store or doing sprints on a track - 1000 steps is 1000 steps. If you did do sprints (or any other activity) you then go back into the app and record your activity for a time period as well as your exertion level. The app then adjusts your caloric needs based on this new info.

The app also allows you to join a team with other people, and then you can see their activity throughout the day as well as their meals (you can hide meals, though) and activity. My GF and I compete to see who can take the most steps throughout the day. The Jawbone app syncs with MyFitnessPal app and imports my meals, which is terrific.

I don’t think the info is accurate enough for you to become OCD about it. You could, I suppose, but it’s really just giving you a wide picture of your daily activity.

The sleep function is interesting, not sure how accurate it is, though. It does make you more mindful of when you go to bed and wake up. My GF uses it while she sleeps, but I don’t because I, uh…have no where to clip it to.


#5

I’ve been using the Push tracker for the last few weeks and like it so far. I use it to track average velocity, increasing the load when it exceeds a particular value for the workout. For example, if I can complete all sets of a particular exercise with an average velocity greater than 0.5 m/s, then I increase the load by 5lbs the next workout. I also set a lower limit, so that if I am consistently falling below 0.3 m/s, I will decrease the load by 5lbs.

The tracker is pretty good at recognizing reps, not perfect but well within my tolerance range, almost perfect for the major barbell lifts: deadlift, bench press, squat, and press. I find that I just have to be careful not to move anymore than necessary after activating the tracker before starting a set.

The Push tracker also measures power in watts, and total work in joules. Interesting statistics, but not something that I am using at the moment.

The tracker requires an app running on a smartphone or tablet. That is the weak link at the moment. The app is functional, just a little clunky and awkward in my opinion; but I expect that Push will be releasing updates to fix that in the near future.

I have to admit that I am a bit of a “data junky,” and find that things like this help motivate me to focus on progression. I am hoping that it will also help me to reign myself in to avoid pushing forward too aggressively. My goal is to maintain slow and steady progress for as long as possible.


#6

Nice write up rwlambert. I’ve been eyballing the Push for a while now and might grab one down the road.