Balancing Exercise Advancements with Basic Needs: Training Zone Solutions
The days of the basic treadmill as a compelling fitness equipment option are long gone. People who care about fitness, whether it’s their own, their family’s, their guests’ or their community members’, are looking at how to meet specific needs and how to invest in fitness efforts that have lasting value for their training zone solutions.
Sophisticated biometrics are popular, alongside old school fitness basics that bring back the youthful days on the playground. Fitness and the results of exercise have become much more exact sciences, where every decimal counts, and trying to combine advanced trends with basic needs takes precision, planning and creativity.
While more sophisticated equipment continues to come out on the market, the end user is being drawn more and more to less complicated products thanks to fun fitness and functional fitness trends like Obstacle Course Racing and CrossFit. Basic barbell movements are integrated into advanced routines with digital equipment that rivals some video game complexity.
At recent fitness equipment trade shows, we picked three of the more promising products that are bridging the simple/sophisticated gap that end users are responding to today.
In any fitness facility or gym, the more versatile a piece of equipment can be, the more people may find it useful. TRX’s new rack system, the TRX Studio Line lets you build your own system using different components that combine weight training, suspension options, storage and other functional possibilities. You can use one bay or build a whole system to meet the needs of group classes, dynamic training or self-guided fitness programming. TRX’s new Training Zone solutions include bridges, bays and corner units that provide storage and training options to fit multiple styles and programs. Display graphics of exercises and even an optional video of self-guided exercises can guide participants through the regime of their choosing.
The many different ways in which the TRX equipment can be configured, and the literally endless possibilities of fitness exercises that can be done with those configurations, makes it a top pick for facilities looking to meet a wide variety of specific fitness needs. No matter what training program you’re doing, the tools you need are at your fingertips, organized in a way that maximizes every inch of floor (and wall) space.
The second precision product that caught our attention is called the Tire Flip. Despite its name, it’s not a carnival ride or a dance move, it’s literally a space saving device that replicates the old school fitness tire flip exercises you may see in a functional training or crossfit-type gym. The reason it stands out as a product that meets precise needs, is that it allows users to customize the weight resistance in measurable increments. With the Tire Flip you can add up to 40 pounds of weight plates on top of the 100 pound foundation, or you can use the Tire Flip 180XL which starts with 160 pounds and can reach 240 pounds with added weight. You can’t do that with a regular tire!
There’s no longer a need to troll the local junk yard for a tractor tire to drag into the gym (after you clean it up of course). This product turned a basic product into a precision performance piece by making it multi-functional and space-saving – even though it doesn’t lend itself quite as easily to selfies with a gritty, earth-mover tire that they can brag about flipping during their workout.
“We love the strong visual and basic grittiness of having a fitness tire in the gym, and our clients love it too, but it’s huge, smelly, messy and inconvenient to work with,” said Eddie S., a local gym owner in Galveston, Texas. “There’s something really industrial about it that we love, but if we could find something smaller and easier to work with, to get the same kind of heavy-duty workout, that would be great.”
To round out the top products that stand out in this category in 2017, we focused on a different kind of innovation in the fitness equipment space – which speaks to the desire that today’s end users have to be entertained while they work out. The new Life Fitness Discover SE3 HD console is a leading-edge high definition readout that lets end users have the best screen to interact with while they workout. With the only 1080p touch screen available, Life Fitness’ SE3 displays entertainment or HD television with top quality precision. The first HD fitness console, users can watch the game, exercise along the virtual landscape of their choosing, or maybe even sing along with music videos with the high resolution display of the SE3 console in front of them.
As you can imagine, these ultra-graphic consoles require an HD Signal (via cable, satellite or Internet), but HD television options are becoming widely available in competitive fitness outlets. The SE3 HD console doesn’t up-convert standard signals to HD, so it’s all HD on these ultra-modern screens.
Orders for the SE3 consoles are being taken now for first deliveries at the end of May, so you might see these popping up in facilities near you as summer gets going.
There are dozens of other products and trends (i.e. 24 hour options, flooring advancements, outdoor training spaces, etc.) that are ever-advancing in the specific value that they offer as part of any training zone solutions.
Much like new car models, there are continual advancements on the horizon with training zone solutions trying to keep up with the engaging trends of today’s fitness enthusiast. These are our top three that stand out from the spring shows, but there are many more to choose from. It’s all about what you have, what you need and precisely what value it can bring to your end-users’ experience.