Two Vancouver entrepreneurs are working on wearable technology specific to tracking resistance training.
Eigen Fitness has developed a new tech product it calls Nodes, which are coin-sized wearables that empower gym goers “to progress as fast as possible while avoiding injury,” according to the BC startup.
“I found myself in constant pain from gym injuries that were a result of adding too much weight before my body was ready,” explains CEO Connor Holowachuk. “It’s a common problem amongst all levels of gym-goers who are trying to reach their fitness goals as fast as possible.”
The new technology leverages real-time power, velocity, range of motion, tempo, and rep variation data to provide insight on ideal weight selection for each set.
“As a long-distance runner, the Apple Watch and [similar] trackers are perfect for endurance athletes of all levels to understand how they’re performing today, and how that stacks up against past runs, bike rides, or swims,” Holowachuk told Techcouver. “But if I’m working out hard in the gym, how do I measure my performance? How do I know if I’ve improved since last week?”
The Other Half of Fitness Tracking
Eigen’s AI-powered Nodes claim to be “the only truly wearable device built exclusively for the gym.” Unlike fitness trackers, Nodes track the stats that matter the most during weight training, such as rep count, power, and tempo. Nodes also monitor lifting form in real-time, providing haptic alerts when they detect an injury risk.
“Designed for the gym from the ground up, Nodes are packed with the latest cutting edge technology to track your next set,” reads the company’s website. Equipped with a high-sensitivity, six-axis inertial measurement unit, lithium battery, and 16MHz CPU for fast motion fusion calculation, Nodes make up to 200 measurements per second to monitor multiple important aspects of physical performance—aspects that are essentially ignored by devices like Apple Watch.
In the wearable market, there is a weightlifting-sized gap to fill, believes Holowachuk. He enjoys his runs with his Watch but laments the relative uselessness of the device in the gym.
“Like most things in life, training our bodies is a matter of balance,” he offers, noting that cardio by itself is not a complete physical health program. “Complimenting cardio-based exercises with a weight training program is the perfect way to [achieve balance].”
According to the Eigen cofounder, it is important to recognize that resistance training has multiple unique benefits which cannot be reaped from cardio.
“On top of increasing full-body strength, reducing the risk of injury during cardio exercises, and improving muscle tone, adding lean muscle from weightlifting can affect how fast you’re able to reduce body fat,” says Holowachuk. Thus, “there’s no better time to incorporate weightlifting into your routine than now.”
He says that Nodes will work whether you’re a fitness coach or doing your own thing, and whether you train at a commercial gym with lots of equipment or at home with the bare minimum setup. With a five-hour battery life, they can outlast any workout.
And on top of hardware, Holowachuk says his startup plans to offer an Eigen Fitness Coaching Platform, a set of tools that allows trainers and coaches to track their clients’ progress, build and distribute complex programs, and promote their studio amongst the Eigen Fitness community.
Collaborating for Success
The Vancouver-based fitness technology startup plans to open up preorders for Nodes through a crowdfunding campaign to launch early next year.
“Zach and I met through LOI where he was accepted with Envura, his health and wellness e-commerce business,” Holowachuk explained to Techcouver. “After becoming friends over the months of the program, we decided to join forces and leverage his marketing expertise with my engineering background.”
For both fledging entrepreneurs, LOI Labs “has been a giant support.”
“They’ve greatly boosted our progress over the course of four months,” Holowachuk said. “Support from their mentors, along with connections to founders in previous programs, have given us the perspective and plan we need to make the most of our launch.”
For now, Holowachuk and Higgins have their heads down as they fine-tune their forthcoming Nodes campaign, which is expected to drop on the Indiegogo platform as soon as January.