If you have a FitBit then you know it's not a matter of if but when it will take over your life. You get out of bed to walk in circles if you haven't met your goal. You haul each grocery bag in one at a time when you used to pride yourself on taking them in one trip.
You know owning a FitBit drives everyone around you crazy but did you know it's actually helping your strength training? I'll wait while you pick your jaw off the floor.
Here are four ways your FitBit is accelerating your gains:
1. You Actually Do Your Active Recovery
Active recovery is like eating kale. You know it's good for you. You know everyone says you should do it. Even you say you're going to do it. But you don't. Instead you think about doing it and wind up elbows deep in a bag of Jalapeno Cheetos laying on the couch. If that sounds oddly specific that's because it's my life story.
FitBit gets you off that golden crusted couch and moving. It's just like your mom-- it nags you until you do what it wants. It does it often so that it actually succeeds. Before you know it you've walked the neighborhood or the entire mall and BAM! active recovery is complete. You may have a new outfit on your hands but you've gotten that blood moving. Which means your muscles will recover faster and you'll be able to push more, or more efficiently, in future workouts.
2. You Go To Bed
Sleep affects strength gains. If you can average 8-9 hours a night not only are you superhuman but you're also going to do better in the gym. That shouldn't be an Earth shattering revelation for you. If it is we need to have a meeting so I can learn what rock you've been living under.
Just because we should be getting sleep doesn't mean we are. Everyone knows the best time to stalk, I mean browse, social media is in bed.
So how does FitBit get me to go to bed? While it doesn't electrocute you to force sleep, the new FitBit Alta has some pretty cool features on it to help the process.
- You can set silent alarms to alert you when it's time to go to bed (or conversely when to wake up). A gentle and gradual vibration emanates from the wrist band so you don't jump out of your skin & spend the next 10 minutes trying to figure out if you did in fact just have a heart attack.
- It tracks your sleep for you. The interface on your smart phone will not only show you how long you have slept but how well you slept. If you tossed and turned, the graph is going to show you those restless periods. If you woke up, it will show you when you woke up and how long it was for. $20 you were probably skimming Instagram. #nofilter
You'll eventually see patterns & (hopefully) will want to work on your sleep hygiene so you get better quality sleep. The more sleep you get, the better chance at getting a new FitBit Badge you have. If that means nothing to you then your performance in the gym will improve too.
3. You Stay Hydrated
In the immortal words of Derek Zoolander, "Water is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty." Ok, it may also be the essence of strength gains too. You may think you're getting enough water but if you aren't tracking it, you can't be too sure. Most folks are surprised when they see their total for the first time.
FitBit lets you keep track of how much water you drink in real time so you can be a beautiful Mer-Man who just so happens to have the squat of He-Man.
4. You Know How Your Training Is Effecting You (Heart Rate Monitor)
You've got your neon spandex on and you think you've been busting your tail in the gym. You consult your FitBit for feedback through the Heart Rate graph.
FitBit turns full Maury Povich & hits you with the truth, "You have NOT been training like you thought!"
The FitBit tracks your heart rate throughout the day, not just when you workout. While the heart rate monitor isn't 100% accurate it still does a good job at letting you see where you are at in training.
Does your heart rate stay spiked after training? You may need to calm it down on the speed racing. Are you resting too long in between sets? Move it or lose it sister. It may also alert you to signs of exhaustion and over-training.
Checking out the feedback can help you adjust your intensity so you're getting the most out of your workouts.
Your FitBit, like your right eye when you try to use liquid eyeliner, isn't perfect but it gets the job done. You'll be moving more with it, tracking your sleep, guzzling down water, and staying on top of your heart rate patterns. Once you're armed with this knowledge, there's no stopping the gain train. Well, as long as you keep lifting.
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