Fitness Wearables 101

Fitness Wearables 101: Let Technology Push Your Fitness to the Next Level

Wearable technology, a product category that was virtually unheard of a few short years ago, has already achieved an adoption rate that mimics the rise of tablets. One in five North Americans currently utilizes a wearable technology device (or “wearable” for short), and that number is projected to reach a ubiquitous 68% by 2018.

Wearables are tech gadgets that you wear on your body, usually as an accessory or embedded in a piece of clothing, that transmit real-time information through a Bluetooth signal to an app. What’s the most common use of wearables? Fitness measurement!

From watches to wristbands to chest straps, there are scores of devices, and finding what’s right for you can seem overwhelming. We’ve tapped into our experts at East Bank Club to help you navigate the sea of fitness wearables and find what’s right for your fitness needs.

Your fitness habits determine which device is best for you. We’ve created three fitness types to help you identify the best wearable for your needs: the Spectators, the Actively Stuck and the Elite Athletes.

The Spectators

Spectators are not regularly active and include the 50% of the population that doesn’t exercise. Spectators are looking for motivation to start moving. The concept of “10,000 steps a day” is a means to get inactive people moving more, and Spectators need a device that will get them started on that first step. Basic fitness trackers are the best way to make that transition from the couch to movement.

Since Spectators struggle with sticking to an exercise routine, fitness trackers are a way to get them engaged, interacting and competing with others, and thereby making progress towards consistent activity. Spectators will hopefully graduate to a more robust device once they move to a more rigorous activity level.

Spectator Wearable Recommendations

Product Pros

Product Cons

The Actively Stuck

The Actively Stuck are regularly active and recognize the value of exercise and a health club membership. A common complaint of these regular exercisers is they are doing the work, have been for years, but they just aren’t seeing their desired results. The reason? Sixty percent of active exercisers are not exerting the effort to meet the guidelines for healthy activity levels. The Actively Stuck are putting in the time, they just aren’t putting in the right effort to get results. This group can greatly benefit from a fitness wearable device to ensure that when they are exercising, they are pushing themselves enough to achieve desired results.

The Actively Stuck need a heart rate monitor with a chest strap to accurately track effort with today’s modern workouts. Wrist tracker technology is inaccurate for monitoring heart rate, the key factor in measuring effort for the results that the majority of people are looking for. It’s not just about doing repetitive activity on the treadmill – it’s about jumping on boxes and doing burpees. A wrist tracker will record ten steps for ten box jumps. A wrist tracker might think that blow-drying your hair counts as taking a mile walk due to your arm movement. These inaccuracies matter for people who are busy and want to get the most out of their workouts.

Since the majority of health club members, and probably many here at the Club, fall into this Actively Stuck group, this is an area of particular emphasis for our training staff. Director of Fitness Gretchen Collins and her team have identified the MYZONE MZ-3 as the device that best suits the needs of the majority of the Club’s members. “It’s got the winning combination of being extremely accurate AND being accessible and easy to navigate,” Gretchen says. “It’s a sophisticated device, but you don’t have to have a degree in physics to understand the information it’s giving you. The color coding and point system make it effortless to succeed, and the competitive and social aspect make it engaging and fun.”

There are continuous contests and rewards for MYZONE users who connect through the Club. Stop by the Fitness Department or check in the Pro Shop for more information about MYZONE at EBC.

Actively Stuck Wearable Recommendation

Product Pros

Product Cons

The Elite Athletes

This is a relatively small group of active exercisers committed to a specific sport or activity who will do whatever it takes to make gains. Elite Athletes talk of PRs or PBs with every race, they measure every aspect of their efforts, and, as a result, they have unique needs in their wearables.

For Elite Athletes, a specialized wearable for their specific sport is recommended. For example, runners can select from devices placed in their shoes that track certain aspects of their form like cadence and stride length. There are even special devices for triathletes that measure aspects of all three legs of the sport.

Assistant Fitness Director Noby Takaki is an expert in wearables and can help our Elite Athletes identify the best device to suit their unique needs. Stop by the Fitness Managers’ offices in the Cardio Room to get a personal recommendation on the device that will push you to your personal best in your sport.

New devices are being launched as we speak. Wearables were one of the largest categories at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show. Our training staff will continue to monitor and demo all wearable devices to ensure we are offering and recommending the most effective solutions for our members. We are excited to set you up with the device that will make your fitness goals a reality.


East Bank Club | February 2016