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Beast is Making Workouts Smarter

I work out religiously. With few exceptions, I do 40 minutes of cardio on a daily basis. That includes running, walking briskly uphill, bicycling, skating or challenging the elliptical machine. Plus, I add light weight training sessions about four times per week. And by light, I mean in both ways: weights that aren’t heavy and in short, easy sessions. At my age, my goal is just to stay thin and flexible. My sights are not set on the next Mr. America competition. Overall, I think I’m pretty ordinary, with respect to the amount of exercise I get.

That said, if I was to become more intense about working out — particularly with weight lifting — I’d want to keep an ongoing log of my activity, to know when to push myself harder and when to increase either the weights themselves, or the repetitions. As it stands now, I just refer to Apple’s Health app numbers everyday, to see how many miles and steps I’ve gone.

But I was recently testing out an Italian-made product called Beast, that I believe will satiate more advanced athletes. It is a tiny, lightweight sensor that slips into an included wristband and connects to a smartphone app — either iOS or Android phones will work with it. The manufacturer describes it on the package as “an integrated system based on aerospace sensor technology, ideal to improve workout experience.” It takes up to 50 measurements per second for every movement you make while working out, and transmits data to the app (and a website account you create) in real time. Its lithium-ion battery lasts up to eight hours, according to the manufacturer.

At first, I tried testing it by doing push-ups. I may not be the sharpest guy around, but I thought the interface wasn’t initially intuitive to use. I think I was looking too much into it. It’s actually rather simple. I was able to see my activity, in-between reps. Then I tried it for walking and running. For cardio, I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret the data I was looking at afterwards — unlike Apple’s Health app that relays steps, this offers more information about the force and intensity of the steps. I played roller hockey with it the next day, and saw a graphic layout of the strides I was taking. I know that when I really pushed up my speed, I noticed that relayed visually on the app. Pretty cool, actually.

Like I said, I’m not much of a weightlifter. But based off the literature I read, this is where I assume Beast shines. In fact, the company insists that the product merges your grind, effort and passion with the training expertise of certified strength and conditioning coaches. Ultimately, the makers say they want both athletes and trainers to better understand their efforts, in order to optimize their training and make exercising more efficient.

What’s great is that Beast is substantial yet you forget you’re wearing it after a short while. The wristband is adjustable via a velcro portion. And it stays on well while you work away your body — thanks to integrated magnets in the wristband. Setting it up is a cinch, and the website even offers excellent video tutorials you can watch that will help familiarize you with the product. Next I’m going to start plotting when in my runs I currently tend to pick up the pace. And I hope to learn how to run smarter, so that I can keep getting better at it.

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