Hykso Punch Trackers Review
When Hysko sent us a pair of their punch trackers to test out we decided to break down our review into two parts; A First Thoughts article where we described our experience after our first trial of them, and this post, which is going to go a bit more in depth now we’ve had more time to put the Hykso through their paces. We’d recommend reading the First Thoughts article before you read this one.
Hykso (pronounced Hik-soh) is a US based company headquartered in Orange County, CA, founded by Khalil Zahar that produces tracking technology that you slip into your hand wraps and monitors your punching output during training. Hykso sent us a pair (one of the first three thousand produced) to see what we thought of them.
About the Trackers
We mentioned before that the first time testing the Hykso it was a little tricky getting the hang of positioning them on the wrist. They sit just below the wrist joint on the below the back of your hand, and because you can’t hold them whilst you’re wrapping they can slip off easily. We spoke to Hykso and it’s something they’re aware of and are looking into some form of solution to this, but the easiest solution I’ve found was to wrap my wrists a couple of times, slip the Hykso underneath, then continue wrapping as normal. It meant a slight adaption to how I normally wrap them, but it makes it much easier secure the sensors.
The sensors are quick to set up once they’re secure, you open the app, hit start (we’ll get to the different training options in a bit) and then tap the sensors to connect them to the app. You can then tap to begin, or even cooler, you can choose a setting that waits for your first punch to begin recording data. This seems basic, but considering that the sensors can distinguish between warm up exercises like skipping and strikes being thrown it means you don’t have to stop after your warm up to set the sensors up, but at the same time don’t end up with some false data from warming up (with the exception of shadow boxing). It’s a subtle addition, but makes a big difference to the user-friendliness of the sensors. Once they’ve connected to the app you can instantly collect live data on total punches thrown, average speed of strikes and an intensity score that is calculated by the number of strikes and the power behind them. You also don’t need to worry about staying near your phone – the sensors will record the data and automatically update it for you when you’re back in range, leaving you free to move around the gym without bringing your phone with you. I did have a few difficulties turning the sensors on though – several times they wouldn’t power on unless they’d been charged before the session, even though the sensors showed plenty of charge. Thankfully Hykso seem to have been great at reviewing feedback and updating their products, so this may not be an issue for much longer.
When you’re setting up the Hykso you have a couple of options for programming in the rounds you’re going to be doing. Firstly, Quick Start lets you just program in a round duration, rest duration and number of rounds, and then just start striking and add in what sort of training you were doing afterwards (i.e. heavy bag or mitt work). You also have the option of doing unlimited rounds, so the sensors will continually record data, and you can figure out the rounds after the session. The second option is Advanced Mode, which lets you preset different drills, which you can quickly select, and then compare your performance each time you complete a drill. For example, you can program in a heavy bag session with 5×5 minute rounds (the classic MMA championship set up). Each time you complete this session you can compare your average output with the previous session, allowing you to easily compare. In fact the data from sessions is easy to view, providing a news feed of recent training sessions, as well as a series of bar charts that show weekly, monthly and yearly training data – which is going to allow you to see clearly how you’re progressing with your training.
Available for about £150 from the Hykso website there’s no denying that Hykso are a premium item- but they’re also, in my opinion, one of the best training tools on the market. I’m a big fan of the whole Hykso system. Being able to directly track your output during a training session is nothing but beneficial. You can just try and push yourself as hard as possible, or even track session with a heart rate monitor, but Hykso have found a way to make the data sport specific, with clear evidence of progression between sessions. It’s no surprise to me that a lot of pro-boxers and MMA fighters, like Daniel Cormier, Cris Cyborg and even Muay Thai fighter John Wayne Parr are using this system to enhance their training. There’s increasing awareness of the role science and data collection has in training elite athletes, and Hykso are leading the way in striking sports. They’re apparently looking into adding to their range with kick sensors in the future, opening the world of Muay Thai, Kickboxing and MMA to the same level of analysis, and are so confident in their product that they’ve said they’re willing to put it to the test against any similar products produced by other brands in the future. They’re also confident enough to settle things in the ring with their leading competitors.
The price may put some people off, and there are systems such as the BoxBack Heavy Bag Tracker we recently reviewed that record useful data and are much less expensive, but if you’re a fighter trying to take your training to the next level, a level where singular percentages of performance are the difference between winning and losing, the Hykso sensors are a sensible investment.
Looking to buy the BoxBack strap?
+ Records a range of data
+ User friendly
+ Easy to track your progression
– Expensive (though good value for money)
– Issues with sensors not turning on
– Tricky to position initially