(Pocket-lint) - Effort-based fitness tracking system Myzone has teamed up with Zoom to launch a new feature to boost struggling gyms after the pandemic.

With more of us preferring to take exercise lessons from home, not all gyms open and capacities down, MyZone’s solution is to bring live classes to you within its app as part of your gym membership. 

Called MZ-Remote, the tech is currently being used in 177 gyms across the UK and enables affiliated gym owners and operators to recoup at least some of their lost membership fees by holding capacity classes – even if many of those taking part in the class are not able to be physically present in the gym. 

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The benefit – versus just following a class on YouTube - is that you get real-time biometric feedback and personalised coaching from a trainer. Other users won't see you in action (or inaction!), but you can see the effort they are making during a workout. Oh, and you don't need a Zoom account of anything, it's integrated into the app. 

MyZone is a fitness tracking platform that rewards you for effort rather than calories burned. It works using a bespoke chest strap but the app will still sync your data to other services such as Apple Health or Google Fit.

To use MZ-Remote you can join a facility – your gym – within the app which enables you to see the workout stats of others who have joined your facility. So you can still be connected to your fellow gym-goers and get motivation from that – your effort is translated into Myzone Effort Points (MEPs).

We had a go at one of the virtual classes using the MZ-3 chest strap. One thing we noticed during our own intense workout was that our efforts quickly took us to the upper echelons of the percentage scale, but the system will re-evaluate the effort levels depending on your workouts and tailor them to you. 

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Users book onto classes using the MyZone app as well – you just log on before the class begins with your chest strap attached. 

Different levels of effort are represented by different colours on screen – the Yellow zone represents 80-89% of maximum heart-rate and while you don’t get coached on specifics, you do get encouragement from the class leader to up your game if you fall behind. 

MyZone

The effort ratings for other participants do seem quite small on a phone screen – even on the iPhone XS Max we were using – and MyZone recommends you mirror your phone’s screen to your TV using a device like an Apple TV.  

Use of MZ-Remote and solutions like it could also see gyms introduce new business models Underground Gyms owner Sol Gilbert says that MZ-Remote has enabled it to bring in an “on-demand subscription service with a free trial that will give [users] access to two MZ-Remote sessions a week, live stream classes as well as other content.” 

MyZone has around 1.5 million users worldwide. 

Writing by Dan Grabham.