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TechnoGym at the Colorado Center

April 27th, 2012 1 comment

TechnoGymThe Colorado Center for Health and Wellness opened to the public on April 15, so this week I have been getting acquainted with my new gym. It’s been a while since I’ve been a member of a fitness center, most of my activities are outdoors and the locations are not convenient for me. But as the Colorado Center was opening near my work I figured I would give it a try. Also, with the way I was feeling in March, it was time for drastic measures.

Part of the process of joining the Colorado Center is a fitness assessment, and an orientation session. The fitness assessment tests a variety of metrics: blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, blood sugar, body fat percentage, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and grip strength. From those measurements the center assigns a fitness plan that is accessible through the TechnoGym equipment. The concept is that trainers at the center will be able to track your progress and adjust your training plan without having to be there in person. For people who are new to the gym, or who struggle to find a fitness plan that works for them, this takes some of the guesswork out of the equation.

TechnoGym features a “keychain” that plugs into each piece of equipment to record your progress. When you first check in, the system tells you what the training plan for the day entails. The workout is selected by the trainers for you, and includes which exercise to perform, how many reps/sets to do, and the weight you should be lifting. If you make changes to the weight or number of sets/reps that information is recorded to the keychain and can be used to adjust the workout later. At the kiosks you can also view information on each of the individual exercises, including the muscle groups worked, and videos of how to correctly perform the exercise.

By far, my favorite feature of the TechnoGym equipment is the range of motion indicator. During your first two reps, each machine monitors how far you extend/contract during the exercise. It then uses an LED display to show you how far you need to be moving, as well as how quickly. This means that your speed is controlled during the whole exercise, and that you can’t count reps where you don’t perform the whole motion!

These features dovetail into the mission of the Colorado Center, which is to get people into a fitness program, develop the program for their needs, and follow up with them to ensure that working out becomes a part of their lifestyle. I hope that it helps me to add resistance training into my fitness plan so that it’s not just running and biking all the time!

Colorado Center for Health and Wellness

April 7th, 2012 1 comment
Colorado Center Lobby

Staircase Prominently Featured in the Center's Lobby

The Colorado Center for Health and Wellness represents a new concept in health care and health care research. The center is located on the University of Colorado, Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Primarily a research facility, the center focuses on educating the community on healthy eating and activities. Preventative health maintenance is stressed, with the goal of keeping people out of the hospital rather than post-disease treatment.

This mission is evidenced throughout the construction of the building. From the expansive lobby, featuring a demonstration kitchen and Bistro Elaia, to the massive fitness center contained within, and finally the clinical and research labs, the center embodies a desire to get people interested in nutrition and exercise, and treating the physical barriers to fitness. The education programs developed by the center will be available to the public through the center’s website and the tailored fitness programs available either through the clinical facilities or through fitness center membership.

Fitness Center Weightroom

Fitness Center Equipment

The fitness center is also a paradigm shift from the standard gym membership. Membership begins with a fitness assessment, testing physical fitness, flexibility, and strength as well as metabolic measurements. From this a “prescription” training program is developed, creating a total health program for the individual. Progress can be tracked through the Technogym system, with each exercise tracked through a “keychain,” taking the guesswork out of a fitness program. Progress is followed up with subsequent assessments, keeping individuals on track and equipped to maintain the fitness gains achieved. These assessments are available to anyone, meaning that individuals need not be members of the fitness club to take advantage of the program.

For athletes looking to improve their performance, the center is also home to the Human Performance Lab run by Iñigo San Millán. Offering tests such as VO2 max, lactate threshold, and body composition via Bod Pod or DEXA Scan, the center can fine tune training and nutrition programs to optimize performance.

With so many health care programs aimed at treating people who are already unhealthy, it is refreshing to see a facility that aims to be more proactive. Equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge to create healthy lifestyles, the center will help to develop methods that bring on sustainable changes in fitness for an entire community.

Running Track

A section of the indoor track overlooking the golf course

Technogym Equipment

Technogym equipment tracks weight, reps, etc. and saves to keychain

Fitness Equipment

Cardio and flexibility equipment along the track

View From Elliptical

Treadmills and ellipticals look out onto the golf course