DISCLAIMER: I was asked to write an overview of BSX Insight. I have not tried it personally so this is solely an explanation of how it works in theory. I do believe it is possible for the device to be accurate and that BSX Athletics is reputable. All opinions are my own.
Good morning!! It’s a brand new day and I have finally been able to sop up the school work long enough to pop in and see everyone (don’t mind that ten page paper due by midnight)! It’s MAY and almost summer, not that Saint Louis would ever let on, but let’s take a moment to celebrate…
Alright alright, enough tomfoolery! Down to business 😉 Let’s chat techy runny stuff – don’t forget your excitement!
I first “met” BSX when they ran a Kickstarter campaign and was overfunded almost immediately, I then checked my inbox a few days later and someone had reached out to ask if I’d chat about it with you guys. I, of course, said yes. I love introducing you guys the coolest things! Read on, learn on.
Above is the BSX Insight. This little sensor actively tracks three of the most common pieces of information (heart rate, calories, cadence, and pace/speed), most revolutionary though the BSX Insight also tracks…
Considering it’s the most effective performance indicator you should.
Let’s start with a #nerdalert, here’s the chemical compound: C3H6O3.
Since you guys probably know what heart rate, calories, cadence and pace all are we can skip to the slightly more mysterious lactic acid.
WHOOO HOO. Having fun yet?!
What is lactic acid?
This is lactic acid as short and as sweet as I can possibly put it, read on gladiators!
It’s an alternative energy source our bodies produce and use when we need energy faster than oxygen delivery can accommodate. Well that’s nice but how do we get it? Glucose (A) turns into pyruvate (B) to make more energy (Z) but only when it has oxygen (X). Without oxygen pyruvate converts to lactate (C) which acts like a bridge and allows glucose to breakdown and energy to form. Got it? Good!
Not ready to move on? Let’s think about it like a math problem.
A + B + X = Z = A + B + C
Without oxygen or lactate and glucose you can’t make energy. Uh oh! So in reality lactic acid is your new BFF.
Sometimes BFF’s go through tough times though.
“Tough times”: The same pathways that ok’d and facilitated the lactic acid production are the pathways that really suck at being in acidic environments. Once you reach your peak in lactic acid production your levels skyrocket which leads to greater acidity in your muscles and eventually slows the the contraction of your muscle allowing oxygen to be used again after recovering from the exercise.
too much lactic acid ≠ usable energy
Instead you reach exhaustion and fatigue.
Alright, so what?
Exhaustion and fatigue equal “the Wall” which sucks for athletes at all levels.
The popular myth would have you believe lactic acid is responsible for cramps (imbalance in electrolytes) or post-exercise soreness. However, it’s just that – it’s a myth. Instead the burning sensation in your muscles while exercising is lactic acid. This uncomfortable, sometimes hellish, sensation causes you to slow down thus a forced recovery period for your body to catch up. That feeling is your lactic acid threshold.
What happens when you reach the threshold? Your body is saying “There is no way the saber tooth tiger is chasing you for that long – breathe!”
How does that make sense? Our ancestors used lactic acid to run away from saber tooth tigers…dig it?
Contemporarily lactic acid keeps our bodies stay safe and as efficient as possible.
How is lactic threshold tested?
Previously there were only two ways to test lactic threshold (or anaerobic threshold) and only one with true accuracy. To achieve true accuracy you were to to be taken into the human performance lab, take blood combined with strenuous exercise every four to six weeks. Not everyone has the facilities making the tests pricy and sometimes impractical, not to mention how time consuming it is!
The less accurate way includes using power meters, GPS watches, and time but is no way a match for blood tests in human performance labs or the most recently designed device from BSX Athletics – BSX Insight.
BSX Insight is the first device to measure lactic threshold by noninvasive means. No needle pricks, no base tests, no waiting periods. BSX Insight provides the most accurate levels at real time. Immediately! Not only that but offers instant feedback on your performance. You can monitor your heart rate zone, your cadence, and your pace all WHILE you’re mid run. Giving you reminders and feedback encourages you to stay under your lactic threshold in order to maximize your performance!
This sensor is unparalleled, mostly because it’s the first of its kind.
A bit confused on how you can test lactic acid non invasively? Yeah, I was too…
…but BSX Insight measures lactic acid levels by attaching the device (in the picture above) to your leg via the handy sleeve that is not pictured. As the LED signals from the sensor are sent through your muscle and bounce back the signals collect real time data to keep you informed on the go. I was an excited skeptic. I didn’t know how accurate it would really be and honestly if it was even possible but after chatting with my handy, dandy sports medicine guy I was able to grasp that this might actually work. That was exciting for me!
Insight pairs with your sports watch (Co-founder uses the 910xt but it syncs with others too) and passes on audible recommendations such as “slow down,” so you can optimize your workout on the spot. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial…it gets better – after you workout it will sync to your computer and you can review your data. You or your coach can watch your process from start to finish no matter what that looks like for you and, of course, it keeps past data too so you can reflect on just how far you’ve come.
As mentioned earlier it is not only measures lactic acid but it’s your all-in-one for calories you burn, continuous heart rate, cadence, and pace/speed. What that means for you is you can consistently track your progress.
Yeah, I know, I have a watch that does those things too. As it turns out though BSX Athletics offers more than “just” the sensor, you can schedule future workouts. Insight will soon also comes with a community of support with social media integration.
What do I think?
I think it’s cool. I think it’s really cool actually. It’s innovative and space-agey (think Mars exploration, not the Moon 😉 ). Seeing as I recently invested in a Garmin 910xt and BSX Insight is still pretty new technology I probably won’t be buying one simply because of logistics. If I had all the money in the world I would be a full time blogger…oh, and buy the Insight!
I am excited to see where they’re going and how this will change the playing field.
Pin me 🙂
What are your thoughts? Shout them!!