A new workout incorporates heart rate monitors and tablets to keep you in shape without getting hurt. Could Fitwall, which is attracting exercise buffs from kids to professional football players, be the next fitness craze?
Ready for a random confession? I'm addicted to Zumba.
I admit this embarrassing fact to help build the case for workout trends that may be written off as fitness fads. I'm well aware that I look ridiculous trying to duplicate my Zumba instructor's fancy footwork and complicated cumbia steps. Still, I show up at every class because it's fun, and more importantly, it doesn't bore me. I can't say the same for putting in time on the treadmill, which is why I was interested in trying Fitwall.
This new workout has its fair share of trendy hallmarks. It's one and only studio is located in a posh neighborhood in San Diego, and it proudly boasts a cashless environment -- you sign up and pay for classes on your mobile phone. Then there's the workout equipment itself. The Fitwall looks like a server rack or an over-sized, heavy-duty, metal magazine rack. It's 8 feet tall and weighs 500 pounds. When you walk into the Fitwall studio, you'll see 16 of them and next to each one is an iPad (read CNET's deeper dive on the tech, here).
Finally, at the end of the workout, participants are rewarded with a lavender and mint-infused towel and a shot of coconut water. Skeptics may think that sounds like a lot of style over substance, but Fitwall is being used by serious athletes, from professional football players to aspiring Olympians. To see me attempt an Olympic-level workout, watch the video below.