The Big Review - Hykso Wearable Punch Trackers.
The Hykso trackers are available from Fightstore Pro now! Order your Hykso Wearable Punch Trackers here! So should you believe the hype? In recent times, few products in the fight world have generated as much hype as the Hykso wearable punch trackers. Trawl the relevant social media and you’ll find endless videos of people excitedly opening their new trackers, or as they put them into action demonstrating how hard and frequently they punch. Hype is one thing. Living up to the hype is another. Let’s start with the slightly painful point; for your pocket at least. On the Fightstore Pro shelves these things are 200 quid. It’s a few quid cheaper than if you bought them direct from the US, once you’ve accounted for their taxes and shipping. Not an insignificant amount of cash and some people – like we did – might baulk a little at the price. At 200 notes these things have to quickly become as indispensable to your kit bag as your gloves. They have to be something you can’t train without! We’ll get to that shortly. But first let’s rewind a little to us (excitedly) opening the jiffy bag containing the trackers. Inside, a neat little magnetic clasp box contains two little robust plastic components housed in a charging bay with a USB connector. So far, so good! The accompanying instructions are equally compact: download the Hykso app, charge the trackers and get to work. Strap them (under your wraps); tap them (so they come to life) and punch! Now, in my experience such brief instructions mean one of two things where tech is involved: 1) the instructions are woefully inadequate and you end up searching the internet for guidance 2) the product – like an iPhone – just works! Fortunately the latter is true here, and – once charged with app downloaded – getting to the action is child’s play. The trackers sit neatly behind the wrist under your wraps and are so light and compact you really have no idea they’re there (more on that later). Tap the trackers and they start the search for the app; which they found within five seconds. Which brings me neatly to the app itself. Tech like this can live or die by the quality of the supporting app, but here the Hykso’s win too! It’s a simple and intuitive interface: you can either get to the punch work straight away through the Quick Start option, or create more advanced drill-based sessions allowing you to differentiate between sparring, bag, mitts or shadow work. You can also choose the number of rounds, rest time between rounds etc. User-friendly navigation at the bottom of the screen allows you track your activity and data as it builds, with the information displayed through easy to read bar charts. So what about the data itself? Well, it’s a simple three-metric menu: punch count; punch speed (both metrics broken down by left or right handed strikes) and intensity score, which Hykso describe as the ‘ultimate metric to help you get combat ready’, essentially measuring how hard you’re working. The most notable thing on the data is accuracy. Having thrown well into the hundreds of different punches - jabs, hooks, uppercuts etc. – I didn’t see one strike that didn’t register on the app, regardless of whether I was shadow boxing or hitting something. They were all picked up and counted for, with the numbers rolling on as the punches reigned down. Whilst the data pick-up is staggeringly good, it can also be a little distracting. Although it’s me – the user – at fault here rather than the punch trackers, it does become slightly addictive watching the numbers. Even with smart phone tech as advanced as it is these days, I had half expected the app to crash mid-workout, as is the curse of most training apps I use. But again, not so here! The app and tracker combo worked smoothly throughout, without any glitches. However, the small print I would attach to this entire review would be period of use. I’ve trialled the Hykso punch trackers across three separate bag and mitt sessions, each lasting approximately 30 minutes. The comments above are based on that usage. Could the app crash, the trackers fail, the data delivery stall on future use? It’s quite possible, but there’s nothing to suggest that so far and indeed no complaints from the thousands of US users who have had the trackers in their kit bags for some months now. In summary... I started this blog on the subject of value for money: the need for the trackers, at 200 quid, to become an essential part of your kit. In the same way that you might feel slightly naked – figuratively speaking - if your bike computer isn’t resting on your handle bars, or your GPS / cardio watch isn’t around your wrist on a run, so you should feel at a loss if the trackers aren’t under your wraps as you approach the bags. Well, for my money they live up to expectation. Three sessions in and already I feel like the trackers, and the data they provide, have become an indispensable part of my workout. So let me finish with one of Hykso’s own strap lines: You cannot improve what you cannot measure. If you’re serious about your training and want to improve, that – if nothing else – is good enough reason to exchange 200 notes for some seriously cool tech. A final warning: when removing your wraps at the end of your session, remember the trackers are under there to prevent them crashing to the floor. I’ve failed on this each time. Testament at least to their unobtrusive nature and their hardiness. They still work! Pre-order your Hykso Wearable Punch Trackers here!
- Alex Wright