Jennifer Lynn writes our weekly column on how to use your heart rate monitor while training. Today she is covering software training software for the iPhone called Class Builder.
Hello again Fitness Electronics World!! I am excited to be back! Life has been busy over the last few weeks but with great developments! After writing the 4 part series on Heart Rate Training, I was able to connect with Sally Edwards, Chuck Cali, and Gene Nacey. Gene Nacey is the creator of the Class Builder iPhone App. These folks are all working really hard on some new iPhone apps as well as a specialized heart rate monitor (review is coming soon). It was so exciting to e-meet Sally Edwards and I am really excited to be helping to spread the word on training tools for the fitness world. There will definitely be more coverage on these new iPhone apps, and more training blogs based on their methods.
Today, we are talking about Class Builder. What is Class Builder? Well, Class Builder is an application that streamlines the construction process for creating indoor rides on either a trainer or spinning bike. The user programs segments of a workout (called cues), and then strings these all together to create a workout. Target intensity levels, heart rate, cadence, power and music can all be set for each cue. The app has on screen projector capability, which is a great training tool for instructors who teach spinning classes. The application works with iPods and iPhones.
The app is easy to use. You choose your music, select your objectives (create cues), and build your workouts. You can easily build different workouts, such as climbing, speed work, intervals, or whatever workout you desire..
In this column, I will walk you through the creation of a workout so that you can see some of the program’s features, and also get a feel for how easy it is to create a workout. The first step, of course, is to install the app from iTunes. Here is a direct link to the application http://itunes.apple.com/us/
Assuming you have installed the app, let’s walk through the creation of a new Class Build.
Step 1 Opening the Application
Opening the application takes you a screen with four choices:
1. Build A New Class
2. Edit A Class
3. Ride A Class
For this demonstration, let’s Build a New Class together. I selected Build a Class which opens the New Class screen. On this screen, I will select a title for my class, ride level (beginner, conditioning (intermediate), performance (advanced), and mind-body (specialty). Also, I can either pick and existing playlist from my itunes library or choose to pick one later (customize list with ride).
I named the ride “Fitness Electronics” and selected the Ride Level as Intermediate. After this was done, I selected the Create Class prompt.
Step 2: Creating the Class
I am now taken to a new screen which is the ride building screen. First I select the “warm up.”
Selecting “Warm Up” takes me to a sub-screen where I pick my “Warm Up” song and set category skill as warm up.
Hitting the back button creates the next segment by touching the green plus sign. This is where the true attention to detail becomes obvious. I will type in steep climb for my cue in this segment.
I next can select my target cadence, HR zone, RPE, and target power in watts!! Wow! For the serious athlete, the more data, the better. It helps us to track our patterns and improve over time!! I will go ahead and fill in these blanks and continue in the interest of brevity for this blog. I want to take time to mention that with each segment you can select your focus for the segment, skill focus, and you can program interval set timers in as well!
Let’s explore the interval timer on the next segment. I will hit the back button and create another new segment. I am selecting intervals as my focus, sprinting as my skill, and I am choosing 1×3.0 for my interval set timing.
Done. So far, I have a warm up, climb, and sprint. Let’s go ahead and program in the cool down. So, I hit the back button and add a new segment: cool down.
I then select a song and viola!!! I have constructed a ride with music, rpm, watts, HR, RPE, and skill foci. That’s pretty amazing! The bottom line is that this application can be used at a very basic level or at a level of high precision depending on your personal goals as a user.
Now that I have created my ride, I am going to select the ride and see what happens??
It takes me to a very cool screen that shows an actual graph or the effort for the ride while also showing the cadence, rpe, cues, time left, and all the details we programmed into the segment cues!
There is also a side bar that shows your playlist, song, and notes.
All in all, this is pretty darn cool stuff!! As one more bonus, you can actually project your ride screen onto a projector for the class to see if you like!
Slowly, but surely, you can create a whole platform of rides that follow the periodization of your current training plan. That is a tremendous resource for all of us busy people who need a library of resources to succeed at our endeavours. Gene Nacey has also told me that a big update is coming in approximately one month from now. The update will be full of exciting changes. Additionally, they are releasing Ride Buddy, another new app (which will be review here) as well within the next month or so.
I will leave you with a quick introductory video of Class Builder:
Thank you so much for being a part of the Fitness Electronics Blog Site!! Feel free to contact me with questions!