Challenged by new technology (read: ellipticals) and an industry cardiovascular juggernaut (read: treadmills), stair climbers have lost some of their luster in recent years. Usage and sales are down, but that doesn't mean there isn't innovation in the category. Knowing they need to help keep this staple piece of equipment state-of-the-art, several manufacturers have put some high-energy R&D into building a beter stepper. Take a look below and see some of the newest introductions in this still-important category.
Cybex International offers the 800S-CT, which provides the club and user the ultimate in performance and reliability. The patented, cable drive system provides smooth and quiet stepping while the ergonomically designed handrail is ideal for correct and comfortable positioning. The wide selection of programs and speeds makes the 800S-CT ideal for every club member. Contact: Cybex International, 10 Trotter Drive, Medway, MA 02053; 888-GO-CYBEX; www.ecybexintl.com.
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Contact Healthline if you are in the market for a commercial stair stepper. We carry all major brands, for example — Precor, Life Fitness, Tectrix, StairMaster — just to name a few. All of our steppers are at least 50 percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price. We do a complete off frame restoration giving all our equipment an unbelievable new feel and look. And, it's all under warranty. For more than 12 years, Healthline has been helping thousands of people get the exercise equipment they want, both cardio and strength, at a fraction of the price they would have paid for new equipment. Contact: Healthline Inc. 8 A Wrigley, Irvine, CA. 92618; 800-325-1968; www.healthlineinc.com
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The TC 1000 climber by SCIFIT features oversized (15"×7"), rubberized, comfortable footplates, V-belt drive and friction-free electromagnetic brake. The contact heart rate is Polar compatible and is cordless. Ergonomically designed handlebars provide multihand positions to accommodate beginners as well as advanced athletes. Contact: SCIFIT, 5151 S. 110th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74146; 800-278-3933; www.scifit.com.
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SportsArt America's 7100 climber delivers a solid, premium feel and silky smooth resistance. Self-leveling footplates reduce ankle stress while 28 resistance levels and multiple programming options deliver an incredible variety of workout options. Both contact heart rate and HRC are standard. There is a self-generating power supply. Contact: SportsArt America Inc., 19510 144th Ave., NE, Suite A-1, Woodinville, WA 98072; 800-709-1400; www.sportsartamerica.com.
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Since the introduction of the original StairMaster stairclimber line in 1983, StairMaster has set the standard for high-quality, high-performance fitness products. Our stairclimbers offer several innovative benefits and features. The FreeClimber 4600 PT/CL is the newest in state-of-the-art climbing exercise. It features a patented design and great feel — packed with new features including soft pedals that offer the ultimate in comfort. New, easy grip upper-body handles with contact heart rate, provide maximum user comfort. The ergonomically designed side handrails are incorporated to accommodate a wide range of fitness levels. Contact: StairMaster, 1886 Prairie Way, Louisville, CO 80027; 800-829-9993; www.stairmaster.com.
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Due to an editorial oversight, American Leisure was omitted from the Club Industry Top 100 (July 2002) despite returning its form by the editorial deadline. With revenues of $20.5 million the company, which owns one club and manages another 62, saw growth of 3 percent for 2001. This information would have landed the company in 29th place.