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My M2 Personal Health Coach Review

written by Head Health Nutter April 1, 2010

Are you tired of spending money on health tools only to have them fail for you? It’s because what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. However, after several months of trying out my M2 personal health coach, MyTrak may just have the solution!

It’s been 2 months now since I’ve had my M2 and although I feel it’s still a bit early for a complete review, a few readers have requested I post something on it.

Short on time? Here’s my overall rating on the M2 so far: [Rating:3.5/5]

My rating factors:

  1. Effectiveness – Does it do what it promises to do?
  2. Versatility – Will it work for most people?
  3. Product Support – How willing is the company to help when it’s most needed?
  4. Added Features – What’s really exceptional about this product?
  5. Ease of Use – How easy is it to reap the benefits of the product?

The following is a breakdown of my M2 experience (so far).

Effectiveness [Rating:0.5/1]

The M2 measures your overall health, energy expenditure levels and heart healthy minutes. It does this by tracking your hip movements and jumping motions. As a stand-alone product, the one area where the M2 fails to properly measure is the heart healthy minutes. For instance, if you’re weight-training, it will fail to measure your increased heart rate because you’re not moving or jumping around much, if at all.

You will need a specially coded heart rate belt in order to get full credits for your heart healthy activity. Without the heart rate belt, MyTrak says they credit you more heart healthy minutes by increasing either the intensity or time of your activities.

For myself, there’s only so much time I can squeeze out in a day for physical activity (typically 30 – 90 minutes for me). I took their advice to do more intense activity but even on the days that I’m sweating, breathing hard and know my heart rate is up there, I’m still getting yellow and sometimes red (the goal is to “Go For Green!”).

I already have a heart rate belt and I’m reluctant to invest in another for the benefit of meeting my M2 goals. Additionally, MyTrak has yet to release a water proof version of the M2 so if you like water activities, you won’t be credited for them and the results of your health efforts will be skewed.

Versatility [Rating:1/1]

The MyTrak M2 rocks this category. When you set up your personal goals, you have the choice between a weight loss or fitness program.

I haven’t had the opportunity to check out the weight loss version yet but as for the possible fitness lifestyle goals, here are the various levels:

  • Inactive
  • Light
  • Moderate
  • Active
  • Intense
  • Extreme
  • Competitive

I have yet to come across a health tool that offers so many personal health goal options!

Product Support [Rating:0.5/1]

Although I only gave them a half a star here, MyTrak is well on its way to owning this product rating factor.

In the 2 months since registering, I’ve had 2 calls from customer support to see if I had any questions or concerns with my M2. I’ve also been contacted via email by one of the health coaches just to let me know that I’ve been consistently behind in hitting my heart healthy minutes. This health coach explained how my M2 measured my heart healthy minutes, offered suggestions in how I can achieve my goals more consistently and encouraged me to do so.

The reason I only gave the M2 a half a star here is because there wasn’t much information provided at the onset about exactly how and what the M2 measures. The 3 health aspects (health, energy & heart) make up the ring on the device but I wasn’t given a full explanation. Knowledge is power, right?

The online tracking and analysis tool is a bit confusing at first, too, and took awhile to even partially understand. (Note: the information is available but you have to hunt for it in the message board.)

On the upside, they’ve recently added regular webinars which explain the M2 functionality and dashboard results (i.e. tracking statistics) and sheds some light on questions. However, the webinars are only about 30 minutes and the presenters speak fast to get it all in. I’ll need to hop into another one of these webinars so that I can absorb all the information.

Another reason for only a half a star in product support is that MyTrak’s responsiveness is a bit slow and sometimes lacking. For instance, back on January 26th I asked a question about what the stars mean that show up next to my profile pic. I haven’t received an answer yet but I found it in the community message board this week.

It’s obvious that there’s a lot going on with the online portion of the product and they’re still working out a few bugs.

Added Features [Rating:1/1]

Besides the social networking component online, MyTrak offers a comprehensive amount of nutritional, fitness, health and supplement information via published content on the site, and now webinars. Some of the webinar topics include:

  • Exercise, Myths, Misconceptions and Lies
  • Break the Weight Loss Plateau
  • All Stressed Up and No Where To Go
  • Walk This Way

They have an Announcements section to keep everyone up-to-date on what’s going on with events, the M2 and additions to the team of health coaches. For fun and motivation, they’ve created groups where you can join other like-minded individuals in activities, challenges and events. You can also create your own groups!

The online tracking statistics are phenomenal, too. You can analyze your daily, weekly and monthly results in all 3 areas of health (overall health, energy and heart health). You can track your meals (calorie & nutrition intake), your goals (and adjust them if you’ve chosen overly aggressive goals) and choose specific activities that suit you personally. In addition to these activities, MyTrak will tell you how long you have to perform your fav activities in order to hit your goal that day.

What about even more personalized support? MyTrak kicks butt here. In the “My Body” section of the online tool, you can create personalized plans for nutrition, fitness, health and supplements. They also offer support via personal coaching! Use the community board to post a question or befriend one of the coaches to privately request support.

You also have your own personal blog and message board to post whatever you want there. Friends and coaches can see what you post so they can respond.

Ease of Use [Rating:0.5/1]

MyTrak makes the M2 sound really easy, just “wear, sync and succeed”. I’ve found that it’s a bit more complicated than that, though.

There’s definitely a learning curve with all that they offer. I’m certain I’m not using all the online statistics to my advantage. But it’s been difficult so far to manage life and pursue my health goals while getting to know all I need to know in order to use the M2 and its community effectively.

The webinars are really helping to reduce this learning curve, though. I’m confident that within the month I’ll have a routine down where I can actively achieve my fitness goals, log into the online portion regularly and participate more fully in the community. I’m aiming to take the MyTrak opportunity for personal health coaching soon, too!

Stay tuned for additional reviews as I become more accustomed to the M2 and its online tracking/analysis capabilities, the growing online community and as I successfully meet my first fitness goal!

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25 comments

lynn downing August 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I bought one of these devices, but… it won’t hold a charge any longer. I charged mytrak M2 all night long and today it doesn’t work. It charges, and lights up saying so, but it won’t hold the charge. For the price of this small device, you would think it would last longer than the four months I have owned it. Very disappointed.

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Head Health Nutter August 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Hi Lynn, sorry to hear about your M2 troubles. Do you have a warranty? My M2 was a gift but when my belt snap popped off, a replacement was covered!

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Brad January 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

From great to junk – in one “upgrade”
My wife has had one of these for several months. Worked fine, except for some lousy code that always mixed “secure” & “non-secure” items on the page – triggering a pop-up warning you had to deal with.

Today they “upgraded” the software. After spending two frustrating hours trying to make it work again I find that it is not going to happen. The person on the phone was nice enough, but made it clear that my Windows XP machine was not up to his personal standards, or up to running the new software either.

Now I have a 200 buck paperweight, with an ongoing contract. I can either deal with a frustrated wife, or go buy a new computer.

If you got a brand new MAC for christmas 2010, this product may work out for you. If you try to get by on a 4 year old computer, you are toast. Thanks software bozos.

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Head Health Nutter January 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Ooo… Brad, I got the notice of the upgrade but haven’t had the chance to check it out yet. I’m sure they’ll work it out given some time. Unfortunate it’s causing so much frustration for users (and their husbands!), though; including the interruption for those who’re using the tool to achieve their health goals.

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Brad [#2] February 11, 2011 at 12:11 am

WARNING:Stay away from it. Total junk. waste of money. !!!!!

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Brad February 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I am the first poster named Brad. I don’t know who that second post was, but it is not me. Perhaps the board owner can check IP’s or e-mails and number the “Brad(s)”?

Here is an update. After fighting with the M2 for a while I swapped it to a Windows Vista machine – giving the wife the newest computer in the house. It still would not run at first, and a call to tech support told me I needed to re-install Service Pack 2. After doing that, it ran – sort of.

If you plugged the unit in to check status, it would wipe out the green on the unit and return to 100% red. Discouraging to the user. My wife usually updated after returning from Curves in the morning, and again in the late afternoon. She got frustrated and swept the unit into a drawer, since she was not getting “credit” for any workout except the latest one. It kept harping to “modify your goal” (it was 1 pound over 3 more weeks!) and was asking for 3x the calorie burn it had set 3 weeks earlier. Really pissed her off.

I installed a new hard drive on the computer, and re-loaded the OS. Went to the M2 site & re-installed the software. After 3 days of wearing the unit myself, and poking at the program – it began to work properly again. It now stays green & progresses like it did originally.

Now all I have to do is convince her to use it again.

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Head Health Nutter February 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hi Brad #1 (I added #2 to the other Brad’s name),

Wow. Thanks for the update. It really sucks you had to go through so much trouble and your wife got discouraged because of all the technical troubles. I hope someone from MyTrak is monitoring these types of posts so they can adjust their business operations and software updates accordingly.

I have yet to download the new software (I’ve been continuing my health goals sans M2) and hope they’ve fixed most of the bugs by now. *fingers crossed*

Thanks again for the update and I’d love to hear if/when your wife is using it again, and of course, if it’s helping her achieve her goals.

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bh March 7, 2011 at 9:50 pm

This is really not worth the money. You are better off just buying a pedometer. I have been using this device for about 2 weeks. The device itself works as a pedometer, but I doubt it is accurately reading anything else. It cannot distinguish between various exercises. Unless you enter your caloric intake it cannot computer how many calories you are taking in versus expending. Obviously, if you input all the foods you are eating and the activities you have done in any program it will compute calories in versus calories expended so there is little advantage to this device. The supposed community support is pretty much useless since it takes so long for anything to load. Waste of time and money.

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Head Health Nutter March 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Thank you for your honest assessment, bh. It sounds like many people are unsatisfied with the M2.

I still have to reinstall my M2 software (I’m procrastinating because I found that it slowed my computer down – didn’t realize it until I reformatted) so I can start using it again and give it another go.

Personally, where I see the M2 really helping one attain their goals is by encouraging us to increase our efforts. I tend to take it easy on myself and do the bare minimums but the M2 is designed to push you along.

Will you give it more time or are you giving your M2 away?

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Bryan August 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm

A lot has been done to check the accuracy of the device, as long as you’re wearing it correctly it should be counting pretty well. If you want more accurancy you can buy a polar belt which really helps with bike riding, weights, roller blading, swimming ect.. I actually go paintball and I wear the belt to collect all my stationary upper body movement.

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Head Health Nutter August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Nice, thanks for sharing, Bryan! I’ll have to get my M2 back out and update the software. I’m excited to see what improvements they’ve made! 🙂

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Brad March 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

Well, it will actually do a lot more than a cheap pedometer.

If you have the accessory belt for the heart monitor it can record your heart rate through your workout. If you are a Curves member, it interfaces with the system there.

I agree the support & software has some holes in it. But how do you propose to acquire all of someone’s intake data? If you are serious about weight loss, you need a food journal. Doing it online with this device is as good as any notebook.

I finally got the wife to use it again, and she goes to Curves 3 to 4 times a week. It does help her to see what her daily activity levels look like over the month.

It works. Better than a pedometer. They still have some kinks to work out.

B.

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Head Health Nutter March 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Good point about the journal, Brad. And I’m happy to hear you convinced the wife to give it another go!

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lynn downing March 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I have decided to stop using my M2. First of all, it is NOT compatible with MAC systems, and I was not told this upon purchasing. I went out and bought a new laptop, a WINDOWS system just to use the M2. Now they want me to re subscribe just to use the website…. I have spent much to much money on this entire product. I am not using it any longer. I have lost the weight I needed to lose, 50 lbs to be exact, and I don’t need the device, so out it goes!!

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Bryan August 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

It will be soon actually, if you contact them they will give you more of a time line release date.

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Head Health Nutter August 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

New products always have a life-line. The only way to success is through failure, right? Gotta learn what doesn’t work and then improve those features. It seems like My Trak is doing the best they can.

Did you hear that “My Biggest Loser” contestants are now using the M2??

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Bryan October 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Yeah I heard about that. Should be really interesting to see how that goes on the show. I will probably tune in to a few eps and check it out.

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Head Health Nutter October 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

Me, too, and just to check it out with them using the M2. I’ve never watched the show before.

Lynn Downing March 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Brad, it is NOT compatible with MAC…. I found out the hard way. I purchased the device, M2, and they did not tell me it was not compatible with my system. I had to purchase a Windows system, in order to use the device. I have spent $150 for the M2; $50 to use their website; $400 on a windows laptop; and now they want me to re subscribe, paying yet another $50 to use the website…. forget it!!! I can diet and do my own thing just fine without this device!! RIP OFF!

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Bryan October 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Website is actually now free for all standard members as well. Something that was recently changed and Im glad it did! I can actually talk with all the other owners who have it and see how they are using their M2.

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Head Health Nutter October 17, 2011 at 1:34 am

Thanks for letting us know, Bryan, this is GOOD news! 🙂

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Brad October 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Well, the wife is still using the unit. Happy with it now, even signed up for another year.

She ran a 5k last month, and it gave a her a nice graphic representation of her time on the course.

The fact that it interfaces with the Curves system is a big plus for her. Now that the software is stable, it even interfaces with the Curves Complete. Good to see that they actually listened to the complaints about the software.

A great tool now.

Thanks.
B.

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Head Health Nutter October 19, 2011 at 3:39 am

I love to hear happy endings. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Brad, and I really got to get back to using my M2 because of your great reveiew! lol

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Bryan October 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Thats good to hear. I just did 21k here into Toronto with mine. Used a HRM of course and everythign ran very smooth.

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Head Health Nutter October 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Nice, Bryan! Looks like the M2 is extremely helpful! 🙂

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