Recently PT Distinction integrated both MyZone and Fitbit. These tools help online personal trainers track their clients training intensity and lifestyle.
During the process I consistantly used both tools and did a fair bit of research on each.
To help you decide which is best for you and your clients here is a personal review of the two tracking tools.
- Results are very accurate and reliable.
- The colour coded zones are easy to understand and very motivational.
- Motivates you push harder when training and makes progression fun.
- Makes it easy for anyone to understand training intensity and intra set recovery.
- Very easy for trainers to dictate intensity of metabolic and interval training based around MyZone results.
- Great potential for challenges and handicapped competition.
- Need to use a strap, that said the strap appears to be essential for accurate results.
- Not valuable as a general lifestyle tracking tool. Though MyZone never claim it to be a lifestyle tracker.
- Linking the watch to the belt seems to be a bit hit and miss.
I love MyZone, it's an incredible motivator when training. For personal trainers and online personal trainers it brings a new dimension to metabolic/ energy systems program design as well as showing you very accurately how hard your clients are working during training.
- Easy to set up and use. Literally connect your watch to the app and put the watch on.
- Tracks so much to do with daily activity, calories, sleep etc.. very complete set of features.
- Tracks heart rate which gives some extra accountability and targets for training intensity.
- Gives a good impression of clients overall activity.
- Motivates users to move more each day.
- Gives calorie guidelines based on your activity.
- Links well to My Fitness Pal to compare calories in and calories out.
- Not very accurate. I would regularly count my steps and refer back to the Fitbit watch. It was way off, almost to the point I couldn't figure out how it was calculating my steps.
- It tracks sleep but has an EMF radiation output. If you know much about sleep you will know this can really disturb quality sleep.
With the Fitbit on I averaged just over 4 hours sleep a night, without it I generally get 6-7. This article looks at some of the side effects of Fitbit use.
Despite liking the concept of tracking sleep, I had to take it off at night. Research since having this problem revealed I'm definitely not the only person to have found this.
The fact that it seemed inaccurate and submitted EMF radiation undermined the potential benefits. In my mind tracking something inaccurately is not worth tracking.
- I combined my Fitbit use with a period of tracking everything on My Fitness Pal. According to these tools I should have lost 3lbs from my current weight over the week I used them. In truth I put on 1.5lbs.
Note: During the period of use I was not doing anything different in my training than I had been doing previously.
My slightly negative experience with Fitbit prompted a little research.
Here are 3 threads on Fitbits forum with examples of much stronger side effects than lack of sleep. I feel it only right to bring these to your attention in order to aid your own research before recommending devices to your personal training clients:
In the interest of fairness it's also very easy to find many great reviews of Fitbit and its many benefits.
In further interest of fairness I went searching for side effects of MyZone and found nothing. Of course MyZone is currently less widely used and may well control its media better than Fitbit but every report and review I found seems very positive towards the MyZone device and software.
I love the idea of Fitbit and as technology advances I think it could be a brilliant tool. However the possible side effects did bother me to the point my Fitbit has been left to run out of batteries and sits unused in the office.
The concept and idea is fantastic but for me it just isn't accurate enough to be a truly valuable tracking tool.
I think you can tell which my favourite tracking device is! With that said I would love to see a combination of the two. The accuracy and in workout ability of MyZone with the features of Fitbit and none of the side effects. A lot to ask but perhaps this is where things head in the future as technology improves and accurate tracking becomes easier.
For now I love MyZone and find huge motivation and joy from wearing it every time I train. I enjoy looking back at my training zones and it encourages me to improve every time. As a trainer of 11 years it also really helps to guide me on when best to change programs and progress exercises.
As I mentioned my Fitbit is currently not being used, I will however be watching their progression and future devices very closely because a lifestyle tracker like Fitbit that can be trusted in terms of accuracy and health could be a real game changer in the way people see daily movement, activity and sleep. As we all know, this would be a massive step forward in the growing battle against obesity in most developed countries around the world.
To see how MyZone and Fitbit integrate in to PT Distinction have a look at these articles and see the videos inside;