Pros: Wearable for weightlifters, thick black wristband, good data, customization of workouts, utilized by teams, coaches and personal trainers.
Cons: Drains your battery, bulky, need to use smartphone during workout.
The Beast Sensor is a new fitness wearable GearBrain got an opportunity to test recently. The device is made up of state of the art sensors which can measure your performance lifting weights, doing squats or just plain pull ups. The purpose of The Beast is to help you decide the best weight, number of sets and reps you need to achieve your ultimate workout goals.
If you are looking for a fitness tracker, don't look at Beast Sensor. The device does not track your heart rate but does track your motions. It's a wearable with a lot of tech power filled with state of the art motion sensors that are tough enough to handle any gym or workout environment. It was developed by strength coaches and aerospace engineers and uses complex algorithms to measure the velocity/performance, tracking and provides recommendations on your smartphone app as well as online (web portal).
The Beast Sensor doesn't have a display. You place the sensor inside a nice thick black wrist band. It comes with a Li-ion battery with a fast charge and can last up to 8 hours. You use your smartphone to access your workout data via Beast Sensor's app. The app is compatible with iOS (iPhone 4s or newer, iPad 3 or newer) or Android devices (Android 4.3 or newer.) and can be download from Apple App Store or Google Play.
When I tested the Beast Sensor, I found the look of device on my wrist to be a little bulky, especially when compared with other types of wearables like Fitbit or WithingsGo. However, when I showed of Beast Sensor to my workout buddies who do a lot of weight training, they really liked the look and didn't mind the bulkiness. In fact, they really liked the thick band that holds Beast Sensor.
One of the things I liked was when you are doing a workout, you can select either one of the pre-loaded exercises or insert your own as long as Beast Sensor can monitor your motion. The app has a ton of exercises for you to choose and most of them revolve around weight training. You can also create planned workouts from the app or web portal.
At the start of my workout, the first thing I did was paired my Beast Sensor with my smartphone (Apple 6s with iOS 10.) The pairing process (via Bluetooth) went very smoothly and quickly. I decided to do the start training section of the app. Once I found my exercise and selected it, I came to a screen with five different training modes:
- Performance Tracking – use this to display your metrics, stats and tracks progress of your workout. (basic mode)
- Hypertrophy – use this if you want to bulk up or gain strength and size
- Max Strength – this mode increases your muscle strength.
- Power – choose this mode if you want to improve your speed and strength.
- Velocity - this mode will increase your speed
Note: velocity based training (VBT) exercises will be the only type of exercises you can do with Hypertrophy, Power and Velocity training modes.
For my test, I used the performance tracking since I really don't need to get quicker or bigger. Once you select your training mode, you will come to a screen where it will ask you to put in the training mode weight (pounds or grams). This is the weight of the barbells or dumbbells you will be using for that exercise. When you do exercises that don't involve weights, like pushups or pull ups, you enter your own weight here. Once done, you come to the workout screen which will track your workout. Very clean and easy to read.
When working out, one of the things to keep in mind is there will be times you will have to take Beast Sensor off your wrist and strap it on your legs. This positioning will depend on your exercise. Remember Beast Sensor tracks your motion. If you are doing leg lifts or leg curls, you will need to strap the Beast around your ankles to make sure you capture the right data from your exercise.
Another feature I liked about the workout screen was it had a time clock. I used it to make sure I had the right rest in between sets. When finished, I just hit end and saved all my workout data. Then I moved on to my next exercise.
The best way to monitor your data and help you see your results would be to go to the web portal. There is a lot of data for you to work with and get the insights you need to fine tune your workouts. It's also easier to read the data on the web versus your smartphone.
Overall, Beast Sensor is easy to use and if a weightlifter, it's the perfect wearable. The device collects a ton of relevant data from your workouts live and helps you see how well you are progressing per your plan. Beast Sensor can also act like a personal trainer and assist you in building the best workout plan.
In addition to athletes using Beast Sensor, we found the company offers teams, gyms, and coaches a custom pricing package as well as special workout plans. When we looked further into this service, we found Beast Sensor is being used by team trainers to help all players on the team improve their workouts. For instance, the Dutch National Volleyball team's trainer uses Beast Sensor. Arne Hendriks, the Dutch National Team's Performance Analyst and Strength and Conditioning Coach says, "Beast gives us the ability to give players insight on their performance day by day without having to deal with long set up times. We try to replace loads by velocities, as speed or velocity is more important in ball sports. ...We use Beast Sensor to motivate the players having a high and stable power output during their sets and reps."
What I don't like about the device is the fact you must workout with your phone. I don't use my phone during workouts. I know many individuals do use their smartphones during workouts to listen to music or watch videos. I don't use one so I might be a little old fashioned. During my test, I found playing music and using Beast Sensor app drained my battery pretty quickly. For instance, my 30-40 minute workout using the Beast Sensor app and playing Spotify used more than 30 percent of my battery. If you are running low on power, know that the Beast Sensor does charge quickly. However, it's best to play it safe and make sure you have a fully charged smartphone before you work out or you might find your phone will lose power.
Beast Sensor has a retail cost of $249 for athletes and $399 for trainers and can be purchased from its website. You can also get a Beast Sensor rack which is a mount for your smartphone. This is good if you want to monitor your progress without having to hold your smartphone. There is also a vest to hold your Beast Sensor during workouts. The vest would be good for users who don't want to wear the Beast Sensor on their wrist. Both are available on the company website and cost $29 and $79 respectively. Also, they offer worldwide free shipping (included in the price) and delivery is within five working days with DHL Express Courier.