Product Review: Adidas miCoach SMART RUN Watch

The  miCoach SMART RUN is Adidas’s first attempt at entering the fitness watch market. In the last few years offerings such as the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP and various pieces from Garmin, Polar and TomTom have helped fuel a huge increase in demand and interest in exercise enhancing devices and products.

Personally I have never used any exercise gadgets so trialing this watch was a new experience for me and I had little to compare it to. However, many of my clients use these types of watches and they clearly helps people get motivated to move more, run more or simply hit the target number that they’ve been given, whether that’s steps, calories or miles. Ultimately, if anything helps get you in the fitness groove then that’s a positive.

Appearance and functionality

adidas micoach watchThe miCoach looks pretty slick with a 1.45 inch touchscreen and weighs in at a fairly bulky 80.5g. However, it’s doesn’t get in the way of anything and it feels like it could survive a knock or two. I’ve had problems in the past with watches slipping or being uncomfortable but it has a double buckle system that gives it a secure, stable feel on the wrist when running, moving or for daily use.

The interface is a simple touchscreen and a single button underneath. This gives it a fresh minimalist look and moving around the options and screens is quick and effortless with swipes and taps.

The battery life is not as long as some other watches and that can cause issues if you’re using a lot of features or doing a long run. Think of it like your phone – if you use it regularly expect to charge it daily.

Features and performance

The initial procedure to set up the watch is somewhat long-winded but once this hurdle is cleared there are numerous neat features that make the process worth it, and start to justify the price tag.

Uniquely, the watch can take your pulse from your wrist without the need for a chest strap using a laser in the back. Clever, huh? I wasn’t aware this was possible and the ability to monitor heart rate easily and without the need for a strap appealed to me. The colour coded metrics also made it easy to monitor at a glance.

The GPS sometimes took a minute or two to pick up which left me feeling a little impatient at first, but if you set it up once you start warming up this can be avoided. Once running, I took a route that I knew well and the distance was very accurate. Being a stickler for detail this was reassuring. I mostly run short distances up to 5k at max pace, so if it’s a few hundred metres out I don’t want to know.

adidas micoach interface

The various watch swipe and tap interfaces

The Bluetooth connection, once set up, is pretty sweet with feedback given on your run stats, pace, distance and plays music held on the 3GB worth of memory space.

As well as your watch talking to you while you run, you can also set up workouts on the watch which prompt you to do exercises and circuits. As a trainer and someone who is self-motivated, this feature is not really useful or motivating for me but these may be great features for some.

Summary

For 14,990 THB I expect a lot. The numerous features may make that worth it – GPS, music player and heart rate monitor being the big 3 for me. If the other features get you excited, you can charge it regularly and you like the futuristic look and feel, this could be the one for you.

From what I’ve seen of the other fitness watches and wristbands available I think some of watches from the more experienced players like Garmin and Nike would suit me more, or maybe something more minimalist like the Jawbone UP or Vivofit – so being the fussy little thing that I am, I’ll trial a few more and find the one that suits me best.

The Adidas miCoach watch and ranges from Garmin, Nike and Jawbone are all available at Ari Running Concept Store at CentralWorld in Bangkok.

Specs
Price: 14,990
Weight: 80.5g
Screen: 184×184 pixels,
Battery life: ’14 days’ of no feature usage. 1 day of full usage
Charger: USB docking station


BASE is proud to have partnered with adidas. We provide accessories and exclusive adidas x BASE apparel.

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Men’s Health Thailand Q&A September Issue

mens health thailand september issueAn English translation for my monthly column in Men’s Health Thailand.

I want to build muscle mass in my upper body. Can you give me some advice?

To achieve muscle growth in your back, chest, arms, shoulders and abs I recommend hitting big compound lifts through the upper and lower body. Compound means you are working more than one muscle group and joint, so you work many muscles with one movement. A good example of a compound lifting program would be Overhead Press, Bench Press and Tricep Dips on training day 1, and Pull Ups, Dumbbell Row and Upright Row on training day 2. Stick to 6-12 reps on each exercise and record your weights and increase as you become stronger. Finally, I recommend training your legs on each training day as well as IMG_3894[1]movements that use the whole body, such as squat thrusters or farmer’s walks. This will have your body releasing the right hormones for total body muscle growth and will give you the all-round muscular physique you desire.

If you have any questions you’d like answered in the column please contact me.


Check out the classes at BASE for strength training in Bangkok.

You’re Never Past It – Let These People Inspire You

Russian kettlebell maestro Sergey

Russian kettlebell maestro Sergey

Last week I had the honour of training with kettlebell world champion Sergery Rachinsky. He’s one of the strongest men in the world, holding multiple world records for strength and endurance such as his 100kg back squat for 180 reps.

His feats and mental toughness are mind-blowing on their own but one thing I found particularly inspiring was that he’s still smashing strength records at 42 years of age with plans for many more to come.

A has-been by 30?

About 10 years ago whilst working in a bank in England I remember a conversation with a colleague about fitness and exercise. I’d just started training and was really getting into it. I recall him holding his belly and telling me how it all goes downhill when you hit your late twenties. The weight just piles on, he told me. And besides, with a wife, kids and job there’s no time left to look after yourself. He basically said that he was on a steady decline towards ill health, powerless to do anything about it.

At the time I was concerned for my future and his words stuck with me.

Of course, I now realise that he was externalizing all his reasons for not looking after his health in an attempt to convince himself that his poor state was due to factors beyond his control. He felt better thinking that yeah, he was unfit and in bad shape, but what more could he do? It was all because of his age/job/kids/schedule etc.

Sadly, by relinquishing responsibility for his health he probably never did anything to change it.

The truth is, you can achieve incredible feats of fitness, strength, endurance and skill at any age.

I’m not talking about a 50-something who does a leisurely jog in the park twice a week – I mean elite athletes, world record holders or sportsmen and women dominating people their children’s or grandchildren’s age.

Here are some incredible stories of strength at all ages:

Herschel at 48

Herschel at 48

Not content with being a top NFL player and world class sprinter, Herschel Walker has gone on to become an MMA fighter into his 50s. Here he is fighting at 48. Seriously, scientists should study this guy.

Dara Torres was still beating records going into her 40s and at 45 she narrowly missed out on the 2012 Olympics by 0.32 seconds. Here she talks about her lifestyle.

In 2011, 54 year old George Hood set the world record for the longest plank hold at 1 hour 20 minutes. Not content with this, he smashed it 2 years later with an incredible 3 hours 7 minutes.

Canadian strongman Kevin Fast, 46, set the World record for pulling the heaviest object, a C-17 cargo plane. This is undeniably a cool record, but he outdid himself when he set the world record for most people lifted at once, with 22 girls on his back.

Kevin lifted 22 girls to set a world record
Kevin lifted 22 girls to set a world record

Just shy of her 50th birthday, tennis legend Martina Navratilova won a mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open. This was an all-age full event, not a masters.

Sportsmen who didn’t just compete, but played in the top flight of their sport during their 40s: Jeff Carney, NFL player aged 45, Teddy Sheringham and Brad Friedel, football players in the English Premiership aged 40 and 42 respectively. Dikembe Mutombo and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, two NBA legends who played at the highest level until they were 42.

On a personal level, my uncle serves as a great inspiration to me. He’s 53 and in great shape, runs a few marathons a year ranking high in his age group, goes rock climbing every week (he outclimbed me when I tried it) and often beats me at tennis. He fits in all this training and competing while running his own company.

This guy ran a 3:15 marathon at 80 and smashed my 5km target time by almost a minute #noexcuses

This guy ran a 3:15 marathon at 80 and smashed my 5km target time by almost a minute #noexcuses

I’ve had many friends who’ve run marathons. Most go for sub 4:30 hours, or perhaps 4:00. Occasionally I have a very fit and active friend who trains hard and goes for sub-3:30. Ed Whitlock recorded a time of 3:15:53… at age 80 (no typo, that’s eighty), a respectable time for a man his great-grandson’s age.

Fauja Singh was running marathons at 100 years old. He finally hung up his running shoes aged 101, with a 10km race in Hong Kong. He ran for premature babies charities, being billed as ‘the oldest running for the youngest’ – what a beautiful and inspiring goal!

Olga Kotelko is a 92 year old athlete competing in numerous track and field events, such as high jump, long jump, javelin, shot put and sprints. She holds 23 world records and 17 records in her age category. She told the NY Times that she has more energy now than when she was 50.

Olga at 91

Olga at 91

The World Masters Athletics records page is a huge inspiration to me not only as I age, but also now. I set some 2013 running goals of a 20 minute 5km time and a sub-1 minute 400m time. I was a little embarrased to discover that the oldest person to record a sub 1:00 400m was 74 years old. Our marathon running friend Ed Whitlock (pictured above) hit a 19:07 5km time aged 75, a time I would be massively proud of.

Equally impressive are the 100m world record times. Some inactive guys my age would struggle to hit a 17.5 second 100m time. A time of 17.53 was recorded by Frederico Fischer when he was 90 years old. 90 goddamn years! Please record your 100m sprint time, and if it’s not as fast as Freddy then let it be the biggest wake up call of your life.

I’ll leave you with this video from the Veterans Athletics Championships in the over-95 category. Seeing Emiel power through like Usain Bolt in lane 4 brought a tear to my eye. I sincerely hope that’s me in 65 years time.