Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Like you, we had big plans for 2020. One of those plans was to bring on a new team member at StrengthSpace, thanks to the steady growth our business has experienced. (Thank you!) Our plans got derailed a bit, but we are still excited to announce that we are bringing on a new team member, and her name is CAROL! CAR.O.L., or Cardiovascular Optimization Logic, is the most advanced interval training stationary bike on the market. In keeping with our philosophy of brief, high-effort exercise at StrengthSpace, CAROL uses an artificial intelligence regulated resistance system to put the user through an extremely efficient workout in less than 10 minutes. The aim is to maximize your power output (or the work done in a given time) to deeply exhaust your supply of glycogen.
Glycogen is the carbohydrate stored in your muscles which is burned during maximal activity, and “emptying the glycogen tank” is one of the primary metabolic benefits of any exercise program. CAROL capitalizes on years of research showing that short, high effort sprints burn just as much, or even more glycogen, as longer workouts taking 45 minutes to an hour. In fact, compared to longer steady-state workouts, CAROL boasts superior improvements to fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, waist circumference, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides! During your workout, you’ll do just two (2) twenty second sprints! Here’s a demonstration. CAROL will coach you through ramping up your intensity, and she’ll help you to breathe deeply during your recovery periods. But more importantly, CAROL will fine-tune your sprint difficulty in real time in a way that is completely unique to every rider.
This is where the bells and whistles come in. CAROL continually measures your force output, and uses magnets and lasers (yes, really) to adjust the resistance during your sprints into the goldilocks zone of not too hard/slow nor too easy/fast. This precise blend of speed and resistance will enable you to reach power outputs you could never achieve on a regular bike. The resulting deep depletion of your glycogen stores will benefit your health profoundly through improvements in your sensitivity to insulin, a master hormone of metabolism.
Does this emphasis on effort (versus amount) of exercise sound familiar? We thought so too. Despite looking like a piece of “cardio” equipment, CAROL truly fits into the StrengthSpace philosophy of exercise, in which we seek to get the deepest fatigue, in the least amount of time, while keeping injury risk as close to zero as possible. While moving slowly on machines helps us avoid the acute injuries that can occur during weight training, CAROL’s brief sprint workouts help us avoid the overuse injuries so common during traditional “cardio” exercise. With both modalities, we seek to get the muscles to contract as hard as possible, safely, to ensure recruitment and fatigue of type II muscle fibers. Already, we have clients with long histories of knee pain during exercise who are enjoying CAROL sprints with no aggravation.
CAROL represents a considerable investment, but we want to find ways to make it easily accessible and affordable to our clients and the community, because we believe the health benefits of safe, brief, high effort training just can’t be overstated. So, here are the ways we’re making CAROL easy for you to try, and to include in your regimen if you like. First, getting started involves 6 introductory rides where CAROL eases you into the intense level of effort. This is what you can expect during these intro rides. Though some studios charge up to $75 just to try CAROL, we charge only $20 for a ride. However, for existing strength-training clients, we have decided to make these six introductory rides FREE! Yep! Free.
We want you to fully experience what CAROL can offer before you decide if it’s for you. For your convenience, you can do these slightly easier introductory rides before or after your regular strength training workouts. You are also welcome to schedule a slot on a different day. Again - this is free to existing strength-training clients.
Once a client decides that they really like CAROL and want to continue, they have several affordable options. First, they can purchase a dozen CAROL rides at 25% discount, which is ideal for those who may need an extra month or two to really make up their minds about whether CAROL is right for them, or for those who just want to add a single ride each week.
Those interested in the biggest discounts can purchase unlimited CAROL rides for between 49 and 69 dollars a month depending on your strength training membership. Again, for little more than the price of an extra strength training session, you can do an entire month’s worth of unlimited interval training on the CAROL. This is a discount of well over 50% if you ride twice a week. Again, we want this to be a no brainer for your wallet and your health. Also, because CAROL rides are so short, and there is no “eccentric” or lowering phase during the muscular contractions involved, CAROL won’t hinder your recovery, which means you can do CAROL “Intense” or “Fat Burn” rides on any day you aren’t doing strength training, and can even incorporate CAROL “Energizer” rides as a warmup immediately before your strength training workout. For clients who are already training 8 times a month, but don’t want to spend any more, we have a hybrid option. Every other workout, we can shorten your strength training by half (about 4-5 exercises) after which you can jump on for a CAROL ride. Your whole session will still be done in just under 30 minutes, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of deep muscular fatigue and deep cardiovascular and metabolic stimulation in one appointment.
So how do you get started? Simple. First, Sign up here to create your CAROL account, which will be used to track your progress and customize the intensity to your specific fitness levels.
Then, schedule an appointment with CAROL either via email, or through the MindBody app, where you’ll be able to book with CAROL directly, as if she were another trainer. You won’t hurt our feelings (much) if she becomes your favorite, and this gives us both added flexibility, because even if we're busy training a strength training client, you can still schedule your ride with CAROL! Finally, download the CAROL app on iOS or Android where you can keep track of your peak power, power to weight ratio, and Octane score (or power to heart rate ratio).
We're really excited to share this new addition to StrengthSpace with you, and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Learn more about CAR.O.L. at https://carolfitai.com/