As the wearable fitness technology market continues to boom, club members have grown to expect data as part of their fitness experience.
Not only does heart rate (HR) tracking offer the best method to gauge members’ exercise intensity in a club setting; it also provides measurable data on client progress and allows fitness leaders (personal trainers and group fitness instructors) to create a fun and unique member experience.
Here are three key ways fitness leaders can leverage HR tracking to keep members happy and coming back for more.
- Hold members accountable. Research has shown that exercisers tend to overestimate their workout effort and calories burned while underestimating their caloric intake — a mistake that could prevent them from reaching their goals. Live HR data displayed during a workout allows trainers and instructors to keep members honest and educate them on the exercise intensities required to lose weight, burn fat, etc. Further, many effort tracking devices let fitness leaders review member workouts performed outside of the club — at home or on vacation — taking accountability to a whole new level.
- Demonstrate member results. What can all this HR data be used for over the long-term? Showing members how they have progressed, of course! Integrating HR into a club’s existing assessment protocol offers members the opportunity to see how their cardiovascular fitness is improving (and remind them of the efficacy of the club’s services). A few key variables to track and revisit every six to eight weeks include resting HR, HR recovery, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and submaximal exercise HR. Over time with cardiorespiratory training, members should have a lower resting HR, faster recovery and lower RPE and submaximal exercise HR at any given workload.
- Gamify workouts. Clubs cannot get very far with the aforementioned points if members leave due to boring workouts. With live HR feedback, fitness leaders can quite literally turn exercise into a game in which members achieve mini goals and feel empowered throughout their workout. What’s more, those games can specifically reinforce the goals of the class, such as seeing who has the fastest HR recovery. Creating games around HR not only adds variety to workouts, but it offers fitness leaders a way to stand out and builds rapport among members and fitness leaders.
As wearables become essential to the modern fitness experience, clubs will benefit from embracing heart rate tracking to create engaging memorable workouts and accelerate their members’ progress.
Emily Sopo, M.S., is a Myzone Master Trainer. For more information visit http://myzone.org/.