I started the first part of my research by asking myself this question:
Is a mat a suitable piece of equipment for what I want to achieve?
What I know so far is that a mat can be used for a range of lower and upper body exercises. However, the truth is that a mat is usually used for laying down and doing abs. This is the challenging part. How can you do abs on an interactive mat when you are not facing it and therefore are unable to see the information displayed on it?
Thankfully, some lovely Personal Trainers from Pure Gym were happy to be interviewed and to help me out with my research. I came up with a few questions related to the structure of HIIT classes, the importance of pace, synchronisation and recovery time and their observations regarding people giving up during a class.
Today's interviewee is Bisma. The interview was conducted contextually, as it took place in her working environment. It was a great idea as she showed me a few exercises to consider for my mat and gave me plenty of ideas for the future.
Bisma said that she definitely plans the routine of her class and that she does not synchronise the beat to the music, as she is really bad at following the beat. She just plays the music and performs the workout. According to her, people tend to manage during a class but she makes sure there is time for recovery.
When asked about my concept and how I can overcome the "abs" challenge, Bisma revealed the following, very important insight:
Planks and crunches work out the same muscle.
To illustrate an example: This is a crunch, a common exercise performed on a mat.
This is a plank, which works the same muscle as crunches but you are required to face the mat instead.
The interview lasted about 15 minutes, as I didn't want to take up much of her valuable time. More interviews will follow..
All illustrations used are attributed to WorkoutLabs