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October 10, 2013

Take tech to the gym

New gadget can PUSH athletes to their limit.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

It’s become standard practice to bring music players to the gym to listen to the beat while pounding the treadmill.

As tech becomes more advanced, it is permeating our fitness routines more and more. With the help of things like the Nike+ Fuel Band to sync our workouts to our music and track our distances and speed of running sessions, it is becoming easier to track our workouts and for enthusiasts to push themselves to the limit.

Now, a new fitness tracker called PUSH can tell gym-goers when they have hit their limit when lifting weights at the gym – or let them know they can do a few more reps.

PUSH is a wearable fitness gadget that measures strength. This is the first tech gadget of its kind as most of the apps and gadgets on the market are aimed at runners as speed, distance and velocity are easier to track and measure thanks to GPS.

"Designing for a specific context is crucial," said co-founder Rami Alhamad, who previously worked in mobile development. The shape, look and feel of PUSH (which can be worn as an armband or on a leg) was designed for an athlete who is training in a gym setting.

PUSH can track 10 exercises, including squats, dead lifts, kettle bell lifts, pull ups, push ups and bench presses. Each of the exercises uses its own algorithm to track force, strength, balance and temp based on performance and also includes a heart rate monitor. This is measured through a wearable monitor with stats fed back to your smartphone on a free app (but the device itself will cost $149).

PUSH is still in its fundraising stages on Indigogo, but after only a few days is already half way to its goal. PUSH’s beta with over 1,000 users begins in December, while devices purchased via Indiegogo will ship in April.

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Developers plan to add more exercises to the device as popularity grows and Alhamad has expressed an interest in expanding to specific sports such as rowing, tennis or squash.

As a rower, I know that technology can be a great monitoring tool in a sport that involves pushing athletes to their limits when undergoing a repetitive motion (much the same as in doing reps at the gym). Rowers already use technology on ergometers when practicing rowing indoors to let them know things such as stroke rate and distance, so having a device that lets them now the optimum or maximum amount of strokes per second they can push themselves to would be very handy.

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