May 9, 2023 | 3:59
AI could hold the key to the fountain of youth for an aging American population as AI-powered fitness equipment reclaims a bigger role in the health world, according to the CEO of a high-end gym franchise -tech.
When the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic kept Americans away from public spaces, including gyms, people flocked to innovative ways to stay fit, including downloading apps like FitnessAI, which generates personalized workouts using the AI or the purchase of expensive AI-powered personal equipment.
The Exercise Coach, which has fitness studios across the country and overseas in Japan, has grown in popularity since 2020 by 125%, according to company CEO Brian Cygan. The fitness group had 80 studios in March 2020 up from 180 locations in May, Cygan told Fox News Digital.
The fitness industry will always generate new and exciting ways for younger, intrinsically motivated individuals to exercise, Cygan told Fox News Digital, explaining that he only sees[s] things are speeding up with The Exercise Coach going forward.
I think we are on the verge of changing the way people think about and optimize aging albeit with AI-driven strength training,
The gyms use equipment from a company calledExerbotics, which Cygan described as a line of intelligent strength training machines that supercharge our coaching efforts. The equipment allows Exercise Coach instructors to measure gym members’ full-body strength levels and then provide them with capacity-matched strength training workouts that are ideal for them.
Exerbotics’ intelligent resistance and bio-feedback changes resistance levels in real-time to match where an athlete’s muscles are strongest or weakest, Cygan said. For example, you encounter more resistance during the stretch (eccentric) phase of a movement.
This eccentric overload isn’t practical for most people at standard weights, but research has shown it is a strength development amplifier, he continued. When resistance levels are precisely dosed and users are guided by on-screen feedback, they work at higher effort levels and apply the most effective stimulus possible for improvement.
Cygan pointed out that AI-powered machines are capable of surpassing human trainers, especially how they can measure force output and calculate strength, monitor performance in real time, instantaneous calculations related to progress analysis and converting performance data into recommended effort for the next time. Machines, however, are unable to care about people’s goals, obstacles, weaknesses, need for support, like human coaches.
What is also noteworthy about the workouts is: they last 20 minutes per session.
Gone are the days of an hour-long workout several days a week, Cygan said. A plethora of research and our own internal data indicate that people can experience maximum strength training results with just two 20-minute workouts per week. More than this is not only a waste of time but will be counterproductive when someone is working out at optimal levels of intensity.
The fitness CEO said the shorter workout times appeal to people with busy schedules, but that the regimens and technology are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. The Exercise Coach has intentionally aimed its brand at aging Americans.
The problem we have in this country is not helping athletes get stronger than the 1%, Cygan said. It is addressing the quality of life issues and health care burden we are facing as a nation due to the ongoing tsunami of aging Americans.
Citing AARP and US Census Bureau data, Cygan said that by 2030, the US will have moreResidents aged 65 and over compared to children. He said personalized strength training can revolutionize the health and vitality of aging Americans, who are expected to live longer than previous aging generations.
It could be the source of population health of youth if properly exploited, he said. That’s why we’ve created technology that maximizes effectiveness, motivation, and data-driven guidance. Through our technology, we train millions of ideal strength training sessions a year across America and even Japan.
Cygan said the business only plans to grow, explaining that he hopes to continue partnering with insurers and medical institutions to make the biggest impact on aging in America.
AI is currently a heated debate in the nations capital and in America at large, as Silicon Valley tech leaders race to build more powerful AI systems following the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot last year. Tech leaders and others who advocate the rise of technology argue it will be another tool for the prosperity of Americans and businesses, while critics say the technology could lead to the downfall of humanity.
Cygan said he believes The Exercise Coachs’ target demographics are rightly concerned about the significance of generative AI for the future of human society, but that his company is using AI to do things that are impossible to do for human trainers, which makes our human trainers even better.
AI and science have brought strength training into the 21st century, he said.
However, our research and experience indicate that the encouragement and guidance of a friendly, knowledgeable human will never go out of style, he added. In fact, while many companies are reducing their human footprint, consumers appreciate more than ever when real people care about them as a person and what they’re trying to achieve.
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