The Biomarker Boom
How to stay relevant when your clients are tracking just about everything.
Recently, a New York fitness enthusiast was overheard saying that everyone around her was tracking everything from their meals to periods to sleep cycles. To say we are sweating the small stuff is quite the understatement.
So how can a club owner keep up without wasting time and money chasing a worthless trend? I suggest you ask yourself this question: Can I use this metric to significantly alter my clients’ path?
Because the truth is, we can track almost anything. But just because we can track it doesn’t make it useful. Let me suggest four key measurements to help your clients get leaner, faster and healthier.
Anaerobic Threshold (AT). This is the point in exercise when your body can no longer keep using oxygen efficiently and lactic acid begins to accumulate in your muscles. It is a measurement acquired during a VO2 Max test. And while a VO2 Max is a helpful number, AT is a far more useful metric. Conditioning athletes to increase their AT will significantly improve endurance.
Respiratory Exchange Rate (RER). This metric can also be determined during a VO2 Max test. It will allow you to determine at what heart rate your client is most effectively burning fat. If weight loss is the goal, you can maximize workouts to burn the most fat possible. Or if improving endurance is the desired outcome, you can structure nutrition appropriately at these heart rates to fuel their fat-burning machines.
Body Composition. Let’s face it — using a scale to monitor weight loss progress is akin to dial-up internet. How much is lost is simply nothing compared to what is being lost. Although the methods range from calipers to dunk tanks, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is well validated and practical for the gym setting. It allows you to set goals for weight loss, fat loss and lean muscle gain.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is the number of calories required by a person to fuel their body at rest. It is measured by testing oxygen uptake while the client rests. This metric is highly variable, especially among “unusual” populations like the obese or highly trained athletes. It is the foundation that the rest of the day is built on — whether the intent of that day is to lose a pound or run a marathon. If the nutritional foundation is off, nothing else is going to work.
As fitness professionals, it is up to us to help our clients make sense of all the hype. By focusing on biomarkers that are scientifically sound and purposeful, your fitness plans will give them data that can lead to real and lasting improvement.
Julie Kofoed is the VP of marketing for KORR Medical Technologies. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.