Feature Article - November 2018
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Find Your Fit

Fitness Equipment Goes Functional & Other Trends

By Deborah L. Vence

Maintenance Ideas

Of course, one of the most important things that every fitness facility needs to do is to conduct regular maintenance and sanitization of fitness equipment.

And, fitness industry experts shared some ideas on the best ways to maintain equipment.

"First, make sure to purchase full commercial or light commercial equipment, based on anticipated usage," Nibbe said. "Then follow the manufacturer's recommendations, and train staff with a schedule of regular maintenance. It's definitely worth the effort to keep equipment clean and perform preventive maintenance so machines last longer.

"Also, asset management programs on cardio equipment … are an invaluable way to measure machine usage, help avoid potential maintenance issues and be made aware of and address service problems immediately and efficiently," she said.

Sherman stressed the need for fitness facilities to provide a way for users, members, exercisers to clean and sanitize before and after exercising on fitness equipment.

His unique holder invention, for instance, can attach easily to all strength training and cardio equipment. The idea is for equipment sanitizing supplies to be right at every exerciser's fingertips.

You can "leave behind germs. Sweaty hands have been on the handle," he said. "The need to clean and sanitize on a regular basis is mandatory."

Premoistened wipes are another option many fitness facilities provide to help members clean up after themselves, but location is everything. Cleaning supplies that are not near equipment or attached to it lessen the chance that someone will clean it up after a workout.

"To count on the staff to follow up and do that, that's not generally part of anyone's job description," he said, adding that the idea is to put supplies on each piece of equipment. Exercisers then don't have to walk across the fitness center to look for cleaning supplies.

Someone who has a cold or the flu and uses an elliptical machine and doesn't clean it afterward, for example, puts the next person at risk for catching the virus.

Sherman noted a fitness club that used his unique holder, "and it was remarkable," he said. "Every person cleaned their equipment. It was fascinating, [and] remarkably wonderful to see [that] for the sake of the club."

"Maintenance should include the most convenient, accessible, safe and sustainable way to do it," he said.

Regarding maintenance of outdoor fitness equipment, Mendelsohn added, "Like any other public amenity, periodic inspection is the key. The new outdoor fitness equipment is designed to be durable with minimal to no maintenance. Much like the brakes or tires of a car, occasional replacements of footrests or other parts will be needed based on frequency of usage. But all in all, the new designs are durable and designed to last."