A few months ago I reviewed Jabra’s Sports Pulse Wireless headphones (read the review here) and gushed about how awesome they were. When I first wrote that review I had been using the headphones for about 3 months and mostly used them when running my weekly 5km run around my neighbourhood. I loved having a coach in my ear – someone who could tell me how much further I had to go and whether or not I needed to pick up the pace to reach my time goal for the run. But, to be honest, I didn’t use the heart rate monitor functionality too much on my runs as I didn’t feel like I understood or needed this info. Unbeknownst to me I was missing out on the coolest and possibly most exciting function of the headphones – interval training! Here’s how the Jabra Sports Pulse Wireless can make interval training a cinch. 

Doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to push yourself and get fast results. The super fast workout involves short, intense bursts of exercise with less intense moves or a complete rest in between. Interval training is great for people who want to spend less time in the gym while still getting maximum results. With HIIT the ideas is you are pushing yourself as hard as you possibly can go to accomplish as many reps as possible in the time.

I’ve been using the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless headphones along with the Jabra Sport smartphone app to complete my daily HIIT workouts with 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off intervals. My workouts are about 15 – 18 minutes long and because I can’t stop or faff about in between workouts (you can’t do much faffing in 10 seconds!) I need something that can accurately track my timing for each set. The app allows you to set each interval individually and you can select if you want to work in a light, Fat Burn, Cardio, Intense, or Maximum heart rate zone and how long you want to workout in that zone for. You can set as many intervals as you like and set goals for yourself (such as a time goal for the workout or a set amount of calories burned). Of course, in addition to this you can also select the music you want to play during your workout.

Jabra heart rate

Ok sure, timing 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off sets isn’t exactly rocket science and there are plenty of HIIT timing apps on the app store, but the interval training feature on Jabra Sport is more than just a timing tool. I enjoyed using the headphones and app during my HIIT workout because it helped me to get the most effective workout possible. When I’m not using the headphones I find I tend to take it easy during each rep as I don’t realise when I’m not pushing myself hard enough. Since the key to HIIT is pushing 100% throughout each set you need an effective way to measure your effort and having the Jabra in-ear voice coach pushing me to reach my desired heart rate zone for each set was beyond useful.

There is, of course, room for improvement in the app. The interval training function is relatively easy to set up but having a function that lets you duplicate interval segments you’ve already created would make life a lot easier. At the moment, you need to input each interval manually, from scratch so it can be quite tedious to do. If you use the same intervals each time you only need to set it up once but it still takes an age.

Jabra Sport Pulse

You also need to be careful to use the right sized earbuds for the headphones or it won’t monitor your training zones correctly. The first time I used mine for interval training I was walking in my ‘cardio’ zones and I felt like I had hardly broken a sweat during my session. But, once you’ve got the correct earbud fit, the device monitors your heart rate zones quite effectively. Another important step before you start is to use the app and headphones to track your resting heart rate. This will help the app decipher which heart rate zone you are in during your workout so don’t forget to calibrate your heart rate before doing anything else!

The Jabra Sport app also gives you all sorts of post-workout data that allows you to improve each time. The app allows you customise the data shown so you can prioritise the information that’s important to you based on the type of workout you are doing. Data options on offer include duration, distance, pace, average pace, speed, splits, calorie burn and cadence.

The Jabra Sports Pulse Wireless headphones retail for a recommended price of R2 399 which is pretty good considering a separate heart rate monitor would set you back between R700 – R1 000. To find out where to buy The Jabra Sports Pulse Wireless click here.

For more information on Jabra Sport Pulse visit the Jabra South Africa website.