This is next-century exciting. From apps that automatically adjust your workout when you're sore to pants that help you nail your yoga pose, artificial intelligence is quickly morphing into your new personal trainer.
"While AI can't do everything a human personal trainer can do, it's an affordable way to get useful feedback each and every time you work out," says certified personal trainer Jeanette DePatie. Here's a taste of what's out there.
"With AI technology, you can get all-inclusive personal coaching through smartphone apps," says certified personal trainer Caleb Backe. AI-powered apps measure variables like your fitness level, eating habits, and data from your wearables, then bring them together to tailor your workout to your needs.
The running app Vi, for example, gets to know your daily routines, music preferences, and effort zone and personalizes instructions based on how you're doing. It uses a human voice to give you real-time feedback as you run. Other apps, like SportMe, Podium, and AND/life, measure changes in your activity to tell you how to level up.
AI is helping gym machines get to know you better so you can ratchet up your results.
Nautilus, for example, has a new platform called Max Intelligence for the Bowflex Max Trainer M6 and M8 cardio machines. It uses cloud-based, adaptive technology to coach you through personalized workouts. It gives you voice directions and encouragement to help you power through. TrainerRoad uses AI technology for cycling workouts. It measures your cycling efficiency to help you get stronger and faster.
Yoga is getting technical, too. Several companies offer AI yoga instruction with pose detection to give you feedback on your form even without a teacher in the room.
High-tech fitness wear makes it seamless. Nadi X yoga pants measure your movements and use gentle vibrations to help you perform perfect yoga poses, says DePatie. Pivot Yoga just introduced a shirt with 16 sensors that track your movements and tell you if they need tweaking.
Speaking of wearables, you'll find an AI-coaching wearable for just about every body part.
Smart sneakers like Under Armour's Hovr Connected Sneakers measure your speed, pace, distance, and gait for real-time feedback.
Sensoria has AI-powered running socks. "Besides monitoring pace, distance, and time, these socks come with pressure monitors that feed data to an AI coach that helps you with your running form," says DePatie.
Polar recently unveiled its newest watch, Ignite, which collects sleep and recovery data overnight. In the morning, it suggests specific workouts based on how rested you are.
Next up in AI fitness tech? We can only imagine.
DePatie shares tips for working out with AI-powered technology.
1. Use your brain
"Your AI trainer isn't a doctor. If you feel pain or if something about your workout doesn't feel right, get professional help."
2. Open your eyes
"Stay aware of your surroundings. Don't obsess over your tracker to the point where you're unaware of traffic or people around you."
3. Broaden your view
"Not all progress is measurable. Don't forget to enjoy the better mood and quality of life that comes with fitness but may not be tracked by your watch."
4. Monitor your privacy
"Think carefully about how and when you share your tracking data and make sure you set a good, solid password. Devices can be a source of data breach."
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