The benefits are two-fold. Firstly it provides a convenient, personal means of assessing the progress of your training through trends in LTHR.
Secondly it gives you data as you exercise to assess oxygen level in chosen muscle groups.
Benefits apply equally to runners and cyclists.
The devices is easily worn inside the proprietary ‘sleeve’ provided with the sensor. This ease of wearability is a big plus for The BSX Insight over its competitor MOXT. BSX Insight data is best viewed and recorded in one of three ways, either: the BSX Insight App; a WAHOO ELEMNT with its native support for muscle oxygenation; or by using one of MOXY’s Connect IQ (CIQ) data fields on a Garmin sports devices that supports CIQ.
BSX Insight’s in-depth analysis capabilities of Muscle Oxygen are somewhat limited. Whilst you can view the data in the app and in Garmin Connect, you would be better-served by the free Golden Cheetah software or by other sports data analysis software such as SportTracks (image, below).
In my personal experience I have found that there is a fair amount of inaccuracy when following various DIY exercise protocols to determine my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR) – although, more correctly, we are determining the Anaerobic Threshold or Lactate Turnpoint (LT2).
Using a reasonably accurate LTHR figure in your training will enable you to achieve the benefits of training by correctly defined HR Zones. In my experience BSX Insight has given a close estimate of LTHR to lab-based tests.
Here’s my bike test result of LTHR=159bpm (image below) this tied in with a lab test of 162bpm a few months earlier
That’s the most simple use for BSX Insight. Here are some other possibilities:
- Optimise Workout duration/Intensity – perhaps helping you to also curtail an unproductive training session;
- Optimise Intra-Interval Recovery – quantify your recovery before you start the next interval;
- Quantify your warm up;
- Optimise Cadence – look at effects of muscle oxygen at same power levels but varying cadence. You could do the same sort of thing to look at positional changes; and
- Racing – is there much left I the tank?
Ironically the best place to learn more about Muscle Oxygen is probably at BSX’x main competitor’s forum: http://forum.moxymonitor.com/categories.
MOXY is more expensive, much harder to regularly wear and is more aimed at elite level athletes and sports labs.
Other Pros, Cons and Feubles
- Once you own a BSX Insight you and your mates can share it to regularly review your LTHR without the need for frequent and expensive lab tests to check your progress and to refine your zones.
- If you have a power meter you may well have found that your ability to hit certain durations at certain power levels was not what your power zones had led you to believe. Training by power CAN be improved by also considering; perceived exertion, heart rate AND muscle oxygen level.
- The battery in the BSX device continually depletes so it is best to be permanently kept on its charging cradle. Battery life is then just under 8 hours.
- You MUST turn the device ON with the app which seems to also require an active internet connection as well. Although you can then leave the smartphone/app at home.
To Be or not tHb
BSX Insight includes tHb capability. The data is shown on the MOXY IQ Connect Datafield and smartphone apps that support that data but it does not show on the BSX online app nor in the exported data.
- Oxygenated Hemoglobin Concentration = O2Hb
- Deoxygenated Hemoglobin Concentration = HHb
- Total Hemoglobin Concentration = tHb = O2Hb + HHb
- SmO2 is O2Hb as a percentage of total
Now you know.
Apparently it’s accurate for runners! So say the scientists
Research Summary: Wearable lactate threshold predicting device is valid and reliable in runners.
SOURCE: bit.ly/1S0uqi3 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, online December 15, 2015. Borges & Diller (National Strength & Conditioning Association, copyright 2016)
Idiot’s Guide To Training With Muscle Oxygenation: Ken Nakata’s blog.
BSX Insight seems to have a useful degree of accuracy from LT testing in day-to-day usage.
It seems to have several use-case scenarios that could benefit many aspects of our training.
If you already have a power meter; STRYD, Garmin or otherwise, then BSX is next on the shopping list.
Costs & Availability
Availability is direct from the manufacturer in the USA or in the UK, to avoid import duties, you can buy directly from New RunningGear.com.