BoxBack App Heavy Bag Tracker and Strap Review
BoxBack (formerly Thwackr) is a heavy bag tracker system that provides information about your strikes, allowing you to bring new focus and goals to your bag work. They sent us one of their straps to test out and give our opinion on.
About the Tracker
The BoxBack provides a simple system for tracking your punch bag sessions. It utilises a strap which fastens to whichever punch bag you’re using and then a free to download app (available on both apple and android devices). The strap is easily adjustable to fit any punchbag and has a plastic fronted pocket to hold your phone. The back of the strap has silicone grips to stop it from slipping round the bag. BoxBack advise strapping it about 10cm from the bottom of the back to record the best data, and obviously never to strike near it! Once the strap is attached all you need to do is program the length and weight of the bag you’re using into the app and you’re good to go – the sensitive gyroscopes in your phone will record the punchbag’s movement. You can still use your phone through the plastic cover, similar to one of those runners phone cases that strap to your arm, meaning that you can adjust the settings or other data during the workout without messing around with taking it out of the holder.
There’s two modes you can use with your workouts – Rounds and Knockout Mode. In Knockout Mode the BoxBack app will tell you how hard you hit the punchbag, try and record the hardest shot you can throw, or keep throwing the same shot over and over to compare how hard you can go. The Rounds mode allows you to record the whole workout, measuring the number of strikes you can throw in each round.
The BoxBack system is a very effective way to track your bag work – I’ve been using it to try and increase my output per round, and I can clearly see how many shots I’ve thrown. But if you wanted to work on throwing power shots in combination you can set it to knockout mode and hammer away, trying to throw heavier shots in each combo. You can then compare all the data you collect in different graphs – Punches per minute, punches per round and calories per round. You can also create multiple profiles and compare your personal bests (hardest punches and also punches over a set period of time) on a leaderboard, allowing a whole new level of competition between you and your training partners.
Take a look at this great video from BoxBack (known as Thwackr at the time) showing off the tracker in action.
The app isn’t anything fancy, but it is straight-forward to use. It can collect data from all strikes, even kicks if the bag is long enough. There are a couple of drawbacks that I’ve found so far, the practical issue is that the strap rotates with the bag when you hit it, meaning that you can’t keep an eye on the screen throughout and know when you need to up the effort you’re putting in. Another problem I noticed with the app is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear way to delete the data you collect from the app, so if you accidentally start a round, or start one and only throw a couple of punches, you then have that data recorded with your actual workout data. It’s a small issue, but one that can be irritating.
Even with these minor drawbacks the whole system costs £12, because the only thing you have to pay for is the strap, as the app is free. I’m a huge fan on the BoxBack system and think that so many people can benefit from training using it. I can even see the benefit of a gym buying a strap for each punchbag, allowing each member to use their own smartphone to record the data. And even if you buy the strap and decide you don’t like the system? You can return it, no questions asked.
Looking to buy the BoxBack strap?
+ Straight forward way to track and compare workouts
+ Several modes
+ Low cost
– Difficult to monitor when the bag moves