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BROWNH14 Posts: 377
6/30/11 10:43 A

I have a question for those that use the BodyMedia Fit armband. How much is the subscription that you have to get? I looked on the website and couldn't find it and that can have a huge impact on the price.

JSUMMAR SparkPoints: (3,453)
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Posts: 18
4/21/11 4:10 P

Hey, Corraline!

I love my BodyMedia Fit Armband! It has taken the guesswork out of my weightloss struggles, and I've lost 30 lbs. after wearing it for 8 months. I've got 10 more to go.

Read this short article on the device vs. using a HRM. The technology is here! And if you watch The Biggest Loser, every contestant wears one. You may be convinced, too.

Also, I read another message board post that someone wrote that they found them on sale at Costco for $149. I have found them on Amazon for $175. The mfr. retails them for $249. I paid $200 through my gym.

Health & Happiness!

JENNINCAT Posts: 2,165
4/13/11 5:25 P

I've used both HRM and BB. I've also used the Bodybugg and Bodymedia Fit. Personally, out of all of them I like the BodyMedia Fit the best. I love getting the feedback from the Fit. The Bodybugg is same thing as the Bodymedia Fit but I like the software of the latter much better. I actually returned my Bodybugg and got the Bodymedia Fit instead. Also the Bodybugg (when I used it last summer) didn't track sleep and the Bodymedia Fit does. Getting enough sleep is one of my bigger struggles and it helps to motivate me.

CAH0315 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/13/11 5:03 P

I actually own both as well. I believe they both have their uses. Apparently the Bodybugg is better for everyday tasks like work etc (unless work is hard labor). I use my heart rate monitor when cycling because I don't think the bodybugg gives an accurate account of the calories I burn when I cycle. For example, last saturday I rode 37 miles on my bike and my average heart rate was 161bpm. My Bodybugg showed I only burned 1120 calories in the 4ish hours I cycled. If I use the Bodybugg website to calculate my output, I get a minimum of 3,120 and a maximum of 4,080 calories burned. Apparently the accelerometer isn't the best at detecting the motion of cycling. My heart rate monitor showed about 4,400 calories which may be a bit high possibly due to my not entering a V02 max threshold? Regardless, I think both are great tools for weight loss and training. I would just take all outcomes with a grain of salt and maybe average the two?

KLPEFFERS Posts: 987
4/4/11 2:57 P

I tell ya, I had totally written off the BB or BodyMedia until reading this. My SIL purchased the BB and then after becoming acquianted with it took a spin class and said she only burned like 190 calories for an hour and my Polar FT7 with Chest strap said I burned 470. I have also heard that the BB is better for "every day" use rather than HIIT which I rely on my Polar HRM for.

I use the HRM for my training and then log my calories out / in on SP. It cost me $70 for the training one which keeps logs and activities (indefinitely?) and then I use the SP free site. It has been working for me (down 7 pounds since I began) I also find that I like the HRM when doing Cardio because it will sound a tone if/when I get outside of my Target Zone.

Best of luck... (personally, I was too cheap to spend the $$ on the BB and Software!)

KAY_WOOD Posts: 208
4/4/11 2:33 P

I am JUST now debating whether or not to buy bodymedia and this thread was so helpful-thanks to you all!!! I'm torn because it is expensive but I feel like even if it's an estimate, it's a better estimate than guessing which is what I do now! It seems that people who use it lose more weight. And the sleep thing is key. I'm thinking I might order it...

CHARITY_GRACE SparkPoints: (20,783)
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Posts: 94
1/14/11 11:15 P

Thanks for all the feedback about the HRM versus the Body Bugg. I'll have to do some online shopping now LOL

SILLY__RABBIT Posts: 2,365
10/3/10 2:06 P

I use the BodyMedia fit and LOVE IT! I have the display, but I don't wear it as a watch. Instead I have it attached to the clip and keep it in my purse (or tunebelt, etc) and check it whenever I want to confirm I'm on track for the day in terms of steps/minutes of activity. I'm one of those people that loves feedback and going 'by the numbers'. I know with anything the treadmill, bodymedia fit, heart rate monitors that give a calorie estimate are not 100% accurate, but having the feedback is great!

BELLATRIX1224 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (11,499)
Posts: 251
10/3/10 12:53 P

I have both the body bugg and a heart rate monitor. I use both and I find them helpful. It's nice to see how I did everyday.

10/2/10 8:53 P

I have the diplay but I never use it. I think it is ugly LOL. I do have the wireless communicator so I can upload quickly if I want to see where I am at.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/2/10 12:15 P

Chryssy, do you have the display as well, or do you just wait until the end of the day to see your numbers?

10/2/10 9:35 A

I use the Bodybugg. I do wear mine 24/7 except for showering. I am down 32# as of this morning. I like it because I can see the numbers.

It guides me as to how many calories I need to reach my goals, and I can see what I am burning each day. If I find I need to burn more calories I will get out and go for a walk to get my burn in. I love the science behind it and being a visual person seeing the information it provides helps me in my goals.

BANKER-CHUCK Posts: 6,730
10/2/10 3:33 A

Bodybugg is to expensive. I use a less expesive The Sharper Image that gives HR and Calories burned.

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
Fitness Minutes: (108,468)
Posts: 3,984
10/2/10 1:10 A

VHALKYRIE "An HRM can do no better than that either. If a BodyBugg is going to be nitpicked for its 'inaccurate' while cycling, then it's easy to nitpick a HRM for overestimating calorie burn during yoga. Your heart rate is very fast during yoga, but yoga does not burn a lot of calories."

First I would comment that Yoga does not meet or barely meets the requirements of using a heart rate monitor. HRT Monitors are really only useful for Cardio where the heart rate is driven by activities such as biking, running, elliptical. The more you move away from the activities used to normalize the model the less accurate and reliable the results will be. People constantly try to use them for things like Cleaning, yard work, and other non-cardio activities. The Math behind most do not claim any accuracy for activities that do not meet the underlying assumption.

You article is one of the best I have seen. The point is that the estimate is off by a considerable amount and that you can use the numbers with other information.

My typical contention with heart rate monitors is similar. I use standard formulas to do my Calorie estimates based on running and HRM and then my formula allows for a personal adjustment. I adjust my estimate down by 15%, I have a friend who adjust hers up by 5%. Both applying the same math to the same activity and yet a 20% difference based on real world results.

Your article is saying the same thing about the BodyBugg. I have no issue to debate with this. My repeated point with the heart rate monitor is that it is only an estimate, that you must use it according to the underlying assumption of the Math and you must use it intelligently. The author of your article seems to be saying similar things, that is, use the information intelligently and it should work out. He recommends his book as a way to get at some of that information on how to use it intelligently.

With all of these tools people too often think they generate magic numbers. I constantly see people wanting to quibble over a small number of calories in these estimates. In my opinion all of our calorie burn estimates are +- 10 - 20 %

My issue with the bodybugg is that it tends to be marketed as nearly 100% accurate when in fact it also has at least this same error. An other issue is that it spits out more computer generated info and people tend to belief that more than other numbers.

I am reminded of an article I read a number of years ago about Business decision making software. It found that good decision makers tended to make their companies do better and bad decision makers tended to make their companies do worse.

In essence it suggested that in both case the decision makers tended to make the same quality of decisions, but they tended to have more faith in their decisions and so tend to be more likely to implement more of their decisions; thus the good decision makers implemented more good decisions, and the poor decision makers implemented more of their decisions the company bottom lines moved accordingly.

In the same way, I think that people tend to rely too much on the numbers returned from these devices instead of using them as part of the information, and looking at real world results and making adjustment accordingly.

My real world experiences suggests to me that for my metabolism the standard formula for calories burned running based on heart rate, age, gender and weight come out about 10-15% high. My friend finds that for her the results come out about 5% low. I would expect similar variance for the bodybug.

In point of fact, VHALKYRIE supports the same notiong by not using it when strength training because it will throw things off.

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 10/2/2010 (01:12)
CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/2/10 12:40 A

really good points!!

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 7:58 P

BodyBugg/BodyMedia tend to underestimate for activities like cycling, and they say this on their website. Some people say they put the band on their leg when cycling, I've never tried this. Personally, I don't mind a little underreporting in my calorie expenditure, since I tend to lean towards underestimating my calorie consumption, so having to work a little harder isn't a bad thing.

Here's is the best article I can find on the accuracy/inaccuracy of a BodyBugg/BodyMedia Fit

In Summary: It is impossible to confirm or deny accuracy. However, by observation and use (by a personal trainer), 10-15% error rate is probably right. The data collected should only be used as a guide on how you live you life. Give you insights on your lifestyle and how your choices affect your goals.

An HRM can do no better than that either. If a BodyBugg is going to be nitpicked for its 'inaccurate' while cycling, then it's easy to nitpick a HRM for overestimating calorie burn during yoga. Your heart rate is very fast during yoga, but yoga does not burn a lot of calories.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 10/1/2010 (20:06)
PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (48,308)
Fitness Minutes: (108,468)
Posts: 3,984
10/1/10 6:27 P

"Bodybugg claims it is 90% accurate so I don't understand those who say they aren't doing what it claims to do."

Paper won't refuse ink. None of the review, I have read, by any other than the manufacture see to support this. Even a heart rate Monitor based on running, biking, etc (the best you are likely to get) are going to be plus or minue 10-20 %

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 4:57 P

Eww... I don't have one with the chest strap. I guess those are the best ones. I just have a cheapie $15 wrist watch kind. I just hold it when I want to take a pulse. I like it for when I do stuff like bike riding or on the treadmill so I can monitor my heart rate and make sure I'm in the zone I want to be in. It will come in very handy when I start my spinning classes. But I don't use it for tracking calorie burn. I use my BMF for that.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/1/10 4:26 P

Thanks for the tips! I would like to get a hrm in the meantime, however, i'd want to get one that actually works...and that might be expensive. I'd rather not have one at all than have one that doesn't work properly! And I don't want to spend a lot if i'm going to get a bodybugg/bodymedia in a few months...
I'm also not a huge fan of having to wear a chest strap.
I guess I have some stuff to think about!

HMP1975 Posts: 214
10/1/10 4:26 P

Thanks for the response back!

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 4:05 P

BTW, HRMs are so inexpensive, there's no reason why you can't have both. Or use a HRM while you save up. Maybe you'll love a HRM you'll decide you don't need it. Personally, I have both. I haven't used my HRM in a long time. I just really love the graphs and real-time all day analysis. It really IS totally optional, though. I balked at the cost at first, but then I thought of all the junk I used to spend my money on, why wouldn't I shouldn't I spend it on my health? I think it already saved me a doctor's bill in terms of my sleep quality, so I think I got my money's worth. My year renewal is almost up, and I think I will continue it.

If you do get one, don't forget to join the BodyBugg Spark team! It is for both BodyBugg and BodyMedia users.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 10/1/2010 (16:07)
VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 3:53 P

I don't wear it while strength training because I know it will be an off result. Plus the armband might constrict blood flow while flexing, and that's totally counterproductive. Plus it gets very sweaty while strength training.

If you get one, I recommend getting an extra armband. That way, while you wash and dry one armband, you have another clean one ready for use!

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/1/10 3:41 P

Do you take it off while strength training, or just leave it on, and figure out at the end of the day what was strength training "false high numbers"?

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 3:17 P

I wrote a blog post about it several months ago.

I would say it really is an estimate at the end of the day. It's impossible to be COMPLETELY precise without some very expensive (and inconvenient) oxygen analyzers. Barring any special medical issues you might have (like thyroid issues), I'd say it's 'close enough'.

As for strength training, no it is not intended for calorie burning for strength training, and the numbers will be way off. The device has sensors that measures motion, perspiration, and heat from your skin. You make lots of motion with your arms strength training, and sweat a lot, but that doesn't mean you're burning a lot of calories. You'll also be generating a lot of heat that your body is trying to expel. Perspiration does not *necessarily* equal calorie burn. Neither does increased heart rate, which is why HRMs are also not meant for strength training.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 10/1/2010 (15:47)
HMP1975 Posts: 214
10/1/10 2:59 P

@ VHALKYRIE - I am literally one click away from ordering the GoWear Fit on Amazon. Just wondering (totally without attitude) -- how do you know that the day's expenditure is accurate for you? Is it based on weight loss? Or does it actually match what most online BMR calculator's give you? I guess I am just trying to figure out if the GoWear is better than the estimates out there or if it really is only an estimate at the end of the day as well.

Oh, and also curious about the strength training accuracy -- is it at least roughly accurate?

Thanks for all the information you've answered in this thread.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/1/10 2:54 P

I like the sounds of this. I wanted to be able to continue to use spark's database/tracker. I like that this will allow both. I think i'm going to save for this rather than the hrm.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
10/1/10 1:58 P

You can enter food on the BodyMedia's website either way. You can use their food database, or you can just enter your calorie totals for the day directly. I do it the second way. I track all my food on Spark, and I just take my calorie totals and input it on BodyMedia's site. The food tracking is completely optional, but I find it useful for a running total. Spark has much better food tools, and I love SparkRecipes.

If the technology is iffy, I'd love to see more info on that. I've used it for 9 months, and I've found the entire day's total expenditure to be pretty accurate for me. Seeing a graph that just getting up and moving around on occasion really does make a difference. Seeing my calorie burn and activity while skiing was pretty darn cool.

But it's not for everyone. If you're a data analysis geek, then it's a fun fitness tool. A heart rate monitor, if you like it, is just fine.

I tried to do a little research on these claims of unreliability, and the only thing I could find was some reports of the display watch sometimes not syncing. Independent studies done by experts say it is approximately 90% accurate compared to oxygen analyzer tests. I haven't seen anything that contradicts that, but if anyone has something, I would be interested in seeing it.

It is not accurate for calorie burn during strength training, but neither is a HRM.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 10/1/2010 (14:20)
VIRGO_QUEEN SparkPoints: (15,497)
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Posts: 251
10/1/10 1:14 P

I definitely think that the hrm is the best thing. The intentions of the bb are good, but the technology is iffy

LADYGWEN25 SparkPoints: (98,454)
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Posts: 3,132
10/1/10 1:09 P

i gotta say.. NEVER heard of a body bug.. this thready has been pretty cool to read to get the info on it.. thanks for posting it! :)

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/1/10 12:53 P

OH, and i'm sorry, one more question. When you enter your food intake on to body media's website, is it like spark, where the system aleady knows the calories for your foods, or do you have to enter each food and calories for that food yourself?
(and if it does know food calories already, does it have the ability to allow you manually enter foods that it does not know already?)

sorry, hope that makes sense!

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
10/1/10 12:51 P

Hah,ok, that makes sense. By the way, I slept really well last night with ONE pillow! Thanks for that tip. I felt way more rested than I normally do, and woke before my alarm clock!

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
9/30/10 6:13 P

No, I think the display would be too distracting for me. I would be checking it like every 5 minutes! I think it would be cool, but not a must have. But maybe if I had one, it would be a must have? Maybe I don't know it's a must have? :D

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 9/30/2010 (18:14)
OKIELORA SparkPoints: (18,739)
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Posts: 404
9/30/10 6:03 P

I have to add, if you are looking for a HRM my husband got me a really inexpensive on off of Amazon. It is made by New Balance and is pretty basic but it does calculate calories and have the chest strap.

It's defiantly a much more affordable option.


CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/30/10 5:52 P

Are you wishing that you had the display, or is it working well for you not having it? (ha, that would be neat, being able to wear it in the pool).

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
9/30/10 4:59 P

I didn't buy the display. I just plug in the morning and let it charge while I'm in the shower.

I only wish they had a waterproof version so I could see my calorie burn while swimming!

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 9/30/2010 (17:04)
LISAS1980 Posts: 936
9/30/10 3:55 P

I invested in a pretty hefty heart rate monitor with GPS system, programs and all the works - now sitting in my kitchen cabinet and I haven't used it for over a month. So I considered the body bugg as well - I guess it just depends on how you use it. I knew my workouts were hard and I'd get pretty much the same data. I was just looking for my time, average bpm, pace and once I averaged out - I stopped using it. I guess I should jump back on my heart rate monitor but I'm really interested in the body bugg as well.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/30/10 3:04 P

That's really interesting about the double pillow, wow!! I should try that. I never feel very well rested in the morning, and I sleep with a double pillow...
I might try the one from bodymedia. I've heard good things about them.
Did you buy the display as well, so you can see it throughout the day? Or do you just wait until night time and plug it in for results?

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
9/30/10 11:47 A

I use (used to be GoWearFit). It's the same company that makes BodyBugg, but BodyBugg is branded for 24 Hour Fitness. I bought directly from BodyMedia. I have heard their version of the online software is better than the BodyBugg's, but I haven't tried both. I only know that while it is pricey, I've really found the data to be very useful. I used to think I had 'slow metabolism', and I always wondered how accurate those BMR calculators were. Now I know for sure, my metabolism is just fine, I'm just eating too much for my activities. The BMR calculators are pretty accurate, if you're honest about your activity level and calorie tracking.

The BodyMedia version will also detect when you're sleeping, and records the quality of your sleep. I've found that I wasn't getting good quality sleep from the data. It turns out that my use of double pillows was giving me 'apnea' type symptoms. I just use a single pillow now, and I get much better sleep. I never would have known this otherwise.

The BodyBugg version does not record sleep. At least the older versions did not. I don't know about the new ones.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 9/30/2010 (11:48)
CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/30/10 11:30 A

Maybe it's who you subscribe with that can be the problem?
Out of curiosity, who do you subscribe through? I haven't totally written it off yet. It's a pretty expensive investment so I want to make sure that I've done the research first;)

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,215
9/30/10 11:27 A

I also am not sure where the claims about the BodyBugg being unreliable are coming from. I've found my GoWearFit (same company) to be eerily accurate and reliable. I've been using it for about 9 months, and it's the most accurate tool I've used for calorie expended. I'd like to see the sources on the claims of unreliability.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 9/30/2010 (11:30)
CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/30/10 11:17 A

My understanding is that they aren't as accurate as they claim them to be...I could be wrong though. I still love the idea of it.

9/30/10 8:55 A

Bodybugg claims it is 90% accurate so I don't understand those who say they aren't doing what it claims to do.

MSPRIS3 Posts: 521
9/29/10 4:44 P

I was wondering about the Body Bugg too, but after reading this post, I will stick to my HRM.

Thanks All!

CHERSTAD Posts: 32
9/29/10 3:11 P

How funny, I was just looking at the bodybugg online and came here to ask about it. I think I may go with a HRM for now. I've never used one, but I'd really like to get a better idea of how effective my workouts are.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/29/10 1:48 P

Thank you both! This is helpful. I guess I can wait on the bodybugg until it is more reliable..I'd love to hear some input from people who use the bodybugg now, with the glitches etc.

9/29/10 1:39 P

A body bugg is something you wear throughout the day to track your calories burned throughout the entire day - including time you exercise. You wear a strap around your arm, along with a watch on your wrist. Usually the first 6 months of subscription comes with the purchase of the body bugg, but after that you have to pay. It's kind of a cool experiment to see exactly how many calories you burn during an entire day.

The downside to the bb is that the technology is a bit iffy and it's not entirely solid and foolproof tracking your daily calorie burn yet. It will be someday soon, but I've put buying one on the back burner until it's more reliable.

A HRM monitor is similar, but you generally only wear it when you're working out. It's great because you can customize it with your own stats so it acts as a motivator as well as a training device. It can tell you if and when you go above or below your target heart rate zone, and tells you the calories burned. Depending on which HRM you buy, there are more or less options, and wear a chest strap under your shirt and a watch on your wrist.

I have a Polar HRM, have had it for years and think it's a necessary part of my fitness regime now. Wouldn't know what I'd do without it.

9/29/10 1:27 P

CORRALINE - the BodyBugg claims to measure all the calories you burn over the course of the day, not just in exercise. A heart rate monitor with calorie burn calculator is designed ONLY to measure your calories burned for cardiovascular exercise.

From what I've read, the BodyBugg will eventually do exactly what it says, but right now the technology is not good enough to back up the BodyBugg's claims. The technology will get there one day soon, but I just don't think it's quite true yet.

A HRM will tell you how many calories you burned in cardio exercise but not strength training. STrength training involves a lot of subjective, unique factors for each individual, so outside of an exercise lab there's no way to accurately calculate strength calorie burn.

A good heart rate monitor should allow you to program it with your height, weight, age, gender, target heart rate range, and an activity multiplier based on how active you are (the owner's manual will give you that information). If the HRM does not allow you to program it with all this information, then its calculation of calories burned will not be accurate.

I hope this helps.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/29/10 1:12 P

Calories burned, or calories consumed? That's what i'm confused about. I know that the bodybugg also requires a subscrition-i'm curious if you have to use the subscription to use it for the heart rate monitor too.

JUST_DEBORAH Posts: 1,427
9/29/10 1:07 P

I think (guessing) the body bug tracks calories and the heart rate monitor typically does not.

CORRALINE SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (2,506)
Posts: 85
9/29/10 1:05 P

Can someone please tell me what a bodybugg does over a heart rate monitor? I'm looking into buying one or the other, and i want to understand the difference first.

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