The first Fitwall studio is now open, in La Jolla, Calif. CEO Josh Weinstein shows me around the unusual space and explains that members check in via iPad when they arrive, which obviates the need for a standard reception desk.
The Fitwall studio features 16 Fitwalls, aka vertical training modalities, with attached iPads. Athletes wear a heart rate monitor that communicates via Bluetooth with the iPad. The iPad displays the athlete's heart rate and a workload number, which is an algorithmic calculation of how much work you've accomplished during the course of the workout.
Weinstein invited me to join an intense group session with co-founder Ethan Penner and coach Amy Heidbreder. Most sessions are 40 minutes long and involve a mix of 14 foundational wall movements and some off-the-wall band work as well. Most exercises are performed for 30 seconds or 1 minute and are followed by a short rest period.
The Fitwall frog position. On the wall, pictured from left to right: CEO Josh Weinstein, CNET reporter Jennifer Van Grove (me), co-founder Ethan Penner, and coach Amy Heidbreder. Coach Clif Harski acts as choreographer.
Coach Clif had the group do a few floor exercises. Though we weren't on the wall, our heart rate monitors were still communicating with the iPads on the Fitwalls so we could still monitor our workload.