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THE CHANGING FACE OF THE GYM FLOOR


With Leisure Industry Week fast approaching, we take a look at some of the exhibitors’ innovations that can help transform the gym floor


T


he gym floor has changed dramatically over recent years. Competition from virtual workouts and outdoor boot


camps means that equipment suppliers have had to adapt their equipment and match the requirements of the new technology-savvy member. Classes are no longer kept in studios, equipment is inclusive and functional, and it’s now all about usability and innovation.


evolving offering Matrix Fitness Systems has risen to the challenge of the changing gym floor by developing products that meet the needs of not only the user but the gym too. Its G7 Strength Range is compact and has a uniformly low weight stack height, creating a more consistent and


less intimidating line of sight across the gym floor. The range also takes up less room, thereby increasing floor space and creating a more open, appealing feel. Commenting on the evolution of


the gym fl oor, Jon Johnston, MD of Matrix Fitness Systems, says: “In recent times we’ve seen a marked increase in competition for gym membership sales, as prices fall in response to the economic downturn. Add to this the increased demand for inclusive fi tness equipment, limited space for new kit, and the popularity of non-gym-based activities and virtual workouts, and it’s clear that fi tness equipment suppliers need to adapt their provision to address market needs.”


functional fitness There’s also been a growing demand for more functional equipment. Star Trac responded to this by developing its HumanSport range, which includes several different exercises options on each machine, allowing for a full workout within a relatively small floorspace. Matt Pengelly, MD of Star Trac Europe, says:


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“More and more clubs are looking at alternatives to standard weight machines, wanting equipment that offers a wider range of workout varieties. Clubs we’ve been working with have found that the HumanSport range of cable-based equipment has helped to bring this to the gym fl oor by offering pieces of equipment that provide unlimited training options.” This type of equipment has been used


to create functional training zones – something that’s being witnessed with increasing regularity across the board in UK gyms, from Virgin Active to DW Sports Fitness. David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), meanwhile, has increasingly been running classes on the gym fl oor, so the need for compact exercise machines and multi-use cable equipment is high. DLL has also seen an increase in


group training areas within its clubs, with new offerings from equipment suppliers assisting in the creation of motivating new zones: kettlebells and suspension training systems such as the TRX are prominent within its health clubs. DLL says members want to work out with innovative products that get them results quickly and more effi ciently, but with the fun factor of working out in groups and with the benefi ts of having a trainer present to tell them how to achieve their desired results. Commenting on the changes at DLL,


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health and fi tness manager Rob Beale says: “We’re now holding more classes on the gym fl oor, including ViPR and Power Plate sessions, because we’ve found that groups of members working with a trainer creates a buzz within the gym. It also helps build the sort of member-to-member relationships that we usually only see in the studio. “The fl oor sessions are also great for


encouraging more men to attend classes, as they often have a wrongly negative impression of studio classes.”


maximising space Space appears to be an ever-increasing issue on the gym floor, especially when exercise is frequently being taken out of studios. The Life Fitness Journey was


60 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital august 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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