FITBIT CHARGE 2 REVIEW | WORTH THE HYPE?

Getting ready to workout with my Fitbit!

Bye, bye classic beautiful watches and hello to sporty, little technological wonders that measure every fiber of your being.

Since Christmas, I am one of those people who have traded in my nice watches for this little powerhouse of a fitness tracker, specifically, the Fitbit Charge 2. But, is it really worth the hype? Keep on reading for my honest opinion!

DESIGN

A fitness tracker falls into the category of wearables and it needs to be exactly that – wearable! At about 3/4 of an inch wide, the Fitbit Charge 2 is chunky, but not nearly as large and chunky as other trackers on the market. The wristband with which the tracker comes is made of a flexible, sporty rubber. You can choose what color you prefer, but any additional bands, say a leather or metal wristband is to be purchased separately.

The first couple of days of wearing my Fitbit it felt chunky and awkward. The heart rate sensor is a little deeper and is meant to push into your skin and that felt uncomfortable. BUT, after 4-5 days, I was totally used to it! I learned to wear it a little tighter when working out and to loosen it a notch afterward. Keeping it clean is also really important. I use the clarifying lotion I use on my face to wipe it clean along with the skin typically underneath my Fitbit.

THE VERDICT: it takes getting used to! But after a couple of days, it won’t feel any different than wearing any other watch. Due to the tightness during a workout, you NEED to clean it, which is super easy to do! I love being able to change my wristbands to fit in with my setting. Now, if I am going out or dressing up super nice, then I trade it in for my nicer watches.

FEATURES

The Fitbit Charge 2 has some GREAT features. There are so many that I simply chose my top 5 to share with you!

  1. Step Tracking! I love seeing how many steps I take each day. It is such a simple way to show whether I was active throughout the day, or not!
  2. Exercise Tracking! I really enjoy working out and feeling great afterward for accomplishing it. The exercise tracking feature allows me to track the specific kind of exercise I am doing and it measures everything from the length of the workout to the intensity through the use of the heart rate tracker. This really helps me optimize my workouts and pushes me harder.
  3. Sleep Tracking! If you choose to wear your Fitbit at night, which I do, it tracks your sleep. This has really been eye opening for me as I put my body through a lot with little sleep.
  4. GPS Tracking! My mom and I go on a lot of walks together. We use the GPS Tracking feature in order to measure the distance and save the route that we walked!
  5. Motivation! What I mean by this is that your Fitbit cheers you on, reminds you to move, and celebrates your accomplishments! When you reach your step goal your Fitbit vibrates and shows fireworks on the screen. When you reach certain lifetime milestones you receive fun badges. They’re such little things, but it keeps me moving throughout the day and that is exactly what I want.

THE VERDICT: these are only my 5 favorite features. You can track your weight, food and water intake, heart-rate, go through breathing exercises, join little challenge groups, post in the community, etc. There is so much that you can do with this little guy and I love it!

THE FITBIT APP

To use your Fitbit properly, you need to create an account. This account allows you to see your personal data graphically on the app or online. These portals are very easy to use, are customizable, and quickly sync with your Fitbit.

The one tip for this is to turn off the All-Day Sync feature. This will drain your phone battery to the max. This means that your Fitbit will only sync when you open up the app.

THE VERDICT: the app is very easy to use, simple and streamlined, and allows you to dig deep into your own personal data. I love that it is a one stop shop to see all of your stats without having to dig for them.

COMMON QUESTIONS

Lastly, I thought I would answer some of the questions I had previous to receiving my Fitbit out of my own experience!

Is it worth its price tag? 

At about $150 the price is steep. But, I find that it has totally been worth the money (my dear boyfriend did get me this as a Christmas gift). The features are great and I can honestly say I am more active.

Is the Fitbit Charge 2 accurate?

I would say it is about 85%-95% accurate. I have observed inaccuracies with step tracking and sleep tracking. With step tracking, it tends to be more movement tracking sometimes. Say your punching a punching bag, each of those movements are recorded as “steps”. The same is with things like hanging laundry. I am actually not moving my feet, but I am bending down to pick up the next clothing item to hang on the line. With sleep tracking, it seems as if you need to get up and immediately move a fair share for it to understand that you are no longer sleeping. My morning routine involves sitting for 30-60 minutes writing my gratitudes, affirmations, and setting my mind up for a good day. This is done whilst sitting so my “wake-up” time isn’t recorded until 30-60 minutes later when I start my workout.

The inaccuracies do not skew the data dramatically though. So I still think it is a worth while investment!

How long does it hold its charge?

I tend to get about 5 solid days out of my Fitbit. It warns you at 10% battery that the battery is low, but those 10% can hold on for a while. Some of the features, like sleep tracking, do not do that great on that low of a battery though. Heed the warning that the battery is low and charge it before you lose out on some of the features. I do not feel that the charge has worsened over time either.

Does it really make you more active or are you more obsessive? 

I was interested in getting a fitness tracker out of pure self-interest in how active I really am. Wearing it daily gave me quite the wake-up call because I realized that I was moving a lot less than I thought. In that sense, my Fitbit has really helped me truly be more active which in turn boosts my happiness.

You can easily get out of hand with tracking your every move though. I simply encourage you to take breaks from wearing it. While I love seeing all of my goals fulfilled at the end of the day, if I have a bad day I won’t allow a silly watch to guilt me into fulfilling them. Since my mom also has one, we often compare our data points. This can really piss me off sometimes, but here too, don’t let it control your life. Use it as the tool it is meant to be and if it’s stressing you out, take a break.

Does the Fitbit Charge 2 qualify as a smart watch? 

No, it does not. BUT it does have the ability to vibrate when you get a call, a text, or set a calendar alert. It does not send out smart alerts like Facebook or WhatsApp notifications.

Do I need a small or a large wristband? 

This is super hard for me to answer as I have tiny wrists! If possible, go to your local Target or Best Buy and try it on! I think the small is good for the average wrist. There are lots of notches on the band that makes it really easy to adjust. But don’t hold me to it! 🙈

THE FINAL VERDICT | Sooooo should I buy one?🤷🏼‍♀️

Is being cognizant of your health activities worth $150 to you? Then yes, go for it! The Fitbit Charge 2 is a great tracker for “average” person. There are several other options on the market with higher price tags and more features that cater to competitive athletes and other sports. Those were not relevant to me though. I am very happy with mine and will be wearing it as long as it allows me too!

Do you have a fitness tracker? If so, how do you like it?

And shout out to the best boyfriend for gifting me my Fitbit Charge 2. You rock 😘

With love,

Lena Marie 💕

*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not be charged more or less, I simply receive a small commission. For more information, please see my disclaimer

REVIEW | INSANITY MAX: 30

No gym membership? No equipment? No problem! Insanity Max: 30 is an absolutely killer workout program designed for those with little time, no equipment, but a strong desire to make a change.

I stream my workouts on my phone through Beachbody on Demand. It is essentially the Netflix of the fitness industry. Every single Beachbody program is on Beachbody on Demand, so you can easily switch it up, find an active rest workout, a quick ab workout, or something you can do with your kids! I could not recommend having Beachbody on Demand more!

I recently finished my first ever run through of Insanity Max: 30 and would love to share my opinion and experience with you today!

WHAT IS INSANITY MAX: 30?

Insanity Max: 30 is a 60-day program consisting of 2 different sets of workouts, Round 1 and Round 2. There are 5 workouts a week, an optional active rest day workout, and quick core workout. While each individual workout has a different focus – power, strength, cardio, intervals – one thing remains consistent throughout the program: you will SWEAT. I am not talking a barely there sweat, I am talking a soaked sports bra, sweat dripping off your nose, I need 5 towels kind of sweat.

The workouts have short 30-second breaks in between and operate on the principle of “maxing out”. Shaun T, the phenomenal creator of this program, encourages you to have a sheet of paper where you record your “max out” time. This means, the time into the workout where you cannot keep up with the pace anymore. This time is used to help you measure your progress as you work through the program.

This program not only demands physical fitness but it also pushes you mentally. You learn to push farther than you thought you could and feel incredibly accomplished when you reach the end.

DID I LIKE IT?

loved Insanity Max: 30. I had heard others rave about it, I loved the aspect of 30-minute workouts and no equipment, so I figured I would give it a shot. Initially, my body was shocked. I had never sweat this much in my life. I maxed out super early those first few weeks, but by week 4 of Round 1, I could do it! Then Round 2 got me back down off of my high horse very quickly, but by the end, those workouts had also become much more doable.

Also, Shaun T is an incredible trainer. Even though he was behind a screen, it felt like he was right there pushing me to go further. His energy made the workouts go by so quickly, that I would be surprised that I was already done!

WHAT KIND OF PROGRESS DID I MAKE?

To be honest, up until this program I never tracked my progress. I would always take a “before” photo, but would never follow through with an “after”. Scales are also not my thing, so I was not weighing myself. I just based my progress off of how I felt – which can change in a flash! But since I am sharing my journey publicly these days, I knew I needed to do a classic “transformation photo” and holy smokes, what a great surprise!

Progress Picture
*Low quality photo, high quality results – yay for iPhone photos!

I noticed all of the little things. My pants fit looser, I did not have to suck in anymore, I could tighten my belt a hole. But the photos put a whole new perspective to it for me. I also stepped on the scale for the first time in a while and have gone down about 10 pounds since starting with Beachbody programs. So while my change is in no way crazy dramatic, I am really happy with it!

HOW DO I GET MY HANDS ON THAT PROGRAM?!

That’s easy – get a hold of me! Comment below, email me, find me on Facebook or Instagram, head over to my “Get Healthy with Me” page! I am here to help get you set up!

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE! Next week is SHAUN WEEK! Shaun T, the creator of this very program is launching 7 brand new workouts on Monday! My dear coach and mentor, Nadia, and I are running a FREE group next week and we can all feel the burn that Shaun T will most definitely put us through. So get ahold of me! I will add you to the group and we can have a big Shaun T Week party 🙂

AND the Netflix of the fitness industry, Beachbody on Demand, is also on sale through August! It is such a steal right now, so be sure to get your hands on it by the end of August. I too can help you with that 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this different kind of post! As a coach, I am here to add value to your life. This program got me really far and I am sure it could get you far too! I cannot wait to continue my journey!

What are your favorite ways to stay fit and healthy?

With love,

Lena Marie

P.S. A post about my nutrition will be up soon!

3 WAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS WITHOUT THE SCALE

Planking

It would be a lie if I said I worked out to feel awesome and did not care about physical progress. Because I do, just like most of you too! But the one stigma I despise is that it is all about losing a certain amount of pounds. There is so much more to our personal heath and fitness journeys than a few numbers on a scale.

Last week I finished up my first ever round of Insanity Max 30! I absolutely loved the 30-minute workouts, the energy Shaun T exudes throughout the program, and the change up of the workouts midway through. As is natural upon finishing up a workout program, I wanted to see what kind of progress I made. So here are 3 ways that I  measured my progress WITHOUT that gosh darn scale!

PROGRESS PICTURES

Log onto Instagram and we see these everywhere! And there is a good reason as to why and that’s because we can actually SEE the change in our bodies. A lot of us work out to improve our physical appearance and photos are the best way to document this.

On day one throw on some tight fitting clothes or a bikini, find good lighting and take your “before” photos. On the last day replicate your day one photos – same outfit, same lighting, same poses! This will make it simple for you to put the photos side by side and compare. I posted my first ever progress photos today, check them out here!

BUT, physical improvements are not the only way to measure progress! And, in my opinion, they should not be the sole reason you workout.

REPEAT YOUR DAY ONE WORKOUT

I remember starting Insanity Max 30 with confidence – it is just a 30-minute workout, it cannot be that bad, right? WRONG. On day one, after a mere 8 minutes, I needed my first break. The sweat was dripping, my body was crying, and I was ready to quit. But I powered through the next 22 minutes, taking breaks as needed.

On my last day, I redid that workout. And guess what? I made it through it! This proved two crucial things.

  1. My body was stronger, I had more endurance, and I was fitter.
  2. I got over the negative nancy in my head and knew I could push through it!

So do the same workout on your first and last day or run a mile on your first and last day and observe the progress you make! If you are staying consistent there is no way around progress!

OBSERVE HOW YOU FEEL

Do you have more energy? Do you find yourself reaching for an apple over a cookie? Have your cravings subsided? Is your skin clearer? Are you sleeping better?

One of the things that working out regularly helped me with was my skin. I have acne prone skin, but my acne actually became a meter for how well I am taking care of myself. If I sweat toxins out of my body, fuel myself with proper nutrients, drink enough, and care for my skin properly chances are my skin is pretty dang happy.

I also find myself attracted to healthy food more often and also more in control of my cravings. For example, we stopped at a rest stop on the way home from a day trip over the weekend and my parents got ice cream, but I just did not want any. I even stood in front of the cooler for 5 minutes trying to pick one, only to walk away. And this is not because I was thinking “OMG how many calories that must have, that will ruin my whole day, that is so unhealthy!” I just had gotten over that constant desire for sweets!

And overall I just feel better. I am happier, more confident, much less bloated, and full of longer lasting energy. See, living a healthy lifestyle comes with a lot of positive side effects! And these too are great ways to measure your progress without that dang scale.

As a health and fitness coach, I often hear “help me lose weight”. No wonder eating disorders are prevalent in our society with that kind of pressure! But it is about so much more than that. We always hear about losing weight, but never maintaining weight or gaining weight!  There comes a time when the number on the scale just should not go down further and at the latest, this should be the point where progress is measured in different ways.

The scale is not the only or best answer. Find what works for you, what makes you truly happy. Because a number does not at all define you.

In what ways do you like to measure progress?

With love,

Lena Marie

P.S. If you want a little extra motivation to get fit and healthy, then click here and shoot me a message! I would love to help YOU make progress in your own way <3

WHY AM I A BEACHBODY COACH?

Becoming a Beachbody coach, for me, is a ticket to the life I WANT to live. If you read my recent “life update” post, you will know that I have and am experiencing a lot of change in my life. And as I mentioned in that post as well, I had MANY hesitations to even dive into this in the first place. But, after thinking it through a lot, taking this risk is a huge opportunity for me.

MY HEALTH STORY…

Health and fitness have been an integral part of my whole life. From the little Lena days, my parents encouraged me to get outside, made sure I ate all of my veggies and were great role models. My whole life, my dad has done a military exercise regime, ADDING an extra pushup every year on his birthday! These days that’s 58 whole push-ups! My mom has also always worked hard to find a fitness routine and the proper nutrition that makes her feel good. She did not always have success or feel confident in herself, but she taught me to never give up on my health journey, and that is a lesson no one will ever take away from me.

I ended up being a high school athlete, playing varsity tennis all 4 years! I worked hard on and off the court to better my game, but all under the supervision and motivation of my coaches, teammates, and parents. So, when the state championships were over my senior year, so was the need for all of this training! The one thing I failed to learn after those 4 years was that my body and its health were entirely up to me.

Then came the big move to Germany. This took a huge emotional toll on me and that rolled into a physical toll as well. After a few months, I noticed my clothes were too tight, my face was covered in painful breakouts, and my confidence just was nowhere to be found. My mom and I began running. I eventually added in some short and sweet home workouts as well. While this all made a great difference, it was not until the summer of 2015 that I learned to love health and fitness.

During my first internship with Hagerty and one of the intern perks was using the gym for free. I ended up joining in some classes and found that I loved weight training, HIIT, and a good push from our instructors. Upon returning to Germany in the fall I immediately signed up at a gym and ever since then I made my health and fitness a priority.

WHY BEACHBODY?

When Nadia, my coach, first approached me about joining her team my gut said no. But, then ideas starting flowing and I became intrigued. I thought and thought and thought some more about it and last month I finally joined her team! But why?

From the moment I started getting the serious question of “what do you want to do when you get older?” I knew that I wanted to help people. I initially dreamed of being a dermatologist and helping teens feel confident. Then, I dreamed of becoming a business professional and consulting small businesses. And now I dream of becoming a media professional and helping businesses grow and network. But, I also dream of becoming a blogger and growing and networking my own business too. And Beachbody gives me this opportunity.

MY WHY is:

  • because I get to help others incorporate health and fitness into their lifestyle and reap the benefits of it
  • because I get to give people the necessary tools to make their health a priority
  • because I get to hold people accountable, which keeps me accountable
  • because I get to be people’s cheerleader on the toughest days
  • because I get to encourage people to have a positive relationship with their bodies
  • because I can tailor myself to each individual and can give them what they NEED to be successful
  • because I can promote products that I use and believe in
  • because I can do this job without a degree, without anyone telling me, you CAN’T do this
  • because I can make myself financially free, or at least save for the future
  • because I can work as much as I want, as much as I can handle in my busy life

I have quickly fallen in love with this opportunity. And I know that there is some reason as to why I was given this opportunity in the first place. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me, but I am more excited to see where it takes YOU. Because, I am here for YOU, for YOU to reach YOUR goals.

Besides, my life has been anything but “normal”, so why not continue the trend and find an abnormal way to success? 😛

If you would be interested in joining my next challenge group, comment your email address down below and I will be in touch!

With love,

Lena Marie