The demands on workout and training are as manifold as the variety of sports activities. This applies to pure endurance and athletic sports but also to disciplines which not only require special skills and a clear, focused mind but also a combination of athletic performance and endurance. However, all sportive activities have some basic questions in common: Is my training routine useful? Is it efficient? Are all the hours of workout a good investment? Do I make the optimum progress? Am I in a state of overtraining? Can I leverage my potential? Is all the hard work worthwhile? Even people who just like to work out or do endurance training ask such questions. Who could answer? The instinct principle is misleading in many cases. In the end, inconsiderate and unadvised training will lead to frustration and self-deception.

Succeeding as professional athlete but also as an ambitious weekend warrior essentially relies on knowledgeable training monitoring and analysis. Training analysis is the basis of training schedules that work, and it optimizes training progress monitoring. This involves measuring methods which particularly serve to determine aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Based on these benchmarks the training scope and intensity can be tailored to suit individual needs in order to achieve objectives efficiently.

NIRS – measuring yields insight

Lactate threshold test and spiroergometry count among the core methods of performance diagnostics. However, both methods are expensive and take effort. Hard to imagine that a triathlete – after a full-time working day with projects, business meetings, or construction sites – would go for a quick lactate threshold test to verify the training success or get the mask to check the composition of their respiratory gases. In real-world training, intensity monitoring is limited to pulse rate monitor and the bicycle’s power meter.

The innovative sensors in combination with sophisticated but easy to use software of TrainOXY™ show exactly the properties which make the system suitable for everyday practical use, and this is what athletes need. TrainOXY™ makes training monitoring  a companion in daily training so that people can independently and immediately respond to the results and adapt their training. Measuring the actual oxygen saturation in the muscle SmO2 in combination with the display of the current degree of physical strain, e. g. on a smartwatch is absolutely new in training monitoring. Such measuring methods just did not exist before.

Needles and ramp test? Performance diagnostics?

The lactate concentration under load is usually determined in a ramp test. In the course of the test the load is maintained constant for a period of at least 3 minutes. Then a blood sample is taken and analysed. The delay is due to the fact that it takes a certain time until the lactate generated in the muscle by physical strain can be detected in the blood. Hence, such a measurement is carried out under laboratory conditions so that the athlete is subject to the measurement conditions and not vice versa. The number of measuring values collected is only small and each measurement means an expense for the blood analysis.

Even if spiroergometry is an ultimate tool to derive an overall statement on the reactions of the cardiopulmonary system under physical strain, it is still a method which takes great effort both in terms of technical and financial aspects. Again, due to the laboratory situation and the mask, the athlete or patient is not free as under normal training conditions. Although it is a reliable means to determine the physical condition and fitness level it cannot be used during exercises due to the cost and the complexity of the method.

OXY4Athlete – a lab on the smartphone

If the immediate measurement of various relevant parameters is carried out using one or more light and robust sensors which do not hamper the athlete or patient and which transfer a continuous wireless data flow from everyday training to an intuitive software on a mobile device, then the diagnostics system will no longer be in focus but the human and the exercise.

Using TrainOXY™ NIRS technology among other, the oxygen concentration is measured as effective monitoring parameter in the (preferably) active muscles. It is output in form of relative numerical values. With the increasing strain on the muscles the relative saturation decreases with two usually clearly visible break points. Both break points correspond to the thresholds determined in lactate diagnostics and spiroergometry.

What makes the NIRS measuring method particularly attractive is the practicability. The non-invasive, mobile real-time measurement provides for specific and knowledgeable control of training activities without having to interrupt an exercise. In case of athletic sports, e.g., this means that the fatigue of the active muscles can be continuously monitored and the degree of physical strain can be immediately adapted by the athlete to avoid overload.

Moreover, thanks to the variety of parameters measured, e.g. pulse rate, respiration rate, pulse index or tissue haemoglobin index, comprehensive performance diagnostics is possible which so far had to rely on laboratory situations and a wide range of equipment.

The OXY4Athlete highlights:

  • Measurement of oxygen saturation in the muscle SmO2
  • Ease of use for athletes, while being non-invasive, i.e. no risk of infection
  • Continuous real-time gathering of measuring values without delay, i.e. performance monitoring during exercises by measuring without interruption of the physical strain and without psychological effects or physical influences on the athlete
  • Uncomplicated measuring method without external voltage supply and with wireless collection of measurement data
  • High significance and validity in endurance performance diagnostics as well as in athletic sports and rehab with direct determination of the individual training ranges without calculation models as well as imbalance test when connecting sensors in parallel
  • Measurement on the active muscles and measurement in ramp protocol possible
  • Easy evaluation using intuitive software
  • Display of the degree of strain via traffic light icons in an app

No other measuring method combines this impressive sum of positive characteristics in a single system, not to mention the competitive price.

Train Smart – TrainOXY™