Canadian Startup Push Ditches Arbitary Fitness Metrics to Focus on Exertion

Ever question the effectiveness of your weight training regime?  

Meet PUSH, a startup in the sports technology realm that’s building a smart device to keep you on track. Created by Mechatronics Engineers duo Rami Alhamad and Suresh Joshi, with Industrial Designer Mike Lovas rounding out the powerhouse trifecta, the team behind PUSH is one of the 6 lucky companies chosen to incubate with JOLT Accelerator at MaRS.

We had a chance to sit down with Rami, co-founder and CEO of PUSH and he told Techvibes about his love for robots, strong hardware background and his humble “aha moment.”  
After gleaning expertise in sensors from the University of Waterloo, Rami then worked in robotic arm research for the benefit of stroke rehabilitation. As such a background might set the stage for entrepreneurial pursuits within the sports technology arena, Rami also studied Olympic weight lifting with Karsten Jensen with the University of Toronto.

As an active weight training participant, Rami ran into a common problem that many weight lifters experience: he injured himself while taking the “train to failure” route in absence of a spotter. At that point, he realized that there was a need to quantify weight training metrics at a reasonable price point—as existing products are either too high-end or outdated.

 “We want to make something that looks and feels great, is rugged, reliable and well-priced,” explains Rami, as the incoming product encompasses the needs of gym-goers who aren’t privy or specific to heavy weight training, but still have a dedicated interest in the metrics of their workout.

So here’s how it works. The smart device, which is attached to your armband, converses via Bluetooth with your smartphone while tracking your past and present training sessions in real-time. With MEMS sensors at the very core of the device, PUSH’s ability to measure exertion will help ensure that you’re prioritizing both safety and effectiveness in your weight training. 
With the surge of wearable technology in the mainstream, how does PUSH stack up against already successful exercise-tracking devices such as the Nike FuelBand or the FitBit?

“When athletes are training, they’re using metrics like force, power and velocity – and that’s what you’ll be getting with us,” elaborates Rami. Instead of doling out arbitrary measurements, such as fuel points with Nike’s armband, the PUSH technology produces metrics validated by athletes, which gives users a universal method of tracking their progress.

While it sounds like the device is looking to replace the personal trainer, Rami makes it clear that PUSH is here to empower, not replace trainers by providing real-time data on their client’s workout history.

“They’ll have a portal access to all the information collected on your phone so when your data gets uploaded to the cloud, they’re seeing things they can’t see now,” describes Rami, “such as how much force you’re applying, how balanced you are—movements that are too fast to be perceived by the eye.”

PUSH is available for preorder.