Back in September BSX announced their Gen2 version of the BSX Insight device, which determines your lactate threshold without any invasive pricking for blood. More relevant to the Gen2 version though is that they introduced the ability to broadcast and record muscle oxygenation information from the device, bringing it on par with their primary competitor.
First introduced at Interbike 2014, the BSX Insight is a wearable monitor that could determine lactate threshold, also known as anaerobic threshold. Then, earlier this year, they taught it a new trick by figuring out how to also measure aerobic threshold, which let you fine tune your training zones. Now, it’s gone to graduate school and learned how to also measure muscle oxygenation, which will show you exactly when you’re ready to attack.
BSX Athletics debuted its second generation BSXinsight product line at Interbike on Wednesday 16 September 2015. Heralding the new and updated product launch, the company noted that this is the world’s first wearable to track lactate threshold and muscle oxygenation, and is ‘changing the way athletes train’.
The BSX Insight is the first wearable lactate threshold sensor and the result of the work of founders Dustin Freckleton and Nithin Rajan of BSX Athletics. The goal of BSX Athletics is to help athletes train smarter, not harder, through the use of lactate testing, which has typically been limited to professional/elite level athletes.
This year I got my hands on a BSX device, the world’s first wearable lactate threshold test. I was super stoked about getting this so I could test myself easier without going through a 20 minute all out effort. So far, I’ve tested three times since I received the unit. Once at the beginning, once before my second 70.3 of the year and again in June. Each time I tested with the purpose of knowing the most I can safely push in a race and still be able to run well off the bike.
Endurance athletes love data. Competitive long-distance runners, for example, know all kinds of stats about their heart rate, pace for different race lengths, and even how much contact time their foot has with the ground at each step. But one measurement that's been difficult to record until now is an athlete's lactate threshold, which helps determine training intensity. What used to involve going to a lab, or buying a $200 portable meter and repeatedly pricking your fingers or earlobes to draw blood over a 30-minute period, now takes little more than the BSXinsight ($299-$419) and a heart rate monitor.
I’m a attracted to the technicalities of training more than the actual training, and I’m always on the look out for a gadget that might reduce the need for the latter.
I was immediately attracted to the BSX Insight campaign on Kickstarter, not only because it’s a cool new sporty gadget but also because it offers insights that should enable me to train smarter (where training smarter means training less). Perhaps not less than I currently train but less than a very eager, yet clueless runner.
If you're not familiar with what your lactate threshold is, that's the point during exercise at which lactic acid accumulates in your blood stream faster than your body can get rid of it. Being able to keep exercising at the same intensity while maintaining a low amount of lactate production means you're improving in fitness, BSX says. The company also said that the lactate threshold is considered the gold standard of performance measurement by professional athletes.
When you're doing an exercise upon yourself, your body generates lactic acid, the levels of which are considered to be the most accurate way to measure your performance during a workout. Unfortunately, you can only test lactate levels with a blood test and some heavy duty equipment, at least, that was the case until now. Kickstarter success BSXinsight is now beginning to ship its wearable sensor that's designed to provide the same information just by scanning your blood vessels.
U.S. Cycling Report
Once in a great while something new comes along that can revolutionize the way racers train. A new Kickstarter-funded company, BSX Athletics, has a new product called BSX Insight that offers the possibility of improving training results the way the heart rate monitor and the power meter have.
After a highly successful Kickstarter campaign ($121K for a $50K goal) and thousands of the finger pricks they hope to make obsolete, BSX Insight is preparing to ship their lactate-sensing calf sleeves to their early backers. Soon, these endurance athletes will be able to check their lactate threshold while running or cycling – without a trip to the lab, and without shedding a drop of blood. We talked with BSX Insight co-founder Dustin Freckleton to get the latest on what’s been happening in the lab, and what we can expect to see down the road.
At Interbike, BSX Athletics introduced the BSXinsight, a wearable, fully external lactate threshold monitor that measures your threshold using LED light. You hop on the trainer, start the workout on your phone and proceed to crush yourself for 30 minutes. The result, as originally planned, was that you’d then know your anaerobic threshold.
Athletic Time Machine
In an earlier post, I blogged about polarized training and my belief that many athletes train too hard and don’t give themselves enough recovery. Specifically, too many athletes train everyday close enough to lactate threshold but not enough to stimulate its development. This leaves them with lots of fast workouts in their training diaries that leaves them slow and injured on race day. But this isn’t to suggest that lactate threshold isn’t important– in fact, no matter what training philosophy you follow, lactate threshold is still considered the single most important predictor of race performance in races lasting between 15 minutes to 2 hours. It’s an incredibly important number to know– you just have to know how to use it in training and racing.
Alison Kreideweis sat nervously on the edge of a treadmill at Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City, on Dec. 1. She’d volunteered to help demo a new wearable device that measures an athlete’s lactate threshold, but slipping on the BSX Insight was the easy part—the device, which uses near-infrared light to measure blood oxygen levels in muscle, tucks into a compression sleeve worn on the calf. BSX Athletics president Dustin Freckleton wanted to compare the old and his new lactate threshold tests side-by-side, which meant drawing her blood at three-minute intervals as she ran.
Last week while at Interbike I got the opportunity to spend an evening with the crew from BSX. They’re an upstart sports technology company that recently completed a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for their BSX Insight device which allows you to complete lactate threshold testing on your own, at any time, without the usual fees or typical blood-driven procedure.
They offered to run me through two tests concurrently. They’d be simultaneously completing a traditional lactate threshold test with all the drawing of blood and bells and whistles, while at the same time attaching a prototype BSX device to my calf to gather data. They’d then formulate the results at the same time and show me the differences (if any).
Last spring we reported on BSX Athletics Kickstarter campaign regarding a new wearable device called the Insight, that was designed to measure a cyclist's lactic acid levels, along with heart rate, pace and cadence while riding.
As previously mentioned, unlike other wearable devices, the Insight doesn’t go on a wrist. Instead, you wear it near your calf in a compression sock. The Insight then sends data wirelessly to a sports watch using the ANT+ protocol. Currently, ANT+ doesn’t have a standard way to send lactic acid information, so the team at BSX has created a bit of a hack. Though, they're working on getting the standard updated.
Fitness. Health. Feeling great. Those things don’t just pop out of thin air. They take hard work and this weird thing called perseverance. After all, the phrase “no pain, no gain” is not referring to the pain of putting pizza in your mouth to gain 1,000 calories or so. The only thing being, hard work is just so, well, hard! Luckily wearable technology has gone all in on making physical activity easier than ever before, well not easier per say. It’s still annoying and hard, but wearable tech helps us at least get the most out of it and know exactly what we are doing and for how long and for what reason. Now there is a new fitness tracker on the block and it may just be the most feature packed one of them all.
Thanks to innovative technology, athletes can monitor important stats to help them improve on their form. The new Kickstarter campaign for the BSX Insight athletic monitor is said to be the most powerful monitor since it combines the activity measurements of four different devices into one sleek package. Not only will it record your heart rate, pace, calories burned and cadence (as other monitors do), but the BSX Insight will also record your Lactate Threshold, which is your athletic horsepower. It’s also the first and only wearable device that features a smart sensor that can sync with ANT+ so you have more flexibility on the go when you want to check your stats on your sports watch.
The device lets you know in real time, whether you should speed up, slow down or even rest since it looks “inside” your muscle during physical activity to measure real bio signals that will determine how hard your body is working and then compare it to how hard it should be. By pairing it with your sports watch, you’ll be able to get the most out of your race or game day. This will help athletes redefine their capabilities and continually set new personal records and goals, pushing them to their max. Not only will the BSX help athletes, but it’ll help provide important info to coaches. There are three editions of the device: Runner’s Edition thats capable of measuring and maintaining lactate threshold profiles for a single user; Multi Sport Edition that includes both running and cycling profiles and has enhanced capabilities that allow a user to measure and simultaneously maintain multiple lactate thresholds for each of their sports, plus other advanced metrics like bike cadence; and finally the Team Edition that’s designed for multiple users and can hold up to 10 profiles at the same time on a single device, which is perfect for coaches.
What is your Lactate Threshold? Chances are you don’t know, but if you’re a serious athlete who runs or cycles, it could be just the key to improving your endurance and strength.
BSX Insight, based out of Houston, is the first-ever Lactate threshold monitor, meaning it analyzes the the composition and health of your actual muscles as you’re working out over time.
This is usually a blood-based test that involves needles and labs, but BSX Athletic has developed a light-based system to take the measurement instead. The wearable, which attaches to your calf muscle, uses LEDs to measure the tissue inside your leg, from the muscle itself to the capillaries to fat layers, and everything in between.
BSX Insight grabs that sample multiple times per second to create a unique readout of what’s happening inside that muscle at any given time.
Plus, the device measures things like pace/speed, heart rate, cadence, calories, and even oxygenation status.
The company has been on Kickstarter for less than a week, and has already raised nearly $40k of their $50k funding goal. According to the team, this will allow them to focus on the software side of the company.
As a competitive runner, I’m always on the lookout for new wearables that provide insight to my training. BSX Athletics, a Houston-based company that provides cloud-based training plans fits the bill with its Kickstarter project for the Insight: A wearable device that measures lactic acid in your muscles along with heart rate, pace and cadence when running or biking.
Unlike many other health wearables, the Insight doesn’t go on a wrist. Instead, you wear it near your calf in a compression sock. The Insight then sends data wirelessly to a sports watch using the ANT+ protocol. Currently, ANT+ doesn’t have a standard way to send lactic acid information, so the team at BSX has created a bit of a hack. They are working on getting the standard updated, however.
There may be no industry impacted more by wearable tech than the fitness industry. Wearable devices are the hot new item in the tech world right now and sports and fitness experts are using them to take an analytical approach to training, game-day performance, recovery and injury prevention.
The latest wearable athlete sensor to hit the market, the BSX Insight, is the world’s first lactate threshold sensor for athletes. By measuring lactate threshold, along with traditional endurance metrics like heart rate, cadence, pace, and calories, BSX Insight provides an unprecedented look at an athlete’s fitness profile -- all from a single device that pairs with sports smartwatches.
While finishing medical school, Dustin Freckleton was working on a new technology project that measured the muscular recovery in patients when he realized there was a crossover opportunity for endurance athletes. A few years and a few degrees later, Freckleton and a business partner launched BSX Athletics in 2012 to offer a wearable lactate-threshold monitor for cyclists and runners that pairs with Garmin computers and watches. Today, BSX launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding to put the units into production, and to expand compatibility to other computers and watches.
Mounted inside a calf compression sleeve, the BSX Insight monitors lactate threshold via a light array shined into the calf. "Each type of light interacts dfiferently with different type of tissues," Freckleton said. "Some reflect light, some are absorbed. Based on those interactions of distortion and absorption, we are able to determine what is going on inside the muscle."