As an early adopter, I found myself waiting in line at NYC Midtown Nike store in February for the Nike Fuel Band. I previous gave my general thoughts when I first got it but knew a true review wouldn’t come until some real use (or lack of, more on that later).
From my previous post:
“The Nike Fuel Band is a bracelet that logs any physical activity - from making food to running a marathon - into units of “Fuel”. It gathers the data to your iPhone (via an app) or their website, where you can keep track of your progress.
The Technology: The band measures movement via a 3-axis accelerometer, then uses algorithms to calculate exactly what type of movements you are doing. These multipliers were developed at Nike labs where subjects were tested doing different activities.”
After 6 months, the verdict?
As a tool to promote and track activity, it’s useless.
As a minimalist watch, it’s great. (And this is what I use it for now.)
As someone that trained crossfit for a good year, moving onto doing Olympic lifts and training on my own, Nike’s Fuel metric is too general to be useful.
The band doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know after a couple weeks of use (my non-gym days would log about 2200 fuel points, gym days 3500 fuel points consistently).
It fails for realistic measurements of activity. According to the mechanics of the band, vigorously drawing while I’m sitting at a desk counts more than doing pull ups at the gym since there’s no accelerated hand movements during a pullup.
At the most basic level, someone that is looking for motivation to move would still be better off even using Nike+ (which has some faults as well). The advantage of Nike+ is you are given metrics (pace & distance) which you can look to improve on.
Apps like Myfitnesspal and MyWOD (which is what I use) are free and help me keep track of vital things: calories, nutrition intake, weights and reps. While it does take more work, it will provide better results. If you are looking for general motivation to get active, I’d suggest finding a workout/fitness partner that is much more motivated than you. The problem I see with people trying to get in shape is they pair up with a friend that is at the same level at them and feel comfortable. But this would be like learning a language with someone that speaks as much as you do. You’re not going to get far.
Buy used as a watch, skip it for anything else.