Technology changing the fitness game

CHRIS MCKEEN/STUFF

The tech-savvy V Bike cycling studio simulates cycling events and sends cyclists an email of their fitness data after they workout.

Technology has made life easier and society arguably lazier, but one gym is using it to keep over-40s fit. 

A first of its kind cycling studio in Auckland, V Bike links bikes to a computer that measures and tracks a cyclist's fitness progress as they workout. 

The joining initiation involves cycling consistently for an hour on the system to calculate the persons maximum exercise capability. 

Owner of V Bike cycling studio Jianni Koutsos says technology is enabling the evolution of exercise.
CHRIS MCKEEN/STUFF

Owner of V Bike cycling studio Jianni Koutsos says technology is enabling the evolution of exercise.

That number is then used to tailor an individuals workout. Software on the screen tells a cyclist to pedal at different percentages of that maximum.

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Part-owner of V Bike Jianni Koutsos​ said the technique of pedalling fast for 80 per cent of an hour long workout and pedalling slow for the other 20 per cent, prevents over training and injuries that can easily happen in traditional gyms when people are not keeping track of their movements. 

Koutsos says people wanted more information as these days and knowing the numbers behind fitness progress was motivating.
CHRIS MCKEEN/STUFF

Koutsos says people wanted more information as these days and knowing the numbers behind fitness progress was motivating.

"I think gyms are really good for physiotherapists.

"We are trying to convert all of our members to a different philosophy of training."

The average age of its members is 42.

Competition during group classes is stiff as the cyclists data is displayed alongside others when they train together. 

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For those that would prefer a distraction over competition, there is a two-hour-long class that plays a movie as you cycle.

Koutsos​ said tech-savvy gyms like his were the future of training as information became more accessible.

"You cannot change what you cannot measure. This is all measurable."

Knowing the numbers behind your workout and fitness progress was motivating, he said. 

"As soon as you get off the bike you get a report of everything from calories used, average heart rate, average cadence, average speed."

But it did not come cheap. 

The bike stands and software cost Koutsos and his business partner close to a million dollars to set up. 

Two years and many technology teething issues later, membership is up and their investment has almost paid off. 

 - Stuff

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