The Fitbit Surge- the Pros and Cons

I recently purchased a Fitbit Surge to see what it was really like.  If you quit reading right now the take home message would be this: I like it for some features, but honestly you can get those features for a lot cheaper. In my opinion, the surge isn’t worth the money.  Here is my […]

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I recently purchased a Fitbit Surge to see what it was really like.  If you quit reading right now the take home message would be this: I like it for some features, but honestly you can get those features for a lot cheaper. In my opinion, the surge isn’t worth the money.  Here is my list of the Surge’s pros and cons.

Pros:   -Easy to set up and use the Fitbit and the app that goes along with it

-Like being able to read texts as they come in and scroll through previous texts on the watch

-The pedometer, distance, and floors features are useful tools to map movement/activity on a daily basis

-It tracks distances on runs/walks and has a little map on the app so you can see your route

Cons:   -when people say its “big”, it’s because it’s HUGE on your wrist and can actually get in the way during certain activities

-it doesn’t sync very well at all, especially with programs such as MyFitnessPal

BUT MY BIGGEST ISSUE with the Surge is:

-it is grossly inaccurate at measuring heart rate during exercise and as a result, it under reports the number of calories burned during workouts.  I have been an avid Polar Heart Rate monitor wearer for over 10 years, so I have an idea how many calories I am burning during my workouts.  The Surge general reports my calorie burn anywhere from 75-150 calories lower than what I am pretty sure I am actually burning.  I feel this is largely due to false heart rate readings during exercise.  There are times when I know my heart rate is up in the 140’s-150’s and the Surge is reading my heart rate as less than 110 BPM.  Since caloric burn is a direct result of intensity (i.e. heart rate), I know the counts are incorrect.  This is extremely frustrating when trying to accurately log calories consumed vs. calories burned.

 

While it’s been a fun experiment, save your money and buy a Polar, at least until Fitbit figures these issue out.

#fitbitsurge

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

Strength Training Techniques to Break Through Plateaus

Hitting strength training plateaus is never fun. This blog features four strength training protocols that can help you push past plateaus and increase strength gains. 1: PUSH/PULL:   Using this technique you work opposing muscle groups back to back, or on back to back training days. For example, a chest exercise is followed by a back […]

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Hitting strength training plateaus is never fun. This blog features four strength training protocols that can help you push past plateaus and increase strength gains.

1: PUSH/PULL:   Using this technique you work opposing muscle groups back to back, or on back to back training days. For example, a chest exercise is followed by a back exercise, or a bicep exercise is followed by a triceps exercise. Or, one day may be chest and bicep exercises and the next day would be back and triceps. Some major benefits (aside from building strength) is that it helps achieve balance among the muscles, and can help prevent over training injuries.

2: PYRAMID TRAINING: Start with a light to medium weight and do a large number of reps (15-20). Then move to a medium weight and do slightly less reps (12-15). Finally, go to as heavy a weight as you can lift 6-10 reps. Take a small break between each set (about 30 seconds). A major benefit of training in this manner is the first set serves as a warm up set and gets the muscles ready to work hard. Another benefit is that exercises need not be complex to use this lifting technique. An exercise as simple as a bench press fits well into the protocol. This may also be reversed where you lift heavy for a small number of reps and progress to lighter weights with more reps. However, if you chose to reverse pyramid make sure the muscles are warmed up to prevent injury.

3: Regressive 6: This protocol uses 6 consecutive sets using the same resistance for each set. The first set has 6 reps, then 5 reps, 4 reps, 3, 2, and 1 rep. The protocol calls for a 12 second break in between each set. However, I found this to be too much rest and shortened the rest time as the reps decreased. I had clients rest 12 seconds after the first set, then 10 seconds, 8, 6, and 4 seconds. I found this to be more effective.

5 Position Static Hold: Using this technique it is advised to pick a resistance that is slightly lighter than you would normally lift. You hold the weight for 20 seconds in five range of motion positions including ¼, ½, ¾, ½, and ¼. In a typical bicep curl you would lift ¼ of the way up and hold that for 20 seconds, then go up ½ way and hold. Repeat until you get ¾ of the way up then go back down to ½ way and ¼ of the way. There is no break between the holds. This technique allows for muscle fatigue to occur. I like to add 1 set of 10 full range of motion lifts to complete the set.

#strengthtraining

 

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

 

Burn Calories and Lose Weight While Getting Chores Done!

    I am going to go over the amount of calories you can burn doing daily activities around your house.  Keep in mind the actual amount of calories you burn varies based on how much you weigh and how hard you are working.  The more you weigh, the more calories you burn during weight […]

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I am going to go over the amount of calories you can burn doing daily activities around your house.  Keep in mind the actual amount of calories you burn varies based on how much you weigh and how hard you are working.  The more you weigh, the more calories you burn during weight bearing activities.  All of these values are based on doing the activity for one hour and are also based on a 150 pound person.   If you want to look at how many calories your favorite (or not so favorite) chores, sports, or activities burn, check out this website:  http://caloriecount.about.com/activities-home-activities-ac5

  • Mowing the lawn while walking with a push mower: 408 cal/hour
  • Mowing the lawn while walking with a power  mower: 374 cal/hour
  • Raking: 292 cal/hour
  • Mopping  floors: 238 cal/hour
  • Sweeping sidewalks: 272 cal/hour
  • Scrubbing the bathrooms: 258 cal/hour
  • Weeding/cultivating a garden: 306 cal/hour
  • Ironing: 156 cal/hour
  • Painting: 306 cal/hour
  • Vacuuming: 238 cal/hour
  • Washing Dishes: 156 cal/hour

And for those of you still reading…. Kissing: 68 calories/hour… disappointing, but true!

For this week’s fit tip get outside and do some lawn work.  This can even be better than 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Chances are after a day of lawn work you will be sore too!  It will force you to use muscles that we forget we have and also those we don’t target at the gym.

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie