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My Best Body – Home: Pre-Order, Launch Date & More

Friends – I’m so overwhelmed by all of the amazing feedback and excitement from you all on the MBB Home Trial and have some news to share!

IF YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE FREE TRIAL AND WANT TO …

  • Learn how to lift weights safely at home or in the gym
  • Build muscle and burn fat effectively using minimal equipment
  • Strengthen your core, the foundation for everyday functional movements
  • Improve your cardiovascular conditioning through a progressive (and fun!) cardio schedule
  • Enhance your mobility and flexibility through a weekly focus on stretching and foam rolling

… then you are going to love My Best Body – Home!

My Best Body – Home Training Program will be available for purchase worldwide on Monday, Oct 30 through my shop. The program will cost a one-time payment of $99.99 USD starting Oct. 30.


WHAT DO YOU MEAN, STARTING OCT. 30?

As a thank you, I’m opening a pre-order opportunity with exclusive savings on the 13-week My Best Body – Home Training Program starting Sept. 27.

STARTING SEPT. 27, YOU’LL:

  1. Save $10 and secure your copy of the My Best Body – Home Training Program for $89.99 USD
  2. Skip the craziness of launch date (who remembers the #MBBcrash of Dec. 5, 2016?) and receive your download links via email

UPDATE: You will be charged when you pre-order.


WHAT’S INCLUDED*?

Those who have purchased the My Best Body Training Program (gym) know the great depth of information and resources I pack into my guides – these lists barely skim the surface.

I put a ton of thought into my pricing. My goal is to share my workouts and personal training knowledge with as many people as possible, and in a way that allows you to keep what you purchase for future reference (i.e. eBook PDF). 

Think about this:

  • The average cost of a personal training session = $50/session
  • The average gym membership = $40/month
  • The average cost of a fitness app subscription = $20/month

For a one-time payment of $89.99 USD (until Oct. 30), you receive lifetime access to:

MY BEST BODY – HOME TRAINING PROGRAM (PDF)

  • 13 weeks of fun, safe and effective workouts that deliver proven results
  • Instructional photos demonstrating each exercise
  • Helpful overviews of each of the three program phases (Stabilization & Base Training, Strength Training, and Power Training) to help you get the most out of every workout
  • Weekly #mybrandofbeautiful pep talks from me – because fitness is about being strong on the inside, too!
  • Tips and tricks to improve your form and avoid injury
  • Weekly workout calendars to help you plan ahead and stay on track
  • Beginner and advanced options for many exercises/workouts – making this the perfect program for you, no matter where you’re starting!

MY BEST BODY – HOME RESOURCE GUIDE (BONUS PDF)

  • Full-Body Rehabilitation Sequence to follow on rest day and to use throughout the week as you wish as well as an overview on the benefits of stretching and foam rolling 
  • MBB Athlete Personal Record worksheet to help you keep track of your assessments and challenges
  • Warm-up guidance, including a list of dynamic stretches to work into your warm-up routine 
  • A chapter dedicated to form for common exercises like push-ups, hip hinges and bracing/hollow body
  • Heart rate & heart rate monitoring information, as well as what to expect when using a fitness tracker during My Best Body – Home 
  • Term glossary to help you understand common exercise terminology 
  • Exercise library providing step-by-step text instructions for each exercise in the program 

So, you get the picture … this is a GREAT deal. 

*Note that these are subject to change; HOWEVER, NOTHING LISTED ABOVE WILL BE CUT! I might just decide to add more. 🙂 


REQUIRED EQUIPMENT 

You will need a small amount of equipment to complete My Best Body – Home. In many cases, the weight options are interchangeable (e.g. You can do a skullcrusher with a barbell or dumbbells). 

When an exercise is described as “weighted,” feel free to choose whichever option you’d like. If a word in an exercise name is in parentheses, like “(banded),” it is optional. 

  • Dumbbells*: I recommend having a few sets to choose from, because the weight you lift varies from exercise to exercise.
  • Exercise mat
  • Exercise/stability ball: You should be able to sit on the ball with feet flat on the floor and knees comfortably making 90-degree angles.
  • Mini resistance bands: At least two – one with light resistance and one with heavy resistance.
  • Sturdy box, workout bench or jump box
  • Barbell*: I highly recommend investing in an adjustable barbell. In many cases, you can substitute dumbbells for a barbell, but there are some instances in which a barbell will be preferable. 
  • Kettlebell*
  • Jump rope
  • Interval timer: I use the free GymBoss interval timer app. 

*”Weighted” alternative


NOT SURE IF MY BEST BODY – HOME IS FOR YOU?

Try out a 3-week free trial of My Best Body – Home here.

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Review: Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer – The Perfect Introduction to Weight Lifting

Well, I did it – I completed Jamie Eason’s 12-Week Live Fit Trainer!

This was my first program after following BBG workouts for 16 months. I first discovered the Live Fit Trainer a few years ago but never started it. As I was determining my next steps after deciding to end my BBG journey this past February, this was one of a few bodybuilding.com programs I was deciding between. I ultimately landed on the Live Fit Trainer because I wanted to start my pure weight training journey from ground zero and really get the fundamentals down before I got fancy. My goals were shifting – I wanted to focus exclusively on building muscle – and after 16 months of cardio-based resistance training, the best way for me to do that was to take a traditional bulking/cutting approach. Jamie Eason has always been one of my biggest female role models – both inside the gym and out. I knew I could trust her and her program, so that is what I did!

I talk about why I decided to make the change here, and I dive into one of the reasons I mention – overtraining – more extensively here. Reading both of these posts before this one will paint you the full story of how my fitness journey has transformed these last few months beyond BBG.

OVERVIEW OF THE LFT:

The Live Fit Trainer is an introductory full-body weight lifting program divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: The muscle endurance phase
  • Phase 2: The hypertrophy (muscle growth) phase
  • Phase 3: The cutting phase

This is definitely a gym-based guide. Each phase is four weeks in length, and all of the workouts can be found for free on bodybuilding.com.

Side note: Bodybuilding.com also offers the free Body Space app, on which you can create an account, apply the Live Fit Trainer (or any other Bodybuilding.com program), and track your progress. The app includes an insane amount of features – video demos, a chat feature, measurement tracking, etc. – all for FREE. It honestly cannot get easier to try a lifting program than with the Body Space app. It does everything for you, except the actual exercise. The community on there is really awesome and supportive. There is 100% no charge. It’s an incredible value! If you want to connect with me there, my username is corpsneakers.


WHAT I DID DO:

  • I used the app to complete and track every workout.
  • I used the recommended rest times between each set.
  • I completed the target number of sets and reps for each exercise.
  • I tracked my macros, calorie cycled and carb cycled (the cycles are recommended in the program). I was pretty much on point for my calorie cycle but didn’t hit my numbers perfectly for the carb cycle.
  • I ate in a surplus (my Total Daily Energy Expenditure + 250-300 calories) for the first six weeks.

WHAT I DIDN’T DO:

  • I didn’t add on extra sets or exercises.
  • I didn’t exercise on days that called for rest other than some yoga and stretching.
  • I didn’t add cardio in phase 1.
  • I didn’t miss any workouts other than most of the medium intensity cardio in phase 2 and most of the HIIT in phase 3 (I will explain this below).

A FEW THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:

  • The workouts in weeks 9-10 were very long (some took me two hours).
  • There were A LOT of calf raises. Like, every week. I don’t really feel like I need to do dedicated exercises for my calves, so these were tough to enjoy.
  • The circuits in weeks 11-12 were sometimes difficult to do as prescribed because it’s sort of hard to “hold” five weight machines at the gym at once without looking rude.

THE LFT’S RECOMMENDED NUTRITION:

There is a full meal plan included with the program for free on the website. I studied this meal plan and came to the conclusion that I eat pretty similarly to the meal plan already (though I am mostly vegetarian, so my protein comes from plants for the most part), so I did not follow the meal plan to a T. She includes an “approved foods” list, and all of my daily foods made that list, so I mostly followed my own meal plan. In all phases, I aimed for at least 1g protein / lb. bodyweight.

Jamie makes supplementation recommendations on the website. I continued to use Vega Performance Protein after my workouts and True Athlete Natural BCAAs during my workouts, as I did most of them in the morning before I ate much.

NOTE: I will not be sharing my nutritional numbers (calories or macros), as I do not want anyone to assume that my numbers will work for them (and I have found in my experience on social media that people can be pretty critical and opinionated when it comes to numbers). I determined my calories and macros by utilizing the resources available to me as a Personal Trainer and through my own research and trial and error. Nutrition is highly personal and unique. Our metabolism and bodies are all different and respond differently to food. As a Personal Trainer, I do not have the qualifications to create meal plans for anyone – and neither do other Personal Trainers on social media, unless they have continued education in nutrition. This is the responsibility of a Registered Dietitian. If you do not want to make an appointment to see a Dietitian, please exercise caution, do your research and listen to your body if you plan to determine your own calories and macros.

CARB CYCLING:

In the final three weeks of the program, Jamie encourages you to cycle your carbs by dividing your weeks into high carb and low carb days. On both days, the calorie count is the same – but you are eating in a deficit. I personally thought the program’s calculator computed my calorie counts too low and I usually ate above them. Again, weight-loss and fat-loss are not a concern for me, so I was not worried about eating above the numbers the calculator gave me.

Corporate Sneakers - Carb Cycling
2-week carb cycling results

The purpose of carb cycling is to essentially “trick” your body into burning more fat by varying its primary source of fuel (which is typically carbs) and redistributing your macronutrient ratios by increasing protein and decreasing carbs on low carb days. There is no guarantee that your body will burn fat and not muscle by taking this approach, and I know I lost a little muscle during the process. In phase 3, there was typically one high carb day a week and six low carb days.

By now, I know these things about my body:

  • My body responds well to carbs and has a very high tolerance for them.
  • Carbs help me maintain my muscle, and if I reduced them for a longer period of time, I would lose my muscle mass.
  • I do not have a lot of fat to burn, and fat burn is not a major priority for me.
  • I would not need to do six low carb days and one high carb day to reach my personal goals.

So, I modified this schedule to meet my own needs. I upped the number of high carb days from one to three and placed these days on the days I worked major muscle groups, like legs and chest, for example. I also placed these days on “fun” days of the week, like Friday and Saturday, and placed the other one on Tuesday. I did this because it would be easier for me to stick to my low carb meal plan at work because I would only have access to the food I brought with me. Placing my high carb days on Friday and Saturday meant I got to kick back and relax just like I normally do on the weekends with some treats and a few drinks to stay balanced and sane. This schedule worked pretty well for me from a mental standpoint.

On low carb days, my protein requirements were extra high – like over 200g high – and for me and my eating preferences, that was not really possible. I was typically about 30g short on protein for low carb days and was fine with that. As a sort-of vegetarian, most of my protein sources, while high in protein, are also high in carbs and healthy fats (think tempeh and beans, for example), so more often than not, I was slightly over on carbs and fats in order to come close to my protein requirements. I focused more on hitting enough calories than staying below the limits for each macronutrient (again – because it was more important to me to preserve muscle than burn fat).

I still found the cycle to be enjoyable, challenging and rewarding, even though I wasn’t spot on. I definitely gained a new level of definition in my abs and legs but lost some arm muscle. This level of definition will not stick around year-round because I don’t carb cycle year round, but it was really interesting to see what I could achieve.

I learned a lot and confirmed some beliefs I have about my body and nutrition. The carb cycle I tried last year was only two weeks, and in hindsight, two weeks works better for me than three for two main reasons:

  • I lean out very fast and risk losing muscle
  • As a mostly vegetarian, my high-protein/low-carb protein sources are very, very limited (meaning that all of the high-protein foods I eat are also high in carbs and/or healthy fats)

What I liked most about LC days was that they were 100% bloat-less. I felt and looked very lean. I can see how a LC day might be beneficial every once in a while if you are having digestive issues.

NOTE: I want to stress that carb cycling is NOT sustainable long term and is really only suitable for short term bouts (think 2-3 weeks). I don’t recommend carb cycling often or even every few months. In my opinion, carb cycling is NOT a method of healthy eating – it’s beneficial for bikini competitors looking to cut for a show or if you’re prepping for a special event, for example. It is NOT easy for most people from a mental standpoint and requires a great deal of mental strength.

The reason for all of this is simple: Your body needs carbs. Carbs supply you with lots of energy and support most bodily functions. If you continuously eat low carb, you may notice a few negative side effects:

  • Decreased muscle mass: Carbs are “protein-sparing” nutrients, which means your body uses carbs as energy before it reaches for protein to use as energy, so if you are eating enough carbs, your body is going to spare the protein, leaving it to build and repair your muscles.
  • Increased fat storage: Your body may kick into starvation mode and save every little thing you eat as fat if you are eating low cal and/or possibly low-carb.
  • Lethargy or exhaustion: If you’re running on E, you’re not going to have the energy you need to get through the day. You might be pretty miserable.
  • Headaches or migraines: Carbs make your brain happy. Eat carbs, have fewer headaches.
  • Moodiness: aka “feeling hungry.” Eat carbs, feel happier and better all around.
  • Sickness or decreased immunity: You may find yourself continuously sick or unable to feel 100% if you aren’t eating enough carbs.

Will I carb cycle again? Probably – but only rarely and for special occasions, like in advance of a vacation or special event or temporarily at the end of another program.


How LFT is different from BBG:

This is a question I’ve gotten quite frequently since changing up my routine. Here are some major differences:

  • It is a gym-based guide. You need lots of gym equipment to complete this program.
  • The workouts are much longer than 28 minutes. In Weeks 9-10 in Phase 3, they can take up to two hours, based on how quickly you move through the gym.
  • The workouts are further divided into specific muscle groups (not just legs, arms and abs). A split routine ensures that you are really working every area of your body hard each week by dedicating an entire workout to biceps, one to back, one to chest, etc. – versus one workout a day dedicated to upper body in a general sense.
  • The program is designed for muscle growth (hypertrophy), not simply muscle endurance, like BBG. This was the selling point for me. My goal was to break through my BBG plateau and build more muscle, so the Live Fit Trainer was the perfect entry point into the weight lifting world. In the main phase of the program (phase 2), the rep counts are lower and set counts are higher for maximum muscle growth. The exercises are mostly basic. It’s a great starting point for new lifters.
  • Because the program is designed for muscle growth, your heart rate zones and “calories burned” during each workout are going to look a lot different on your fitness watch than for a BBG workout. A successful workout isn’t just one that burns 800 calories with your heart rate in the fourth or fifth zone on your fitness tracker. Remember that different types of workouts yield different results. Especially in phase 1 of the Live Fit Trainer, you are not going to be burning a lot of calories on your fitness tracker, but remember – burning calories is not the #1 priority for this phase – the goal is to build muscle, and muscles need lots and lots of calories to grow! To build muscle, you need to add – not subtract – calories. So, the fewer calories burned, the better.
  • The nutrition may require more attention and time than simply following the HELP Guide. When I used BBG, I mostly ate intuitively and did not track anything after I got the hang of the HELP Guide. For the Live Fit Trainer, I was determined to maximize my results, so I tracked macros, calorie cycled and carb cycled. It required a bit more attention and planning than my intuitive eating approach, but overall it was not stressful at all for me and definitely not restrictive. I actually enjoyed the challenge to change up my eating a bit and learned more about nutrition and my body, and paying closer attention definitely earned me results. Of course, you do not have to take this approach to nutrition with the program if you have another preferred way of eating.

PHASE 1

In phase 1, you are building muscle endurance with high-rep sets. Even as an experienced gym goer and as someone is very good shape, I did not skip this phase. I believe training should include low intensity periods as well as high intensity periods, and as someone coming out of a burnout, I was happy for this lower intensity phase. There is also no cardio and three rest days a week in phase 1. I did NOT add cardio and DID rest all three days. These workouts took me about 45 minutes to complete with a warm-up and cool down.

PHASE 2

Phase 2 is the muscle-building phase comprised of low rep sets. This phase also marks the introduction of medium intensity cardio (like the elliptical) for 30 minutes four times a week. I did this in week 5 and then did not proceed with the cardio to focus solely on the weight training.

I made this decision for two reasons:

  • Fat loss is not a major goal for me; muscle building is, and as an ectomorph, it is hard for me to build muscle.
  • I did not have the time to add in four sessions of long cardio in addition to five or six long lifting workouts a week.

These workouts took me about an hour or slightly over. It’s very important to warm up properly for these workouts because you are lifting as heavy as you can. Stretching and rest are crucial as well.

PHASE 3

The workouts in weeks 9 and 10 are LONG – in my opinion, too long – but, they were AWESOME! On the other hand, weeks 11 and 12 are comprised of shorter circuit workouts that are pretty intense. Several of the week 9/10 workouts took me up to two hours to complete and on average took around an hour and a half. The phase 2 and phase 3 workouts more often than not left me extremely sore (but in a good way!). In this phase, you are mixing higher rep lifting with plyometrics and bodyweight exercise to begin “cutting” (burning fat) to reveal all of the muscle you built throughout the program. HIIT on the treadmill is also recommended up to four times a week; I averaged 2-3 sessions a week (again, because I don’t have a lot of fat to burn or the time to do 3-ish hours of exercise a day). I always counted the HIIT class I lead as one of my HIIT sessions each week.


CONCLUSION:Live Fit Trainer Transformation

I built more muscle. I built more strength. I broke through a plateau – something I wasn’t sure would be possible. I have more definition than ever and am more vascular than ever. I decreased my body fat percentage over 2 points. I learned more about macro tracking and calorie/carb cycling by actually attempting them. My minor aches and pains developed as a result of overtraining with BBG  (low back pain and plantar fasciitis) are 100% cleared up. I am smarter in the weight room and am confident enough to try new things. I am not afraid of lifting heavy. I’m not afraid of not doing cardio. I am super happy with my progress – which may not seem like a lot to most people – but I see it and feel it, and that is what matters most. I am more determined than ever to keep going, with a much more balanced approach than in the past.

So yes – you could say this program did more for me than help me build biceps. I give it two-thumbs up. 🙂

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Announcement: “My Best Body 13-Week Training Program”

I’m thrilled to announce that on May 16, I will begin the trial run of my new muscle-building program: My Best Body!

I think one of the coolest things that can happen on a fitness journey is falling in love with your own brand of beauty

There is no such thing as “the perfect body.”

But there is such a thing as your BEST body. 

That’s a body that is strong and healthy – it is the one that makes you smile when you look at it in the mirror. When you fall in love with your own brand of beauty, all of the “too skinny,” “too muscular,” “too curvy,” “too bony,” “too this or that” – none of that affects you anymore, because you’re seeing yourself entirely through your own eyes. You’re measuring your beauty NOT by the standards of everyone else, but by the progress you’ve made both inside and out.

This program isn’t designed to achieve any one certain look. 

It’s designed to challenge your body in new ways – and to put your mind to the test – for a holistic transformation.

This is a hybrid, multi-phased, gym-based program I have poured my heart and knowledge into, combining lifting, old and new plyometric favorites, HIIT and lots of NEW challenging moves and layouts. It is my hope that it will not only benefit those new to exercising, but will also challenge the more seasoned gym-goers and help them break through a physical and/or mental plateau. EVERY workout is comprised of exercises I LOVE – not only because they WORK, but because they are FUN, too! 


My Best Body - Corporate Sneakers

MY BEST BODY – 13-WEEK TRAINING PROGRAM* – COMING NOVEMBER 2016!

PROGRAM LAYOUT*:

  • 3 weeks: Stabilization/strength-endurance training
  • 5 weeks: Hypertrophy (muscle growth)
  • 5 weeks: Power Training (burning fat to reveal those muscles)

WHAT YOU GET WITH THE EBOOK*:

  • 13 weeks of #mybestbody workouts designed by me
  • #mybrandofbeautiful: 13 weeks of reflection themes and journal/IG prompts or challenges
  • Training tips and tricks
  • Daily workout trackers
  • Complete photo exercise library with explanations of each exercise
  • Online video exercise library TBD

All wrapped up into a beautiful PDF ebook that you will be able to access via electronic device or print out to use!


Q&A

Q: What kind of program is My Best Body?

A: My Best Body is not a rapid weight loss program, and it is not a “get abs quick” program. In order to carve a beautiful statue out of clay, there needs to be enough clay there in the first place – so you are going to gain muscle before you reveal it. My Best Body is a holistic strength training program that walks through three different and challenging types of training – stabilization / strength endurance, hypertrophy (muscle growth), and power training (fat burning). It may benefit you to have some basic weight training knowledge and experience before trying My Best Body.  My Best Body is best suited for healthy individuals 18+. This guide is effective for both women AND men – check out my transformation gallery for results from both sexes!

Q: Do I need to have a gym to do My Best Body?

A: My first ebook is a gym-based guide. You will definitely need a gym membership to complete this program. However, I have plans to begin immediately on an at-home version following the launch of this one in November.

Q: Why are you doing closed group trials first?

A: Because I refuse to put out something for purchase without knowing that it is EFFECTIVE, worth the money, and overall a QUALITY experience for my clients. I believe that when it comes to our bodies, health and fitness, many are vulnerable and at the mercy of those who have the knowledge and know-how, and unfortunately some of these individuals take advantage of that vulnerability in order to make easy money. There is A LOT of amazing and life-changing stuff out there, but there is also some not-so-great stuff, too. I want to offer you something that I KNOW works and is worth it to you. I’m doing this because I like to help people reach their goals and feel confident and happy! I am taking great pride in what I put out there in order to create something that is safe, effective and FUN – even if that means it will take a bit longer.

Make sure you check out my transformation gallery below to see the incredible results from my trial participants!

Q: Can I join a closed group trial?

A: At this time, all trial groups are now closed. I am so humbled by the many requests I have received by those of you who want to join my trial period – seriously, thank you! I am truly honored. Your interest in my program and trust in me as a Personal Trainer motivates me even more to create a quality experience that you are going to love.

Q: Will this be an ebook? When will it be available for sale and how much will it cost?

A: Initially, the answer to this question was “no,” but having walked through one trial run and having worked through some of my concerns with creating an ebook, I feel confident that this will be a truly effective and incredible experience as an ebook. As such, I am putting a lot of time and knowledge into this product so you have access to all resources necessary to succeed. The ebook will be the first My Best Body option available to you, starting in November 2016!

The pricing is yet to be determined, but it will be fair for what all you receive. I sought to create a holistic program that truly transforms your body and mind, and having completed one trial run already with outstanding results, I am confident that this is what you will get. Look for more details on the pricing later this fall!

Q: What do you mean when you say “the first My Best Body option?”

I am exploring options for closed group experiences on Facebook starting in 2017*. This will be the better option for clients needing support and guidance from me personally, and who want a more intimate “team” experience.

At this time, one-on-one coaching options will not be available, but this is subject to change.

Q: Is there a nutrition plan included?

A: As a Personal Trainer without additional nutrition accreditation, writing personalized meal plans is outside of my scope of practice. I am developing a macro-counting nutrition guide that will help you maximize the benefits of your training for each phase of the program. The release of this guide is TBA, pending review and approvals.

Q: How can I learn more about your program before November?

A: I have nine wonderful individuals who have agreed to participate in my trial runs. They have agreed to share their experiences on social media (not exact workouts or specifics – only insights) as well as take high quality progress photos to track their progress. I will also be sharing insights over the course of the next 13 weeks on my social media pages.

My female participants are:

I am also releasing three FREE sample weeks in October to give you a taste of each phase of my program. Look for information on how to score these workouts soon!


THANK YOU!

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support and encouragement as I set out to realize my dream of transforming the lives of others. I have been working extremely hard to create an incredible training program for you, and it is something I am SO proud of. November can’t come soon enough! I look forward to bringing you along on this journey and hope to work with many of you in the future. More details coming soon!

*Program specifics may change as we move through the trial run over the coming weeks in order to create the best and most effective online-coaching experience possible.

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Polar Watch Comparison: M400, A360 & Loop Crystal

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MARATHON RUNNER TO BENEFIT FROM TRACKING.

Fitness trackers are a game changer when it comes to exercise. If you are serious about your fitness, a fitness tracker is a worthy investment, and if you aren’t quite as dedicated as you’d like to be – these watches are great motivators!

When I was thinking about buying my first fitness watch back in 2014, I was hesitant, because I wasn’t sure that at my “level” of fitness, tracking my heart rate or daily activity was really necessary. I thought that was something reserved for hardcore marathon runners or cyclists – and maybe at one point in time, that was the case, but it’s no secret that fitness watches are now the hottest fitness accessories.

With so many popular brands and models, it can be pretty daunting trying to determine which watch is best for you and your needs. I spent quite a bit of time comparing different models when I went to buy my first tracker – the Polar M400. I did a review of this watch shortly after I purchased it – you can find it here.

I now own three different Polar models: the M400, the A360 and the Polar Loop Crystal. You can probably take a guess at my favorite brand for fitness watches. I love each model for different reasons, and I wanted to do a review of each to help you figure out which one will work best for your needs. I’m happy to answer additional questions you have about these watches as well, so please leave a comment if you have one.

EDIT: After drafting this review, Polar reached out to me to partner up on something special for you. I’m super excited to offer you the chance to purchase a Polar watch at 15% off until 5/31/16!

How to purchase (follow these directions exactly):

  • Visit the Polar website using this special link: http://shrsl.com/?~c6k7
  • At checkout, use code CORPORATESNEAKERS (all caps).

NOTE: This offer is only valid in the U.S. at polar.com and does not include accessories. For transparency purposes, many of the links in this article are affiliate tracking links.


EASILY COMPARE POLAR MODELS ON THEIR WEBSITE:

The Polar website has a fantastic product compare tool that allows you to compare the features of up to three Polar watches at a time. So, I won’t waste time listing the various features of each watch.

However, I will mention a few key similarities between the three models:

  • All three models come with daily activity tracking features: 24/7 activity tracking, activity goal monitoring, active time, sleep and distance, activity summary, activity benefit, inactivity alert, and sleep duration and quality.
  • All three watches pair with the Polar Flow app to organize and store your data. The additional features (training monitoring, GPS, etc.) all vary from model to model, and you can find these specifics on the website.
  • All three watches offer “smart notifications,” meaning that when you pair your smart phone with your Polar watch, you can get alerts for incoming calls, received messages and push notifications from social media apps directly on your watch. I don’t use this feature on any of my watches because I like to stay focused on exercise when I’m working out, but it’s super cool, nonetheless!

The major difference between these watches is the level of information you can see on the screen of the watch (but there are also feature differences, too).

BEFORE WE GET STARTED…

Below, I talk about what I personally love about each model, and then of course any potential drawbacks or cool features to be aware of.

Keep in mind that these reviews are by no means comprehensive – there are a gazillion and one more features to compare and contrast – and this post covers my personal favorites and key things to note on each model.

If you are wondering if a certain model has a certain feature that I did not discuss, simply use the compare product tool I mentioned above.


POLAR M400: THE STAR ATHLETE

Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. It’s designed to jump through any hoop and weather any challenge you take on. It’s accurate; it gives you 200% … and it’s two steps ahead of you. Always. This watch is the real MVP.

$179.95 (without H7 HRM)m4002

WHY IT ROCKS:

  • This watch is HEARTY. I have sent it in twice for minor repairs covered under the warranty and a year and a half later, it is still accurate and working very well. I explain more about my decision to buy this watch in my more in depth review here.
  • It provides a ton of feedback right on the screen. This is one of the main differentiators for this watch. If you are a fitness data nerd, this is the watch for you. This is one of the top Polar models, meaning that it is one of the most expensive, but it is worth every dollar if you are a numbers nerd like me. This watch records and analyzes pretty much anything you would ever need to know about your training.

THE BASICS:

  • The M400 is not a touchscreen watch like the A360 and relies on buttons to move from screen to screen.
  • This watch pairs with a Bluetooth chest strap that is super comfortable. I am very used to exercising with the Polar chest strap – running, doing circuits, lifting, etc. – and after I put it on, I totally forget about it. In my experience, the chest strap is the most accurate when it comes to heart rate.
  • This watch is waterproof.

POSSIBLE DRAWBACKS:

  • It’s pretty big in size (because it has to be!). It’s essentially a tiny computer on your wrist, and if you have small wrists like me, it’s going to look a little big. However, comfort is not an issue whatsoever! Mine fits snug on my wrist. Honestly, this is my go-to training watch every. single. day.
  • It definitely “looks” like a fitness watch. From an aesthetic perspective, it isn’t something I’m going to wear on a day-to-day basis because of its sporty look.

BONUS COOL FACTORS: 

  • It has GPS! This is especially beneficial for outdoor distance runners or cyclists. I don’t use this feature, but if you are a distance athlete, it would be awesome. The GPS includes a “back-to-start” feature, so you can venture out off the beaten trail without worry of getting lost. You can simply select “back-to-start,” and the watch will take you home. Pretty cool!
  • It has an interval timer! This feature is perfect for HIIT or any other interval-style training.

IN SUMMARY:

  • If you’re looking for a sporty fitness tracker that quite literally does it all (except exercise for you – that’s on you, dudeand shares it with you right on the watch face – this is definitely the model for you.

POLAR A360: THE A+ STUDENT

It does everything you want – and more. It looks good doing it. You think there has to be a catch, but really, it’s just a damn good fitness tracker.

$199.95 (without H7 HRM)

WHY IT ROCKS:Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 3.31.39 PM

  • It’s a beautiful touchscreen watch that is lightweight and sleek. This is a watch you can wear all day, anywhere.
  • The A360 shares on screen the more basic daily tracking features of the Polar Loop Crystal with some of the more specific workout tracking features that I love from the Polar M400.

THE BASICS:

  • The A360 relies on a wrist heart rate monitor for heart rate tracking.
  • You can switch out different colored bands to complement your outfits.
  • The graphics are gorgeous and are definitely a step up from the M400 from an aesthetic perspective.
  • It can pair with the H7 Bluetooth chest strap monitor (which you can purchase separately).
  • This watch is waterproof.

POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS:

  • The wrist heart rate monitor is not quite as accurate as the chest strap. After using a chest strap for a year and a half, I can tell just by how I’m feeling where my heart rate is, and I don’t find that the A360 provides an accurate reading compared to my M400 and chest strap.
  • However  you can buy the H7 chest strap and pair it for greater accuracy! So there is definitely a solution to this drawback.
  • If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to break the watch or the bands when you’re switching them out. The bands snap on and off, and if you are too rough, the clasps can break.

BONUS COOL FACTOR:

  • The ability to switch out the bands means that this watch is suitable for essentially any situation – inside or outside the gym. I wear the black band to work. The blue or green one in the gym. The pink one when I’m feeling extra spunky. This is a super versatile watch.

IN SUMMARY:

  • If you’re looking for a sleek daily tracker that also provides you super specific feedback about your workouts on your wrist, this is the watch for you.

POLAR LOOP CRYSTAL: BEAUTY, BRAINS AND BRAWN.

She’s that gorgeous friend who refuses to get by on her looks alone. She’s a force to be reckoned with – look out, world!

$159.95 (without H7 HRM)Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 3.36.57 PM

WHY IT ROCKS:

  • It’s “smart” jewelry. The Loop Crystal is a gorgeous white band lined with real Swarovski crystals and is perfect for daily tracking both inside and outside of the gym. This is my go-to watch to complement my business casual attire. It’s quite the conversation starter – I am constantly complimented on it. Most people can’t believe it’s a fitness tracker!

THE BASICS: 

  • The Loop Crystal provides basic daily tracking info on the light-up screen and pairs with the Polar Flow app to provide feedback on your daily, weekly and monthly habits and activity.
  • This watch is splash-proof.
  • Unlike the A360 and M400, this watch does not have a full screen. You simply tap the three dots to reveal super basic tracking information, like step count, calories burned, time, etc.
  • It can pair with the H7 Bluetooth chest strap monitor to provide heart rate information and training benefit feedback via the Polar Flow app (which you can purchase separately).

POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS:

  • The lack of a real screen is what stops me from using this watch for my workouts. I like to look down and see the exact info I’m looking for – I don’t want to have to click around for it, and I want as much information available in that moment as possible without having to sync to my phone. You’re going to be looking at your phone or computer for most of your feedback.
  • The watch uses a larger metal clasp like any other nice watch you might own. Metal sometimes irritates my skin – especially if it’s sweaty or hot. This is another reason I don’t wear it to work out.

BONUS COOL FACTOR:

  • Swarovski crystals. Need I say more?

IN SUMMARY:

  • If you’re looking for a basic and fairly inexpensive fitness tracker that provides the bare essentials AND is designed for daily wear in and out of the gym, this is the model for you.

READY TO TREAT YO’SELF?

I can’t imagine life without my Polar watches – inside or outside the gym. It’s nice to be reminded during the day to stand up and stretch. I love knowing how active I’ve been each day, and I find it so rewarding to see the benefits of my training. Knowing where my heart rate is during my workouts is both educational AND motivating – oftentimes, it helps me know when I can push myself even harder. A fitness watch is a must-have – and they’re not just for marathon runners anymore.

I hope you found this review helpful! If you have a question that I didn’t answer, please leave it below in the comments.

This is how to purchase a Polar model (any – not just ones I’ve reviewed here) and earn 15% off (follow these directions exactly):

  • Visit the Polar website using this special link: http://shrsl.com/?~c6k7
  • At checkout, use code CORPORATESNEAKERS (all caps).

NOTE: This offer is only valid in the U.S. at polar.com and does not include accessories. For transparency purposes, many of the links in this article are affiliate tracking links.