You don’t often see the words “fitness club” and “technology” in the same sentence. Technology is known for making life easier and creating less work. A fitness club (on the other hand) is designed specifically to get participants to exercise and do more physical work … to improve their bodies as a result. As industries of all kinds have adapted to the “age of technology”, so has the fitness industry (with good reason). New technologies are being developed each day that improve on the traditional dumbbells, weight stacks, and cardio machines that we see today. Technology are innovations in fitness are making it easier for people to fit exercise into their busy schedules with improved results!
The science of the human body is a cornerstone to the fitness industry. As science and technology work hand-in-hand, new fitness technologies are helping fitness professionals deliver better results, with less perceived effort and in less time. Over the past few years increasingly more fitness clubs are integrating new technologies and equipment into workout areas and group fitness studios. Personal trainers are using more advanced “high tech” tools to help their clients get better results … and get their money’s worth in personal training services. To get you up to date on what’s new these fitness technologies we’ve outlined a list that are showing up in clubs at an alarming pace because they improve performance and provide measurable results (in alphabetical order):
- Kinesis One (by Technogym®)
- New Leaf Metabolic Assessment & eNewLeaf Interactive
- Power Plate
bioDensity™ is an innovative technology designed to increase bone density and muscle fiber density (the structural components of the musculoskeletal system) in the body by exposing it to impact forces in four different directions. The four exercises completed using the bioDensity are:
- Chest press
- Leg press
- Core pull
- Vertical lift
Exercises that apply impact forces include any exercise that puts a higher than normal load through the bones of the body within a short period of time (i.e. running, jumping, and landing). These loads are multiples of body weight that can equal hundreds and thousands of pounds of force. This type of exercise applies stress on the bone that leads to adaptation of the bone (maintenance or an improvement in bone density). bioDensity is designed to provide a safe way to apply these loads by a process called “self-loading” (the user creates the force that is then applied to the bones of the body). Through the completion of four multi-joint exercises, for a total of 20 seconds of work, one time per week, regular use of the bioDensity can improve the total structure of the body, the building blocks for effective and efficient movement.
- Session Duration: 5 to 10 minutes
- Frequency: 1 session/week
- Supervision: Yes (bioDensity trained technician)
- Website: www.biodensity.com
Kinesis One (by Technogym®)
- Session Duration: 20 to 30 minutes (circuit routine)
- Frequency: 2 to 4 circuits/week (variations)
- Supervision: Highly recommended (certified Kinesis One trained fitness professional)
- Website: www.technogym.com
New Leaf Metabolic Assessment & eNewLeaf Interactive
The New Leaf System isn’t an exercise device (unlike the other exercise technologies listed). It includes a metabolic assessment and online support tools that help you “train smarter, not harder”. The information gathered from a New Leaf metabolic assessment can help you achieve the results you expect from your hard work because you know how your body burns energy (i.e. stored fats and carbohydrates). A New Leaf metabolic assessment precisely measures both the oxygen you take in when you exercise and the carbon dioxide you breathe out. By measuring these two components you can get a clear picture of how your body burns fuel to determine the best program for burning more fat fuel and less carbohydrate fuel.
New Leaf’s metabolic assessment is a two-step process:
- Wearing a comfortable mask while sitting in a chair (and breathing). This determines your resting metabolic rate (RMR).
- Wearing the same mask and exercising (treadmill, exercise bike, etc.). This determines your metabolic rate during exercise.
Information gathered from these two assessments tell you:
- How many calories your body burns while exercising.
- Whether those calories come mainly from fat, carbohydrates, or a combination of both.
- The intensity level at which you burn calories most efficiently.
With a New Leaf metabolic assessment, you also gain access to personalized training programs and online tools through eNewLeaf Interactive. These support tools include information on your:
- Resting metabolic rate (RMR)
- Required calories
- Calories burned
- Fuel composition
- Base heart rate
- Threshold heart rate
- Fat-burning efficiency
A training program based on your metabolic assessment and personalized to meet your body’s precise needs will help you spend less time in the gym while you get the results you are expecting to achieve. As you complete additional New Leaf metabolic assessments, your programs change and adapt to your changing body.
- Session Duration: 10 to 20 minutes (dependent on fitness level of participant)
- Frequency: Once every 3 to 6 months (as needed)
- Supervision: Yes (New Leaf certified technician)
- Website: www.newleaffitness.com
Power Plate® is a whole body vibration device that uses science behind harmonic vibration (equally spaced vibrations) to provide a new way of exercising that promotes improved:
- Blood flow and circulation
- Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
- Balance and stability
- Lymphatic drainage (removal of toxins)
It is comprised of a platform that generates harmonic vibration at rates of 25 to 50 times per second, triggering rapid muscle responses which activate upwards of 95% of muscle fibers of working muscle groups. This provides users a full body workout in less than 30 minutes that benefit many of the components of fitness.
Power Plate uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration, enhancing overall performance in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Acceleration Training on Power Plate equipment offers a host of benefits, ranging from an immediate improvement in blood circulation, to a variety of other measurable outcomes such as increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness and faster recovery.
- Session Duration: 15 minutes (beginner); 20 minutes (intermediate); 30 minutes (advanced)
- Frequency: 2 to 3 sessions/week (passive massage can be done daily)
- Supervision: Yes (Power Plate certified instructor)
- Website: www.powerplate.com
Ask a Personal Trainer …
The newest fitness technologies are focused on “safety” and “effectiveness”. They are scientifically supported solutions that can measure performance and provide results unlike traditional fitness offerings of the past. They are not only a great compliment to existing training programs, they are also good options on their own.
If you are interested in learning more about these fitness technologies or would like to try them out at a facility near you, ask a certified fitness professional to take you through an introductory session. They are the best advocates to ask because they are not only experts in the area of fitness and exercise, they are also dedicated to educating and observing clients to ensure they get the greatest results.
Stay tuned for more technology innovations in fitness and how they can benefit you in future posts.