Apple Watch Series 2

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 5, 2016 in Apple, Fitness, Tech

Apple Watch Series 2

It seems like only yesterday I walked out of the Apple Store with my gen 1 Apple Watch, and since that day, it’s become a integral part of my daily life. Currently, I use it for nothing more than a second screen for apps and a notification system, but it’s just become the norm.

Back in September, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 (doing away with the 1st generation all together). The main differences being, it’s waterproof up to 50 metres (instead of the 1 metre of the gen 1), it now has built in GPS (although doesn’t track elevation), the ability to track swimming, a faster processor, and a larger battery.

On paper, there’s wasn’t enough to make me want to upgrade, as there are still a lot of limitations. Although WatchOS3 has attempted to make the watch ‘less tethered’, the majority of the apps still require you to have your phone with you. You are able to sync podcasts and audiobooks to the watch, and then listen through bluetooth headphones, however these still require a little fannying around with playlists. Hopefully by the time WatchOS4 is released, I’ll be able to run the podcast and audible apps on my wrist, negating the need to take my phone with me.

So Darren, why did you buy the new watch if there’s no benefit to you? Simple, it seems the Apple Watch is on a 2 year cycle, and I’m pretty sure app developers and Apple will start to work together and enable apps to be more independent. As a simple example, the running app I use (Strava) doesn’t currently use the inbuilt GPS, and still requires the phone to sync/upload the data. I’m sure in the coming days/weeks/months, they’ll use the built in GPS, store the data locally, and then sync with the phone when back in range. In the meantime, I can use Apples built in Activity app to track my runs.

Secondly, the swimming. Currently I don’t swim much, in fact it’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve been swimming, however it’s something I’ve been looking at getting back into. Having tech on my wrist that tracks, monitors and encourages you to go swimming will give me the kick up the arse I need to get back into the pool.

So, does it feel any different? Yes, a little. Feels a little heavier, and a little bulkier to wear, however the speed boost is very noticeable. WatchOS3 did make a huge difference to the speed of the watch, however the dual core processor gives it the extra kick it really needs.

Basically, I didn’t ‘need’ to buy a new watch now, I could have just waited until it was more independent, however,  I thought I’d get in at the beginning, instead of half way through as I did last time.

Unboxing and comparison pics below.

Apple Watch Series 2

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EA Sports Active

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 1, 2010 in Fitness
Around a middle of January, I though, “The sun will be out soon, time to get into shape and lose the Christmas gut”. I attempted to go running, and ended up getting 2 colds in a row (probably down to the running in snow), so decided to start working out inside.

I’ve seen multiple “Get Fit” type games for the Wii, and decided to give them a try. I initally started with “Wii Fit Plus“, which to be honest I didn’t feel like I was getting a decent workout, it seemed really good for slower excersies, but after an hour and a half of running through every activity I could, I still hadn’t worked up a sweat.

The next one I tried was “The Biggest Loser“, which to be honest was a little too much, especially when over the Christmas period I’d done nothing but sit on my butt, play on the games consoles, drink beer, and eat loads. It was a very good work out, and one I’ll probably work up to, but as a “sofa to get fit”, it was a little too much.

I then tried EA Sports Active, and I was quite impressed. In the box you don’t only get the Wii game, but you get a leg strap for you nunchuck, and a training band. I tried it for a couple of days, just picking random workouts, and it seemed to work very well. You get an option of Low, Medium or High intensity workout for each session, a choice of genre of soundtracks, and with or without Wii Balance Board support. Check out Armchair Empire for all your gaming needs.

Towards the end of January I decided this was the one, and started the 30 day training program, and this morning was my last seasion.

So how was it you may ask ?….Well suprising good !

I ran through the 30 day program of Medium intensity, with the Electronica soundtrack, set my goals, created my avatar, and away I went. Basically the 30 day program consists of 2 days on, 1 day off. Each workout can take from 20 minutes to 35 minutes on medium, and it seems if you select the high intensity this adds around 10 minutes as it just increases the number of reps.

The excersises run from, running/walking on the spot, to more upper body such as upright row with tricep kickback. The workouts seem to try and keep each days workout unique, and seems to exerise different muscles

Before each workout, it gave you a list of the planned exercises it had for you, an estimated time and calories burnt. During the workout you have a running counter in the top left of the screen, informing you of current calories burnt. Each workout seems to burn off an adverage of 160 calories, which for a 20 minutes workout isn’t bad at all.

During all the workouts, you have you created avatar mirroring your movements to show you what you should be doing, and highlights anything your not doing correctly. You also have the trainer on screen, again pointing out anything you may be doing wrong.

Overall thoughts
As I needed something to get my butt off the sofa, this worked really well, because the exersised were mixed up enough, and it attempted to intergrate games into this, the result was, it felt more like playing a game than doing a workout. I think EA have tried to make this fun by adding a few “game type” workouts, eg Baseball, Basketball, Inline Skating, Boxing, Tennis and Volleyball. These however for me were the worst part of the workouts, I didn’t feel the Wii was quick enough to match my movements. An example of this was the Volleyball, basically it would say “Lunge Left” or “Lunge Right”, and then for you to do the Volleyball actions, this however seems to be a little slow, and by the time that it had recogined that I had stepped off the Balance Board to the Left, it then didn’t register my Volleyball movements in times and suggested I missed the ball. The same annoyance was with the tennis, whereby if I moved the Wiimote even slightly, it would take a swing, which would lead to me missing the ball.

A couple of other things, using the Wii to work out is a great idea, however I nearly got tangled up a few time in the cable between the nunchuck and the Wiimote, making some of the excersises quite annoying, however I fixed this by buying a wireless nunchuck, which was such an improvement. I also felt with the bands I wasn’t getting enough resistance, I did attempt to make them shorter, however they just ended up snapping on me. I then attempted to use some pre-made Reebok bands which did work, however the large sponge handles made it quite hard to hold these , the controller and nunchuck. In the end I bought just a resistance band in the Reebok Fitness Travel Gym Set with no handles, then tied this to the EA Sports Active supplied handles and this worked a treat. Finally, the excersised seemed to concentrate on upperbody, lowerbody, and only very few core exersises, which was fine, however I would have prefered a little more core.

Final thoughts
If I can forgive the fact that there was limited core exersises, the sometimes oversensitive motion control and the bands sent weren’t resistant enough for me, this is a decent workout, and over the 30 day program I’ve become pretty tones and lost 13lbs which really isn’t too bad. My next mission is to go for the EA Sports Active : More Workouts, as this is meant to improve the sensitivity issues as well as consentrating a little more on the core.


The most miserable day of the year

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 5, 2009 in Brain Dump, Fitness

Today is apparently the most miserable day today, everyone (most) are back at work, it’s cold, it’s windy, and snowing.

Just to add to the pain and suffering, I’ve just finished the first of 90 days worth of workout from the p90x.

Today was core synergistic…it hurt !, I can’t believe how unfit I’ve become in the last 2 1/2 months……and this is probably going to be my shortest blog, as my arms are shaking and I’m finding it hard to type…it’s kinda, type, type, delete, type, type delete, as I keep hitting the wrong keys….

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