New Workout Gadgets And Records (or Improving On My Workouts)

This past week brought some fun things to my Orangetheory workouts. The first thing was at my Monday workout.

Since I started at Orangetheory, there has always been heart rate monitors. This is part of the reason why I love Orangetheory. The heart monitors that have been used in the past are by Polar. I owned my own strap and every time I worked out, I got a pod (the device that hooks on to the strap) from the front desk. The pods belonged to Orangetheory and had to be turned in after each class.

But on Monday, we all got a nice present waiting for us at the front desk.


We got new heart rate monitors! This is the OTBeat system. It uses Bluetooth to connect in class and you can even use it for workouts outside of class (which is perfect since the battery in my other heart rate monitor still needs replacing). And now I don’t have to get a pod from the front desk (or remember to turn it back in) each workout!

The only possible glitch with the new heart rate monitor for me is the calorie count. It’s saying that I’m burning about 200-300 calories less than the old system did. And when I use the app on my phone with the heart rate monitor (while I’m in class), it says I do burn those extra 200-300 calories. I’ve told the management at my Orangetheory and we are trying to figure out why this is happening. I’m not sure if I should trust what the class calorie burn is or the app calorie burn is. Hopefully this will be resolved this week.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to do the Monday Challenge this past week. It was a 1/4 mile on the treadmill at 10%, but you couldn’t hold on to the treadmill while you did it. Since I have so many balance and walking straight issues, it was more important for me to hold on and not fall than to try the Monday Challenge.

Other than not being able to do the Monday Challenge, I had a great workout.

Wednesday I pushed myself to some new limits with my weights. The new OTBeat system shows how long you have been in the orange and red zones (the zones that help your body burn calories post-workout), so I wanted to see if I could get more time in those zones. In the past, you only knew how long you were in those zones after the workout, but now that I can see how close I am to my goals throughout the workout, I feel extra motivated to push myself farther and farther.

And pushing myself was the theme of my Friday workout. For the treadmill block, we had some distance races. The first and last 7 minutes of the treadmill block were for distance. The first 7 minutes, I got to .401 miles. My goal was .4 miles, so getting that little extra was super motivating. When we had the next 7 minute race, I made myself go even faster than last time (so much easier to do that on a treadmill where it forces me to go faster if I increase the speed on the machine).

Going faster (and at 6% incline instead of 3% which is the norm), was painful at times, but all I really wanted to do is to go for the full 7 minutes without taking a break. And somehow, I managed to do that.

When I looked at the treadmill to see how far I went, I was in shock.


That’s so much better than the first time, and I was exhausted this time from doing the first 7 minute race and the intervals we had between the 2 races.

Honestly, the rest of my workout after that was a bit of a blur. It was a blur of pain and happiness that I was able to go so much farther than I ever expected.

This coming week, I’m going to be calling Kaiser to try to get an appointment with a potential hip surgeon. I know what my old surgeon had as a plan for me, but since he isn’t at Kaiser anymore and that plan was created almost 8 years ago, I want to know what else is possible for me. My goal is to find a way to be able to walk faster without pain and to perhaps find more ways to delay the 3 surgeries that I was told that I need. Seeing how far I can push myself when I’m in pain in a workout has really motivated me to work with a new doctor to make my future workouts even better.

18 responses to “New Workout Gadgets And Records (or Improving On My Workouts)

  1. Pingback: Another Bombshell Partnership! (or Doing A Healthy Detox) - Finding My Inner Bombshell

  2. what app do you use to sync the OTbeat?

  3. So glad I found your blog! I’ve been scouring the Internet looking for recommendations on compatible smart device apps!! I’m a member at a location in Georgia. Just out of curiosity, do you mind sharing how much you paid for your OTBeat system??

    • My OTBeat was $29 because I had previously purchased the old HRM system and my location gave us a price break if we turned in our old straps. And the DigiFit app was a couple of dollars because you have to get the fancier version to get it to link to the OTBeat.

      And I’m glad you found my blog too! I hope you’ll continue to read it and follow me on my journey!

  4. I can’t seem to figure out how to sync this in the Digidit app. Any tips? 🙁

    • I’ll break down the steps I went through to link the OTBeat with my iPhone (I hope you are using an iPhone because I don’t know how to do it with Android).

      First, make sure your OTBeat is linked with your iPhone Bluetooth (under Settings). After that is linked and your Bluetooth is on, open DigiFit. Toward the bottom on the main screen, you’ll see Settings. Open that up and select My Sensors. Then turn Bluetooth Smart on. It should then search for all Bluetooth HRMs linked to your phone. On my phone, it comes up at Orangetheory HRM. Confirm that that is the device that you want to link to.

      After that is all done, as long as you have Bluetooth on, when you open DigiFit and start a workout (I always select Indoor Cardio), it will search and link to the OTBeat system.

      I hope this helps!!

  5. Because this is the first page I came across trying to sync up my new otbeat (first page google search

  6. Hi Jen, we in Ohio havent gotten the new OT beat system yet. I was hoping to buy a heart monitor watch that could synic up the OT system. Have you heard anything or know anyone that has done the same thing? Does anyone know if the OT beat is still a polar product?

    • I don’t believe that the OT Beat system is Polar. It doesn’t sync with my Polar watch, and I really don’t know what watch it would sync with. I guess it would with the Apple Watch because you can probably use Digifit with that. I used to use a watch with my old system and now that it syncs so nicely with my phone I don’t wear the watch anymore.
      And I haven’t noticed anyone at OTF using a watch with the OT Beat system.

  7. I cannot figure out how to sync my OT beat. You said to make sure it is linked to my iPhone bluetooth system but it just keeps searching and never finds it. Am I doing something wrong?

    • I know this might sound crazy, but try syncing it up in a different location. When I try to sync my OT Beat and iPhone in my house, it never works. But if I’m at OTF or somewhere at least a block from my house, it works within a few seconds. It’s so weird and I have no clue why it happens. Also, try syncing it at OTF. If it doesn’t work, perhaps someone who works there can help you.

  8. I just got my apple watch today and I was able to sync up the OTbeat to my watch. I had trouble at first.. it wouldn’t connect but once I put the strap on me it connected instantly. So if you’re having trouble pairing, make sure you have the strap ON your body!

  9. Does anyone know if the Garmin Forerunner 220 watch is compatible with the OTF Beat System?

  10. yes the OT HR monitor is compatible with the garmin forerunner 220 because they both use ant+

  11. I have noticed some interesting things with the new pods and the new software too.

    We just got our new pods in January. We were the last club to get them in the US. Here’s my experience.

    When I received the pod I noticed that the heart rate monitor was elevated. I was reaching the Orange and even Red zones very easily, so I performed a test. I calibrated it with my Apple watch and the treadmill during workout. I found that it was elevated by 14 beats per minute. I think everyone should calibrate new hardware with 3 points of reference. So I had the staff lower it in the system. Now its much harder to reach the “Orange Zone” and its perfectly accurate with the heart rate monitors in my watch and the tread mill. So the hardware is issue. No one is calibrating and testing each and every one of them coming from the manufacturing facility. I have forgotten my strap and pod a few times and one out of every 3 have the same problem and so I have had the staff fix them as I find them.
    I think the overall fitness program is great, but I think if you are going to base it on heart rates then you need to have more information on each of the individuals health and more data points to adjust the program to their needs. I get in classes all the time and I am huffing and puffing in an all out and dropping a few lbs in sweat and I look at the tread mill next to me and some guy is in the red zone and he walking at half the rate and not even breaking a sweat… lol!

    Also, the algorithm they are using has been bumped up for the calorie burn when they rolled out the new hardware so you feel better about your work out. That’s why you are seeing a lift in burn calories. When your heart rate is over 85% it’s very easy to measure accurate calorie burn, but when your heart rate is below 85% then it is very subjective and that’s why you see many gym equipment displaying all different numbers of calorie burn. Each manufacturer computes these numbers below 85% bpm differently.

    • I agree that everyone needs to calibrate their heart rate. Mine is naturally very low (it’s elevated with medication right now), so I had mine calibrated very soon after starting at OTF.

      And while most people have found that the new system shows them a higher calorie burn, there is something off with my account that makes my calories very low. I can be in the orange for 20 minutes and show that I only burned 200 in the hour (the app on my phone shows 500). They don’t know why my account is weird like that, so instead of having them delete my account and start everything from scratch, I don’t concern myself with the calorie burns on the screen.

      Have you done the professional heart rate testing yet? It can be pretty cool!

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