Fitness trackers sound good on paper, but the reality is they only measure one tiny slice of fitness. Cardio and steps are important, but they aren’t a full picture. Humon is a new wearable that seeks to rectify that by measuring muscle endurance instead of steps, and it’s a pretty brilliant concept!
Alessandro Babini, one of the co-founders and the CEO of Humon, was kind enough to give Gear Diary a detailed explanation of how Humon works, and why it was invented. The thing about all workouts is that your muscle recovery is a key indicator of how you’re doing — are you fully recovered, did you push hard enough, or too far? The problem is that most people don’t have access to a trainer and a blood testing machine to take a peek inside your body. As Alessandro said, “We know more about how your car runs than your body.”
Humon works by using optical sensors to measure how much oxygen is in the blood in your muscle tissue; from there, the connected app can tell you how much recovery your muscles might need. The app adapts to your workouts, so as you use it, the measurements and suggestions will become more accurate. If you’re not the type to be glued to your phone, Humon is also compatible with Garmin watches, so you can get real-time stats on your watch as well. They’ve trialed these with Lifetime Fitness and other gyms, and have found that many coaches are interested in using Humon over heart rate for training.
Now, if some of that sounded like Greek to you, here’s some quick background. There’s no set rule for recovery between workout sets, so it’s a matter of debate. Say you’re doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions — do you rest for 3 minutes between sets? Do you wait until your heart rate is slowed to a certain level? Or do you wait until you can talk without being out of breath? Humon cuts through the guesswork and tells you exactly when your muscles are ready for the next round. This applies to cardio as well and can be used for interval runs or rides as well measuring where and how fatigue has set in.
The wearables market is full of companies trying to convince us that measuring steps is the be-all, end-all of fitness tracking. But it’s far more complex and personal than that, and Humon is one of the first trackers I’ve seen that uses science and artificial intelligence to cut through the opinions and attempt to give the average athlete cold, hard facts. The Humon device should be shipping this summer for $295, though it is on sale for pre-orders for $195. I look forward to seeing how it changes the average consumer’s fitness habits!