Trackbar Performance Sensor Review – turn your gym iron into smart iron

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Trackbar ReviewTrackbar Performance Sensor Review

This Trackbar review covers a simple-looking magnetic sensor that measures the quality of your reps in the gym.

Maximise every rep – as you might expect, you can create and follow workouts on the Trackbar app and your reps and rests are automatically logged. Of course, you can already do that on a sports watch. The novel twist with Trackbar is that it measures the quality of execution of each rep. Coming in 2021 is the additional ability to share workout data with your coach.

Trackbar Verdict: A good gym tool for more serious lifters who are looking to ensure the quality & consistency of their reps.
80%

Summary Trackbar Review

Use Trackbar with free weights at home or with gym equipment as you take Trackbar with you from one exercise to the next.

At the end of the workout, there are some great insights on your form that show your range of motion, eccentric/concentric time and speed as they change rep by rep throughout the workout.

 

Pros

  • Attach to any gym-iron – free weights or workstations
  • Show quality of execution metrics – range of motion, speed & time
  • No need to wear a wristwatch
  • Small, light & portable with a reasonable 8-hour battery life

Cons

  • Can’t automatically detect the weight
  • Can’t automatically detect the type of exercise performed
  • No Garmin or Apple Watch integration

Trackbar Review

Trackbar – unboxing, contents & where to stick it

You get the Trackbar a USB-C cable and a free iOS/Android app.

It looks basic and sufficiently sturdy. Inside is a strong magnet and a curved underside, so it will easily attach to any iron such as a barbell, a weight on a dumbbell or gym equipment (on the weight or on the handle)

Trackbar VERY easily can be changed between weights and I can’t see why you would need more than one.

Trackbar Review

Trackbar – Who is it for?

You will probably be a person that takes lifting weights seriously. There are MANY ways to simply track the completion of a gym session but you will be interested in more than simply logging the session, you will want to know more about how well you execute every lift in every set. Are you consistent? Is your form affected as you tire?

To use Trackbar you will need to be the kind of person that likes to have their smartphone with them when they workout…Trackbar is not for Garmin or Apple Watch users right now.

Trackbar Alternatives

There are some smart weight systems for home or gym usage that have the upside of recording the weight that was lifted as well as the number of reps but they tend to be very expensive. BioStrap Evo is also an interesting alternative that uses accelerometers on a wristband to learn which movements correspond to which specific exercise ie it can autodetect the exercise undertaken as well as the reps (limited).

Trackbar is flexible and ‘cheaper’ than smart weights in the sense that it is portable from one station to the next and so you only need one of them.  But it cannot determine the weight that is being lifted.

Trackbar Review – First Uses

The product is simple to charge, you press a button and the LED comes on. Open the app and pairing is a doddle. Find an iron weight of just about any kind and Trackbar will stick to it.

Then we come to the app which is a little clunky to use but not so bad once you get used to the flows between screens.

You have to create a workout on the app that you intend to follow later and doing that is, no doubt, similar to what you’ve used on other apps many times before. It just takes a little time to create, although templates can be re-used to save a little time.

trackbar app restTrackbar – Following a Workout

The app gives a nice countdown timer and indicates the number of completed and remaining reps as well as indicting your progress through the whole workout. It’s all standard stuff, presented nicely.

I found following a workout worked well, however, the occasional shorter rep performed quickly at the start could be missed and there also sometimes seemed to be a slight delay in incrementing the rep counter on iOS.

Completed Workout Stats

For me, the standout feature of Trackbar is the stats shown at the end.

 

Trackbar Review, Some Thoughts

I really like the concept of this and it’s a great start for a small startup.

Trackbar definitely can be used as of today and that will be further expanded when the coach feature goes live later this year.

However, to some extent, I think Trackbar has fallen into the trap of trying to create a mini-ecosystem that everyone has to buy into in order to use the product. Imagine if the Stryd running footpod only worked with their proprietary app and not with a Garmin Watch? Crazy. OK, it’s not quite the same with Trackbar as there are many gymaholics who are not so wedded to a sports data platform as endurance athletes might be, in fact, there are MANY gymaholics who have zero interest in tech and just want to get bigger…hey, this product can help. You know the importance of form 🙂

So the current sensor+app concept does target gym lifters reasonably well but misses out on other opportunities.

The untapped markets would be those who use the Garmin and Apple Watch ecosystems. However I think that would be for the next generation of Trackbar, I think the sales of the current version are reasonably good in Europe and that could give investors confidence to support Trackbar on their future expansion plans where there are MUCH bigger prizes on offer but, perhaps, prizes that are a little harder to get at.

  • Hardware capabilities permitting, integration with Garmin watches as a data field would be easy. Yet, Trackbar may well not have ANT+ broadcast abilities
  • Integration with Apple Watch represents a potentially huge market and would leverage the existing iOS app. However, a watchOS app would need to be functionally rich and have meaning in standalone usage without an iPhone – unlike the Garmin opportunity where a data field would simply slot into existing Garmin workout features. That’s a complex app that needs to be built.

 

Trackbar – Availability & Price

You can only get Trackbar directly from the manufacturer.

I have a discount code coming for this that will get you a total of €45,00 off

Currently, €199,00 rrp€229,00 saving €30,00, at the time of writing, my code Trackbar_the5krunner gives an additional €15,00 off
Extra discount of €15,00 automatically applied when using this link:

Trackbar.com

(If the extra €15,00 is not automatically applied try this code: “Trackbar_the5krunner”)

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Trackbar Performance Sensor Review – turn your gym iron into smart iron

  1. Can it give form advice on say keeping the bar within a straight vertical plane during a squat or bench press? Lot’s of weight lifters take videos or use video apps for such things.

    If it’s just counting reps, sets, rest and range of motion, might as well use the Garmin strength training activity which will give you same without range of motion but will sometimes automatically detect your exercise correctly.

    Superb concept with a lot of potential. Coros should buy or form a partnership with them…

    1. Hi inSyt, this is Stefan from the Trackbar Team. You are raising a great point; the vertical plane is definitely one of the many features we see great potential in and are currently looking into. 

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