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IB14: Wearable Tech – BSX Monitors Lactate Threshold & Jaybird Reign Monitors the Rest

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BSXinsights wearable lactate threshold monitor for athletes

Until now, ascertaining your lactate threshold was either done in a lab using needles, or guestimated using power/heart rate and perceived effort. BSXinsights has changed all that with the world’s first wearable, non-invasive monitor that’s not only affordable, but arguably better than the lab tests.

First off, why measure lactate threshold? Because it’s a hard number that lets you know if you’re improving your capability for work. Your power output is what you’re doing, the lactate is what your body’s capable of doing. Once you know that number, you can use power and heart rate to increase your threshold and, thus, your total output.

Here’s how it works…

BSXinsights wearable lactate threshold monitor for athletes

BSXinsight puts a small sensor against your calf, held in place by a soft, stretchy sleeve. The sensor uses LED lights that shine into your calf muscles. Based on the amount of light reflected back to the sensor, it determines your lactate levels.

To find your threshold, you’ll need to do an assessment ride that’s progresses thru your fitness from easy to insanely intense over 30 minutes. To get the most accurate baseline measurement, you’ll need an ANT+ power meter. You pair the device with your power meter, and it collects and correlates the data, then uploads the data to their website to determine your lactate threshold.

With a clinical test, they’re pulling blood every few minutes. BSXinsights collects the data more than 1000 times per minute, so it’s going to know when you hit your threshold quicker, and it’s painless. They say it’s 95% as accurate based on doing simultaneous blood lactate and their own device testing on more than 400 people.

Retail is $369 for the cycling edition. They also have a running one for $299, and a multisport version is $419.  It’s meant to be used every sox to eight weeks to reset your baseline, benchmarking your progress and see how different types of training affect your fitness. Considering a single blood test is about $300, it’s a pretty good deal.

Shine a light over on BSXinsights.com to preorder (promo code “10off” to save 10%).

JAYBIRD REIGN

jaybird reign fitness tracker with heart rate variability and motion tracking

We’ve reviewed Jaybird’s Bluebud X bluetooth headphones in the past, having used them to stay sane on the long days of TranSylvania Epic or just enjoy a little musical motivation on the local trails. Now, the brand has expanded into the growing quantified self movement with a higher tech take on the fitness tracker.

The new Reign fitness band tracks more than just movement. It has a passive heart rate sensor that’ll calculate HRV (Heart Rate Variability). HRV is the time between heart beats in milliseconds, and that variance lets it calculate how rested you are. Once it knows that, it can recommend an exertion level, letting you know how hard you can go if you should train at all, as well as how much sleep you need to be rested the next day.

jaybird reign fitness tracker with heart rate variability and motion tracking

I say passive heart rate measurement because the sensor is on the top of the band. Touch the metal sliver with your fingertip and it records HR. Take it off and it’s only calculating movement, but at a more detailed level than some of the more basic trackers out there.

jaybird reign fitness tracker with heart rate variability and motion tracking

An accelerometer tells the difference between running, cycling and swimming. They say it’s a very advanced one that won’t be fooled by vibration, and it’ll automatically detect which type of activity you’re performing then connect via Bluetooth to their iOS/Android apps to display it all.

jaybird reign fitness tracker with heart rate variability and motion tracking

It also measures sleep quality by movement, or lack there of. A report then makes a recommendation for tonight or shows you history so you can see why staying up late to catch up on Walking Dead makes you mope around like a walker.

jaybird reign fitness tracker with heart rate variability and motion tracking

They’ll retail for $199 and hit Best Buy on October 26th, everywhere else on the 27th. Each box is marked S/M or L/XL, each with two different sports band sizes, three sizes of premium “fashion” bands, and an ankle band for cycling. Battery life is approximately five to seven days.

JaybirdSport.com

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SamSkjord
8 years ago

I’m impressed, an article about lactate threshold without mentioning lactic acid. Keep up the good work.

Le Piou
Le Piou
8 years ago

If I recalled my Biochemistry well, Lactate (C2H4OHCOO-) is the deprotonized (or deprotonated?) form of acid lactic (C2H4OHCOOH)…
In Chemistry the difference is important, but not in biochemistry/physiology, since in water, lactic acid doesn’t stays protonized (or protonated?) 100% of the time…

My 2 cents…

Dirty-d
Dirty-d
8 years ago

More stuff for triathletes to strap to themselves and look at!

GrantT
GrantT
8 years ago

Nice if those LEDs could monitor heart rate too.

Eric
Eric
8 years ago

I’m going for a LT test in a few weeks. I’d love to wear one of these to see how accurate it is, but $350 is a bit much for curiosity.

My LT test is $150, btw.

Ninja
Ninja
8 years ago

@Eric, that $150 only gets you a single test. Be ready to spend another $150 in 4-6 weeks if you want to keep training using LT.

Jukka
Jukka
8 years ago

Go and see the Mbody product (myontec.com); won the wearable innovation world cup in ISPO. It’s fully wearable (!!) and based on measuring EMG (muscle activity) but utilizes also other sensors like HR and GPS based information (speed/pace, distance, route) etc. The system can also be utilized for detecting lactate/ventilatory threshold non-ivasively. And lots more. Cool or what!?!

Peter
Peter
8 years ago

I hope it is ANT+

Peter
Peter
8 years ago

actually BT only – poor choice

codyish
codyish
8 years ago

@Le Piou the difference is just as important in biochemistry and physiology. The pKa of lactic acid is such that it can’t stay protonated in any meaningful amount anywhere in the human body. It’s an important distinction because everybody believes that lactice ACID causing the burning sensation during effort, but that can’t be the case if the actual substance in your body is lactate.

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