What if you no longer had to be unsure with regard to the impact your workout is having on your overall fitness? What if there was a way for you to learn precisely how hard you are working out in any given gym session? And, what if I told you it was relatively affordable, so much so that any serious gym goer would make the purchase without batting an eyelash? Well, the future of wearable gym tech is upon us, and it is all thanks to the work of two electrical engineering students at the University of Waterloo, Dhananja Jayalath and Christopher Wiebe
Those of us looking to maximize the impact of our workouts outside the traditional (and unscientific & outdated) "soreness method*" now have the ability to truly maximize our gym session impact. The two students founded Athos, a company which produces sensor-laden gym clothing which track muscle fiber activity and tracks the overall impact of your workout. The sensors work seamlessly with a downloadable app that provides feedback as a result of the EMG (electromyography) sensors, heart rate sensors, and breathing sensors built into the gear. These sensors, woven into the fabric, send feedback to the app and allow you to keep track of the progress you make, real-time adjustments you can make (between set adjustments), and adjustments in form required (provided you have a fundamental understanding of the exercise being performed.
Extremely expensive versions of this sort of technology have been readily available to doctors for years, with costs ranging between $5,000 and $15,000. For an Athos shirt and shorts, the cost is $200 in total. Additionally, a $199 Core is required. The fees are one-time. The Core, a rechargeable device which serves as the brains of the whole system, communicates with your phone via Bluetooth and records everything I've covered thus far. So, for $400 you have everything you need at your fingertips to make your workouts more impactful and keep a better record of the most important facets of any workout.
Athos products will begin shipping in the Fall of 2014. According to the website, there will be limited quantity.
*The soreness method is not really a good indicator of any sort of impact. Muscle soreness can be a result of any number of things: Poor recovery, poor nutrition, not having performed a certain workout in some time, etc. However, there are those who will point out that general soreness is an indicator of having a good workout the day before. That notion isn't universally true, but I'm sure someone lurking in the comments will call me out for not knowing anything or whatever. If that's the case, consider this the disclaimer that I know what soreness is indicative of.