7 October 2020
What’s better than monitoring heart rate during a group class to keep an eye on the most important component of your members’ performance?
The heart is the engine behind all the benefits they will be experiencing.
Igor Castiglia, international presenter and developer of programs and solutions for fitness gives his point of view about the use of real-time heart rate analysis in group exercise.
GROUP FITNESS CLASSES AND SMALL GROUP TRAINING WITH THE RESULTS OF INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABILITY.
Many clubs and boutique studios offer a full schedule of group fitness classes including strength training, functional training, HIIT, and indoor biking. In fact, many boutique studios are built around the group fitness model, with proprietary classes and programs that differ from those offered by larger gyms.
One of the benefits of group fitness is that members don’t have to think about their workout, because their trainer takes care of selecting the exercises, class progression, and intensity level. It’s great to be able to show up at the gym and jump straight into a pre-programmed plan with your buddies, but the biggest advantage of group training — beyond its convenience — is that a professional is on-hand to guide you, explain techniques, and give you feedback on what they are trying to help you accomplish.
Why heart rate monitoring is a great tool.
The heart is the engine behind all the benefits members will be experiencing, and heart rate is one of the few metrics that can provide an objective picture of what is happening during the class. Plus, heart rate monitoring allows trainers to get a sense of the outcomes of the routines they are proposing.
When used regularly and actively, HR monitoring becomes a great tool for helping trainers plan for the future and alternate cardio-heavy workouts with other sessions more focused on building strength and muscular endurance. Group fitness classes run by a good coach are typically planned with a specific goal in mind, but that doesn’t change the fact that members have different fitness levels, slightly different targets, and may have bad days here and there.
Our bodies regularly face challenges that are incompatible with a standardized training routine, so it’s important for trainers to be able to track and measure members’ efforts in real time—in order to push them to try harder, or to slow them down if they are pushing beyond their limits (or beyond the goal of that specific class). How members are feeling is an important indicator of exercise intensity, but it is not always accurate, especially for average club members whose lives may not necessarily revolve around sports and fitness. If trainers don’t track members’ workouts, they may believe that some members are doing a high-intensity session, even when they aren’t.
Tracking workouts allows trainers to monitor whether members worked out at the intended intensity. Workout data can also be used to show progress, address changes, and plan effectively for future endeavors. All of this translates into higher member satisfaction and retention.