Sunday, June 28, 2009
I love the bodybugg: in depth review and obsession confession
Posted by Chalene Johnson
Enter discount code bbgcj24 and earn an additional $15.00 off the price of your purchase!
All lower case: bbgcj24
Let me preface this for those of you who might be just meeting me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always prided myself as being the “hot product” go-to girl. Thinking back to my middle school punk-rock days in Portland, Michigan (not exactly a fashion-mecca) it was ME who found a place where we (myself and my Go-Go wanna-be girlfriends) could mail-order the new wave sunglasses we saw on MTV. Mine were white cat-eyes like the ones worn by Belinda Carlisle! (I digress.)
When I bought I my first George Foreman Grill in 1995, I began all my “step aerobic” classes with what I called a “public service announcement” about the benefits and ease of this little gadget.
I still use a George Foreman Grill everyday, though I’ve gone through 2 or 3 models since that first one.
You’d think I work for Nike the way I promote, love on, and generally obsesses over all Nike footwear, Shox, AirForce Ones, Old Schools, boots.. you name it.
I’ve sold more Sleep Number beds than the store in the mall. Not only that but I love letting people know where they can find the best deal on the best bed in the world… (QVC.com) and when it’s on sale.
Surely if you've come to my house in the last 6 months, you didn’t leave before trying one of my Shakeology recipes.
I have no financial or even sponsorship arrangements with these products. I just love it when people come back to me and say…”You were right! It works and I love it!”
Now, that is not always the case. After having his first Shakeology, my father rushed to the bathroom and exclaimed that his body was “rejecteing” the shake because it was “too healthy”. He also asked me where he could find the nearest donut shop was so that he could “make things right” in his system. (He might be a lost cause…**sigh**…but he makes me laugh.)
I’ve just always been one of those people who likes to “stand on my soap box and tell everybody bout it”.
My latest love affair is with the bodybugg®. Let me start by telling you what it is…
WHAT IT IS:
Bodybugg® is a calorie management system that uses an armband sensor (worm around the upper left tricep) and an optional (additional cost associated), but way cool wireless digital display that can be worn as a watch or clipped to your belt, etc which shows you in real time the current calorie burn, your calorie burn per minute during your current workout, your calories burned since midnight, and even the calories you burned yesterday!
Unlike pedometers or heart rate monitors which don’t really tell you what you’re burning all day long, even when you sleep, the bodybugg® lifts the heavily shrouded veil from the mystery of your metabolism, the mystery of your personal and very individual calorie burn.
The armband is worn as much or as little as you like. In my first week of owning one, I only took it off to shower. I slept with it on because I wanted to know what my metabolism was doing when I was sleeping. Sooooooo interesting! It even shows a spike when you have a heart pounding nightmare! Wow!
The armband can than be synced to your computer to see a graphical display, minute by minute, hour by hour of your activity, steps, calories, etc. Again… fascinating to see! Fascinating to compare one workout to the next, to see what your metabolism is doing post-workout, while sitting at your desk and even just walking around the house! Amazing.
THE DIGITAL DISPLAY:
Now the Digital Display is not required, but for those of us who are “need to know now” kind of people, the digital display allows you to glance down and see exactly what’s happening RIGHT NOW!
HOW IT WORKS:
The bodybugg® armband uses 4 sensors, (an accelerometer, a heat flux sensor, a skin thermometer and a sweat rate sensor), which measure over 1000 body algorithms 32-times a second (don’t ask me what that means!). This is what I do understand…based on exensive questions you answer when you set your armband up including weight, height, activity level, etc., those four sensors talk to each other and very accurately determine what motion you are doing, how hard your working and how many calories you’re burning. This info is recorded in the brain of your bodybugg® sensors. Like an Ipod, you can plug it into your computer at the end of the day, or at the end of the week and see minute by minute what you’ve burned. From what I understand it will store info for up to two weeks, though I have only ever gone a few days without syncing to their website which stores and displays your data. However, if you have the digital display, you have instant gratification of knowing what you’re burning…in realtime!
Body Media, a technology company, developed the revolutionary sensor, and partnered with Apex Fitness, a nutrition company, to develop the bodybugg® system. Originally used in a medical setting, this is by far the most accurate calorie monitoring device available today, other than spending some time in a laboratory. 24-Hour Fitness purchased Apex and many have become familiar with the bodybugg® from seeing the contestants of the "The Biggest Loser" use it to achieve insane weight loss.
In fact, that’s where I first learned about the bodybugg®. Two seasons ago, I was contacted by one of the contestants who had been voted off late in the season. She had just a month left when she contacted me to see if I could help her lose those final pounds before weigh in! I offered to let her come and stay at my house and take several Turbo Kick workouts a day, weight training with the test group I was working with on ChaLEAN Extreme and basically just keep her moving all day long! Those final weeks for contestants are CRAZY…but that’s another blog!
We spent every day together for a month. It was a blast. I was totally sold on the bodybugg® that she wore and raved about and had planned to get one ASAP.
I went on line to do some research. I read a few negative reviews and decided to hold off. I forgot all about the bugg until recently a friend and fitness instructor told me how the bodybugg® had helped her lose the last 5 pounds that had been haunting her for years. I told her what I had read. That’s when we realized that in my haste I had read outdated reviews of the “old” model and all of the items which were “negatives” for me, had been fixed with this newest version (third generation)! I asked around and sure enough, everyone I could find wearing one loved the new generation! The concept was fantastic, and now the design and technology was even better! I was convinced and couldn’t wait to get mine!
I bought mine the next day after my class at 24 Hour Fitness with my employee discount (thank you very much!!)
For years I have preached the undisputable weight loss principle of calories in versus calories out. I have long encouraged…no…scrap that…I have been BEGGING people to keep track of their calories since I started helping people lose weight 18 years ago. It’s a weight loss/weight maintenance ideology that is sometimes unpopular. Why? Because it takes a bit of work. It’s an extra step, a calculation, a formula. Americans are desperate for fast and easy. We don’t want to think. Let’s face it, if there were a pill everyone could pop and go about our hedonistic ways, we would.
Many weight loss experts like to simplify the process and suggest you eat a sensible diet and become more active. The problem with that is the unknown. What is sensible when you have no idea how many calories you’re burning? Just think…if you underestimate what you’re burning by just 100 calories a day, that would equate to a 10 pound weight gain over the course of next 12 months. Do you really think you can ‘guess’ at your calories consumed versus calories out and come within 100 calories? Really??? I’m considered an expert, and even with all the knowledge, formulas and information I have engrained in my brain, not until I started wearing my bodybugg® did I realize how OFF many of my calculations were! Wow!
Some activities I had WAAAAYY over estimated what I was burning and others I had way underestimated. The good news is that my three favorite forms of exercise burn the most… Turbo, Hip Hop Hustle and ChaLEAN Extreme. Interestingly with CE the burn isn’t necessarily super high during the class, but it lasts for hours after my workout! Cool!
Now that myself and 5 of my friends have bodybugg’s and have been comparing our calorie burn and though within just a few inches and pounds of each other (we’re all under 5’5”) and all doing the same workouts on the same days, at the same time, we are all burning drastically different calories, by as much as 800 to 1,000 calories!
It makes me realize that when someone asks me how many calories they should consume to lose weight, which people ask me ALL the time, that I REALLY can’t answer that question with any kind of accuracy. I can certainly make an educated guess, and that’s about as much as I can do!
bodybugg®'s armband calorie/mataboism monitoring device this is actually accurate! That's huge! Since I’ve started preaching about it’s many benefits, I’ve had many “heart rate monitor” owners ask me how it compares. No comparison. Its like the difference between meeting with a personal trainer one hour a day and having one with you 24 hours a day. World of difference!
To lose weight or gain weight it really comes down to calories/energy in and calories/energy out. Create too much of a deficit for prolonged periods and the result is a metabolism that slows. There are sooo many factors that determine the number of calories you burn in one day, genetics, muscle composition, height, weight, age, dieting history, exercise intensity, type of exercise, hormones… you name it! This device takes the guess-work out!
Create a deficit of 500 calories per day, report your calories on the web based food log accurately and when compared to your bodybugg data (which is proven to be 90% accurate or better) the result is a weight loss of 1 pound per week. Period. Done. End of story.
I tested it myself. I strapped my on my arm. Filled out my on-line questionnaire, religiously recorded every calorie and monitored my calories burned with the data collected on my device. I set a goal to lose 3 pounds in three week. (I’m short! Three pounds makes a difference in my line of work ;) I applied the weight loss formula to lose a pound a week, i.e. 500 calorie deficit per day. I created an average daily defceit of between 500 and 600 calories and BAM…a pound a week, 3.5 pounds total in three weeks and it had never been so simple! (I never had so much fun eating!)
Here’s the beautiful part….the food log! It actually breaks down the amount of carbs, proteins and fats you need each day and tells you where you’re off! That was huge for me! That’s a lot to try to calculate in your head. With the web based program it does it for you. Just by making some minor tweaks, I was able to drop my body fat at the same time!
MORE PRODUCT DETAILS:
bodybugg® armband is necessary. The digital display is highly recommended, but not necessary to operate the system. The current bodybugg®' is the third generation device. It is 50% lighter, 40% smaller and 20% thinner. The signal it sends to the digital display is apparently much stronger than original versions. Basically you just need to be with 5 to 10 feet of it to find a signal. Occasionally it loses connection, which you re-sync very simply by pressing a button on your armband.
The digital display measures minutes of activity, steps, calories burned today since 12 am, during your current workout and even shows you your previous day’s calorie burn. It also contains a new rechargeable battery. The battery re-charges like an Ipod, when you plug it into the USB port of your computer! Yay!
In my opinion the invaluable information is when you’re able to see minute by minute, step by step, activity by activity, hour by hour what your body is burning. That can only be done on the bodybugg web based program. The program is MAC and PC compatible. True, the web based data does require a subscription, but the cost is nominal (less than .25 cents per day when you buy a year at once!) AND great news.. you’ll get 6 months free and a 45 minute phone coaching session with your purchase (current promotion).
Website subscription pricing:
Online subscription renewal fees are: $9.95 for month to month, $49.95 for 6 month and $79.95 for 12-month.
This is outstanding when you see what this program can do! You also receive a personal coaching session and access to Apex's customer service. I had a bazillion questions and their customer service team has been 5 Star!
Kim Slover at bodybugg tells me a mobile application of the website is in the works, so you can track your food intake on your phone.
Now, as someone who loves QVC and has been a guest on several occasions, I can tell you that the reason I love shopping with them is because they give you the “anti-sell”. In other words, they tell you what the product won’t do. In much the way I would tell my girlfriends the things I see at “negatives” about the product. I will do the same for you! I would lose my credibility as the self-proclaimed “Hot Product Go To Girl” if I wasn’t honest about the few features I wish I could change…
1. The armband strap.
It’s very comfortable and you don’t even feel you’re wearing it. But at first I was like, “Oh hell no! I’m not messing up my cute outfit with this big black strap on my tricep.” Certainly nothing a few rhinestones couldn’t cure as you can see from the photo at the top of my blog. Your package will come with two sizes. Bret and I both got one, so we swapped sizes. I gave him my large and he gave me his smaller band. Yes, it’s very sporty and basic, but it doesn’t have to be! ☺ In fact, I’m working on having a couple blinged out designs mass produced and sold on our website at http://www.turbokick.com for those of us who want something a bit more fashionable! Standby!
Second, after about a week of wearing my arm band I realized the “ripe” smell was coming from my arm band. Duh! I don’t know what I was thinking, but obviously if you’re sweating, sleeping and wearing this thing as much as I was the first week, it starts to smell a little, shall we say… “funky”. Again, easy fix…hello…soak it, dry it, wear it! Of course I also bout several replacement bands so that I had several to match different outfits and I really had some fun creating different looks on each armband! Crafty fashion fun.
2. Web based food log. I have to say entering the food the first week was a pain in the butt. To do it right, you really need to know the nutritional facts of everything you consume. This takes some time and it seems their data based doesn’t identify items that should just be in their system. Again, I talked to Kim Slover about this. She acknowledged the systems short-comings and happily informed me that they are expanding the data based expedentially in the coming months for greater ease of use! Here’s my tip: During your first week, keep a small journal with you. Record calories, service size in ounces or grams, fat, protein, sodium, calcium, carbohydrates. This way you will have it all at your finger tips each day when you sit down and enter your food consumption. AND LET ME TELL YOU….accurracy is the key! When people don’t record or write down their calories, on average they UNDERESTIMATE their calories by as much as 40%!
Another tip: When entering your food log… You can go through every single meal and actually enter what you at for breakfast, then skip to am snack, then lunch, pm snack, then dinner, etc. Time consuming. Instead, record all your food on a note pad or journal. At the end of the day enter all of your food as if you ate it for breakfast. The system doesn’t care when /where you enter your calories consumed. This makes entering food much, much faster. Then the next day, around dinner, I click on breakfast from the previous day and just one line at a time click on any item I’ve consumed that day. I recommend you do this in the evening before your final meal. That way you can look at what you’ve burned, what you’ve consumed and have some idea of how many more calories you can allow yourself and still reach your health and weight goals.
3. Obsession. Admittedly I do get obsessed with new toys and gadgets. The bodybugg® has a grip on me. I find myself wanting to buy them for everyone I know. But I’ve also learned that when you “give” people valuable items, they lose their value and importance. (That another blog) But I am totally head over heals for this thing. It’s just fascinating! My wheels are turning! I really think every kid in America needs to be wearing one. I think that we could save Billions on healthcare if we made bodybugg®’s mandatory! I’m obsessed. I suspect it will be a healthy addiction once I get used to this, but at the moment (on my fourth week of wearing it) I can’t stop checking my digital display! I find myself trying to avoid, “inactive” time and admittedly there were a few days that I just pushed myself to see how high I could get my calorie burn in one day and really enjoyed all those extra calories I was able to consume (and still hit my weight loss goal)
Also, you don’t really have to wear the armband while sedentary (sleeping, showering, returning e-mails, writing blogs). Yet, every time I took it off, I sorta felt like I was disconnecting myself from a life support machine. I think I was holding my breath to take a shower. I speed-washed my hair, lightening fast body scrub, dried off like the house was on fire, strapped that thing back on and gasped for breath! Geeesh! Calm down already! I’m laughing thinking back on it now. Funny.
Current promotion through June 30th is about a $100 savings!
$249 with armband and digital display!
Enter my discount code and earn an additional $15.00 off the price of your purchase! All lower case: bbgcj24
Finally, if you have a third generation bodybugg, please share your thoughts and reviews here !