I like Wahoo Fitness. Wahoo doesn’t just have a great name, it also comes up with great ideas. I hate to use a phrase like “thinking outside the box” but that’s exactly what the folk at Wahoo do, regularly. While other fitness technology companies are happy to tow the line and follow in the wake of the major players, Wahoo Fitness always seems to be thinking about new and better ways to do things, and the results of that thinking are truly innovative products.
The Wahoo Fitness RFLKT, for example, made using your iPhone as your cycle computer both simple and safe. After all, the last thing you want to worry about if you crash your bike is smashing your £600 phone to pieces! And then there’s the Wahoo cadence sensor that did away with the need for magnets, instead building an accelerometer into the sensor that straps to the crank – a design that Garmin adopted for its Edge 1000. The Wahoo Fitness KICKR meanwhile changed the face of turbo trainers, with none other than Team Sky adopting it.
The Wahoo Fitness TICKR X continues the company’s tradition of innovation, taking something as mundane as a heart rate monitor and making it, well, better.
Wahoo Fitness TICKR X Features
On the surface the TICKR X looks just like any other chest strap heart rate monitor, but Wahoo has baked a few special features into this little pebble.
For a start the TICKR X is a hybrid wireless device that supports both Bluetooth SMART and ANT+. This means that you can pair the TICKR X with pretty much anything. Want to use it with your favourite running app on your smartphone? No problem. Want to pair it with your Garmin Edge cycle computer? Easy as pie.
However, you don’t actually have to pair the TICKR X with anything to use it. Unlike any other chest strap heart rate monitor I’ve encountered, the TICKR X will actually log your activity internally, allowing you to download your data to your chosen app at your leisure. Great if you don’t want to have your phone with you in the gym or while you’re running.
But what would the TICKR X be measuring without being paired to another device? Surely all you’d end up with is your heart rate during your workout, right? Wrong!
You see the TICKRx is much more than just a clever heart rate monitor, Wahoo has also stuffed it full of cutting edge sensors that will track your every move. So if you go for a run equipped with only your TICKR X it will log every step you take, estimate your distance and calories burned, as well as track your heart rate during your workout.
Wahoo Fitness 7-Minute Workout
The TICKR X doesn’t just track your steps, though, it tracks pretty much every movement your body makes. So it’s just as adept at counting reps when you’re squatting, or doing pushups, making it the ideal companion for strength-based workouts as well as cardio sessions.
And if you want to see how versatile the TICKR X really is, just download the free Wahoo Fitness 7-Minute Workout app. While there’s no shortage of great fitness apps out there, the 7-Minute Workout is simply brilliant when combined with the TICKR X.
The app itself is made up of 12 different gym exercises such as pushups, squats, lunges, planks, etc. It’s designed to be a pretty intensive HIIT workout, with you pushing yourself to complete as many reps of each exercise within the allocated time.
By default you have 30 seconds to perform each workout with a 10 second rest period between each set. But the really clever part is that if you’re wearing a TICKR X, the app will automatically count your reps for you, so you know exactly how you’re doing during your workout.
The exercises are designed to be done using just your body weight, so you could, for instance, do your 7-Minute Workout while you’re halfway through a 10k run in the park. But if you want to make it more challenging, there’s nothing stopping you from adding some weight to the equation.
If you upgrade to the premium version of the app – for a pretty insignificant £1.49 – you can mix up the order of the exercises, adjust the exercise time as well as the rest period. You’ll also get a log of all your workouts, which will show you what days you’ve trained, but strangely doesn’t tell you your rep count for each exercise.
Once again Wahoo Fitness has created a product that’s a little different and a bit more innovative than the run-of-the-mill competition. Although the TICKR X isn’t the first chest strap heart rate monitor to include accelerometer functionality – the Garmin Forerunner 620 used a similar device to power its Running Dynamics features – it has taken the concept to another level, and made the functionality pretty much universal.
Unlike most fitness tech manufacturers, Wahoo Fitness is happy for you to use its hardware with any app, platform or device that you see fit. Yes, the TICKR X works brilliantly with the 7-Minute Workout and Wahoo Fitness apps, but it will also happily pair with almost any app, running watch or cycle computer you might want to use it with. And the fact that the TICKR X has built-in storage means that you don’t even need to have it connected to an app or device to record your effort when you’re doing it.
The 7-Minute Workout app is a great little HIIT programme that really shows off just how clever the TICKR X is. It’s also really easy to fit this workout into a regular routine, especially if you struggle to work up the inclination to train in the evenings after a long day in the office.
At £79.99 the TICKR X looks expensive compared to your average chest strap heart rate monitor, but this is by no means your average chest strap heart rate monitor. Given the plethora of tricks it has up its sleeve, it easily justifies its price point.
If I have one criticism, it’s that the chest strap itself isn’t as comfortable as those from Garmin or Polar, and it has a habit of twisting while you’re wearing it, but that’s the smallest of gripes for what is an otherwise outstanding bit of kit.
If you’ve been thinking of getting yourself a heart rate monitor to use with your favourite smartphone app, or to pair with your GPS running watch or cycle computer, splash out and go for the TICKR X.
ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatible
Built in memory
7-Minute Workout app is great
Counts reps while training
Pairs with almost any device
Ideal for smartphone users
Not as comfortable as some chest straps
Manufacturer: Wahoo Fitness