Whatever your fitness goal for the year ahead, here are five of the best cutting-edge products that can boost your chances of bossing your ambitions.
MF BEST BUY:
From £1,599, wattbike.com
Wattbike Pro/Trainer bikes are the ride of choice for spin studio sufferfests, but they cost big bucks. The Atom cuts the cost (slightly) of recreating those saddle sessions in your very own pain cave, with a bike that’s tailored for home use.
Unlike some stationary set-ups that take hours to construct and calibrate, the Atom comes practically ready to ride out of the box. Vertical and horizontal sliders for the saddle, and height adjustment for the handlebars, make tweaking the cycling position nice and easy, with thankfully very little wielding of allen keys. You can also bring your own pedals and handlebars to customise your ride.
The Atom’s magnetic resistance, with a 0–2000W power range and ±2 per cent data accuracy, makes for much quieter – though still not silent – training sessions. The ride feels close to real, supported by the inclusion of integrated gear shifts like you’d find on your regular road bike. That’s particularly important when it comes to moving up and down the 22 gears mid-ride, while you’re tackling automated gradient simulation that ranges from 0-25 per cent.
When it comes to simulating hills, automated resistance in climb mode serves up the full ride experience – complete with burning lungs and quads. Meanwhile, Bluetooth and ANT+ F-EC mean there’s wide connectivity with your favourite accessories and fitness apps, so you can lose yourself in the routes and training sessions in virtual platforms, such as Zwift and Trainer Road.
Even if you’re not a Zwifter, you can still access more than 37 real-time ride metrics and training plans in the Wattbike Hub.
Granted, the price tag represents a chunky investment, but if cycling is your go-to and you’re not a fan of turbo trainers, this is one of the best bikes you can get.
Compex SP 8.0
From £779.99, compex.com/uk
Machines that fire electrical signals into your muscles – particularly your abs – get a bad rep for being novelty shortcuts to some of the most popular fitness goals. But the Compex SP 8.0 is no magic six-pack maker. It’s a serious wireless muscle stimulator, widely used by professional athletes and physios.
It works by sending electric pulses to your motor nerves in order to create muscle contractions and address a number of common training concerns.
Top of that list is good recovery and limiting training time lost to injury. The multi-purpose e-stim can be used to activate muscles pre-workout and stimulate low-impact muscle strengthening. It can also help with recovery, provide pain relief and even give a soothing massage.
Additionally, the Compex is equipped with a range of automated features, such as muscle scans, that adjust stimulator parameters to your needs.
This tiny power-tracking sensor fixes to your laces like a race timing chip and lets you optimise your training sessions by following a consistent measurement of effort on each run.
Unlike heart rate and pace, power isn’t affected by changing external conditions like hills or heat. And now Stryd even lets you adjust your running effort according to how windy it is.
The pod also delivers improved accuracy over GPS, making those really important run stats more reliable.
The plank – and its many variations – is one of the most effective ab exercises around, but let’s face it, ‘lying’ face down to the floor while your core gets torched is far from fun. Stealth aims to add some excitement and ease some of the pain.
You simply stick your elbows on the balance board, slot your phone into the holder, fire up the app and it transforms those boring, burny holds into addictive games where minor positional changes clock you points.
Whether you’re chasing weight loss, muscle gain or improved cardio capacity, good sleep is the foundation of every fitness aspiration.
Beddr’s forehead-worn monitor offers you the chance to improve by going beyond the insights offered by most sleep trackers. Its optical and motion sensors keep tabs on sleep quality, heart rate, breathing, oxygen saturation and sleep position.
The clinical-grade data it gathers can genuinely help you spot what’s needed for better shut eye.
Words: Kieran Alger