When it comes to getting fit, we tend to prioritise workouts. But if you’re trying to build improvements on shaky foundations, you’re making things harder.

For faster results, it pays to take the holistic approach. That means taking health and fitness seriously, pursuing quality sleep, dialled-in nutrition and better recovery – not to mention basing your training targets on better information. 

Luckily, smart technology can help. We tried, tested and picked the best cutting-edge tools you can use to upgrade your all-round game.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Boost metabolism

Lumen

£299 for 12 months / lumen.me

From no-carb keto to intermittent fasting, fitness is swamped with dietary advice for shedding, shredding and getting the body composition you want.

The problem: none of it is personalised or remotely based on what’s happening in your body right now. That’s where Lumen comes in.

This ground-breaking device crams lab-grade metabolic tech into a portable breathalyser that measures the C02 in your breath to identify when you’re burning fat, carbs or both.

That’s not only useful for knowing if you really need that banana to top up your fuel ahead of a workout; the Lumen app also uses your daily readings – along with your daily macro, workout time and sleep – to paint a clearer picture of your metabolic health.

Lumen’s simple, guided breath tests take less than five minutes. Though getting the test protocol right is crucial. For example, if you’re not sitting fully at rest it can skew the results. We found two tests just five minutes apart often gave different readings.

The app uses your first morning reading and your planned workouts to offer daily advice on how much carbohydrate to consume. An intelligent way to cycle your carbohydrate intake based on real-time results, it recommends lower carb days, medium and occasional boost days where your carb intake is higher.

By hitting the right macros at the right times, the idea is that you can train your body to switch more efficiently from carbs to fat and vice versa – improving your metabolic flexibility.

To do this effectively you still need to track what you eat and, despite the app’s food-finder tool, monitoring your macros with any accuracy is still a painful process. You’re still following a nutritional plan, just one that flexes in tune with what’s actually happening in your body.

It’s brilliant at demystifying the complexity of your metabolism, and seeing how the food you eat and other lifestyle factors impact your body. But it’s certainly not a food-plan-free silver bullet for weight loss.

It also comes with a meaty subscription fee and unlocking its bigger health benefits is definitely a long-term commitment.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Sleep better

Eightsleep

From $1,595 / eightsleep.com

Bad sleep habits can wreck the best-laid fitness plans. But while most sleep tech simply tells us if we’re getting enough quality zeds, Eightsleep goes one step further.

This smart cover slips over your existing mattress and tracks a broad suite of stats: sleeping heart rate and respiratory rate; HRV; sleep time; sleep stages (REM, light and deep); bedtime; time in bed; sleep latency; wake-up and get-up times; and tosses and turns.

But it uses that sleep performance to intelligently adjust your bed’s temperature and optimise your sleep stages. Typically, we need cooler temperatures during deep sleep and more neutral temperature during REM sleep.

You can set different bedtime schedules, and personalise the temperature when you get into and out of bed – a fantastic luxury. The vibrating wake-up alarm takes some getting used to, but it’s definitely less aggressive than an audio alarm.

Was it a magic sleep solution? Not quite. That smart temperature control couldn’t override the influence of alcohol, caffeine, diet and bad sleep hygiene.

But this system definitely helps you find effective sleep habits that can noticeably reduce those nighttime sleep disruptions.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Fuel smarter

Supersapiens

From €150 / supersapiens.com

Supersapiens’ waterproof, skin-worn biosensors inject a thin filament under the skin, using interstitial fluid from around the cells to measure real-time glucose levels.

Your readings sync to the partner app – via NFC – with a tap of your phone and reveal when to fuel, what your body responds to best and which lifestyle factors – such as sleep and stress – affect your blood sugar levels outside of workouts. 

Each sensor lasts for up to 14 days and the new Supersapiens band now puts your readouts on your wrist. Ideal used for short periods, intermittently, to learn about your own glucose responses.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Build cardio fitness

Prevayl

£210 / prevayl.com

Improving cardio fitness is a precise art. To get the biggest bang-for-buck from your sessions, you need to avoid the no-man’s land where your intensity is too low to improve your aerobic fitness, or too fast to be good for recovery.

Prevayl’s smart training wear uses a removable pod that works with built-in sensors in your training top to accurately track real-time intensity, a bit like a chest strap. 

Unlike classic monitors, the Prevayl app lets you set long-term intensity goals, thus ensuring you spend the right amount of time in the right zones to help build that cardio engine effectively.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Improve VO2 max

VO2 Master

£4,150 / stanleysports.co.uk

VO2 Max – the maximum amount of oxygen you can use when you’re going all-out – is often used as a benchmark for fitness.

Lots of devices use algorithms to estimate it, but none give you bullet-proof results. For that you need to test. That used to mean pricey lab visits, but this ground-breaking mask lets you do your own testing anywhere, from the local running track to the CrossFit box. 

The result is real-world VO2 results, as well as invaluable – and accurate – insights into your calorie burn rate at different intensities, max heart rate, training zones and oxygen consumption.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Track readiness

Oura 3

$299 + monthly subscription / ouraring.com

This third-generation Oura packs three times more sensors, improving the sleep, heart rate variability (HRV) and readiness smarts of a ring that was already an incredible feat of engineering.

In addition to HRV, you get resting heart rate, body temperature, sleep, recovery index and your previous day’s activity levels.

You also now get all-day heart rate tracking, improved-accuracy sleep tracking and workout heart rate insights.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Recover faster

Therabody Jetboots

£799.99 / therabody.com

Therabody’s newest recovery-boosting Jetboots have two major differences over other compression boots. They’re wireless, so they’re much easier to use. They also use precise, sequential pneumatic compression to improve circulation and shift metabolic waste created by tough sessions. 

The compression system follows the body’s natural circulatory flow from foot to thigh, helping to reduce muscle soreness, decrease swelling and stiffness, and relieve muscle fatigue.

The Jetboots’ controls couldn’t be easier to use either, with plug and play presets for time and pressure. But be warned: they’re
not the quietest.

Improve All Areas Of Fitness With These Innovative Tech Products | Men's Fitness UK

Measure progress

Withings Body Cardio

£129.95 / withings.com

Weight is a blunt instrument for measuring health and fitness. Smart scales like the Body Cardio aim to be much more useful  than your classic bathroom set.

They monitor a wider range of insights, including body fat, muscle mass, bone mass and body water, to serve up a more complete picture of your progress. 

These body analysers also keep tabs on your heart, tracking your vascular age and arterial health. Data syncs wirelessly to an app, where simple charts reveal patterns and fluctuations that can help you tweak your training and lifestyle to hit your goals.