Hykso Punch Tracker Preliminary Review

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment Reviews' started by hangulmalmotayo, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. hangulmalmotayo Blue Belt

    hangulmalmotayo
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    A fellow Sherdogger sent me the Hykso Punch Trackers and I've been using them for a little less than a week but enough to say a word or two about them. Given the fact that no one has reviewed them, much less mentioned them, I thought it might be helpful to some people for me to offer such a review. I think such a review is not unjustified since, unlike boxing gloves, these are not things that will break-in or break-down over time...

    So, to be perfectly honest, I was and remain somewhat skeptical about these given the Fitbit/tracker fad and there seems to be a certain danger in reducing boxing to sheer quantitative output (whether it be in terms of punches thrown or in terms of velocity of punches). Despite my reservations, I must admit that from the perspective of boxing as a physical exercise, these are very helpful, indeed.

    The Hysko trackers track two things, mainly: number of punches thrown and punch velocity. From the combination of these two, it can determine the intensity of a given round or workout. This is helpful insofar as it encourages one to either up the number of punches or the punch velocity or both in order to achieve the desired intensity of a workout. For me, the most immediate benefit of this is that it keeps me accountable when I grow lazy on the heavy bag in later rounds. As a result, I'm forced to throw more punches or harder punches when I would otherwise throw fewer, half-assed punches... In this sense, in the last few days I have had to exert a lot more energy than usual during workouts in order to maintain or increase the intensity level of a workout and the difference is palpable.

    The Hykso trackers also track the types of punches you throw. It categorizes them as straight punches and as power punches (divided into left and right for each). This part is a bit shoddy, in my opinion. I have tried re-positioning the trackers in a number of different ways and have tried throwing my hooks differently, but they often don't register unless I slap the bag with the finger side of my glove. This is not a problem while shadow boxing, but definitely is an issue on the heavy bag. I have not yet tried these on the mitts or in sparring to see how accurate they are there. It's not really a big deal, but it was annoying to try to get it to work at the beginning. Now I just ignore this stat.

    As far as boxing technique, there is obviously little the trackers can do to help one improve. This is not so much a flaw of the trackers, but a reason not to simply base workouts on the Hykso numbers (common sense, but it must be stated). The potential negative is that exclusive use of the trackers (such that one aims to merely increase the numbers) might lead to a decline or neglect with regard to technique. But this is less a critique of the trackers themselves as a caveat of the possible temptation that an over reliance on the trackers might inculcate. But this everyone knows.

    As far as price goes, I don't know if i would pay the full price for these (currently $189, but I think they have a buy one get one 50% off so if you find someone else to split it with, it might be worthwhile). Everlast is also selling a pair of trackers for almost half the price ($99), but they look really bulky and ugly. [Edit: Just realized the Everlast tracker is $99 for one tracker; meaning you'd have to buy two to have one for each hand. Lame.]

    TL;DR: The Hykso trackers are good tools for boxing, if used correctly. In terms of sheer physical exertion involved in a workout they will provide ample motivation to push harder each time. That said, they are just tools and should supplement proper technique, head/foot movement, distance, etc. (things that are not tracked by the trackers). Worst case scenario they will encourage bad habits; best case scenario, you will up your conditioning a ton. I would maybe wait until the price goes down a bit, or find someone to buy a pair with.

    And a very hearty thank you to M&S for the trackers. You da man.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  2. hangulmalmotayo Blue Belt

    hangulmalmotayo
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    So they are replacing my previous pair because the trackers' inability to track power punches might be a defect. So I will update once the new trackers arrive...

    Thank you, M&S.
     
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  3. hangulmalmotayo Blue Belt

    hangulmalmotayo
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    "It's not you, it's me..."

    Received the replacement trackers last week and had some time to try them out. Turns out that the problem was not with the trackers but with my punches. I tweaked my hooks and the trackers have been categorizing them all correctly.

    They're great!
     
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  4. hangulmalmotayo Blue Belt

    hangulmalmotayo
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    Idk if anyone really cares about an update, but here it is anyway: I have been using the trackers pretty much every heavy bag workout and I can say that they have definitely improved my power and speed. Interestingly, and contrary to what I wrote in my initial review, they have also helped with my technique. Before, the trackers weren't picking up my hooks. I foolishly thought the problem was with the trackers and not me, but it turns out that the problem was me. I've adjusted my hooks and they have drastically improved, they are looking and feeling a lot crisper than before. It's actually kind of amazing to me. For this alone the trackers are worth it.

    The downside: one of my replacement trackers got moisture on the inside from being under my wraps (I am pretty sure this is a defect since they are supposed to be waterproof), so the folks at Hykso are sending a replacement pair. Despite the headache of having to send back the pair and wait for the replacements to arrive, I must say that Hykso customer service is pretty excellent. They did not have to replace this pair given the fact that I was not the original buyer. Anyway, I would heartily recommend the trackers.

    Also, for the sake of comparison here is one of my earlier workouts with the Hykso trackers and a more recent one (they are about one month apart):

    IMG_6754.jpg IMG_6755.jpg
     
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  5. Mantas MMA Gear Addict

    Mantas
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    Wow, looks like a great improvement in just a month. I like your reviews too, unbiased and straight to the point. We're currently testing Hykso trackers as well and will be publishing it on MMA Gear Addict soon, it will be interesting to compare with yours later.
     
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  6. browng210 Yellow Belt

    browng210
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    Thanks for posting this, I have used the Hykso devices for a few sessions. I definitely get a better workout while using these. I did 4 5 minute rounds last night and I spent all I had and more, they really tell you a story about your tendencies and makes you think. When I look at your power shots, they are easily twice as fast as mine, our 'straight' punches are close, but my 'power' shots top out at 12.7 MPH, to give a little background, I'm a heavyweight and I was using 17 oz gloves. I have a few gripes about these things, like I want some for my feet to track kicks, and it doesn't really measure how hard a person punches, but overall I like how they make me work!
     
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  7. hangulmalmotayo Blue Belt

    hangulmalmotayo
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    That's great! Yeah, it's really not an overstatement to say that these are game changers when it comes to working out on the bag. Even without them, I notice that I push myself a lot more because I recognize better when I'm slacking.

    Fist down hooks, I noticed, don't register as power shots. Something about the sideways movement of the sensors (like when you clap your hands) that seem to register as power shots, if that makes sense. My hooks have definitely improved in terms of velocity and technique since using the Hyksos.

    It would be neat to see the power of the punches, but I suppose that would require a lot more data to calculate. In any case, the 'intensity' score seems to track pretty closely to how much energy I'm expending.

    A more general note about the Hyksos from my bad experience: they shouldn't be worn directly on the skin or even with a single layer of hand wrap underneath them. They should be on the outermost part of the handwrap (with maybe two or three wraps on top to secure them). The last pair I had got moisture inside and the Hykso people told me it's likely because it was too close to my skin. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem, even though they're technically water proof.
     
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