Buyer’s Guide for Garmin Wearables: Everything You Need to Know

Originally known as ProNav, Garmin Ltd. was established in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in Lenexa, Kansas, and now has its headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. It is an international technology business with a Swiss domicile. The business has its headquarters in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, since 2010.

Undoubtedly when searching for bike computers or other fitness equipment, you came across Garmin.

Who exactly are they and do they truly live up to the hype?

Obviously YES

Garmin has a well-deserved reputation for a reason, they’ve revolutionized the cycling world with gadgets like the Garmin Forerunner fitness watch, the Garmin link mobile app, and—most significantly—Garmin bike computers. The business specializes in GPS technology for outdoor, sports, aviation, and automotive applications. They have been in competition with makers of activity trackers and smartwatches for consumers like Fitbit and Apple because of their advancements in wearable technology.

Table of Content

In this guide we have covered the following areas on Garmin:

  1. Sports and Fitness with Garmin
  2. Measurements of Physiology
  3. VO2 Max
  4. Recovery Time
  5. Training Load
  6. Training Load Focus
  7. Daily Suggested Workout
  8. Training Effects
  9. Performance Condition
  10. HRV Stress Test
  11. ClimbPro
  12. Functional Threshold Power (FTP)
  13. Cycling Ability
  14. Realtime Stamina
  15. Cycling Awareness
  16. Navigation
  17. Garmin FAQs
Buyer's Guide for Garmin Wearables

Sports And Fitness With Garmin:

You may obtain a better understanding of your present performance level and what you need to do to keep up the good work or continue developing by keeping track of crucial components of your cycling and fitness improvement.

While you bike, certain Garmin devices capture data to provide you with these cycling stats and physiological readings. It’s important to keep in mind that some of these parameters, like power and heart rate, require extra sensors.

You’ve come to the right place if your device is displaying statistics and you want to learn more about what they mean.

What are your options for using this derived data?

You decide, however there are some ideas we can offer.

Measurements Of Physiology

We can give you specific metrics that demonstrate how your body is responding to exercise and even the environment by evaluating the data collected by compatible Garmin devices.

1. Exercise / Training Status With Garmin:

A summary of your longer-term training habits is provided by your training status.

This gives you great insight into how effectively your training is progressing.

Imagine you’ve been training consistently for a few weeks and your fitness is still improving despite the typical, minor ups and downs of day-to-day life. This is an illustration of how it works.

Your present training will be labelled as “productive” because this tendency has been automatically detected. Like this, you can be working out extremely hard yet noticing a deterioration in your fitness. Your training would be considered “overreaching” in this case, and further recovery would be advised. Below are the recognized training states.

Peaking: When you are in peak race condition. Your body is now recovering and totally making up for earlier training thanks to your recently lowered workout load. Only a little period can be spent in this peak state.

Productive: Work is productive; keep it up. The amount of training you are doing is improving your fitness. To keep up your fitness level, make sure to incorporate recuperation times into your training.

Maintaining: Your current exercise load is sufficient to keep up your level of fitness. To notice progress, experiment with mixing up your sessions or upping your training volume.

Recovery: During prolonged periods of intense training, your body needs time to recuperate, which your decreased training load is giving it. When you’re ready, you can go back to a heavier workout schedule.

Counterproductive: Your fitness is declining despite a good level of training load. Pay close attention to your general health, including stress, nutrition, and rest because your body may be having trouble recovering.

Detraining: Your fitness has suffered because you’ve been exercising far less than normal for a week or more. To show improvement, try increasing your workout load.

Overextending: Your training load is excessive and no longer beneficial. Your body requires a break. Give yourself time to recover by scheduling lighter workouts.

No State: Before we can assess your training status, you normally require a week or two of training history, including recent activities and VO2 max results.

2. VO2 Max

The key indicator of aerobic performance capacity and cardiorespiratory fitness is VO2 max. The capability to monitor changes over time and see your current level of fitness is revolutionary. It can aid in goalsetting, progress monitoring, and training effectiveness analysis. It may also give you the inspiration you need to carry on and accomplish your objectives.

Your Garmin cycling computer or watch’s inbuilt First beat analytics engine determines, evaluates, and interprets significant performance data during your ride to accurately estimate your VO2 max. How hard your body is working to generate your performance is considered when calculating the power, you are producing. The relationship between internal and external workloads (the amount of effort compared to the number of watts your power meter records) is often linear and stable.

Your body must do more effort to produce more power. Recognizing and considering the impact environment has on your performance not only allows you to understand how well your body is reacting to the environment but also increases the accuracy of other measurements.

This translates to more insightful responses in increasingly challenging environments. According to the evidence, it only takes one to two weeks of consistent daily outdoor exposure in harsh regions to cause the required adaptations.

An athlete with a greater VO2 max often adjusts to difficult climates considerably more quickly, cutting the acclimatization time in half in some cases.

One might ask, what are the physiological changes caused by acclimatization?

Physiological Changes Caused by Acclimatization are:

  • Improved perspiration
  • Enhanced skin blood flow reactions
  • More stable cardiovascular system (ability to sustain blood pressure and cardiac output)
  • Improved fluid-electrolyte equilibrium
  • Decreased metabolic rate

3. Recovery Time

The recovery time counter indicates when you should anticipate being fully recovered and prepared to benefit from a significant challenge. At the conclusion of each activity, the countdown timer is updated. The amount of time added to your recuperation timer is calculated by analyzing the length and intensity of your recorded exercise and extrapolating it based on your past activity patterns and current fitness level.

At the beginning of a new activity, any time left on your countdown timer is also considered. One widespread misunderstanding about recovery time is that it suggests total rest until the timer reaches zero. Instead, recuperation time is supposed to illustrate how long it will take you to feel well enough to perform a strenuous exercise. When your recovery time indicates that there is still a long way to go before you are fully recovered, it is frequently OK — even good — to go for an easy ride or run.

4. Training Load

Training load is an EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption also known as Oxygen Debt) based function that aids in keeping track of the overall stress of all your activities that are tracked with heart rate data. You may view your training load on a per activity (for newer devices) and Weekly (7 day cycle) basis using your Edge® cycling computer, watch, and the Garmin ConnectTM app. This allows you to evaluate the immediate effects of each activity and your overall acute training load over the previous week.

Another load metric utilized internally in calculations for things like training status and training load focus is your chronic (4 week) training load. Using EPOC, we can gauge how much restorative and adaptive work your body must do after engaging in physical activity.

Your body performs this task to reestablish the dynamic equilibrium known as homeostasis.

5. Training Load Focus

Your performance is evaluated in Realtime when you are using compatible devices to disclose the physiological effects of your activity and to comprehend the underlying efforts that produce it. This is accomplished by being aware of how your body adapts to different intensities and variations in intensity.

Anaerobic training load (Purple):

The top row’s number and the corresponding-colored bar depict the percentage of your training load over the previous four weeks that was made up of anaerobic activities. Exercises that raise your heart rate quickly are essential for boosting your anaerobic training load. These consist of high intensity bursts of exertion that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes at a time, interspersed with recovery periods of low- to moderate intensity activity during which your heart rate decreases. An excellent method to make sure you get enough of your training load from anaerobic efforts is to include HIIT workouts in your program.

Key illustration: Interval training

Interval Training

High aerobic training load (Orange):

The middle row’s number and the corresponding-colored bar show how much of your training load over the previous four weeks was the result of consistently engaging in moderately intense to vigorous activity. This is the tension that builds up during activities where your heart rate was noticeably increased and you kept it there for a short while to, in some situations, more than 30 minutes.

Key illustration: Tempo rides

Tempo Cycling

Low aerobic training load (Light blue):

The bottom figure and corresponding colored bar depict the percentage of your four-week training load that was generated during consistent, low-intensity workouts. This is the part of your training load that builds up while you are operating at a “conversational pace,” which means that you are still able to talk and carry on a conversation.

Example: Prolonged rides

Prolonged rides

6. Daily Suggested Workout

The overarching objective of these recommended workouts is to assist you in raising your level of fitness (VO2 max), which translates into your capacity for aerobic performance.

You can achieve an adequate training load with different efforts that are well balanced for your development by consistently carrying out the advised routines. Running and bike training are included in the activities. Remember that cycling exercises are power based and necessitate a power meter that is compatible.

Each exercise regimen is intended to meet a certain demand or enhance a particular performance trait while posing an acceptable amount of effort.

Your suggested workouts consider your current training load, load focus, recuperation time, sleep information, and the profile of recently completed workouts.

Your training plan exercises will take precedence over the Daily Suggested Sessions if you follow a dedicated training plan with scheduled workouts focused on a certain event or discipline, whether it’s via Garmin Connect or a third party. Although the suggested workout will still be available in the workout’s menu, your usual workout cues will now be for your training plan.

7. Training Effects:

The training effect metric provides you with a sneak preview of how each training session is anticipated to affect your fitness levels in the future. Coordination and balance of workouts that maintain and raise your present fitness level are two of the most frequent applications of training effect.

The following two categories of training effect measures are displayed on your compatible Edge.

Aerobic Training Effects:

This gauges the aerobic benefit of exercise, which ought to correspond with the expected fitness development.

Aerobic exercise: increases the generation of aerobic energy, uses fat as energy., provides strength and endurance, has the potential for sustained performance

Anaerobic Training Effects:

The most effective way for your body to convert fuel into energy requires oxygen, yet occasionally your body needs more energy than is instantly available.

Fortunately, your body has a backup procedure set up and ready to go. The anaerobic energy process can kick into action and keep you going, although being far less effective.

The drawback is that it runs out rapidly

Anaerobic exercise: Enables the creation of anaerobic energy, includes accelerated sprinting, provides resilience to fatigue, maximum performance potential

Your level of fitness and training habits are taken into consideration when mapping the impacts of aerobic and anaerobic training on a 0 to 5 scale.

0 indicates none, 1 minor, 2 maintain, 3 improve, 4 highly improve, and 5 indicates overreaching.

8. Performance Condition

Look at your performance condition for a current evaluation of your capacity to perform. This measurement examines power, heart rate, and heart rate variability for the first six to twenty minutes of your ride Heart Rate Variability (HRV). With each point on the scale denoting roughly 1% of your maximum oxygen uptake, the final number provides a Realtime evaluation of the variation from your baseline VO2 max. The greater the number, the better performance you can anticipate. During your first few rides with a new device, keep in mind that your results may vary slightly as it learns your level of fitness. This will eventually stabilize, and monitoring your performance status will start to serve as an accurate daily gauge of your capacity.

9. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Stress Test

The HRV stress test must be completed while you are standing because sitting causes the test to be less sensitive to low and medium levels of stress. Moderate stress may not be seen when you are lying down but standing exerts a slight strain on your cardiovascular system. When you experience intermediate levels of stress as opposed to very low levels of stress, that load results in a significant decrease in HRV.

What is Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Stress Test?

The Forerunner® gadget monitors heart rate variability over the course of a three-minute test while you remain motionless in order to calculate your HRV stress score, which represents your level of overall stress. You’re affected by your training, sleep, diet, and overall stress in your life.

HRV Test

10. ClimbPro

ClimbPro is made to assist a cyclist in managing effort in two different ways:

It displays the course’s future hills, their lengths, and slopes, as well as the distances at which they occur. Both the course preview and a dedicated page with this information are accessible during the activity’s timed loop.

As a rider approaches a climb, a specific ClimbPro page for that climb immediately emerges.

This page displays the rider’s current position on the climb along with the amount of climbing, distance, and average gradient still to go. As the biker climbs to the summit, this keeps updating.

What types of climbs are there?

By not identifying every uphill stretch during a ride, the function is intended to assist a rider over longer climbs. Currently, it uses the following standards to categories climbs:

The average gradient multiplied by the climb distance (in meters) should be larger than 3,500. An ascent must cover a distance of at least 500 meters. Minimum 3% average gradient is required.

As we receive more and more feedback from riders all over the world, we anticipate continuing to modify this system.

What do these colors represent?

The following methods in which the colors depict the gradient of the climb:

The colors in the climb preview list represent the climb’s average gradient across the board.

The colors on the individual climb page represent the gradient’s average for the segment that is highlighted.

What is required for Climber to function for a rider?

A rider must be following a course with elevation information. This route should ideally be infit format and can be obtained from Garmin Connect or other third-party sources.

11. Functional Threshold Power (FTP)

The highest power output you can maintain for a full hour is your functional threshold. For your specific power zones and the majority of power based training routines, your FTP estimate will serve as the foundation.

Guided Exam:

Edge guides you through a warm-up and a steady increase in targeted exertion over the course of 15 to 20 minutes using heart rate and power data.

Edge determines your FTP value based on your heart rate’s reaction to the rising power effort. You have the choice of approving or disapproving this value. Your power zones will automatically recalculate using the new number if you agree.

It is advised that this test be carried out either on an indoor trainer or a road with a consistent gradient.

12. Cycling Ability

The Garmin Cycling ability and event course profiles powered by Firstbeat Analytics are now available on the new Garmin Edge 1040. These special tools are made to highlight your riding prowess and indicate where you should concentrate your improvement efforts. Even course analysis can be used to understand requirements.

To determine when you are prepared to compete, compare your present ability profile to the performance requirements of a route.

Who are you as a cyclist? 

You will undoubtedly question what you are capable of on your bike after spending some time in the saddle.

How do other cyclists and I compare?

What kinds of difficulties best showcase my skills?

What is now preventing me from progressing and how have my skills altered since last year?

These and other questions are answered by your Garmin cycling ability profile, rider type, and course profiling features.

Creating a Profile of Your Cycling Skills

Your riding ability profile is created by compatible Garmin devices using cutting-edge analytics.

During your journeys, complex algorithms analyses combinations of heart rate and power data using physiological models. By documenting all your training efforts using a heart rate monitor and a power meter connected to your device, you can make sure that your profile is of the highest caliber. Your profile remains current if there is new activity data, and after a month of inactivity, you can anticipate your profile expiring. This data will be analyzed to determine how well you do in each of the three major performance areas of anaerobic and aerobic capacity.

Full marks in a category signify prodigious talent.

To accomplish this, a variety of factors are considered, including VO2 max, power curve data, recent and longer-term training load distributions, as well as the intensity and length of pertinent rides. Combining these many viewpoints results in a more complete picture of your skills than is otherwise attainable.

How to Determine Your Rider Type

Your device determines your current rider type once it has enough information to make a sure assessment of your skills. Along with your performance skills, information you provide about yourself like your body weight, for instance helps define your rider type when it comes to how much you can do.

When it comes to racing, endurance, or climbing, for example, some riders naturally excel.

Considering this, changing your training regimen will allow you to enhance your skills and even change your ability profile and subsequent rider type. Ability-based selection and course profiles

Starting with total distance, analyses the needs of a course.

Long-distance racing success is based on a solid aerobic endurance base.

Total height gain, as well as the frequency, distribution, and grade of hills throughout the route, are additional factors considered.

A flat 20- to 30-mile race can be the ideal venue to demonstrate your aerobic fitness.

The mix of your aerobic and anaerobic abilities may be more important on shorter courses and undulating hills.

13. Real-Time Stamina

Real-time stamina is intended to encourage you to push your boundaries with confidence by assisting you in achieving your best performance. You learn context for interpreting your body’s signals along the road, and you gain insightful experience. Estimates of the time and distance to exhaustion indicate what can be accomplished with the remaining strength while making the current effort.

A. Mountain Bike Dynamics

Mountain bike-specific data are available on various Garmin cycling computers to help you assess your ride performance and establish some bragging rights. These crucial indicators track several parts of your ride, some of which provide quantifiable statistics to illustrate how you’re progressing, whether you’re a flow master, a black diamond expert, or somewhere in between.

Grit Metrics

Grit gauges how challenging a mountain biking trail is. It considers elements like the grade of the trail and the angles at which the turns are made. A given trail’s Grit rating ought to be constant from rider to rider. It’s a helpful metric for comparing how challenging the various riding trails are. Throughout your bike, Grit is calculated continuously by your Garmin gadget.

After that, when you sync with Garmin Connect, you’ll get a chart of your Grit scores over the course of the ride along with an overall score. The Grit rating along the trail is also visible on your activity map. The Grit score should increase as the trail becomes more challenging.

Flow Metrics

Flow gauges how successfully a rider maintains speed over the course of a ride or certain segments of a ride. It considers things like how well you navigate corners, how consistently fast you ride, and other things. Flow is calculated continuously throughout your ride by your Garmin gadget. You may examine a chart of your Flow scores throughout the ride as well as the ride’s average Flow score on after you sync


Jumps on your mountain bike rides can be automatically detected by devices with MTB stats. Each jump’s speed, distance, and hang time are also calculated, and these parameters are used to produce an overall score for the leap.

You can see a graph of your jump statistics when you open the recorded activity in Garmin Connect. In addition, your activity map will show where each jump is situated along the trail. This enables you to assess your leaps and assess the progression of your jumps on a trail.

A. Cycling Dynamics

Garmin can assist you in collecting the data you need to demonstrate how hard you worked or to help you improve your form, whether you ride for fun, exploration, or competition. This is because you may obtain cycling dynamics through a few devices, such our dual-sensing pedal-based power meters. Cycling dynamics is the name for a group of sophisticated measures that provide a thorough understanding of how you’re riding and how your performance varies depending on factors like position, bike setup, ride time, and more. Cycling dynamics allows athletes to examine individual data for precise prescriptive actions. This includes cyclists, coaches, bike fitters, and even physical therapists.

Seated Or Standing Position

For your preferred posture on the bike during climbs and sprints, you probably have a distinct preference. By comparing the forces exerted to the pedals, certain Garmin power meters can identify and flag the riding posture (standing or sitting) throughout a ride. Then, in real time, your compatible Edge cycle computer will show your present position, summaries of how frequently and how long you have been there, and power data.

You can submit your data to the Garmin Connect app after your ride. There, you can see each position, the tempo and speed that go with it, and contrast how much time is spent sitting versus standing. Even better, study climbs and sprints, as well as how different positions effect your power production. This in-depth information provides you with a focused view of your ride and can be helpful for assessing position effectiveness and seeing patterns to change postures at specific times throughout a ride.

Power Phase (PP)

With 0 degrees representing the 12 o’clock position and 180 degrees representing the 6 o’clock position, power phase is calculated as a combination of degrees and arc length. The distance between the starting and ending angles is used to calculate the length of the power phase. A power phase arc length of 215 degrees, for instance, might be represented by a power phase with a starting angle of 5 degrees and an end angle of 220 degrees. This information is given for both your left and right legs when using dual-sensing pedals. Using the peak power phase metric, you can then see where the most power is generated (PPP). PPP represents 50% of the power production by default, however this can be changed to reflect more or less.

Platform Center Offset (PCO)

The distribution of force across the pedal platform during the pedal stroke is computed to get the PCO measurement. This allows you to see and assess the distribution of PCO throughout a specific time period as well as where force is applied in relation to the pedal platform’s center. You can calculate the ideal bike fit and cleat position by analyzing this data. Additionally, it might help with recovery and injury avoidance.

Millimeters are used to measure PCO. Increasing force toward the outside of the pedal is indicated by positive values (such as +6 mm), whereas increasing force toward the inside of the pedal is indicated by decreasing values (such as -4 mm). On your Edge device, you can see a graph representation of this data. The red line displays the present time.

Right / Left Balance

Our dual-sensing pedals can monitor your total power output as well as the power produced by your left and right legs separately, letting you know which leg is more powerful. How symmetrically are you pedaling, in other words?

According to studies, a significant force production imbalance between the left and right legs might result in early weariness and potentially raise your risk of injury. Determining whether there is significant asymmetry will help you focus your efforts on making improvements. With symmetry, both legs are exerting equal effort, which increases your efficiency.

14. Cycling Awareness

While you’re riding, Garmin’s tools will help you see and be seen well. With these bike safety equipment and features, you can feel a little more at ease.

Tracking: Allow individuals in your riding group and those at home to follow your progress while you’re out riding. You can allow your chosen contacts to follow you in real time and see where you are by starting a LiveTrack or GroupTrack ride.

Messaging /Incident Detection: Incident detection is built-in on compatible Edge devices. Your GPS position will be automatically sent to selected friends and family in the event of an issue.

Assistance: The Assistance feature is also available on compatible Edge devices. This enables you to manually alert your emergency contacts to your location should you want their help, such as in the case of a mechanical problem or a puncture.

Varia Rearview Radar: When used with a compatible Edge or Varia head unit, Varia rearview radar can detect vehicles coming up behind them up to 140 meters (153 yards) away and show the information.

Varia Smart Bike Lights: Our smart bike lights help you see and be noticed. The lights automatically adjust to ambient light and speed when connected to a compatible Edge device.

Upcoming Sharp Turn Alerts: Unexpected events aren’t usually a good thing when you’re riding a bike. With on-device alerts for approaching steep curves when navigating, you can be better prepared for what lies ahead.

Garmin is your guide whether you ride on or off-road. Your Edge device and the Garmin ConnectTM app both provide several routing options that you can use to acquire bike-specific routes, discover new points of interest, look up addresses, and more. TrendlineTM popularity routing and the new Garmin Connect Course Creator are just two of the frequently added features. Here are how those trustworthy routes are produced.

Garmin Connect Ride Data

Bicyclists like you contribute billions of kilometers’ worth of riding data each year. Garmin can design the best routes for your preferred riding style and bike type using this data.

On-Device Navigation Options

Utilize the tools below straight away on your supported Edge device:

Garmin cycle maps already loaded The Garmin Cycle Map, which is already included in your Edge, offers both on- and off-road routes. With thorough navigation at your fingertips, you can drive with confidence. Based on the sort of bike you have, it automatically selects the busiest routes and can even recalculate your route if you take a mistake turn. There are several options to route directly on your device:

A to B Routes – These are straightforward, bicycle-specific routes that go from A to B.

Routing Options – Enter a starting point and a distance. Up to three routes that lead you directly back to where you started will be displayed by your Edge.

Imported Courses – Directly import courses from Strava or your preferred third-party route planning apps.

Get Connected

To access even more tools to help you design the ideal ride, log in to Garmin Connect on your computer or mobile device.

Course Creator – To incorporate popularity information into your route planning, use the totally revamped Course Creator on Garmin Connect. View popular locations’ heat maps for your chosen course type to see where other cyclists prefer to ride. There is a new import feature that enables you to download your favorite routes from other apps right into Garmin Connect if you’d prefer to use those instead.

Course Creation for Roundtrip – You can create a round-trip route and send it directly to an Edge device that is compatible using the Garmin Connect app.

Garmin FAQs:

Is Garmin a good brand?

In addition to producing some of the greatest running watches, Garmin also produces a wide variety of other wearables, ranging from basic smartwatches like the Venu 2 to sophisticated multi-sport watches like the Epix (Gen 2).

Does Garmin have a monthly fee?

NO is the quickest response to this query. The stated features and services will be provided by Garmin smartwatches without any additional fees or recurring monthly charges. The basic functions of Garmin smartwatches are free of charge each month.

Which Garmin GPS is most accurate?

In terms of accuracy and dependability, the Garmin GPSMAP 66st is at the top of its class, giving it our highest recommendation. It is distinguished by a potent quad-helix antenna that reliably and precisely connects to more satellite networks than most other models.

Is Garmin Nuvi obsolete?

5-inch Portable GPS Navigator (US) by Garmin (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Who is Garmin’s biggest competitors?

In September 2022,,,,, and more will be the top 5 rivals of

What’s the difference between Garmin drive and DriveSmart?

The difference between the Drive, and the Garmin DriveSmart is the Drive takes one step further. You won’t miss calls or messages while driving, which will also increase your awareness of the environment. Your smartphone can be connected to the device using bluetooth. On the screen are notifications, and you can make hands-free calls.

Is Garmin DriveSmart good?

A capable GPS gadget with many useful capabilities is the Garmin DriveSmart 86. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t provide anything particularly unique, and given the mapping features of a smartphone, it seems unnecessary, especially given the expensive price.

Does Garmin GPS require Internet?

The GPS only receives satellite signals that are not dependent on cellular connectivity; it does not itself consume data. The device actually uses a GPS, which means it gets “assistance” from the cell carrier, but you aren’t paid for it because it uses the phone network. Therefore, only using GPS localisation is free.

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