Can Your Treadmill Do This?
Core Performance embeds fitness smarts in software that runs on custom exercise equipment and also powers online fitness applications. The exercise gear is connected to the Internet and taps cloud-based data such as workout goals, health history and nutrition habits to create personalized exercise plans and track how you're doing in the gym. Customers are typically businesses that offer their employees access to Core Performance gyms through corporate wellness programs.
The company's flagship device is the CPro, an all-in-one strength trainer that self-adjusts and has an interactive monitor to show each user what to do. If someone is instructed to do a bench press, for instance, CPro will automatically adjust the motorized arms and bench to the right height, and the device will set the pneumatic resistance to the appropriate level. "As you do the bench press, we're watching the power or the wattage that you produce on every rep, and your heart rate, to see if it's performing the way we would expect. And we'll reduce or increase the resistance according to your specific needs for that day," says Jon Zerden, CTO at Core Performance.
CPro taps the Internet to access cloud-based user and workout data. The training software delivers personalized workouts based on a slew of information, including a person's goals, current state of health and medical history.
It's Not All About Machines
Core Performance coaches assist users as needed during workouts. The parent company of Core Performance is Athletes' Performance, which provides training, nutrition and physical therapy programs to professional athletes. While Athletes' Performance focuses on training its pro sports clientele, Core Performance is creating fitness programs and equipment geared for everyday people.
Core Performance has retrofitted cardio gear, including stationary bikes, elliptical machines and treadmills to run its training programs. "We've ripped out the controlling logic of all those pieces of equipment and replaced it with our own," Zerden says. "We'll control the speed, resistance or incline to give you the optimal training experience."
High Five To Advance
To move from one rotation to the next, a user presses a "high five" button located just below the CPro monitor (there's also one on the floor for easy access). It's designed to make it simple for the user to advance the digital workout program after completing each movement.
The Core Performance Prescription Engine (powered by IBM software) tracks more than 33,000 training-related rules set by the company's fitness experts. The rules engine enables CPro to react to changing circumstances on the fly. For instance, if someone is injured and inputs that information into the system, the training program will adjust to reduce the possibility of overexertion or injury.
Core Performance's equipment can measure an individual's progress and track their physical response to their training program via metrics such as wattage output, repetitions completed and calories burned. The software stores the results from each workout session and incorporates the data into the planning of subsequent workouts.
Watch High-Def Video While You Work Out
To stay entertained, users can view high-def video, on-demand content, music and virtual fitness environments on their equipment monitors while they're working out. In the next iteration of the technology, users will be able to interact with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Zerden says.
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