Clever Training

Vívosmart 3

Vívosmart 3
Erin Rose
Just in time for spring and the revival of warm sunshine, fresh air and the promise of summer, the ever-innovative Garmin has done it again, this time with a fully comprehensive and intuitive activity tracker appropriately named vívosmart 3 —a 4th generation tracker within the vívosmart line-up with some pretty impressive additions that take it beyond your average wrist-based heart monitor/activity tracker and into a more advanced fitness wearable category.

Vívosmart 3: Core Features

Beneath its rather sleek and sophisticated appearance, like its predecessors, vívosmart 3 delivers your continuous, wrist-based heart rate without the need for a chest strap—even when you’re working out. But more on the new and cool activity features later. At its nifty nucleus, vivosmart 3 tracks and records your daily steps, the floors you climb, the calories you burn, and your intensity minutes (a.k.a more challenging activities that elevate your heart rate and get those veins pumping).

Designed to work as an extension of your smartphone and/or mp3 player, vívosmart 3 also lets you control your music and get texts and other smart notifications right from the crisp and modish screen. Monitor your sleep (with a night-readable display in those early minutes when you aren’t sleeping), get reminders to move (just in case you’re a little too glued to that desk chair) and control your VIRB action camera. All great features that you might even recognize from the vívosmart HR or HR+. So what makes vívosmart 3 different? As it turns out, quite a lot: six new key features, to be exact, that place this new 24/7 wearable in a whole new league of its own.

Vívosmart 3: What’s New

Form Factor

This feature refers to vívosmart 3‘s featherlight wearibility—at 4mm slimmer and more form fitting than the vívosmart HR, the sleeker design looks a bit less activity tracker-y and a bit more like a like a modern-looking wrist accessory, in a way that doesn’t fight with your day-to-day wardrobe or lifestyle, with a hidden display, so your stats disappear until you actually want to see them. You’ll also get half-a-dozen choices when it comes to your watch face, where you might choose to see your total steps and the time, the time and current temperature, your heart rate and the time or just a swank-looking clock. Your choice...and you can change it up anytime.

Fitness Stats That Actually Measure Improvement

Up until now, the term VO2 MAX has been a more advanced measurement of aerobic fitness and one only available on Garmin’s more expensive running and multisport watches that cost well into the $500-plus range. In vívosmart 3, Garmin recognizes that V02 max—your maximum rate of oxygen consumption during exercise—isn’t just for hardcore endurance athletes. Short for maximum volume of oxygen, our VO2 MAX is essentially how much oxygen we consume and use within one minute’s time. Long thought to be a key indicator of overall fitness performance, and one that can improve over time as you train, VO2 MAX is also an important signal of aging, since the average person tends to decrease in VO2 MAX approximately 1% each year. But the good new is, we can improve our VO2 MAX through physical exercise, and the new vívosmart 3 will keep you tuned in to your current stat for what would otherwise costs you hundreds of dollars to have professionally tested. Sure, it will take a couple of workout sessions to glean enough information to be accurrate, but after just a few initial uses, you’ll get an accurate V02 Max reading.

Another feature we think you’ll like on the new vívosmart 3 is Fitness Age—a stat that unlike your actual age indicates your overall health...a fluid number that can be lowered over time as you make lifestyle improvements such as increased movement, training in a more intense heart rate zone, or adding more challenging activities to your weekly calendar. Your real age doesn’t necessarily mean much if you’re leading a healthy and active lifestyle—or on the flip side—making poor choices that are taking their toll on your overall well-being. Fitness Age is a great new feature that will continuously keep you stepping (and climbing) in the right direction.

Strength Training & Rep Counting

If you follow fitness trends and research, strength training is pretty critical for retaining or improving muscle tone and even burning off fat in a much more time-efficient manner than traditional cardio. The problem with most fitness trackers is, tracking your heart rate or calorie burn isn’t necessarily the most productive way to know if you’re making gains, nor very effective in pushing you to train more intensely. Not to mention, it’s not exactly motivating to track what might seem like a ho-hum heart rate zone or calorie burn. Vívosmart 3’s added strength training activity will actually track your sets, reps, and rest times, delivering them to Garmin Connect so you can review your performance and track your progress over time—a feature that’s far more incentivizing when it comes to lifting weights or hitting the mat for some push-ups. Use the rest time or the rep timer to add even more customization.

All-Day Stress Level Monitoring

Concerned that your tension levels might be too elevated, frequent, or both? Vívosmart 3 is the first-ever Garmin wearable that monitors all-day stress—or restful recovery—giving you not only a big picture of just how stressed or relaxed you really are, but also allowing you to uncover stressful patterns during your day that might be holding you back. Whether or not we’re aware of just how flustered we get from day to day, stress has an enormous impact on our everyday decisions, from what we consume (or binge on, in some cases) to how we sleep, perform during a workout, or even avoid training altogether, opting for something far less healthy...and less likely to de-stress us. With vívosmart 3, there’s no more ignoring the edgy elephant in the room. This intuitive new wearable will let you know just how wound-up you’re getting and when (using both a low/med/high rank as well as a 1-100 scale), so you can make better choices or at least anticipate your uneasiness and use calming tools such as vívosmart 3’s built-in Relax/Breathing timer, which a guided breathing series designed to pare down your stress.

Swim-Ready

We get a lot of inquiries at Clever Training from people who love their pool time and want to make sure their chosen wearable is designed for activities like pool-based fitness classes, general swimming, or just taking a soothing soak in the jacuzzi. Vívosmart 3 is actually swim-rated, versus just splash or shower-proof, so you can wear it right in the pool knowing that it’s fully designed to be there! Feel free to dive into the pool or open water, do butterfly strokes, splash around on your paddleboard, or even snorkel...Just don’t get too crazy and go deep-sea diving with Great Whites. Even if you make it out alive, your vívosmart 3 might as well just be shark bait...since it won’t be functioning. But apart from getting up-close and personal with deep-sea life or performing high-speed water stunts, vívosmart 3 is generally a water-embracing wearable.

Move IQ 2.0

Another feature on the new vívosmart 3 that we’re really impressed with is Move IQ, an intuitive exercise recognition feature that allows you to hop on the elliptical trainer, hit the treadmill or go for a swim or bike ride without the need to alert your wearable. Vívosmart 3 will automatically detect this change in movement, and monitor your performance, so you can actually get on with your workout without fuss. It’s smart, it’s cutting-edge and it’s super convenient...all the elements that make for a 24/7 tracker that’s not just fully functional but dependendable too.

Vívosmart 3: The Bottom Line

Admittedly, there’s a lot to choose from just within the activity tracker market alone, nevermind the extensive range of of cutting-edge wearables we carry at Clever Training. Sometimes we see new trackers with just literally one additional feature over the competition, and whether it’s a substantial one or not, upgrading from what you’re already wearing or taking the 24/7 wearable plunge might not seem as appealing. The vívosmart 3 is a true upgrade, designed with a lot of intelligent components that are actually useful in improving overall health and fitness conditioning. While we wouldn’t recommend vívosmart 3 for a serious multisport athlete looking for an all encompassing unit to track the most advanced of stats, this new 24/7 tracker is a solid one, packed with a wide-range of features designed to monitor your minute-to-minute movements, as well as track your activity at the gym....beyond just the typical cardio. Get vívosmart 3 here + free shipping or learn more.


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