January 8th, 2017
Twenty-first Century Cardio-Machines
Every twenty-first century product is jumping onto the add-value-through-internet-use bandwagon. So too are the cardiorespiratory fitness machines. One cannot help watch even a little bit of TV without seeing ads for the exciting looking Peleton cycle which allows one to cycle with people from all over the world or be in a virtual cycling "class" right from one's home. As to the famous Coach Michael's Nordictrack X11i, it simulates virtual settings of some of the most beautiful corners of the world. What is the science behind these and other similar machines? Obviously the TV ads are making an impression because just saw a couple of Peleton cycles at my own small gym. What is the idea behind handlebars which make one lean forward, pedals that are tiny, and no heart rate monitors? Is it a message that it is only for 20-something-year olds who may not worry about low back pain as they lean forward excessively and do not feel the need to at least occasionally measure their heart rate? Are the small pedals meant to look sleek, or reduce air friction force for better speed (on a stationary bike!). What about if a foot slips off the tiny pedals? As to the Nordictrack incline machine. at what speed should 40% extra incline be tackled? Do they offer any advice with the machine? Does it have any heart rater monitoring? Why would one not simply put one's good old 20th Century treadmill into a good incline? Basically, my question is - looks over functionality? Form over science? Many modern mechanically driven products now have some internet-related features and wonderful, modern designs, but are they maintaining the science?