These are the devices to take to your next high intensity training session
It’s fair to say that HIIT or high intensity interval training is a popular choice for gym goers right now who want to sweat it out when time is short, or just when you think the hour session on the treadmill isn’t doing you any good. The short, intense bursts of exercise with or without gym equipment can quickly ramp up that heart rate and to help fight the fat.
If you want to keep a closer eye on those sessions or want to do some HIIT in the comfort of your own home, there are of course heart rate monitor chest straps that do a very good job of it. There’s also a crop of wearables that now make it possible with more on the way. It’s not just sports watches either, with wearables now delivering those tracking powers from the wrist, the head and even the ears.
So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned training veteran, we’ve picked out the best HIIT-friendly wearables you can buy right now.
Got any questions about the wearables mentioned below? Let us know in the comments section below.
Smartwatch apps for HIIT
With the Apple Watch’s Workout app now housing HIIT smarts, you can rely on the current heart rate monitor and the power of the Seconds app to keep tabs on your different rounds.
You’re able to leave your iPhone at home, save intervals and quickly edit one-off sessions on the go. Perfect if you’re just looking to keep tabs on sections of your workout when you want to ramp things up.
Android Wear’s iCount Timer can provide you with timer tracking for home workouts and strength training, but it can also be conditioned to help you control your HIIT sessions.
Once you’ve paired your wearable up with an Android Wear smartwatch, you’ll be able to receive vibration alerts for different intervals and fly through your workout.
Garmin Connect IQ
Garmin’s dedicated watches provide you with a plethora of modes to dive into, but if you’re looking for some quick, simple HIIT action, 7-Minute Workout takes you through a series of exercises to get the heart pumping. This includes getting you to deal with push-ups and jumping jacks, while rest times and real-time heart data are also displayed. It’s Ideal for users looking to get their HIIT covered in the gym.
Moov HR Sweat
The Moov HR’s killer feature is the heart rate monitor and it’s well suited to HIIT workouts. The sensor is worn inside of a headband and measures heart rate from the side of the head where the skin is thinner, sensor movement is reduced and there’s increased blood flow to produce reliable readings.
Moov’s companion app provides four different circuit workouts, one for beginners, two for intermediates and one for those looking for some advanced high intensity sessions, with the device tracking your ticker and using an AI-powered coach to tell you when you need to work harder.
$99.99, Moov | Amazon
MyZone smart shirt
We’re big fans of the MZ-3 heart rate monitoring chest strap, and now this connected t-shirt lets you connect the tech straight into the garment.
Designed to be worn as an under layer in cold weather or a standalone top layer, the MZ-3 sensor clips right onto the shirt much like it does on the MyZone sports bra, which is also available.
This makes it easier to tap into the personal bpm platform, where it’s a perfect partner for HIIT training. It’s already beingembraced by fitness studios letting users and teachers keep an eye on workout intensity during class time.
$89.99, myzone.org | Amazon
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple revamped its Workout app with watchOS 4 and part of that revamp involves a new mode for HIIT.
This new update lets you combine multiple workouts back-to-back with new motion and heart rate algorithms on board to improve accuracy of the data recorded.
That update is of course available on all existing Watch models including the Series 3 to help ramp up your high intensity workouts.
From $369, apple.com | Amazon
Garmin’s wearables are making steady improvements on the heart rate monitoring front and its proprietary Elevate sensor is beginning to make it into slimmer, more gym workout-friendly devices like the Vivosport.
Along with features like recording cardio activities and strength training (including rep counting), Garmin’s sleek tracker also delivers VO2 Max estimates. Why is that important for HIIT? Well, it’s a good indication of athletic performance and should improve as your fitness levels progress.
While the Vivosport’s heart rate monitor is not perfect like a lot of wrist based optical sensors, it should do a pretty good job of helping you keep an eye on progress during classes or your own sessions at home.
$199.99, garmin.com | Amazon
Along with the Blaze, the Ionic is the Fitbit best suited for high intensity training right now.
The smartwatch with a built-in heart rate monitor is joined by Fitbit’s Coach personal training app letting you follow workouts step-by-step on the Ionic’s touchscreen display. Workouts are recommended based on other activities you’ve tracked. So if you’ve put in a big run, it might be time to mix things up with a shorter, more intense burst of exercise.
There’s still only a handful of workouts available on the Ionic itself, but Fitbit is planning to add more in 2018 along with audio coaching to make it even more handy for high intensity training.
$299.95, fitbit.com | Amazon
Jabra Sport Pulse SE
Jabra’s smart in-ear headphones take the heart rate monitoring to the ears and actually deliver accurate results.
Along with delivering great sound and just being all-round solid sports headphones, Jabra also adds in automatic rep counting and a great companion app that also offers guided workouts including dedicated HIIT workouts.
There’s a good bunch of eartips and earhooks to keep them in place when things get intense and while you will still need your smartphone nearby, it should make a nice setup for some at home training.
$159.99, jabra.com | Amazon
Wahoo Tickr X
Like the MyZone setup mentioned earlier, the Tickr X is essentially a heart rate monitor chest strap, but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve to make it a worthy gym partner.
The Bluetooth and ANT+ supporting device records heart rate, tracks calories and count reps. So when paired with Wahoo’s fitness apps or third party fitness apps can makes a great HIIT partner at home or in the gym.
It will also store up to 16 hour of workouts, which is ideal if you don’t get around to syncing data to your phone straight after your session.
$99.99, wahoofitness.com | Amazon
When heart rate accuracy is concerned, chest straps are still king in our eyes, but if you don’t like wearing them and you question the reliability of wrist based monitors, Polar’s OH1 offers an alternative.
The heart rate monitor, which can be worn on the forearm or the upper arm uses optical heart rate sensor tech that aims to deliver the same level of accuracy as Polar’s H7 and H10 chest straps.
Workouts can be tracked through a host of third party iOS and Android fitness apps as well as Polar’s own Beat app so you can even store 200 hours of workouts on the OH1 when you don’t want to sweat it out without your smartphone nearby.
$79.95, polar.com | Amazon
Wahoo Tickr Fit
Wahoo has joined Polar in bringing heart rate monitoring to the arm where it also hopes to deliver chest strap-like accuracy.
The Bluetooth and ANT+ Fit can be paired with a host of wearables and along with real-time heart rate data dishes out calorie burn information as well.
Apple Watch integration means you can gather heart rate data in the Apple Workout app and you can expect up to 30 hours worth of tracking from its rechargeable battery.
$79.99, wahoo.com | Amazon
The successor to the Atlas Wristband and Wristband 2, the Atlas Shape features a more wrist-friendly design along with the company’s great motion tracking tech to count reps and analyse form.
There’s a built-in heart rate monitor that along with the new Coach AI software provides adaptive workouts including the HIIT training that doesn’t require gym equipment. It will even suggest when you need to to take break from the high intensity sessions.
The Shape successfully raised fund through crowdfunding to bring it to life and has now started shipping.