Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gym 2.0

I mentioned in a recent post that I switched my membership to a new gym (Fairfax County Parks and Recreation's Rec Centers).  Shortly after my first visit I met with an instructor and went through the FitLinxx calibration process.  First off, FitLinxx is a workout tracking system built into all the Cybex weight machines at the participating Rec Centers. The system includes a kiosk at the entrance to the gym where you punch in your personal PIN to start a session. Once your PIN is entered you can then cycle through the machines and complete your workout.

Attached to each machine is a touch pad that lets you key in your PIN to display your workout settings.  The screen shows you the target weight you should use, how many reps you need to do, and where your back/feet/seat position should be.  While you are doing a rep, the screen counts for you and knows based on calibration where your start and end points are to count a successful repetition.  The instructor went through all the machines with me on Monday and calibrated them to match my preferences.  As you cycle through the circuit of machines, the system lets you know how many exercises you have left in your program.  You can increase or decrease weight settings after your sets so you're setup properly for your next workout.  After you do some cardio, you can manually log in your minutes and what machine you used at the kiosk before you go.

Now if all of this isn't cool enough, the system allows you to track your progress online through a very detailed website at Fitlinxx.com.  The online system seems to update a few hours after your workout is done and you can track everything you've done over time, breaking down data by exercise, date, muscle group, etc...  The system even tracks how fast you do your reps to see if your form is proper.  They also have standings tables for my South Run location and when I checked last I had accumulated the most FitPoints (whatever THAT means) for men ages 30-39 in May.  


The following table shows an example of the detailed stats through a workout breakdown by machine:



So now I can see actual statistical progress over time and help establish real fitness goals for myself.  Since I'm a big stats person, this is the perfect system to keep me committed to going to the gym more frequently.  Now all I need is one of you Northern Virginia readers to join up and we can have a FitPoints challenge.

1 comment:

T. said...

This is so freaking cool. I wish my gym had that.