Bridge The Gap Podcast: Brian Shoemaker
This episode of “Bridge the Gap” features Brian Shoemaker, Senior Director of Innovation at Life Time, where he leads the Life Time Labs and Mobile teams. Brian is focused on the fitness club of the future, assessing technologies and trends that can be implemented in the next 3-5 years.
Brian discusses fitness tracking wearables, the importance of health data, and the future of fitness club memberships post COVID.
Excerpts from the interview:
On Cycling with Stages Indoor Bikes with power meters:
Within Life Time cycle studios we have the Stages Indoor Bikes, and for many of our signature cycle programs we utilize the data that comes off of the bike. We have what’s called Power Cycle, and Edge Cycle. Those are two program types, and we typically start off those classes with a simple FTP test. We have a protocol at the beginning of class for a three minute FTP test. We don’t call it that all the time, but the instructor has everyone work at their maximum effort to get that number during that three minute duration. We do a little math behind the scenes and we set the value for that class and then your coached for that session against that FTP value. For some of our programs we have a 20 minute test which is more typical for an FTP test, but having that power number in addition to heart rate, that has been a real game changer for a lot of people training for endurance events. It has made that structured and prescribed training that we’re able to offer at Life Time a lot more effective. You can’t fool the power meter, going off of your perceived rate of exertion, your heart rate can vary from workout to work. But the power meter is not going to lie about what you’re putting out.
On technology changing cycling:
ERG mode has taken a lot of the drudgery out of training in the basement, but just making it fun as well. Having a controllable trainer with Zwift for example has been such a great distraction. The gamification there, you’re not just cranking out the prescribed workout that day, you’re actually competing with others. It makes the training in the basement, training at home much more enjoyable.
It’s the social aspect, I know I’m going to be going head to head with a certain group of other Zwifters that I see week after week, and that’s a lot of fun. It’s something to actually look forward to, instead of just dreading training in the morning.
Stay tuned for a new episode every Friday.