Web Exclusive - March 2015
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Managing Maintenance, Meeting Expectations

Fitness Equipment Updates Will Satisfy Facility Owners & End Users

Fitness equipment is constantly evolving, with manufacturers making improvements to form and function that continually raise the bar, bringing a more sophisticated exercise experience to end users. This year at the IHRSA 2015 conference and trade show, however, several fitness equipment companies introduced services and product enhancements that go beyond the end user to serve the needs of facility owners as well.

Design & Layout

At the show, Life Fitness was highlighting its Life Fitness Journey—a concept focused on customized floor plans and design solutions that aim to help facilities increase retention and satisfaction for their members by creating more effective workout spaces.

"From boutique studios to large fitness clubs, today's exercisers have more options than ever when it comes to their workouts, putting pressure on facility managers to create an environment that keeps members happy and successful," said Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness, in a press release. 'The Life Fitness Journey philosophy reaches beyond our large portfolio of equipment to help facilities maximize the effectiveness of their equipment purchases and better leverage spaces to delight members so they keep coming back."

The Journey philosophy encompasses four key factors: social interaction, environment, variety and progression. Each of these factors has an impact on the way exercisers experience the gym.

According to Katy Nowak, Life Fitness facility layout and Journey manager, the ideal workout space provides enough room for social interaction and encouragement, while also offering more private spaces for more focused work.

The environment aspect of the philosophy involves everything from flooring to color scheme, as well as how equipment is arranged. These crucial aspects help create an inviting workout experience.

With variety and progression, the right equipment in the right place is key. Variety, which can be achieved via diverse and multipurpose equipment offerings, is critical for fending off client boredom, while having the latest equipment provides the precise data exercisers crave to track their success and progression.

Maintenance Managed

Also at IHRSA, Cybex included, among myriad other announcements about equipment and service updates, its new service, Cybex Care. This web-based asset management system is designed to help gym owners save money, reduce equipment downtime and manage machine usage. Available on all Cybex 500, 600 and 700 Cardio Series machines, this feature will help gym owners keep an eye on their equipment and anticipate any issues before they become problems.

Cybex also introduced the Service Wheel, an easy-to-engage third wheel that allows gym staff to rotate, relocate, maintain and clean treadmills simply, safely and quickly.

Both the Cybex Care service and Service Wheel are currently available.\

Tracking for Owners

While workout tracking has long been a key for exercisers—and has even ramped up over the past couple of years with the advance of wearable trackers that can measure everything from sleep quality to calories burned—keeping track of workouts can also be a boon for owners.

Precor's new Preva Exerciser Activity Report is a new way for fitness center operators to get a better idea of the member activity taking place on the cardio floor.

Located on the Preva Business Suite dashboard, the report provides user insights that can help them attract and retain members.

"We discovered that operators face a huge barrier when it comes to running personalized in-club promotions that keep members engaged," said Jeff Bartee, Precor principle product manager for Networked Fitness. "The Preva Exerciser Activity Report gives operators a business edge—the report offers detailed information about members' equipment usage, patterns and preferences, which operators can use to deliver personalized class and service recommendations that can help to grow business."

The Exercise Activity report provides a variety of data that operators can use to better target members and get the most out of their equipment. Some of the data provided include: usage trends, contest participation, goals and accountability for supplemental workouts.