My Conscience on An Armband
Recently Becky, my friend and colleague at Pennyhill Park convinced me through massive amounts of nagging to try the KiFit (www.kiperfomance.co.uk), for you guys in the States this device is known as “Body Media”.
Don’t worry, I haven’t decided to drop masses of bodyweight, although that might be a good idea; I’m kinda proud of being the Worlds shortest drug free 125kg lifter, except for Les Pilling of course. The look on the faces of the spotters and loaders before my opening Squat when they’re told rack height 1 is priceless!
No dear readers, this was a labour of love, simply in order to report back to you.
If I were to sum the KiFit device it’s pretty much your conscience on an armband. It’s a very accurate calorie counter, unlike the cardio machines you’ll find in any commercial gym where the numbers are pretty much made up. It tells you how hard you’ve worked measured in METs, it’s a pedometer, it tells you how much, and how efficiently you’ve slept, and it has software for you to record your meals.
In the UK this set up would cost you around £300 for the first year for the all singing all dancing package.
Now to my opinion as regards the Ki, but first a confession. Because fat loss isn’t my main concern I couldn’t be arsed to fiddle about entering all my meals, so I decided to go to the font of all knowledge, my Mrs, who has been using the KiFit all year. She says that the software is really set up for American users, because of this it’s actually quite time consuming entering anything which hasn’t already been listed, especially when you decide to eat out.
At the opposite end of the equation, calories out, I found the results very interesting. When sleeping I was burning 120 calories / hour, the “Book” says the average is 61 calories / hour (although I have heard as high as 80)! As we’ve already ascertained I’m a big guy and I carry a lot of muscle, but burning twice as many calories as the average person was quite surprising to me.
On non-active days I was still burning over 3’000 calories / day, and on training / cycling days it would sometimes go up to 4’300. Now if your goal is fat loss please see the bleeding obvious here – muscle is the key; develop muscle and fat loss becomes a lot easier; although as I am evidence of, even with a lot of muscle one can still eat too much.
Now to the kinda confusing part; according to the way the Ki measures hard work, as I mentioned earlier, through METs, one of my Death by Squats sessions, where I perform as many as 10 heavy sets isn’t as demanding as a cycle ride. Now I can assure you all that the Squat session leaves me totally beat, whereas the bike ride I could repeat several times and I wouldn’t be nearly as tired.
Perhaps there’s another way of measuring hard work which I’m not aware of but it does seem unfair to us weightlifters when METs and calories burned during the session don’t tell anything like the full story.
Another surprise was seeing how poorly I’m sleeping; I get plenty of sleep in terms of hours slept, but I seem to wake every morning around 4am even when I don’t have to get up at that ungodly hour. I guess shift work will do that to you, I can only imagine the chaos wrought on the body if you were to throw overnight work into the mix as well.
In conclusion those who are high blue (information hungry types) will love this, especially if their goal is weight management. For me it was an interesting experiment but I’m not going to buy one; although I have to say that the info I garnered is very useful I really don’t see anything else of use becoming apparent through continued use.