Liz Dickinson is the CEO of Mio Global, creators of strapless EKG accurate heart rate monitor watches and activity fitness trackers to help you improve your performance and health. As the first person in the world to figure out how to deliver accurate, continuous heart rate monitoring on the wrist, we asked Liz why clubs should be embracing heart rate technology.
1. With so many ways to assess fitness how and why is heart rate still a valid measurement tool?
There actually aren’t as many ways to assess fitness as you might think – only measuring movement. Heart rate monitoring measures your bodies response to exercise and this is why it is the only true measurement of fitness.
2. Is it a misconception that heart rate monitoring is only for elite athletes and fitness fanatics?
It is correct that today predominantly elite athletes and people seriously interested in fitness are more interested in heart rate technology. But that’s because it hasn’t been accessible, not because it isn’t the best way to measure fitness. It’s normally intrusive, that’s why it hasn’t become that popular – chest straps were not comfortable – nothing took away from the cumbersome aspect of wearing a chest strap. So unless you are somebody who understood how it benefits your performance you didn’t care. That’s why we created the first wrist monitor – continuous and accurate, the Mio Alpha, set the stage for making heart rate accessible.
3. How has the market for HR training products and software changed over the last decade?
What we are seeing is a lot more derivatives of information from using your heart rate, for example we have started to derive heart rate variability. Heart rate variability can tell you about how often you should train and how long you should take to recover, making it much more mainstream.
Heart rate variability can tell you about how often you should train and how long you should take to recover, making it much more mainstream.
Also, a whole ecosystem is evolving connecting people into an immediate environment – examples of brands doing this include Orange theory in the US and Myzone in the UK. These brands transmit heart rate training to leader boards, instructors, treadmills etc.
4. What benefits does using HR tech offer to an operator or fitness professional?
PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) is a groundbreaking and revolutionary metric prescribing the exact amount of exercise users need and at what intensity. Simplifying down to one number it is incredibly motivational – I haven’t met anybody who hasn’t become addicted. A tool like this keeps people motivated for exercise – telling people what’s right for them. What PAI can do is help Personal Trainers optimize a regime to maximize health benefits tailored to their individual client’s needs.
5. What’s next for the heart rate training movement?
It’s all about connectivity. A lot of equipment has Bluetooth built into it as a protocol now. For example, the Mio FUSE streams the signal so it can connect with most of the fitness equipment out there and it’s also possible to also connect through apps. We’re seeing more innovation in products like smart shoes and smart clothing. Technogym are probably the most advanced through the offering of cloud based systems which can track customer’s behaviours and recommend personalized coaching solutions. With their wellness key they can also incorporate knowledge about what their consumers are doing outside the gym which adds richness to their knowledge about the client.