Spinning training pretty much requires heart rate (HR) monitoring to be effective and it is an integral part of every Spinning certification currently available. Certified instructors are required to design their class profiles with HR goals setup for each and every drill in a class. HR goals are dealt by percentage of HRmax, never as BPM since Spinning is by nature a group traning class. An initial assesment drill is strongly recommended for every customer the first time they visit us so as to find their HRmax among other things. We use age (220-age) input at login only for customers who did not wish the assesment, for customers older than about 45 years old or if dealing with a special population case.
Warm up starts from HRrest to around 65%HRmax for about 6-10mins depending on which class will be given following a periodization schedule (endurance, intervals, strength, race day or marathon event). Below we show a table of typical %HRmax targets used in Spinning depending on type of class. Customers are advice to watch for and are never allowed to go above 92%HRmax. Customers also sign a yearly "Member Waiver and Release Form" which among the common fitness industry release of liability wording, it includes a clause making them responsible of following some safety guidelines regarding the use of CardioGX. Clearly, how the software HR zones are configured has a lot to do with this. The CardioGX software lets you program your own HR training zone based on HRmax (as in Spinning) and also based on Anaerobic Threshold (perfect for CycleOps Power training which we also offer).
The CardioGX system has been an amazing motivator for our customers to train seriously, to get instant feedback of how well they are doing (for example, how quickly one recovers from an interval compared to others around, etc.), to make sure their training session is productive and more importantly to avoid hurting themselves. Also CardioGX has been a clear competitive advantage for us as an indoor cycling facility. Customers actually boast about our profesionalism and safety in our trainings. The system has been a customer magnet for us also attracting the 'right market' of people who are committed and are serious about improving their health and performance. It also works fantastically for training and certifying instructors. Instructors now actually know what we are talking about since they see HR training and experience it first hand in our orientations thanks to CardioGX. After only a couple of months of using our first system in El Condado we realized how quickly the system was paying for itself not by our transmitter chest strap rental fee but by the new customers coming in asking about it. We ordered and installed a second one in our El Seņorial facility and we will soon be installing a third one at our new Isla Verde location.
Physically, the CardioGX Team2 transmitter chest straps are very similar to the new Wearlink+ included with all current Polar heart rate monitors (HRMs). The Team2 straps only difference is that the two big press studs are somewhat farther apart to accomodate the larger Team2 transmitter. This means that the system only works with Team2 straps. If a customer already owns a Polar HRM with Wearlink+, his/her strap won't fit the new transmitters. The Team2 trasnmitters communicate to the CardioGX receiver by means of Bluetooth. The CardioGX software makes setting up Bluetooth pairing between all the transmitters and the receiver a breeze. Also the transmitters are backward compatible with Polar's industry standard wireless coded digital communication and the older analog (but not compatible with W.I.N.D.). So a customer can wear his/her Polar HRM while training with a Team2 transmitter strap and either watch the HR data from the CardioGX monitor or from the HRM. This is another welcomed capability as many of our customers already own and regularly use their Polar HRMs. So now they can see their HR data from the easier to read large monitor while still capturing it all in their HRM as usual. Even thought the CardioGX software currently does not record individual training HR data, the customer's HRM does. Initially this might sound like an inconvenience, but it's the other way around. It gives the customer a very good reason to still consider buying a Polar HRM.
The Team2 chest transmitters are rechargeable so you won't spend a dime on those expensive lithum disk batteries (CR2032 or CR2025 etc...) that Polar HRM and wearlink transmitters normally use. The Team2 transmitters are automatically tricke charged as soon as you return them to their the Team2 charging station (picture included below). Polar thought of everything. Unlike the Wearlink transmitters, these have a tiny led that shines and blinks either red or green telling you if they are charged, paired, charging, registered with the receiver and even if they are registering a HR pulse.
A curious and unexpected extra is that the CardioGX software serves also as a promotional tool. The software lets you create your own advertising banners to cycle in the screen while training. You can advertise anything you can make a image of. A simple paint program can be use to create your own promotional banners. You can then select, depending on which training zones program you will be running, which ads are shown and in which order. I have included at the end of this page some samples of the ones we have used in our facilities. In between classes, we regularly let Windows run the included 'photos screen saver'. This one will look for a specified folder and show even larger advertising pictures we purposedly placed there. So the CardioGX monitor plays another unexpected and welcomed role in marketing when we are not training.
Below you will find some pictures showing installation and use of the CardioGX systems we have in two of our CardiOzone locations along with two videos of typical Spinning classes. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be more than pleased to help you with setting it all up and getting the most out of your CardioGX system.
Polar CardioGX and POS software are running on Acer Aspire Revo Windows XP PCs. An external USB keyboard with integrated trackpad for user self login. This keyboard is located at chest level right beneath the main monitor. CardioGX receiver station is connected to the PC using the kit included ethernet 100T cable. CardioGX receiver station is wifi capable and easily configured with included WEP protection if desired. Monitor used is a Sharp Aquos 32" flat lcd. The whole system is protected by a APC 500 uninterruptible power supply. The CardioGX receiver station includes a LiPo battery and so it is capable of running on its own power. The chest strap transmitters (peanuts) are usually kept in the charging station on top of the front desk for quick rental. The Team2 straps are available for sale or available as part of the rental. We always spray the straps with isopropyl alcohol right before use. This ensures a good contact (hr signal) immediately. The straps are cleaned daily by submerging in a mild water/chlorine solution overnight. After about 2-3 months of heavy daily use, none of the straps have failed. Only one peanut gave us a little trouble once, which Polar very quickly replaced.
CardiOzone - El Seņorial
Here our Polar CardioGX software is running smoothly on a very unexpensive Acer Aspire One Windows XP Netbook. An external USB keyboard with integrated trackpad for user self login and to protect the netbook from abuse. This keyboard is located at chest level right beneath the main monitor. CardioGX receiver station is connected to the PC using the kit included ethernet 100T cable. Monitor used is a Vizio 42" flat lcd. The whole system is protected by a bigger APC 1000 uninterruptible power supply because of the larger monitor. The CardioGX receiver is very efficient and consumes only a fraction of the current the PC and monitor do. The chest strap transmitters (peanuts) are also kept in the charging station on top of the front desk for quick rental. The Team2 straps are available for sale or available as part of the rental. After about 2 months of heavy daily use, none of the straps or peanuts have failed. The whole system is designed to be mobile and used outdoors on its own power and so it is VERY sturdy and reliable. Using it indoors in a static installation like we do is pretty much not a challenge for this design.