Suunto Movescount In-Depth Review

 

Almost every major heart rate/GPS watch manufacturer has software that allows a user to download and analyze their workouts. Suunto, makers of sports watches for all types of activities and athletes, is no exception. We here at Fitness Electronics Blog have been using their watches for quite a while now, and we have really grown to like their features, ease of use, and style. Today we are reviewing their web software tool called Movescount.

So what is Movescount? Movescount is software by Suunto that allows a user to create, download, upload, log and analyze workouts, and connect with other athletes. Movescount is not sport specific, but covers a variety of sports, 61 to be exact. Of course, to get the most out of the experience, the athlete needs to have a Suunto watch of some kind.

To start using Movescount, go to the website at movescount.com and create an account. This is straightforward and easy to do. Once your account has ben created, login on the home screen, and you are ready to get started. While you are on the “Home” screen, you can see the navigation tabs at the top of the page. There are two main categories; PRIVATE and COMMUNITY.

 

Here is the structure of the navigation tabs on the home page:

PRIVATE

  • Scoreboard
    • Scoreboard
  • My Moves
    • Move
    • Summary
  • Tools
    • Route Planner
    • Training Program Planner
  • Settings
    • Profile
    • Body Metrics
    • Movescount Settings
    • Applications
  • Gear
    • List of Watch Gear

 

COMMUNITY

  • Home
    • Home
    • Highlights
    • Tour
    • Get Most out of Movescount
    • Winning Moves
  • Moves
    • Moves
  • Members
    • Members
    • Groups
    • Events
  • Get Stuff
    • Routes
    • Training Programs
  • Applications
    • Applications
    • Other Apps

The PRIVATE side of the site is where you enter your personal data, log your Moves (Suunto calls your workout a “Move”), create private training plans, and configure your gear. The COMMUNITY side of the website is where you interact with other people, join groups, create shared training plans, and download software.

Upload a Workout to Movescount

So to get started, we will begin by learning how to upload  a workout from your watch. Assuming you have a Suunto watch, and you’ve logged a workout with it, you are now ready to upload your Move to the website. To upload your Move, you will first need to install the Moveslink software. This software allows the Movescount website to talk to your watch though the Suunto MoveStick Mini USB dongle. To download and install this software if you haven’t already done so, navigate to the COMMUNITY side of the site, go to APPLICATIONS, click Moveslink “Get It Now”, and install the software. Plug in the MoveStick Mini USB dongle, and you’re ready to go. To upload your Move from the watch, scroll to “webconnect” on the watch, click enter,  and all of your Moves should upload to Movescount.

 

Analyzing Your Workout in Movescount

So now your Move or Moves has been uploaded, what can you do with this information? If you are logged into Movescount, click on PRIVATE, MY MOVES, and click on your Move, you can see the details of your Move. You should see something like this:

 

On this screen, all of the details of your workout can be viewed. This workout was a hill run. Your workout data, including the type of exercise, heart rate information, speed, distance, running cadence, elapsed time, calories, Peak Training Effect, lap times and heart rate zones can all be viewed. The graphs can be changed to view individual metrics by clicking on the selections at the top of the graph.

There is also an edit button that allows you to tweak the numbers, add comments, set weather and mood, and more.

Using the Calendar

The calendar  shows all of your Moves and the date that they occurred. You can view these in calendar or list view for the month by clicking the appropriate icon in the menu bar:

You can click on each individual Move in either screen to view the individual results of each Move.

View Summary of Moves

Clicking the SUMMARY tab under MY MOVES changes from details of an individual Move to a summary of Moves for the month. You can also view a daily and weekly summary of views. If you click the arrow on the calendar at the beginning of the week, you can view the totals for the week. Summaries of total workout duration, distance, number of Moves, calories burned, average heart rate, speed, Peak Training Effect can all be viewed:

There is some great information that can be viewed in these graphs. The Timeline graph Y axis can be changed to any of the metrics shown below:

 

The Free compare graph allows you to plot any metric against any other metric. This is very useful, with the settable metrics shown in the images below:

As you can see, both the X and Y axes can be changed to create whatever graph you want.

Setting Up Your Gear

If you go into the PRIVATE side of the site, and click on GEAR, you can customize you watch settings. You can select what kind of training workouts you can track and add additional sports to the watch by clicking “Create new custom mode”:


 Clicking the EDIT button on a training mode will take you to a new screen where you can enter details about your new mode, and set the screen displays for each type of workout:

 

Creating a Move Workout

Having a way to analyze your workout is great, but it is also very useful to create your own workout. To create a Move, click on the calendar date, and you will see “Add Move” pop up. Click on this, and you will see the screen shown below. Fill in the information, and click Save.

That’s all there is to it. You can export the move, delete the move, or edit the move by hitting the appropriate buttons:

Route Planning With Movescount

You can also create a route with Movescount. This route can be public or private. To create my route, click PRIVATE, then click on TOOLS, and you will be taken to this screen:

I called this route LMT 40, since it will be an out and back on the Little Miami Bike trail. It’s easy to zoom in and out, and use your mouse cursor to highlight your route. Once the route is saved, it is stored in your library. If you want to delete it, just click the “Remove” button. You can also import a route from Google Maps or Google Earth using the.kml format.

The Community Side of the Site

The COMMUNITY side of the site is where you interact with others. Under COMMUNITY, you can find more information on Suunto products, find a tour of Movescount, find members in your area, create shared routes, download applications and software, and find or create training programs. I will give a little info on a few of the features that I used.

Training Programs

You can choose from many different training programs by going to “Get Stuff”, and clicking on “Training Programs”. Here you can view  training programs created by other people, or create your own:

There are many different training programs that users have created. Just click on one to check it out. If you want to create your own, click on “Create Training Program”, and you will be taken to this screen where you can create your own:

Once you’ve created your training program, the training plan Moves can be synchronized to your watch. This is a great way to schedule and be reminded of your workouts.

 

Applications

If you are interested in Movescount software for iPhone, Moveslink software, software for the Suunto DM4, or solutions at fitness clubs, this is the place to go. You can also learn what devices are compatible with Movescount:

Just click on a device, or software program, to learn more or download.

 

Thoughts, Opinions and Summary:

I’ve been using Movescount for a while now, and it is very intuitive and easy to use. There are many features and options, and the layout is pretty straightforward given its capabilities. There are so many features that we are unable to include all of them in our limited review. The goal is to show you some of the more common features, and give you a enough information to get you started. As always, diving in and playing around is your best way to become familiar with the software and its capabilities. Since Movescount is free, you have nothing to lose.

I think one of the features that many people will like is the social aspect of the site. You can share your workouts with other people, and connect and share via Facebook and Twitter. I don’t do a lot on the social side very often, but that’s just me. Having the capability of creating a training plan, sharing it, or using someone else’s  can be very useful.

With the introduction of the Ambit, integrated GPS logging and support makes this software a complete workout solution for almost all sports. We look forward to reviewing the Ambit, and we will update this review with the additional features once we are done.

Being a triathlete, I am most interested in logging and planning my workouts. When I first reviewed the Suunto Quest (review here), I mentioned that even though I like and use Movescount, I still need to use TrainingPeaks. If I want to plan and track my swims, or enter daily metrics like caloric intake and weight, I can’t do this with Movescount. I can create a custom activity, call it swimming, and track it manually, but there is no way to download a workout from a swim watch into Movescount. Of course, this makes sense, but it would be nice if there were an easy way to import other data, without running multiple programs.  Once your Moves are in downloaded, you can export your workout to TrainingPeaks if so desired. If you use Movescount for other sports, and don’t care about swimming, this should not be an issue at all.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • The Moveslink software was easy to install, and works with both Mac and Windows
  • Movescount works and logs many different types of workouts and sports
  • In the setting screens for gear, you can customize your training watch settings and screens
  • Creating a training plan and uploading the plan to your watch is easy
  • The social aspect of the site is very useful for people who want to share workouts, or connect to a community of like minded people
  • Product has Facebook and Twitter connect capability
  • A mobile interface is available at m.movescount.com
  • An iPhone app is also available
Cons
  • Missing a way to automatically import swim data for triathletes
  • It doesn’t record meals, caloric intake, or other daily metrics like weight
  • Can’t log power meter data

Overview:

How to edit Moves:

How to draw and find routes:

Enhanced by Zemanta

  8 Responses to “Suunto Movescount In-Depth Review”

  1. While your review of MC for runners and triathletes is laudable, perhaps you have not heard the other side from SCUBA divers attempting to use it.

    MC is designed to work also with Suunto’s various dive computers, which calculate dive time, surface interval and decompression for scuba divers. The most recent version of the software is called Dive Manager 4.

    While software–unlike hardware–has never been Suunot’s forte, the latest version of their software, DM4 and its interaction with Movescount is absolutely atrocious.

    In order to download dives from a dive computer, it must first be connected to a PC via a USB cable, which I might add, Suunto charges a ridiculous $100 to purchase.

    Once connected, DM4 is activated and offers to offload the dives from your dive computer and upload them to MC’s website.

    Unfortunately, the software code is poorly written for this purpose and causes the MC website to try and use the same port as the USB cable which is offloading your dives, creating an instant operating system lockup.

    On a recent try, DM4 managed to lock up my Windows 7 computer with 4 gigs of RAM a total of 4 times in a row, forcing a hard reboot each time, without every successfully uploading my dives.

    It turns out there is a workaround, which involves turning off the MC uploading part and offloading your dives from your dive computer *first*–then, connecting to the MC on the Internet, and uploading your dives in a separate operation.

    Software has always been a *afterthought* with Suunto, which makes decent dive computers, but this most recent version of Dive Manager 4 combined with Movescount is am atrociously bad combination that will lose Suunto quite a few customers until it is fixed.

  2. Moves-Count for SCUBA is not a good choice. DM4 is what is used to download the dive computers and it has many serious flaws.
    1. Dive Number – Had this in DM3 Nice to know that I just made my 531st dive, instead I have to add up all my dives by year! Not acceptable.
    2. Dive Number again – Had this in DM3 I make 3 or 5 dives in a day and then print them out. Which one is dive 1 for the day and which is dive 2 or 5? No way of telling. If the dives were numbered as recommended in item 1, then I could tell dive 531 came before dive 532.
    3. Time of dive – had this in DM3. What time of day I made the dive is not recorded. Again nice to know as different creatures come out at different times.
    4. Can’t print – Had this in DM3 Seriously, I can’t print out my dive logs? Really? I have to save to PDF(nice feature) and then print the PDF. Could you possibly make this process more cumbersome?
    5. Location – Had this in DM3 I can’t add where on the planet earth this dive was unless I use the separate program MOVESCOUNT which I hate.
    6. Movescount – not relevant to SCUBA as you are not tracking our heart or breathing. I also don’t want to publish my dive logs to the public as I am a SCUBA instructor and make comments about my students for their training records. These comments cannot be risked going on the internet.
    7. Movescount locks up my computer – port conflict. DM4 needs to be a stand alone product, not requiring Movescount for me to complete the standard information.
    8. Manual – the program DM4 and Movescount are not that easy to use for our dive computer application. We need a manual.
    9. PDF Misalignment – the notes in the PDF print on top of the start pressure and end pressure readings.
    10. Weather is part of dive conditions. Day, night, cloudy, sunny are relevant information. OK I can put this one my notes, but DM3 had a place for it.
    11. Dive Boat – Had it in DM3
    12. Equipment – DM3 had this, but now there is no place for me to click on Drysuit and standard kit or wetsuit and standard kit. What I am wearing effects the amount of weight I need. Useful information to a scuba diver.
    13. Tags – what is this? Long list of unsorted stuff that was in DM3 but now is useless as the list is not sorted, and is too long to be of value and all jumbled, dive buddies, dive locations, dive boats all in one list.
    14. The dark bar at the top and bottom of the page. What was this, a contest for how much of my black ink you could use up? Drop the dark bars, it just burns up ink.
    15. DM4 gives me more room for my notes. That is great, but the lack of dive boat, dive buddy is bad. You could put both to the right of Average SAC, Start Pressure, End Pressure.
    16. Export – I can’t export from DM4 like I could in DM3
    17. DM4 shows it was written by a non-diver and is poorly executed and thought out.

    • Mike and Melvin,

      I’m sorry to hear that. We really like Movescount for running and biking, but I fully understand that it can be a very different experience depending on the sport, especially one as technical as SCUBA. What is your go to program for SCUBA?

      John

      • Hi, John:

        I certainly did not mean to ‘trash’ Movecount for runners or other athletes–only for divers. If you guys like it, more power to you.

        Originally, my ‘go to’ program for my Suunto computer was the earlier iterations of Dive Manager, such as 3 and 2–we actually don’t have much choice as to the software that works with Suunto computers, because it’s the only software that does.

        Personally, since I put many of my documents on the ‘cloud,’ I don’t mind my dives being uploaded there. It’s the fact that Suunto seems to put all of their money, resources and skill into making the *hardware*, which is not bad………but, their software always seems to be an *afterthought* which they do not put nearly as much care into–hence, the DM 4 fiasco.

        Thanks for hearing us out.

        Mike

        • Mike,

          No problem. We appreciate the feedback on products.. We want to provide our readers with as much info and as many views as possible. Thanks for taking the time.

          I did wonder how well Movescount works for all of the different sports that it works with. It definitely needs a separate review for each sport.

          John

  3. Thanks for the post. I’m finding the customisation option on movescount not that user friendly. Each time I adjust it is a mystery to me as what is going to show up next run. All the above info helps.

  4. Hi, I have a Suunto Quest with HRM chest belt. I am in the phase of cardiac rehabilitation and am now back at the gym. I have a routine of 10mins warm up, 20mins cardiac workout with ten minutes on two out of three machines, the treadmill, the cycle and the crosstrainer. I then have a 10min cool down. I do this every day. I divide the routine into four laps on the watch. When I upload the session I am only able to edit the identity of the session as one type. I would like to be able to edit the lap details for laps 2 and 3 to show which cardiac machine I have used. Is this possible?

  5. Movescount should be a downloadable software so that you can adjust your watch without network connectivity.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>