Wright had always used heart rate monitors in his facilities, but in 2009 he considered how the technology could be advanced to solve the issues identified above. He believed a system that allowed the wireless transfer of data stored on a heart rate monitor would be beneficial so that gym users could use the monitors both in and outside of a club, with the data being automatically uploaded when they returned to the gym, which could revolutionise the gym experience.
He outsourced the development of the new product to a manufacturing company, while starting to create a buzz about the new MYZONE® product in the fitness industry.
The technology rewards the effort that members put into their workouts, rather than fitness, giving users MYZONE® Effort Points (MEPs) for every minute they spend exercising in their personal intensity zones. The more effort they put in, the more MEPS they accumulate and the closer they get to achieve the results they want. Measuring activity as a percentage of the user’s maximum heart rate creates a level playing field allowing members to compete against each other regardless of their level of fitness. It means operators can run challenges in their club, with other clubs, nationally and internationally, creating a fun and sociable gym experience.
The technology is suitable for all fitness levels, and as such is utilised by elite athletes as well as those new to exercise or people suffering medical conditions. It puts trainers into the role of coach. They know exactly how hard their clients are working and can encourage and give feedback on their activity between scheduled sessions.
At the same time, the technology gives members accountability when they are away from the gym. Between visits, they can view their live effort stream through the free MYZONE® app and can view their daily, weekly or even yearly effort levels to see how they’ve progressed.
MYZONE® creates a sense of tribe among members who can take part in friendly competition in the club and share their workouts via Facebook or Twitter.
According to the ACSM, wearable tech is the number one fitness trend in 2016. Not only was MYZONE® ahead of its time, it’s the only wearable created for the fitness industry to solve its unique problems, says Wright.
“Our ultimate goal in creating MYZONE® was to give operators a tool that would help them engage with members and keep them using their clubs for longer. It gives them a unique insight into the key metrics and behaviours of their membership and for the first time, club managers can stay connected with members whether they use the club every day, once a month or not at all.”
Keep an eye out for the next installment of Technology, Fitness, Spartans and Data where I interview Dave Wright, Myzone CEO on the data they collect. Click hear to read Part One again and to make a donation please click here.