It was bound to happen: high-tech fitness devices for tracking your heart rate and calories burned are everywhere now. Gyms are places you go to raise your heart rates in order to burn those calories. Now, the two are starting to work with one another via systems like MyZone, used at the Chelsea Piers Sports Club in New York City.
With this system, gym-goers spring for a $75 heart rate monitor. Then, wherever they workout, their stats are tracked, and they can follow them on screens throughout the facility.
"We have it set up so they'll track anywhere inside the pier, whether you'll be on the track running, or you'll be doing the treadmill, cardio, you can be in the boot camp classes, or you can be here in the spin room. It will also work, unlike most other systems, that this one will work outside. So if I go outside on the West Side Highway and I choose to do a five-mile run outside, as soon as I come in, it will pick me up, and then, it will upload my effort into the system so I actually get credit for it like I was inside the pier," says Scott Berlinger of the Chelsea Piers Sports Club.
Users also get emails after each visit summing up how they did.
In addition to keeping track of your workout stats, systems like these also utilize another form of motivation. During each workout, users earn MEPs, or MyZone Effort Points.
"You can run and somebody else can bike and somebody else can swim, and all of you can do the things that you want to do, but you're still competing on the big picture for who's burning the most calories, who's doing the most work, who's spending the most time in the facility," Berlinger says.
It's obviously up to the gym, but top of the leaderboard each week can be purely bragging material or, as is the case here, worth some serious real-world rewards.