Walk4Life MVP Pedometer Review: This Thing Rocks!

It’s been almost an official month since my weight loss competition ended, and I’ve been feeling good about my continued progress in that area so I wanted to highlight a tiny tool that has been a huge help to my motivation during the whole competition. That little tool is this:

I knew that I needed to improve my everyday activity during the competition to insure my success so I reached out to Walk4Life for suggestions on which pedometer would fit me the best. Walk4Life makes several different pedometers, meant for different types of people and tracking different things. They even have a pedometer meant specifically for pets.

I was leaning towards one of their lower end pedometers called the W4L Classic ($19), because it gets great reviews and is really inexpensive, but the rep I spoke with told me that for my particular challenge and weight loss goals in general, the W4L MVP ($35.50) would be the best fit and they very graciously sent me one to use during the competition and review afterward.

When I first got the pedometer, I instantly noticed some differences compared to the pedometers I found at local stores. For one thing, this pedometer felt rugged. It has a solid belt clip and cover, that covers the entire screen and the buttons so they don’t get damaged and buttons don’t accidentally get pressed during your day. This pedometer also is a different shape, more of a rectangle, than other pedometers I looked at. It’s overall size is a bit bigger, but the way it is shaped fit perfectly on top of my belt when worn. Most days I actually forgot it was there and unlike many other pedometers that emit a loud clicking noise as you walk, this one was very quiet.

After examining the shape and size of the pedometer and using it with stock settings for a couple of days, I decided to delve more deeply into some of the other functions this device has that are helpful when trying to lose weight.

It is actually a 4 function pedometer. Aside from the standard pedometer function which just counts steps, and a semi-standard Miles Walked function that required you to set up your stride length and calculates the number of miles you walk based on your stride and steps taken, this pedometer has a few other unique and very cool functions.

First, the Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (which is where the abbreviation MVP comes from in the pedometer name) counter measures how much activity you do that is greater than the standard walking speed. This works great for those that are trying to lose weight because you can actually estimate how much time you spend exercising during a day compared to just measuring how much time you spend walking. That same function screen on the pedometer also shows the MVP “bout” Counter. This counts how many vigorous activity sessions you actually have during the day to equal the amount of time you were doing moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The other unique function this pedometer provides is the Activity Timer. This timer counts the time that you were active during the day in general and includes your walking time and your vigorous activity time which is also helpful when estimating your total daily exercise.

One thing I worried about when researching pedometers for this competition was the fact that some of them are just plain inaccurate. I had read of cheaper pedometers on the market over-counting steps so that people thought they were doing enough exercise when they were actually falling short of their goals.  I was serious about losing weight for this competition, and wanted to make sure that all my measurements were accurate so I was very happy to hear that the W4L MVP has a feature to combat false counts. The feature is called the Step Count Validity protection.

How this works is the pedometer recognizes when steps are steps and when they are false positives such as when you ride in a car on a bumpy road. It has a configurable threshold of the amount of steps it needs to consider you walking, and if that threshold (3 steps by default) is not hit, the steps taken are erased from the count. Due to this feature, I really trusted that this pedometer was accurate and knew when I needed to work harder to reach my goal.

This pedometer was integral to my weight loss. I checked it multiple times during the day to make sure I was on track to hit my step goal, and I also used it to help estimate how much time a day I was actually exercising, which registered on the Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity monitor. Aside from just being a tool to help me monitor my progress daily, this was a huge motivator for me. If during the day I felt like I wasn’t on track to hit my steps goal, I was compelled to get out and do more exercise.

The one complaint I had with this pedometer, though the problem exists in others as well, is that the belt clip was a bit wide and when I wore the pedometer with my workout shorts, it didn’t feel as secure on them as it did when I wore it with jeans and a belt. Nevertheless, it never did fall off my shorts, or my pants and if it did, I doubt it would even hurt the thing, it’s so solid.

Overall this is the best pedometer I have ever used and is far more than just a step counter. It has features that aid in keeping you healthy whether that means losing weight, or maintaining a certain level of activity. It is a great tool and I highly recommend it.

Image by aarmono

Disclaimer: Walk4Life provided this pedometer for my use, but all opinions are my own.

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2 People have left comments on this post

» ChristineNo Gravatar said: { Sep 18, 2010 - 07:09:21 }

That's a great review. The cheap pedometer I bought for $12 worked great the first day. It tracked my steps to calculate the distance I was putting in (thanks for the link!). Then, the first time I was my track around the park, I knew how far I had to walk to put in a mile (2.5 laps). After that, because I increased my pace, it mis calculated. After you told me about the walk4life pedometer, I seriously considered buying one. Instead I went for the big guns, a Garmin Forrunner 205. Granted I can't wear it all day to track how much walking I am getting in for the whole day. But it works great for those hiking trails I have been hitting up. Tracks the calories burned, will track my steps so I don't get lost, and totals my distance. Then again, I had to put some serious money into it.
But as the goal is….all the best to better health! Thanks for the pedometer review.
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Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

🙂 Glad you liked the review, it really is a great and inexpensive pedometer that does the job well. Like you mentioned about the Garmin being a little big, this thing is very tiny and even though my competition is over, I continue to wear it because now it feels unnatural not to have it on.

I hear good things about the Garmins though, Brad from enemy of debt talks about his quite often, they have some really cool features but you do pay for them 🙂

"All the best to better health", I like that one!