X-Force Debuts in U.S.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN — X-Force's line of fitness equipment designed for negative-accentuated training made its U.S. debut in March at the IHRSA 2009 conference in San Francisco. The strength training machines feature a weight stack that tilts to 45 degrees when an individual initiates a positive stroke. When the exerciser shifts to a negative movement, the weight stack automatically tilts back to the vertical. The Swedish company said this negative-accentuated approach creates greater muscle stimulation for added strength, since the weight load increases in the negative phase.

E-mail Program Launched

CORNELIUS, NC — Retention Management launched a new prospect e-mail program as part of its member communication service. An expansion of its automated e-mail services, the program provides clubs with the tools to increase sales traffic, according to the company. The program includes an easy-to-use Web interface to create text or HTML prospecting e-mails. It also includes follow-up with guest traffic, lead lists and former members. In addition, e-mails sent through Retention Management's certified systems are designed to get past spam filters.

ClubCount Takes Off

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — In March, Les Mills International introduced its new ClubCount software at IHRSA 2009 in San Francisco. The Web-based program allows club operators to track group fitness class attendance in real time and gauge participation levels over time. It also lets operators see which instructors and classes are the most popular, a feature that can help guide programming decisions.

Three Million Fitness Balls Recalled

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with EB Brands, Yonkers, NY, announced last month a voluntary recall of 3 million fitness balls sold under the Bally Total Fitness, Everlast, Valeo and Body Fit brands. When overinflated, the fitness balls can unexpectedly burst while in use, causing the user to fall. EB Brands has received 47 reports of fitness balls bursting, including reports of a fracture and multiple bruises.

The recall involves rubber fitness balls sold in 55-, 65- and 75-centimeter diameter sizes in various colors and with a pump and inflation instructions. Advertised as “burst-resistant,” the fitness balls were sold in department stores and by fitness retailers nationwide from May 2000 to February 2009 for between $15 and $30.

Consumers should call EB Brands at (800) 624-5671 or visit the company's Web site for more information.

Spin Fitness Acquires Bodyblade

VENICE, CA — SPIN Fitness (Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc.) now has the exclusive distribution rights for the Bodyblade core strengthening tool product line. Combined with the online retail presence, distribution relationship with Star Trac and global reputation in the fitness industry, SPIN Fitness will expose the Bodyblade system to millions of new users, company officials said. SPIN Fitness said it plans to roll-out new products and education to enhance the experience for the nearly one million people that already use the Bodyblade.