Generally, are fitness watches too aggressive (not just Garmin)?

You all know that I love Garmin's product, just not the quality control or lack of LTE.  But I will seriously be looking at one when they release the LTE Fenix Sport or Forerunner 955.  

That being said, I've seen a trend with all fitness devices that is a bit disturbing.  They push you a little TOO much.  Do more, run more, more cardio, more low aerobic, more this, more that.  Now, as I'm aging I'm finding that it's best to do less but stay consistent.  Don't run every day, but maybe every other day.  Don't push push push.   This constant push to do more and more has caused me more small injuries and other smaller problems, that I didn't have before these fitness watches became a thing.

More Achillies problems, more muscle soreness, cramps, knots.  More aches and pains.   Normally they wouldn't get this bad, but hey, I have to "close the rings", "Get my VO2 up", "Move damnit, the watch says so".

I'm starting to ignore much of it and slow things down to a more common sense sort of schedule.  The goal?  Stay fit and HEALTHY.  Not push push push.

I know when you are younger, this is typically ok, this "Push syndrome", but when you get above say 50, things just don't recover so fast.  

Do you all think that there needs to be more thought put into how these devices drive us?  I don't think the current programming is healthy on the body.

  • Sincerely, I was more active before using sports focused watches. I was walking/running 15-20 km a day (at least thru 2013-2018), going to the gym, doing gym based exercises at home and whatnot. Now, if I take my dog for a walk/run for 5-7 km/day if the weather alow it and going to the gym 4 times a week, it seems enough for me.

    Before using serious watches, that "tell" me I'm over reaching or over training, I didn't see much positive results in my fat loss goal and muscle mass. I always had sleep issues and put the lack of goal achieving on it, but it seems like it was a good idea for me to monitor with a watch my all day activity. If only Garmin will do something to the sleep tracking, making it like Fitbit's, that would really help everyone more. For 18 years I worked only night jobs and sleeping only 3 to 6 hours a day, maybe an occasional nap once in a while and an all day sleep tracking would be a "miracle" for me. I used to wear a Fitbit Charge 3 on my other wrist just to have an exact idea how many hours of sleep I get per day, naps included.

    In conclusion, this kind of watches helped me tone down a bit and don't push too hard every day.

    LE: Fitbit Ionic made me really over train a lot of times!

  • I agree about the sleep tracking.  I am a nighthawk.  My body says stay up, but life doesn't allow it.  So I naturally get into a sleep debt as well.  Garmin does a very poor job in this aspect, as to where fitbit and the Apple Watch do a fantastic job. 

    FirstBeat metrics, that a lot of watches are now using does a better job of managing activity and rest (body battery, etc).  Thankfully it's a growing list of manufacturers buying into this.  So you may be right about that.  But it's a new thing.

  • I agree. I am only using the watch to track my workouts but don't push myself based on the data it provides.

    First of all, I don't trust the data accuracy at all, even if I wear chest strap on most of my training sessions. Secondly, it's much beneficial knowing and listening to your body; your watch won't feel soreness or pain.

    As you wrote, consistency matters more than pushing yourself to your limits. If you have an injury, you probably cannot do workouts for days or even weeks and it will also affect to your future abilities.

    Metrics are just numbers which can show your long term progress and can even motivate you but they are still just numbers. You must know what is good for your body. 

    That's just my 2 cents Slight smile

  • You nailed it on how I now treat the data.  Use it as a tool, not a "live by it".   I'm learning more and more to change things up and do what is easier on the body.   Swimming has been a god send for me, personally.  But now my shoulders ache more, mainly because I enjoy it so much, I don't stop.  lol.  Sometimes doing laps for 1.5 hours or 4000 yards. 

  • That being said, I've seen a trend with all fitness devices that is a bit disturbing.  They push you a little TOO much.  Do more, run more, more cardio, more low aerobic, more this, more that. 

    This feels somewhat like the argument that those morons that drive off a cliff level against the GPS devices in their vehicles.

    My Fenix doesn't make me do anything. I use the Fenix as a tool in combination with other tools and research to make my own decisions. But then I also don't blindly follow my GPS unit over a cliff.

  • What I have noticed over the years is the more advanced devices (Garmin, Suunto, Polar) are geared more towards athletes and tend to push you harder, and the more basic devices (apple watch, fitbit, samsung, etc...) are geared more toward the regular person just trying to stay active.

    I have owned them all and that has been my experience so far anyway.

    I find myself in the middle area of regular and athlete, and it's hard for me, because the apple watch makes me think I'm doing great, but my garmin F6XPS tells me I'm only doing fair to good and making me push too hard sometimes. I'm also in between wanting basic and advanced features as well. I like some of the advanced features, but get to caught up in them when there are too many.

    I'm 62 years old, and do at least 1 activity every day 7 days a week (1 to 2 hours average daily), even if it's just a 3 mile recovery walk, and I have gotten at least 10,000 steps a day 7 days a week for going on 2 years straight now.

  • My Fenix doesn't make me do anything. I use the Fenix as a tool in combination with other tools and research to make my own decisions. But then I also don't blindly follow my GPS unit over a cliff.

    No, but it's supposed to give direction.  I don't think it does well with the aging population.  Maybe it's because of the data supplied by FirstBeat.  This isn't Garmin, it's FirstBeat's lack of consideration for age.  Everything that is reported to you by Garmin is supplied by FirstBeat (I think that's the company they use).  I know Body Battery and Recovery time are supposed to help, but then you get weird counteracting data.

    We all want to stay in good health, period.  Or we wouldn't even be having this conversation  Slight smile

  • I get the feeling that Garmin likes to "tune" their products to relatively hardcore athletes, whereas other devices like, say, fitbit, are tuned more for the everyday person that just wants to be healthier.

    I agree that Garmin pushes me pretty dang hard - trying to keep my "training status" at "maintaining" or higher takes a ton of exercise, often more than I have time or energy to do. I'm not a hardcore athlete, so I just do my best, and if Garmin thinks I'm not doing enough, then oh well. It's not my mother, I can make my own choices Smiley

    I bought my watch primarily for the navigation, ABC sensors, ClimbPro, etc. to use while hiking/backpacking and other outdoor activities. The fitness tracking was just an added bonus for me, which I realize puts me in the minority here - most people seem to more focused on fitness

  • Completely agree with these sentiments, and much like OldAssDude, I'm 63, but I'm also a 'serious' masters level cyclist (UCI Gran Fondo level qualifier) and train around 18-22 hours each week, but get a bit obsessive with making sure I get my Steps target each day ;-)

    I find Garmin's assessment of my training efforts at times laughable (as does my coach, who is an ex world tour professional cyclist). My take on it is that most of the training level assessments are guesstimates, and more often than not very inaccurate

    I recently purchased an F6 Sapphire to act as an adjunct to the times when I'm not on the bike/training, and put up with its bugs (numerous), inaccuracies (wrist based HR etc) for over a month, returned it for a full refund nd happily went back to my AW4 (less than great battery life BUT has LTE and a far better screen ... at least Apple's 'black' is 'black', wrist HR is very good)

    I'm not entirely sure why Garmin, in particular, go the 'push harder' mentality beyond it being a purely marketing thing to separate themselves from the herd of other fitness devices out there