Web Exclusive - April 2013
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Freshen Up Your Fitness


Spring's as good a time as any to freshen up your fitness programs and equipment. Whether you're ready to upgrade your equipment, or you're looking for a new program idea to fire up your membership, you should look no further than the recent IHRSA 2013 conference and trade show in Las Vegas for a roundup of ideas to add a bit of spark to your plans. Here, we take a look at just a handful of announcements coming out of the show:

Enablers

Fitness equipment is increasingly getting connected, from mobile applications and touchscreens to personalized tracking and more.

Precor unveiled enhancements to its Preva, an open platform networked fitness solution, including an iPhone application that allows exercisers to track their fitness regime no matter where they are (including workouts on non-Precor equipment), an RFID-enabled fob that allows exercisers to sign in quicly via any Precor 880 cardio line console without manually entering personal information, and a new communications capability that allows operators to send targeted messages to exercisers while they're working out.

The Preva open platform delivers a state-of-the-art fitness experience to exercisers and a competitive edge to facility operators. Networked P80 consoles on the 880 cardio line include all Preva features and are updated remotely via the Internet when new features become available.

Octane Fitness added its exclusive Embedded Touch Screen to the incredibly popular LateralX (LX8000) lateral elliptical machine, providing users with more entertainment choices and workout feedback for greater interactivity and motivation. The Embedded Touch Screen benefits health clubs with enhanced asset management via easy interface and automatic updates. Meanwhile exercisers can enjoy a library of thousands of on-demand TV shows and music videos, movie trailers, news and sports content, as well as the ability to create on-the-spot playlists, or plug in their iPhone or iPod.

And exercisers can enjoy these entertainment options without losing track of their intensity and progress. The Touch Screen simultaneously displays entertainment and live workout statistics, with several workout views available.

The LateralX offers smooth 3-D motion that goes from a vertical elliptical stepping motion to an adjustable side-to-side motion for total body workouts that utilize 10 varying planes of motion. It's a great way to shake up a routine and burn more calories.

And Life Fitness announced its free LFconnect mobile app, which automatically tracks calories burned and accesses custom workouts. The app works seamlessly with Life Fitness treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and other cardio equipment to provide exercisers with meaningful workout results tracking to achieve their goals. The app also features manual strength tracking and GPS.

It's an extension of the brand's LFconnect website, lfconnect.com, which allows users to choose preferred workouts, fitness goals and machine settings from home, so that personalized options can be instantly accessed at the gym.

Kettlebells

Kettlebell training, which has been around since the 1700s when Russian strongmen first started incorporating the equipment into their routines, has seen growing interest in the past several years. A recent study from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that kettlebell training not only builds strength but also improves aerobic capacity, core strength and dynamic balance.

To boost interest and excitement about kettlebell training in clubs across the country, Pivotal 5 has acquired and intends to revitalize the popular KettleWorx program. Pivotal 5 kicked off at IHRSA 2013 with a group training model for the popular KettleWorX three-dimensional training program, designed specifically for fitness facilities.

"Kettlebell training is incredibly effective and suitable for anyone. However, it faces a stigma of being overly intensive or just too difficult for mainstream consumers or group fitness to use as their primary means of exercise," said Adam Schumacher, president and CEO of Pivotal 5. "This assumption is completely untrue and with KettleWorX, our goal is to demonstrate how fun and effective kettlebell training can be for consumers of all levels and expand the market for kettlebell group fitness training like never before."

Intervals

Finally, Universal Pictures International Entertainment and fitness program producers Big Shot productions have joined with Tabata, which is now a licensed exercise system based on research findings from Professor Izumi Tabata.

Tabata is recognized as the father of high intensity interval training, and the official Tabata system will be launched in America and the United Kingdom as a group exercise class, based on the Tabata Protocol of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This method has been scientifically proven to increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.


For more information about IHRSA and other industry news, visit www.ihrsa.org.