Fitness

Get in the Zone

Digital screen training classes tracks calories burned during exercise and more

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I clearly remember the days when I would take a step class at the gym and halfway through, we’d all stop to check our pulse. With two fingers on our wrist. And that pulse check wasn’t an indicator of what our fitness levels or progressions were in that moment or up to that point in the workout, it was to make sure we weren’t about to have a heart attack in the middle of the floor in Bally’s cardio room.

It’s safe to say, tracking has come a long way since.

One of Rhode Island’s longtime fitness centers, Core Fitness & Pilates Mind/Body Studios, has recently launched an exclusive digital screen training class and tracking system program which not only estimates calories burned during exercise, but also uses a heart rate monitor to track your efforts and “zones,” guaranteeing accurate and personalized results that will help you make the most of your workouts. The MyZone system requires a special heart rate monitor that streams live workout information to your online account and to a screen in the class you’re using it with at Core. Basically, you can watch your own workout while it’s happening.

Core owner Denise Chakoian-Olney wanted to bring the most innovative technology to her eight-year-old business, so she searched high and low for the best digital system. With 21 years in the fitness industry and multiple athletic certifications under her belt, Denise is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals and the MyZone technology was the perfect fit. MyZone members can use their systems in the Indoor Cycle and Cardio Circuit Classes, as well as in the private training department.

I arrived at Core at the ripe hour of 7:30am on a Saturday morning to check out the MyZone technology during an Indoor Cycle class. I haven’t been to a spin class since 1997, but knew I could probably keep up because of all the endurance training I work hard to build. I was set up on a bike, put my water bottle in place and began to cycle as Denise coached us. About 23 seconds in, I decided that it was going to take a lot of Universe-calling and channeling from within to get my fired up quads through an hour, and that maybe my endurance hadn’t quite found its way to the bike shop yet. While I held my own (and by own, I mean at least four resistance levels lower than everyone else in there), I was most intrigued by the screen in front of me, where the MyZone members’ stats were displayed.

There were about eight informational squares, each nicknamed and showing heart rate (BPM), color effort zone (grey, blue, green, yellow or red), percentages of max effort, calories burned and MyZone effort points (MEPs). As Denise brought us up and down through the cycling intervals, she told us which zone we should be in, where our numbers should hit and was able to dictate what could be changed on your individual bikes for those on the screen who weren’t making it to the preferred workout zone.

I loved how personalized the system was. Having it displayed live during a workout not only gave you the drive to work hard, but also held you accountable in a room of other members, who were a community of support. Using heart rate (HR) as a measurement can put members in a position to workout harder, longer and with more determination. The system also allows Core instructors to give an even more individualized approach to fitness. With clients, they can go over their MyZone stats, provide feed-back from previous workouts and track progress against a set goal.

While there is a central wireless hub inside of Core that registers your My-Zone workout after it’s been completed (to store it to your account for fu- ture reference), the belts can be worn outside of the studio and will retain up to 16 hours of exercise data, which makes it easy to go on vacation and still keep track of your progress.

For the competitive fitness person, you can focus on your MEPs (MyZone Effort Points – points earned for zones achieved during workout) in relation to others and even challenge friends to competitions. Whether you want to focus on HR, calories, sharing your progress with friends across a network or just plain competition, MyZone supports you in doing so, and you won’t find it anywhere in Rhode Island outside of Core.

CORE Center of Real Energy Fitness | 269 Angell Street | 273-CORE