How Detailed Feedback Can Greatly Enhance Weight Loss, Fitness and Adherence to Training Plans and Why it Belongs at Your Gym
Technology has come a long way in the last five years and you only have to take a look at the supercomputer in your pocket (your smartphone) in order to see that this is the case.
But while many industries have benefited from Moore’s Law, fitness industry is one area that has largely been left behind. We still use mostly the same resistance machines and free weights as we did 20 years ago, but that needs to change.
Training feedback is a clear opportunity for technology to make a big impact on gyms. This is something that’s finally starting to catch on with fitness trackers and more advanced cardio equipment from the likes of Spivi Arena. However, is this something you should consider for your own studio? And why is it so powerful?
What is Training Feedback?
Feedback in this context simply means that you get to see some kind of data or visual representation of the effort you are putting in while training. A fitness tracker is a good example because it allows you to see data such as your heart rate, calories burned, steps taken, thereby spurring you to carry on. With the right understanding of how to use this information, gym goers can then adapt their workouts to see improved results. Of course, this feedback can also be very effective at motivating us as we can visualize gradual improvements over time.
Now companies like Spivi are bringing this technology right into the gym and this could have potentially transformative effects on the way in which members workout.
Training Feedback for Zone Training
Being able to track your heart rate over multiple cardio sessions is more than just a gimmick and can fundamentally change the way you train.
A perfect example is training within specific heart rate ‘zones’. Depending on the heart rate range that you are in during a workout, your body will prioritize different ‘energy systems’ such as the glycogen lactic acid system, the aerobic system or the ATP-CP system. When running at roughly 70% of maximum effort for instance, the body will draw on fat stores for fuel and utilize oxygen to break down that fat and release energy – this is the aerobic system. However, if you push beyond 90% of your maximum effort, then the demand placed on your body will be too great to use that system. Instead, the body will need to use available ATP and glycogen stored in the muscles.
HIIT is a form of training that revolves around manipulating these different energy systems. Through anaerobic training (i.e. ‘not aerobic’), this type of exercise creates an ‘afterburn’ effect – a kind of energy deficit that ensures the body continues burning fat even long after training is finished.
Other people prefer to train purely by remaining around the 70-75% heart rate zone. This way, they are able to ensure that their bodies will be relying purely on fat burning to supply energy. Another important factor that those with heart conditions should consider is to carefully monitor their heart rate while exercising.
When using a heart rate tracking system backed up by integrated cloud services, members’ personal data such as age, gender and weight can be used to get a good estimate of the calories burned during any given workout.
Essentially, those looking to lose weight can use their ‘active metabolic rate’ in order to estimate how many calories they burn in any given day. From here, they can track the calories they consume throughout the day and know precisely how many additional calories they need to use to maintain a deficit. In this scenario, feedback is allowing the user to set precise targets and then work towards them, greatly improving their odds of losing weight successfully.
Feedback for Studio Owners
There are many more reasons why feedback is so essential for studio members. For competitive cyclists, it’s essential for knowing how to pace a workout. For those with health conditions, ‘biofeedback’ allows for important monitoring of stats.
Feedback in training is excellent for gym-goers which also makes it essential for gym owners. What’s good for the customer is of course good for the gym and the hope is that by seeing themselves gradually improve, attendees will be more encouraged to keep coming back.
Few things are more compelling than seeing gradual improvement in the gym and especially when this improvement is represented by clear stats and graphs. This is the reason why ‘gamification’ is such a successful tool in motivating exercise and why fitness tracking is becoming more and more popular. Hopefully, training feedback will continue to play an increasingly large role in studios and fitness clubs moving forward.