Our story

Performance Lab changes lives through fitness and wellness coaching. A pioneer in the use of monitoring technology, Performance Lab built the first commercial sports lab in the world 20 years ago, and since then has collected data involving tens of thousands of athletes and users at all levels. For 15 years data was collected largely in the lab; for the last five years it has been collected exclusively in the field using wearable sensors, providing Performance Lab with a vast amount of unparalleled domain expertise. Bringing together this unique perspective with sports science, coaching and technology to understand and formulate the correlations between data, activity types, and performance results, Performance Lab created the ARDA Coaching Engine.

Performance Lab has been using and refining its ARDA coaching methodology as the foundation of its corporate health and wellness services, with tremendous success. Of the hundreds of casual sportspeople and sedentary individuals we have trained for a half marathon, 90% of the participants reached the start line – and every one of them finished. These rates are triple the industry average.

The ARDA Coaching Engine was conceived by Performance Lab co-founder Jon Ackland, an internationally regarded exercise physiologist and sports performance consultant whose clients include world champions and world record holders across a number of disciplines. Including: Terrenzo Bozzone, triathlon; All Blacks, rugby; Team New Zealand, America’s Cup; and the New Zealand national triathlon, rowing and cycling squads.

Our senior team

  • Waynne Dartnall

    Chief Executive Officer

    After starting a number of businesses in his teens and twenties, Waynne has worked primarily in the IT and Telco sectors. He has been the architect and driving force behind some of the most successful network and systems management service offerings in New Zealand and the UK, establishing and growing new multi-million dollar businesses.

    Waynne has also founded, grown and sold a number of start-up companies, including Network Solutions, EMS Global and Bizo. Along the way, he has completed several VC funding rounds, and has received a number of technical and business industry awards, including the selection as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

    +1 435 754 9446 (USA mobile)

    +64 27 445 0365 (NZ mobile)


  • Jon Ackland

    Co-Founder, Chief Science Officer

    Jon is an internationally regarded exercise physiologist and sports performance consultant with more than 20 years of experience in high performance analysis, prescription and motivation. He enjoys outstanding results with his athletes, with multiple world titles and international success across rowing, triathlon, cycling and America’s Cup (sailing) squads. Jon is the author of nine books on high performance and endurance training, two of which are used as University texts (the best-selling Power to Perform and Complete Guide to Endurance Training).

    In the area of sports performance technology, Jon is a prodigious serial inventor and has developed a wide range of successful training systems and products. An experienced sportsman himself, Jon is a former national rowing champion and Ironman triathlete, and has represented New Zealand at two World Ironman Championships.


AI and Machine Learning for Exercise

All of a sudden it’s trendy rather than scary to talk about artificial intelligence and machine learning. So in this post I’ll explain how delivering …

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Software is becoming the wearable kingmaker

One of my favorite software innovations is the mouse. Nope, it’s not much of a hardware innovation. Devising a user interface and user experience that …

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It’s a jungle out there

A lot of fitness wearable ventures are currently focused on delivering what I like to call ‘lab tests in the wild’. That is, they want …

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Our TGE white paper and associated documents can be found here.

Contact us

To learn more about ARDA AI Coaching Platform, please contact us using the form below:

Research, development and user testing is led from our New Zealand headquarters


NZ Postal Address
PO Box 33 1338,
Auckland 0622,
New Zealand

Market development is led from our US base

US office +1 435 754 9446


Are you interested in Software engineering, Hardware engineering, Biomechanical sizing, Physiological testing, Mobile respiratory analysis, GIS, Mobile development? If so we’re interested in you too. We only work with the best. If that’s you, please submit an application to careers@performancelab.co.nz for us to consider.