Hey how hard should I be working to; get faster, lose weight, build endurance, ect…
Answering that is the age old dilemma many of us face when questioned by our riders. We try to be helpful by offering subjective descriptions of what both thresholds should feel like. We give breathing cues, run special FTP classes and/or include Best Effort intervals into our class. They're all designed to help our participants discover (for themselves) their threshold hearts rates and/or threshold wattages. We can get close… but at the end of the day they're still subjective measurements = not always as accurate as we would like.
Breathing gas exchange monitors can scientifically measure the two thresholds. Systems like those from New Leaf and Korr can objectively measure the changes in our breathing levels of O2 and CO2. They work well, but are very expensive to own (you can no longer purchase a New Leaf cart, now that they were purchased by Life Time Fitness) and individual metabolic testing can run to $200.00 or more. The actual tests are rather unpleasant, requiring you to wear a very uncomfortable mask – trust me on this > I've had over a dozen tests and would dread doing another.
The only other option was blood lactate testing during a graded exercise test at a university or sports performance center. Here they prick your finger every two or three minutes, while you work to failure during the assessment. I haven't done one of these personally, but it sounds equally unpleasant.
Enter the new BSXinsight – a wearable device that optically measures your O2 levels = this could be exactly what all of us training athletes were looking for. Pictured above, the BSXinsight is positioned on your calf using a compression sleeve. It wirelessly communicates with a smart phone and the data is displayed by (you guessed it) their special app.
Don't just listen to your body, look inside it.
Data and gear are only as good as their ability to improve your riding. Now you can access the most powerful training metric in endurance sports, making every mile more effective and putting every piece of technology you already use into valuable perspective.
BSXinsight uses revolutionary technology that allows you to see inside your muscle, measuring your lactate threshold and generating personalized training zones. Stop trying to “feel” whether you’re pushing too hard or leaving too much in the tank and let the science of your body speak to you.
I just finished a fascinating conversation with one of the principals of the company. They have offered to send me a demo BSXinsight to experiment with. When I'm done I'll be sending it to Dennis Mellon for his feedback. Once we are done accurately learning our own LT and overlaying it with our Heart Rates and wattages, we will record an episode with the company spokesperson so we can share what we've learned with all of you.
Stay tuned 🙂
John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council.
Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida.
When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.