Let’s talk about wearable technology! There is huge variation in the accuracy of different devices (6-19% in a recent study). Dr. Eddie Jo is the king of infographics and he put together a super clear visual of the results from a study by Bourdreaux, et al., 2018 comparing heart rate accuracy of various popular devices to an EKG. I posted his photo at the end of this post if you want to see which devices performed best! Hint* It’s the Polar H7.
In this video I reference Dr. Andy Galpin’s book Unplugged, and I encourage you to read it (especially if you find yourself relying on technology as the most important source of feedback).
We know that most devices get significantly less accurate at higher intensities, and if we are tightly calculating our caloric intake based on these values shown for high intensities we may be missing it. Caloric expenditure during HIIT is quite hard to accurately measure through most popular devices.
We can get so focused on the target numbers and miss the internal signals of effort and intensity.
However you are measuring your intensity, be aware of the potential issues with the data you see. If your current strategy isn’t working, try something different! Get very familiar with how you feel during different forms of exercise and learn to trust yourself!