The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) convention offered enough interesting technology that this month I'm continuing with more product offerings from the show. Many smaller manufacturers made a great first showing and improved technology on their products while some larger players provided offerings worth mentioning.

ClubCom (www.clubcom.com) and FitLinxx are collaborating to enhance ClubCom's suite of media, facility management and other data services. The joint initiative enables ClubCom's health club clients to benefit from ClubCom's media and facility management services while integrating FitLinxx's Intelligent Exercise products. All services are managed through a single ClubCom server connected to ClubCom's network operating center.

Checkfree (www.checkfree.com) combines online club management software, electronic payment processing and outsourced management of billing and member services. It allows Internet and in-club kiosk access to personal accounts and workout plans. The system uses Internet-based club management software, possibly eliminating the need for an in-house computer network infrastructure, which could save clubs time and money. The system generates a monthly summary of club activities. It can also report on missed billings and provide a profile of the club's most profitable members.

Expresso Fitness (www.expresso.net) introduced Internet-based capabilities for its virtual reality-enhanced Spark fitness bike. Users can create their own IDs and customize their workouts. They can race against their best performances or those of other members. Workouts are collected and riders can review their progress on their Web site. The system also can be used as a Web-based portal for personal trainers where trainers can review client activity, offer online hints and benchmark fitness levels.

The EZ Facility 3.0 trainer management system (www.ezfacility.com) is a scheduling, management and reporting tool for facilities that offer personal training via a monthly Internet software service. The product schedules bookings, calculates trainer payroll and commissions, and manages customer account information, invoicing and payment tracking (printed or e-mailed). Speaking from experience, this can save a great deal of time for personal trainers.

FreeMotion Fitness (www.freemotionfitness.com) introduced the FreeMotion treadmill and elliptical trainer. The treadmill is powered by a direct rear velocity system, which is a rear-drive motor system that provides additional cushioning when combined with urethane deck isolators. The motor system pulls rather than pushes the treadbelt, which the company says creates consistent belt tension alleviating some of the stress on the bearing and rollers that may result in less maintenance.

Life Fitness (www.lifefitness.com) showcased 11 new pieces of circuit training equipment that provides easy access, push-button resistance selection and low starting resistance for seniors or those unfamiliar with strength equipment. The company also upgraded its treadmills including a more convenient location on the ergo bar for incline and speed adjustment buttons. Their units also include preprogrammed “go system” buttons to make changing speeds easier and to produce higher maximum speeds. A stride sensor detects when a user leaves a machine and stops the belt after a brief delay.

Stoplight Solutions (www.stoplightsolutions.com) offers TimeFrame, which includes a 40-inch LCD touch screen that provides instant access to client's information needs. The system is placed in a facility so members can access real-time information about a club's classes, promotions and services.

Virgin Life Care's (www.virginlifecare.com) HealthZone system allows users to track their blood pressure, weight, BMI and body fat. Users also can input their workouts and access a personalized account via the Internet to earn rewards (monetary and vouchers). Virgin Life Care markets the system to corporations for their employees and locates the HealthZones in partnering fitness facilities.

Motion DNA's Bio Trainer (www.motiondnacorp.com) offers technology for wireless motion analysis. Up to four wireless electromagnetic sensors are hooked to an athlete's body. The sensors track angles, velocities and rotations in real-time during physical activity. The BioTrainer system then analyzes the data and generates a customized report. Motion DNA can identify physical limitations and provide each athlete with exercises to improve their performance and reduce risk of injury. The feedback is immediate and can be integrated in real time with the athletes and their trainers or coaches.


Gregory Florez is CEO of FitAdvisor Health Coaching Services and First Fitness Inc., which was rated as the No. 1 health coaching online training service by The Wall Street Journal. Gregory can be contacted at gregory@fitadvisor.com.