Written by Clean Health Research & Development Specialist, Stefan Ianev
In part 1 of this blog, we looked at the events that led to the creation of the iNutrition Pro (iNP) software. This nutrition platform is now used by some of the top coaches around the globe to create structured and individualized dietary plans for their clients…and all in minutes!
Looking ahead, the next big trend coming is the use of wearable devices to track a client’s biometric data.
Getting Client Results with Biometric Tracking
Biometric tracking involves the monitoring of various performance and physiological markers such as:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Morning temperature
- Respiration rate
- Oxygen saturation
- Sleep quality
- V02 max
- Heart rate variability (HRV)
In conjunction with a client’s biofeedback markers, these metrics are useful to paint a complete picture of a client’s response to a program.
Some markers, such as daily steps, can show you if your client is meeting their daily step goals. Most people are falsely under the impression that they are getting 10,000 steps per day when in reality they are closer to 5000 to 6000 steps. A wearable device can easily help keep them accountable.
Even if the device is not 100% accurate, it’s still better that nothing because it ensures consistency in daily activity level. It’s very hard to know what to change in a client’s program when they caloric intake and/or activity level is all over the place. It’s all about consistency!
Should You Use a Client’s Phone for Tracking?
For various reasons we don’t recommend using a phone for tracking client progress. Why?
- It’s not going to be as accurate as other devices
- There will be times of the day, such as during showering or exercising, where it won’t be it won’t be on you. The data will be incomplete!
- Carrying a phone in a pocket all day near genitals can reduce testosterone levels due to the low-level radiation.
- Carrying a phone 24/7 is a massive source of stress – period!
Can You Technology to Track Client Recovery?
Yes! You can track various metrics such as heart rate variability (HRV) and sleep quality to assess how well a client is recovering. This also gives you an idea of the adaptability of their autonomic nervous system.
HRV is the variation in time intervals between each heartbeat. If your heart beats 60 times per second, that doesn’t mean it beats every second on the second. The difference between two heart beats might be say, 0.9 seconds while the difference between the next two heart beats might be 1.1 seconds.
HRV is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. When the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is dominant, heart rate increases and the variability between heart beats decreases. When the parasympathetic branch is dominant, heart rate and decreases and the variability between beats increases.
Although we don’t have time to go into it here, low HRV while resting may indicate fatigue or stress, which makes them less adaptable to further stressors such as exercise. We will cover HRV in more depth in the PNC level 3 certification.
Historically, measuring things like HRV and sleep quality required the use of medical equipment such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or an electroencephalogram (EEG). However, with the advancements in modern technology, we can now track these metrics on a daily basic with a wearable device, albeit not as accurately.
You can track recovery metrics, such as heart rate variability, with some devices.
Using Technology to Motivate Your Clients
Using key markers to keep your client’s on track can be the difference between program success and failure. There will be times where progress won’t be so obvious to your client but they are still tracking well. During these times it will be even more important to keep records of resting and training heart rate, VO2 max, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure to show a client how their fitness level and cardiovascular health are improving.
Most people generally respond better to seeing improvements in hard data as opposed to subjective measures such as how they are feeling. This is especially true for males who are more driven by seeing their numbers improve. That is also it’s vital that coaches set client performance goals in the gym, and taking physical measurements such as girths and skinfolds. Not only does it provide valuable data for you as the coach, it’s important feedback for clients to keep them motivated.
Keep your clients motivated by showing them how much their blood pressure and VO2 max have improved!
Don’t Be a ‘Me-too’ Trainer – Get Ahead of the Rest!
Tracking client metrics will position you above the rest professionally. The average ‘me-too- trainer won’t be tracking client metrics. You will see those types of trainers giving their clients basic dietary advice and referring them to MyFitnessPal with their macros.
If you do that you’re just going to be like everyone else, and to have highly successful PT business you need to stay ahead of the curve. Like it or not, technology is going to be the future of the fitness industry, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon sooner rather later.
What Are the Top 5 Wearable Devices?
The top 5 wearable devices that we have used with clients include:
- Apple watches
- Garmin watches
- Whoop strap
- Oura ring
At present, we don’t have affiliations with any of these brands. We recommend them because we have used them with clients, and they support all the functionalities we mentioned earlier.
Each of these devices have their own respective apps, and it might be possible for clients to export and share their data with you, particularly if you own the same device.
In the very near future, we are looking at integrating each of these devices with the iNutrition Pro app, so you can have all you client data in one location, irrespective of which device they use.