CEO Pete Mangum Talks Kratos

With Oli Strength’s upcoming product, Kratos, we aim to make working out more fulfilling and easier. The brainchild of CEO Pete Mangum, Kratos will transform the future of athletic training. As a former collegiate athlete, Pete understands that a workout is not effective without careful planning and tracking. “Having been an athlete my entire life, what most people don’t understand is that 99% of your time is spent training. You have to earn those precious moments where you actually compete in a game.” Instead of spending months tracking weight improvements by single reps, with Kratos there is a better way.

Named after the Greek god of strength, Kratos makes it easy to train for performance, improve technique, and measure progress. Like a “Fitbit for lifters”, the device magnetically attaches to a barbell and stream data back to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It tracks every single rep, from first to last, and analyzes data to provide individuals with instant feedback. Kratos saves the data, all the while without interfering with the workout. Using key metrics force, velocity, and power to measure performance, athletes can review workouts and share their results with others.

Currently being used in Division 1 schools like UNC, Kratos provides users with key insights into athletic training never seen before. With this technology, Oli Strength is bringing the expertise and instruction employed by world class athletes to beginner and experienced lifters alike. Kratos will revolutionize the world of personal fitness one rep at a time.

Gotta Catch 'em All, or Burn Calories Trying!

Gotta catch em’ all, or burn calories trying! The latest game for iPhone and Android users, Pokémon Go, has not only revolutionized the way people use video games on their smartphones, but has also managed to bridge two unlikely interests: video gaming and fitness. This connection between two past-times that many people assume not to go hand in hand, has brought millions of gamers outdoors (even in the summer heat) and burning calories.

Pokémon Go is able to lure its users outside to catch Pokémon monsters by using GPS technology and the camera in your phone in order to create an augmented reality in which users are basically required to walk distances to find Pokémon or achieve other in game objectives. It’s no mystery that this game is introducing fitness to millions of people’s lives at an astonishing rate, and we here at Oli Strength think that is a pretty neat thing.

In a survey of 750 Pokémon Go players across the United States, Qualtrics found that 43% of Pokémon Go players have lost weight while playing at an average of 3.2 pounds.

Oli Strength wishes its fellow Pokémon trainers to keep up the good work, and for those new to exercise or making a come-back to come join us in the gym!

Stay Oli Strong Pokémon trainer, and #jointheOlimovement!

Wearable Technologies: THE Next Thing in Fitness

Today we stand on the verge of the next tech innovation. Embedding low cost with low power computing and connectivity into everyday things and wearable computing. This has been talked about for years but the reality of this vision is coming into sight. Industry analysts project that the impact of this will be massive, creating a multi-billion dollar market in the next five years. The impact of mobile internet was far greater than the impact of PC internet on business and our everyday lives. The next wave of technology, one consisting of wearables, has the potential to revolutionize people and businesses in ways never dreamed.

As part of the movement, tracking one’s self through new wearable devices or embedded sensors has the potential to empower individuals to live healthier and fitter lives through analyzing rich, detailed information about the activities they are partaking in.

For wearables to become the most valuable to the consumer, it needs to embrace the increasing Internet of Things. Wearables need to be able to transform big data into data that delivers insights and suggestions. In a world today driven and centered around convenience; the next big technology will have a human centered design, one that creates a simplified user experience and an easier means to achieve goals. 

Technology seems to be revolutionizing the fitness and health industry already and it is exciting to think of the possibilities to come. Companies like Nike with their Nike+ platform and Fuelband along with start-ups like Fitbit with their Flex and Force see this potential as well.  According to ABI Research, 30 million wireless wearable health devices were purchased in 2012 and they project that number to be 160 million in 2017.  Many people have already jumped on board with new wearable technologies and interest is only growing. Not only is this a huge new market opportunity, but it’s a chance for established companies and startups to create deeper engagement and relationships with their customers unlike ever before.

Listed below are four simple things many fitness enthusiasts and strength coaches suggest impact your overall fitness:

1.      Focusing on quality vs. quantity

2.      Tracking your progress

3.      Becoming more educated about your workout

4.      Concentrating exercise and nutrition

Tracking goals and progress is a key component to sustaining a workout program. Monitoring progress helps provide motivation and puts metrics to improvement. The problem is that tracking has been a fairly manual process that takes time and is inconvenient. As a result, people tend to not stick with it.

Now to address quality versus quantity during workouts. Many people when working out or going to the gym lack technique and consequently lose out on potential muscle growth. Technique and path of the bar should be the focus of on most lifts. Again the tracking aspect of this is the problem. A device would need a rich and complex data tracker to provide helpful input into fitness and health plan.

The exciting thing is that all of these problems are solvable by technology. Over the past couple years the health and fitness industry has been exploding with new start-ups and established athletic brands investing heavily in new technology products, applications, and digital services. Companies that provide a full platform ecosystem solution to help people achieve their health and fitness goals will be the winners in this market long-term. Early products and digital services are doing great job of making simple tracking and monitoring easy through small wearable bands or watches that easily synch to your phone or PC and a digital app service. The Nike Fuelband, Fitbit Flex, and many more capture steps taken, calories burned, synch wirelessly to your phone and PC and present data with simple and easy to read graphics. These devices have limitations though and don’t serve to improving your workout as a whole.

Current trackers have limited data that lacks richness and quality. Most are simply measuring movement like steps taken and distance traveled through a 3-axis accelerometer. Exercise activities that do not have significant movement like weight training and yoga do not get much, or any credit. There are a few companies that have added optical heart rate detection for intensity and altimeters for stair climbing. A few start-ups claim to be working on tracking metrics more involved with weight training. This is a good step, but additional new sensors and algorithms are needed for gathering the entirety of exercises. Automating and use of real-time data tracking will be critical to the success of new technologies in the next few years.

The most important aspect of this new emerging market is the transformation of big data into data that delivers insights and suggestions. In a world today driven and centered around convenience the next big technology will have a human centered design, one that creates a simplified user experience and an easier means to achieve goals. 

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