The Future of Fitness Tech
Behold the machines, wearables, and monitors preferred by the highest-performing athletes.
Amidst an industry saturated with options, fitness trackers become somewhat indistinguishable: their promises sound similar; they look alike; they all hover in the same price range. But the newest wave of fitness technology aims to connect your body to the most powerful app of all—the human mind, says Rolando Garcia III, manager of the Columbus Circle location of E at Equinox, which offers a host of higher-tech options for members’ use. “Technology that can help us to understand the dynamics and mechanisms of the human experience to perform at our full potential and live a healthy lifestyle is a worthwhile investment.”
We've glimpsed the future of fitness technology and it is bright. Here, five high-tech options that can transform the way you get fit—and leave your average fitness tracker in the dust.
ReadiBand Sleep Tracker
Used by organizations like the NFL and NBA, the ReadiBand Sleep Tracker tracks travel, time-zone changes, sleep-wake schedules, and more. Using a military-developed “fatigue modeling algorithm,” the band produces an “effectiveness score,” quantifying just how tiredness affects performance elements like reaction time, At 100 percent, for example, your reaction time is spot on—but at 90, you’re reacting 10 percent slower, which in fitness, can be a major factor.“It’s enlightening for us to look at how we can manage our clients’ recovery better based off of sleep tracking,” says Garcia.
The premise of this product is simple: to find out your state of being at any given time, and use that to determine your workout. “Essentially, your readiness is subdivided into understanding the readiness of your central nervous system, your cardiac system, and your metabolic readiness,” says Colin Darretta, founder and CEO of WellPath Solutions, who uses Omegawave. Asking yourself: “Am I ready to workout today at this particular level?” is an important question, too. It helps you gauge whether or not to push yourself, adds Garcia.
In this futuristic, post-workout mechanical massage, while hooked up to an EKG, your legs are placed in sleeves that are pumped with air compressing at varied degrees of pressure, dependent on your heartbeat (from the EKG). Why it works: “You need greater blood circulation for recovery,” says Garcia. And when you’re at rest using this machine, because of extra compression, the blood return back your heart mimics that of when you’re doing cardio, improving recovery, Garcia says.
Being able to gauge which muscles are being used and where you can improve specific movements means more efficient movements, says Garcia. That’s where Noraxon Myometrics comes in: While you walk, run, or lift, you attach sensors to yourself and receive feedback, like which part of your body is activating in a certain way, through a laptop usually operated by a trainer.
Fit 3D produces a three-dimensional scan of your body, revealing your waist and hip size, information about how your body has changed, and a real-life visual to glean both how healthy you are and where and how you can improve. “It allows you to look at a visual approximation of yourself,” says Garcia. “We want to move people away from looking at data as good or bad and move the conversation to somewhere where it becomes limitless: ‘If that’s how you look, then how do you feel?’”
Push is the first fitness monitor to produce performance metrics on strength training straight to your smartphone. It uses technology that understands what exercise you're doing and how much weight you're using, measuring reps, sets, force, power, speed, strength, your one rep max, and which rep was your peak. “It will tell you whether you’re working with a weight that is getting you results, not getting you results, too advanced, or too easy for you,” says Garcia.