12 Comments

I am a long time Whoop wearer and using it helps me dial in habits that are beneficial using month long self-experiments, but I ignore the Strain recommendations. . My performance assessment always says "Strain was overreaching and supported with optimal sleep." I "overreach" daily according to Whoop but only actually overreach once or twice a week.

I know there is a big debate with Whoop adding a step count, I hope they don't because it's not data I need at all but after reading this I can see why it's probably going to happen eventually.

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Really made me think about my tracker today this did. Great piece

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This is great. I have a Fitbit Charge 5 and an Apple Watch. The Fitbit always has a higher step count than the Apple Watch so I just assume it’s somewhere in the middle. Another fascinating thing is how my Apple Watch thinks my VO2 Max has gone down since I’ve started rucking three times a week. The only app that seems like it might have a handle of sorts to track rucking in Map My Run with hiking with a medium pack but I wonder if that seriously overestimates calories burned.

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I really enjoyed reading your post. It is very interesting to fully understand how fitness trackers can be inaccurate. I am one who wears my apple watch everyday and check my steps as well as track my workouts. I also have a heart rate monitor that I will wear sometimes and it is crazy to see the difference in stats from each device. It is crazy that two different devices or name brands can provide such different numbers. For me personally i feel like a fitness tracker serves more as a motivational thing because I know that I cannot rely on the numbers it provides always.

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Speaking of trackers... Thought you’d enjoy this satirical interview in The NYT Well newsletter today with David Sedaris “Me walk pretty one day” -- favorite quote, “it’s like anything I do, I have to overdo and ruin, you know?”

https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?campaign_id=18&emc=edit_hh_20230629&instance_id=96334&nl=well&productCode=HH&regi_id=62778008&segment_id=138015&te=1&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2Fc2f82eff-db35-596f-9263-c387395db6a4&user_id=db5087e0b044e89df78dc0c4d71fc7db

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I have a Garmin Instinct Solar and tried mentally counting my steps (up to 300) and my watch count was within 2 steps over multiple tries. Not exactly a direct correlation over a full days worth, but made me feel a little better about some level accuracy. I could see where the same model, or other trackers, could be way off though. Very thoughtful article to be aware of the potential deviations that may be expected.

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founding

I have a Samsung watch, my husband has a fitbit. Anytime we ruck, hike, bike, etc together the distances are different - even with GPS tracking. We just assume the data is slightly better than a WAG but don't take it too seriously.

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founding

I have a Google Pixel Watch with Fitbit integration and I've always put it and other Fitbit trackers on my non dominant hand and then in the app settings set the tracker as being on my dominant hand. I don't know how much of a difference that makes, but I just follow the trends anyway.

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Wish they had tested Coros! My Fitbit charge 5 is always higher than Coros. I mostly just use these for relative data - did I walk more or less than my goal?

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Yes- I’m more interested to know how far off calorie burn is. I have a low resting heart rate and even though I can work out just as hard or harder than my sister (similar build) our calorie count can be much different. I understand there is so much more that goes into it, but for someone who is conscious about calorie intake, I’d love to have a more accurate calorie output.

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Good stuff!

I have noticed on numerous group rucks with my ruck club that everyone's fitness trackers come up with different mileage totals even though we are all rucking the same exact course.

Calorie tracking is another form of data that can be wildly inaccurate as well!

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