Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Epic Battle that is BodyBugg vs. HRM

BodyBugg versus Heart Rate Monitor

We have owned and utilized both of these nifty contraptions and felt it would be helpful to share a “compare & contrast” of the two.

First up, the BodyBugg. 

Lindsay got one a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Couple things about it:
  •  Made to be worn for up to 23 hours a day, not just during workouts.
  •   In reference to #1, this is helpful in determining how many calories you burn all day (and night) long.
  • It does not measure heart rate…rather it measures movement!
Some “negatives” about the BodyBugg –
  • You have to pay a monthly fee to be able to “download” and see your calorie burn (albeit a pretty small fee).
  • We found out the hard way that accuracy is not its strongest suit – for example, during weightlifting (which, if done right, should increase your heart rate, thus burning calories) and during cardio involving a lot of arm movement (e.g., kickboxing like Turbo) it doesn’t give an accurate burn…for weightlifting it isn’t high enough and we think all the punches in kickboxing throw the band (which is around your arm) off and it reads as too high of a burn.
  •  The Bodybugg also can’t measure anything you do that doesn’t involve your feet touching the ground….like biking, swimming, or flying (that last one is a joke, people!)
All in all, we think the BodyBugg is a good tool for determining total daily burn, but other than that…it kinda functions like a pedometer. 

Okay….next up is the good ol’ fashioned heart rate monitor. There are a bagillion types, but Lindsay uses the Polar FT7 and Timothy uses a Timex. Couple things about these:


  • Typically made to wear only during physical activity (either during a workout, or while you’re doing some yard work, cleaning house, etc.). You *could* wear it all day if you wanted, but it isn’t really made for that.
  • This piece of equipment determines calories burned based solely on your heart rate.
  • There is only a one-time cost (no monthly fees).
A *potential* negative about a heart rate monitor:
  • You wear the watch (which gives you your output, including current heart rate, calories burned, time, etc.) on your wrist and then the actual heart-rate monitor is a band that you wrap around your chest…..for the ladies, just under your wobbly bits….for the fellas, about a inch or so below your nipple line. The band can be a bit cumbersome, mostly during activity that involves a lot of twisting and turning (Lindsay finds it can wiggle down some during her TurboFire workouts).
Currently, we are both using a heart rate monitor instead of a BodyBugg….and it will probably stay this way. We both appreciate the accuracy of the heart rate monitor….it goes on the individual’s heart rate, not on the steps taken. We also appreciate the immediacy of knowing how much effort we’re putting in: all we do is look at the watches on our wrists and see current heart rate, calories burned so far, etc. 

If you are going back and forth between the two, we hope this gives you some insight as to which would better suit your needs!

In Health,
Lindsay & Timothy

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