The editors of Club Industry’s Fitness Business Pro were able to visit just a fraction of the more than 400 exhibitors at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association Conference and Trade Show in March 2007. The following paragraphs feature information about products recently introduced in the market from the companies the editors visited (listed in alphabetical order):
Ascent Trainer: Matrix’s Ascent Trainer was designed to be the company’s smoothest cross trainer yet. It features a skinnier imprint, sleek design and easy step-through. The unit’s stride length ranges from 21 inches to 24 inches, and it has 20 elevation levels that range 30 degrees to fully engage the glutes, hamstrings and core stabilizer muscles. The product offers an adjustable incline, 25 resistance levels and minimal acceleration throughout the pedal’s range of motion, making for smooth starts and stops. Multi-position, dual-action handlebars with true contralateral movement allow arms and legs to alternate naturally and provide a total-body workout. Heart rate monitoring is available through contact sensors in the stationary handlebars or hands-free wireless telemetry.
BODiBEAT: Produced by Yamaha, BODiBEAT is a device attached to earphones that you wrap around your arm. Using a built-in acceleration sensor, BODiBEAT plays a song with a tempo that matches your running/walking speed and heart rate. If you increase your pace, BODiBEAT switches to a song that matches that increased pace, and vice versa. BODiBEAT has four settings: free mode, fitness mode, training mode and music mode. The product is due out this summer.
BODYVIVE™: Targeted to aging boomers, beginners and the deconditioned, the low-impact group exercise program by Les Mills involves easy-to-follow moves, a small inflatable ball and resistance tubes. The 55-minute class integrates aerobic exercise for heart fitness, resistance training for strength and stability, and stretching and mobility work. Phillip Mills of Les Mills International, Colin Milner of the International Council on Active Aging, and Lynn Brick of Brick Bodies introduced the program during the IHRSA show at the Les Mills booth. Brick also demonstrated an abridged version of the group exercise class.
Brainsavers®: BrainSavers is a lifestyle program to help people reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. For club owners, it can be a revenue opportunity. The program analyzes results of an online test taken by those enrolled in the program. The software then creates a program individualized to each person. The program helps participants adopt healthier habits through physical and mental exercise, support, education, nutritional guidance and supplemental nutritional products. The program can help club owners attract older members and add revenue through sale of the memberships and personal training sessions, which fit in with the physical exercise component of the program.
ECO-Powr™ System: SportsArt Fitness introduced its new ECO-Powr™ System, a treadmill drive system that is a maintenance free, self-regulating, brushless drive system. It delivers 5 horsepower of performance while using up to 32 percent less electricity than industry standard AC and DC motors. The company is offering a 20-year warranty on the motor, which is featured in all of SportsArt’s new Xtreme T600 series commercial treadmills. Scott Logan, marketing director for the company, says that a facility with 12 Xtreme T600 treadmills would save $3,000 each year on electricity.
Exerstrider: New to health clubs, this cross between Nordic (cross-country) skiing and fitness walking uses the original Nordic walking poles to exercise nearly all upper-body muscles and the core. The inventor, Tom Rutlin, says the poles help burn up to 70 percent more calories with every walk and helps strengthen the upper body, something walking without the poles does not allow for.
Lightspace® Play Entertainment System: Lightspace has offered interactive display systems to a variety of industries in the past, but now the company is bringing its Lightspace Play entertainment system to the health club industry. The product includes a 10-square-foot interactive floor surface that includes 16-inch by 16-inch programmable LED lit and pressure sensitive tiles (consisting of 16 4-inch by 4-inch pixels). The tiles light up and can sense pressure or movement, allowing the floor to react to player movements in a variety of games or activities. The system works with software located in a cabinet that can be coin-operated or free. New games can be downloaded to the system as they become available from the manufacturer. The product costs about $26,000.
MYE Download a New You FitP3 Programs: MYE Entertainment’s MYE Download a New You FitP3 programs provide club members with unlimited access to instant in-club downloads of treadmill, elliptical, cycle and motivational fitness training tracks that were created by iTrain and Kamen Entertainment Group. The programs are downloaded instantly onto member’s MYE FitP3 digital audio players using the MYE Netpulse Fitness Download Station at the club. MYE FitP3 programs include 20- to 60-minute cardio-equipment specific, motivational and music tracks. Fresh programs are uploaded automatically to the Fitness Download Station each month, providing members with unlimited access to new programming.
Nautilus One: Nautilus introduced its Nautilus One line of strength equipment with much fanfare on the first day of the trade show floor opening. The line features a dial to change the weight. The weights are enclosed in a 47-inch high tower so it hides how much weight is being lifted and creates a less cluttered look in the gym. The dial is meant to make the equipment more user-friendly and less intimidating to the deconditioned market, the company says. The new design is also meant to reduce maintenance and friction.
95TE Treadmills: Life Fitness showed off a new feature on its new 95TE treadmills: iPod integration. With this capability, iPod users can charge their iPods on the equipment while watching video on the equipment’s LCD screen. They can sync their iPods with the equipment’s LCD screen to view their playlists and video content while working out. Users can plug headphones directly into the equipment console or their iPod for audio while storing the music player in the iPod holding tray. They also can toggle between their iPod content, TV and radio.
Pro-Dual Line: Body-Solid introduced the Pro-Dual commercial equipment line, developed specifically to address the needs of facilities with limited space options, such as hotels, fire stations, office buildings and residential complexes. The new line includes 10 function-specific dual-exercise machines that can stand alone or be combined with a three-stack or four-stack weight tower to build a single multi-function gym. The 10 stations include: bicep/tricep; leg extension/leg curl; ab/back board and pec/delt.
Pro4500: The Pro4500 is the first Octane Fitness elliptical cross trainer designed for heavy health club usage that incorporates the proprietary SmartStride system. SmartStride interactive ergonomics custom fit individuals by monitoring each exerciser’s pace and direction and automatically adjusting stride length accordingly. The Pro4500 also boasts electronically adjustable stride length that enables exercisers to change strides at any time from 18 inches to 23 inches.
Progio: Companion Worlds introduced Progio, a hand-held, interactive, all-in-one fitness device that gives health club members exercise programs on a mobile device they can use while working out. The device offers coaching advice through video, audio and text. The video demonstrates proper form and cadence for each exercise. Because the device is handheld, it can be used anywhere inside or outside the fitness facility.