Breath Acoustics For Indoor Cycling

Cameron Chinatti from Stages Indoor Cycling alerted me to this Indiegogo project: BreathAcoustics All-in-One Headset. She was excited by it and I can see why.

I've spoken with the inventor Nirinjan Yee who's the CEO and Founder of BreathResearch and we will be recording an interview this coming Thursday morning – I'll try to have it posted by Friday so there's still time for you to help fund this project.

Nirinjan has some big hitters on her team including Sally Edwards and Dr. Carl Foster. Dr. Foster is conducting clinical research at UW Lacrosse to validate if this headset can accurately identify VT1 (first ventilatory/aerobic threshold) and VT2 (second ventilatory/anaerobic threshold) by measuring the distinct changes in breathing that occur with changes in intensity.

Breath Acoustic All-In-One Headset from Nirinjan Yee on Vimeo.

Here's why I feel this project is worthy of your support.

Perhaps the hardest part of teaching/Coaching Indoor Cycling / Group Fitness classes is effectively communicating your intended intensity.

Effective communication requires a common language between you and your participants.

How hard is HARD? What exactly does MODERATE feel like? Is my perception of an “8”… the same as yours? All of those descriptions are subjective = they only mean what I (me/you) think or feel they mean.

Walk into a Home Depot and ask for a gallon of Red paint – or – visit Amy at the makeup counter and ask for Red lipstick. Both Amy and the paint salesperson will ask; “we have quite a few different Red's… which shade are you looking for?” Then they'll show you a chart with all the different shades of Red for you to choose from.

With out realizing it, you're probably doing the same thing in your classes. In our attempts at getting our classes to work where we want them, we introduce more object descriptors = we'll probably be cuing to breath & breathing patterns; you've first noticed your breathing, need to open your mouth, jaw dropped, lost interest in speaking, sound like a freight train, gasping for air! etc…  to help our riders understand the intensity we're looking for in class.

Next, we try to correlate those breathing patterns to a Heart Rate number or HR Zone; when you feel that early change in your breathing you're crossing your Aerobic Threshold T1… That strong, rhythmic breathing (without feelings of distress) has you in the middle of Zone 3; etc…

So why do we try to tie breathing (direct indication of intensity) to a Heart Rate number? Because it's really (beyond watts) the only objective measurement we can easily (and repeatably) make and we do so by using a heart rate monitor. We then assign a range of HR BPMs to a “Zone”. These HR Zones* become the common language between you and your students. If everyone knows their HR at VT2 (AT/LT) I can simply cue; “I need everyone at threshold” and the class understands.

Is there something magical about a specific Heart Rate BPM? Not at all… your heart is just responding to requests for more or less O2 and energy from the muscles it serves. Those requests are based on intensity and IMO anything that could improve the connection between intensity and Heart Rate BPM will help us to more effectively communicate with all those smiling faces riding in front of us.

Improving that connection (without needing to wear one of those awful New Leaf masks) sounds like something we should be supporting. That's exactly what BreathAcoustics is trying to accomplish with their Indiegogo project.

*I'm continuing my crusade advocacy toward the fitness industry adopting a common HR Zone system and have a number of expert interviews planned for later the Fall.

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Originally posted 2013-09-14 09:02:35.

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