The Science Behind AI Carol Bike
Are you ready for another piece of equipment that’s probably smarter than you?
Artificial intelligence exercise bike! Sounds interesting doesn’t it?
It looks like they have done a good amount of research, so let’s dive into the science stuff.
HOW INTELLIGENT IS IT?
The idea of the intelligence here is that the bike should adapt to whoever is riding it. In other words, it’s supposed to change the resistance, or leave it where it currently is, depending on how well you are performing – if you are fit and strong, it will expose you to more resistance. If your fitness is on the lower side, the bike will force you through less resistance.
So, in theory, whatever your age is, 25 – 80 (according to the manufacturer), you should be able to comfortably use this exercise bike. This could be quite a deal-breaker for older people whose joints might be slightly worn out to ride a regular bike.
There have been an increase in people over 60 using bikes again, especially after electric bikes came to the market. This could be a similar big deal for home exercising!
Carol bike uses the data such as your heart rate and other biometrics in combination with your performance to work out the best resistance for you to increase your fitness, but not overwork you at the same time.
HOW ABOUT THE SAFETY?
Apart from the already mentioned adaptability, Carol AI bike has a built-in safety feature that will stop the ride if any of your readings get a little off. For example, if your heart rate becomes abnormally high for your age, Carol will warn you and stop the ride.
The bioimetric data is gathered through sensors placed in handles, but some people don’t conduct through hands very well – I am a perfect example, I can never get a result on a treadmill or bike at the gym and if I do, it’s completely off compared to my Garmin watch.
Carol bike has a solution for people like me – a built-in receiver that straps to the chest belt, so there’s no need to worry about the bike not picking up your abnormally high heart rate if that should ever happen.
DESIGNED FOR SILENCE
Carol has a powerful laser guided motor and magnetic breaks that make it perfect for a home use because there’s no sound. The whole design is free of any wheels and the belt inside is totally silent, so even if you decide to work out at 5am for some strange reason, you will not disturb anyone else in your household.
You basically just have to jump on and ride. Carol does everything for you, from calculating each session’s resistance to applying correct resistance for each sprint. It will even guide your breath which is incredibly important in any high-intensity exercise.
There is also a voice to coach you through the session. It’s a lot better with a coach. I’ve once tried a virtual spinning class – the guidance to the session was written down on the screen, and it was just not the same. I think I speak for most people when I say that a coach shouting at you during a spinning class is essential.
FOLLOW YOUR PROGRESS IN THE APP
Being able to see your progress is the most motivating factor in exercise and it’s the only thing that will keep the habit going.
I’m sure you are familiar with this yourself – as soon as you see your weight decreasing or muscles growing, it’s a lot easier to keep exercising. The result is a reward and people like to be rewarded.
The Carol app is easy to read and very user-friendly. It uses something called Octane Score as opposed to more familiar VO2MAX to determine cardiovascular fitness. This measures your power per heartbeat, which is essentially means that they both basically show how much power are you capable of producing under a high intensity.
The further you run with stable heart rate, the higher is your VO2MAX.
In case of Octane Score, the more power you are capable to produce in your pedaling, the better your cardiovascular fitness is.
The app also allows you to join with Carol community and compete against each other, very much like Fitbit and Garmin watches do.
CAROL PROVED HERSELF VERY WELL IN A LAB
Carol AI bike has not just hired a good marketing team to spread the word, they back their claims by a case study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2019.
Some of the benefits you can look forward to if you use Carol 3 times a week are:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced waist circumference (belly fat)
- Lower blood pressure
- Balanced cholesterol levels
- Lower blood sugar
WHAT ARE THE WORKOUTS LIKE?
There are a few workouts you can choose from depending on time availability and intensity.
The whole workout lasts just under 9 minutes and consists of five steps:
- A warm-up
- 20s maximum intensity sprint
- Recovery period
- Another 20s maximum intensity sprint
- 3-minute-long cool down during which Carol guides your breath back to normal and lets your heart rate calm down to pre-exercise state – this is incredibly important to avoid blood pooling and muscle stiffness. I have covered this issue in another post.
FAT BURN 30
Takes 15 minutes to complete and is aimed at a weight loss goal.
It consists of a 2-minute warm up, followed by 8-second sprint and 12-second rest 30 times before Carol lets you rest.
This workout is aimed at increasing energy levels and costs you just under 9 minutes of your time.
It consist of:
- Warm-up (2 minutes)
- Sprint (10s)
- Recovery (3 minutes)
- Sprint (10s)
- Cool Down (3 minutes)
FAT BURN 60
This one will cost you 25 minutes of your precious day. It has the same structure as Fat Burn 30 but, as the name suggests, the sprint/recovery period happens 60 times instead of 30.
Don’t worry, Carol is not just a bossy bike – it will let you do whatever you want too. It will let you to just hop on and enjoy the ride. Track your distance, power and calories. You can control resistance easily on the touchscreen.
Every workout gets recorded and is available to view in the app.
There are other workouts for serious cyclists, for example:
Set up a resistance and see for how long you can keep going!
The best thing about this workout is that Carol adjusts the resistance as you go, so you don’t have to fiddle with the dials and you can focus better on the workout! The bike will know when to add resistance or when to put you out of your misery.
CONTINUOUS RAMP UP
This program automatically increases power by 1 Watt every 3 seconds – great way to determine your VO2MAX!
Here comes the hard bit – it’s not cheap.
Carol will set you back £2 995 and you need to add another £12 for your subscription every month.
I suppose it all depends on your goals and how much gym membership you currently pay for. My current gym membership costs me just over £1 500 a year. That’s not cheap either.
If I had my own mini-gym at home, I would definitely want this to be a part of it.
They often do deals which include £500 off and free subscription for a year.
Using the link below, you can get £700 OFF in total, so if you have been thinking about this bike, I’d definitely use this great offer!
This offer expires on 28/02/2021
I think it’s fair to say that I haven’t used this product myself and I am not here to give you a detailed review, I just think it’s a really cool concept.
If I was lucky enough to be able to afford a big enough house, I would definitely have a little gym there – and this piece of equipment would have a proud spot. Unfortunately I have to stick to pay gym memberships for now as one-bedroom flat doesn’t allow a space for home gym.
I’d be delighted to know whether any of you own this piece of kit and what do you think!