Actofit fitness tracker review – follow-up

My regular readers will recognize that I am a data geek and believe that if you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it.

As such I’ve been looking for a fitness tracker that can do everything I want including:

  • Be a good gym tracker in terms of exercise recognition with easy entry of weight lifted
  • Waterproof so it can go kayaking and be underwater for short periods of time
  • Learn new activities so I can “teach” it the kayaking wing paddle stroke
  • Accurately track sleep including resting heart rate (RHR)
  • A bonus feature would be for it to also provide heart rate variability (HRV) while sleeping to provide an indication of stress and recovery

The Actofit company sent me their tracker to evaluate in August and I was very hopeful.  I even did an initial review (embedded below.)

Since that review I’ve communicated with the company and they were responsive.  The inaccurate weights that I reported in my initial review was the back-end server assuming incoming data was in kilograms, so even though I chose pounds as my units for weights, their servers assumed my pounds were kilograms and then converted them to pounds.  They fixed that problem quickly.

They also responded and cleared gym sessions that were “stuck” in synchronization mode.

Then my Samsung Galaxy S5 updated to Android 6.0.1 and all communications with the device were lost.  In fairness, that updated also bricked my Amazfit Arc tracker.

Then after I upgraded the the Galaxy S8+ both tracker apps worked fine once again.

I started wearing the Actofit again and was using it as my every day and night fitness tracker and it showed signs of being a very good gym tracker.  I did not get it wet or take it kayaking but was hopeful that once I had put it through its paces on land that it would then perform well on water.

Well, water then became the issue.

As my local weather started getting cooler and drier, I noticed condensation forming inside the unit.

afitcondensationCondensation forming inside the Actofit screen

Then last week I went out to California where it was even drier and the condensation built up to the point where it shorted out the device.  Almost all the LED elements lit up and then it just went dark–for good.

So after approximately 6 weeks the device is dead.

It was obvious to me the device was manufactured in a high humidity environment and once my local weather got cooler and drier the humidity inside the waterproof device condensed to the point where it shorted out the device.

The company has since confirmed they rejected a lot at QC for this very issue. (Why they sent me one of these units for review I’ll never understand.)

I felt I owe my readers a follow-up to my initial review to let you know how it turned out.

If Actofit are willing to send me a new device for review again I’ll be happy to give it another try because it had become the device that stayed on my wrist 24/7.  I was very happy with its sleep analysis, loved the measure of RHR, successfully taught it custom exercises and its exercise recognition was adequate so I was satisfied with its gym tracking capabilities.

But at least for now, it is back to the Amazfit Arc for 24/7 wear and the Atlas Wearables 2 for in the gym.

Why can’t somebody come up with a device that does it all well?



Posted in Actofit, Amazfit Arc fitness tracker, Atlas Wearable, Atlas Wearable Wristband2, Atlas Wristband, Charlottesville kayaker, Dave The Kayaker, fitness technology, fitness tracker review | Leave a comment

Slow motion wing paddle

A very good look at the wing stroke for kayakers.

Posted in Dave The Kayaker, kayak, kayak racing, kayak training | Leave a comment

Delivery of the Tortorich Kayak Ergometer

I was very fortunate to be able to personally deliver the Tortorich Kayak Ergometer to Vinnie himself.

There was a little bit of shipping damage but a quick trip to the local hardware store and some wooden braces and wood screws made for an effective repair.

I spent some time with Vinnie getting the device trimmed to his body and providing some basic wing stroke instruction.

The picture below is my “kayaker’s selfie” with Vinnie in his office.


He now has a device to train on and I will help him work on his wing paddle stroke whilst sourcing a kayak for him and working out other logistics for the trip in the Spring down the 100 miles of the Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana.

Posted in Bayou Lafourche, Charlottesville kayaker, Dave The Kayaker, kayak, kayak ergometer, kayaking, NSNG, Vinnie Tortorich | Leave a comment

My new design of a kayaking ergometer made from a Nordic Track ski machine

I’ve completed my new, more compact design for the kayak ergometer.  I call this model “The Tortorich Model” because this one was specifically built for Vinnie Tortorich to train on.

This design is some 15 inches shorter than the original and the flywheel is now brought much further back on the device so it resides under the knees of the paddler.  This makes it much smoother and better balanced.

In researching what it would take to ship one of these things I have decided that shipping these is simply cost prohibitive.

So now that I’ve engineered this better design, I will build another one very soon and take detailed measurements, photos, and step-by-step videos along with a part list so you will have the basic specifications needed to build your own.  I’ll then make the training video and e-book instructions available for a nominal fee.

In the meantime, here are some photos that should give you a pretty good look at how to build one for yourself.



Posted in Dave The Kayaker, kayak, kayak ergometer, kayak training, Nordic Track kayak ergometer, Nordictrack kayak ergometer, NSNG, Vinnie Tortorich | Leave a comment

I hate gym shopping

Now that Gold’s Gym Charlottesville announced it is closing at the end of the month, I find myself in the unenviable position of gym shopping.

I hate everything about it.  The pricing schemes, the one-time fees, the cancellation policies, finding the right gym with the right equipment.  Yuck!

So this morning after placing an order for some staples at Muscle & Strength’s Labor Day Sale which has some BOGO’s and a free gym bag loaded with goodies, I headed to Gold’s to get in my workout.

Chatting with some of the other members at Gold’s made me feel like we were at a wake, discussing the passing of a friend.

The Gold’s Gym announcement came on Friday and we are just now dealing with reality and finding new gyms.  Most are going to Atlantic Coast Athletic Center (ACAC) to ride out the remainder of their memberships, but I don’t see that as a viable long-term option so I’m looking for my new, long-term home right away so on my way home I stopped at three gyms, only two of which were open.

I’ll let you know what I decide and hopefully some other Gold’s members will post on where they are going so we can try to keep some of the core people together.

I will miss the Gold’s Charlottesville experience.

Even though I mostly kept to myself at Gold’s and focused on my own training, I found so many of the regulars there inspirational and they pushed me harder just because I was around them.

At least I have until the end of the month to find a new gym home.

In other news, I completed the kayak ergometer for Vinnie Tortorich and hope to deliver it to him within the next few weeks so we can get started on his training.  This new design came out very nice.  So much so that I’m going to rebuild my own into this new design since it is shorter, better balanced, and smoother.

Posted in Charlottesville kayaker, Dave The Kayaker, Gold's gym, gym shopping, gyms, kayak ergometer, Training | Leave a comment

Never thought I’d be a kayak coach

Celebrity fitness trainer and best selling author of Fitness Confidential, Vinnie Tortorich, has asked me to coach him through his first 100-mile kayak trip.  He is coming from very little kayaking experience.

I’m confident I’ll be able to get him prepared even though we live on opposite coasts.

I’m building him an indoor training device, a kayak ergometer, which will help him with his indoor training.  Along with other guidance I’m sure I’ll be able to get him down the 100 miles of the Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana in the Spring.

Oh, did I not mention I’ll be joining him for this journey?

I would not miss it for the world!

It is going to be epic!!


Posted in Dave The Kayaker, kayak ergometer, LCHF, NSNG, Vinnie Tortorich | Leave a comment

Rich Piana

I admire this man for his honesty.

May it now serve as a warning to the younger generation who might be considering the use of steroids.

It just isn’t worth it.

Don’t just think about your next, short-term goal, think about the life you want to live.

This video perfectly illustrates the dangers of drug use to achieve an outcome.

I urge you to not sacrifice your long term future for a short-term goal.

Rest in peace Rich.

You inspired many of us but also now serve as a warning.

Posted in anabolic steroids, bodybuilding, rich piana, steroids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment