Heart rate monitor

Kyle Gray
3 min readAug 20, 2016

If you have an Apple Watch and do any kind of long, sweaty workouts, a heart rate monitor is the best thing you could possibly buy.

Way back in April I started different types of workouts besides just running. When I started to do things like gym strength training, p90x, or cycling, I was still using my Apple Watch by itself as the way to log calories.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of being super sweaty, and how the heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch works, I would get super wonky readings during these types of workouts. Indoor cycling workouts would be off by huge margins compared to the cycling machines, and what P90x officially (although this still varied greatly due to the nature of P90x) said was burned during a 45 minute workout wasn’t even close to what my Apple Watch gave me.

I ended up ordering the Wahoo Tickr from the Apple Store, mainly because it was one of the only monitors Apple carried, and among the cheapest. (Hilariously, they don’t carry it anymore. Here it is on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bIVMLs )

I use the Tickr for every workout I do. Not only is it great to have second by second accurate readings, but it’s simple once it’s set up. And you don’t even have to think about it.

On the left is a workout before my Heart Rate Monitor, and on the right is the more accurate workout
And here are the same workouts in Activity.app. Notice the WAY higher average heart rate

When you get it, you pair it once to your Apple Watch, and that’s it. Whenever you put it on, Apple Watch automatically detects that you’re using it, and switches off the battery draining LED lights it uses for detecting heart rate. And once you take the monitor off, it turns off Bluetooth and disconnects.

Some of the best benefits of the heart rate monitor:

  1. Saving a ton of battery! Whenever I bike to work I make sure to have the heart rate monitor on, and it saves me around 30% of battery life compared to relying on the Apple Watch monitor.
  2. It gives you a more accurate estimation of calories burned
  3. It stores even more data points
  4. It doesn’t make your heart rate suddenly jump from 150 beats per minute to 73 beats per minute.

Even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, having a heart rate monitor connected to whatever fitness app you use is super convenient. It’s definitely way more accurate in situations where measuring your pulse from your wrist just won’t cut it.