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The Life Fitness Journey (above and right) uses zones to simplify the gym fl oor and make workouts as easy to follow as possible


created so that people exercise in methodical zones, providing a whole body workout and utilising all muscle groups. This eliminates the need for other gym equipment, as members will have received a full workout within their


‘Journey’, saving space as well as creating a cohesive look in the gym. Jonny Sullens, portfolio director of Leisure Industry Week (LIW), says:


“We know that a lot of operators will be visiting LIW in September to look at ways to turn empty space into a profi table area. A functional training zone may be the answer, and at LIW this year we will have a number of exhibitors in the PTontheNet Small Group Training Zone, who will be on-hand to offer advice on the latest equipment.”


technological trends Advances in technology and users’ expectations have also played a big part in the changing face of the gym floor in recent years. Pengelly explains: “In years gone by, you would find rows of cardio equipment facing a bank of TVs, but with the advent of new technology, members can choose to immerse themselves in personal entertainment offered on equipment – personal TVs and iPod control, for example.” Equipment with iPod docking


and personal TV screens are now commonplace in gyms, and members


august 2010 © cybertrek 2010


have come to expect these features. But now, interactive options are taking entertainment a step further and helping clubs to compete with the outdoor exercise market. Matrix Fitness Systems will soon launch


the latest version of MyRide – a bike with accompanying software that allows users to feel the benefi ts and emotions of outdoor cycling, but within the gym, via a screen on which your avatar cycles through various terrains in response to your efforts. The new technology has been developed in conjunction with the LIVESTRONG cycle, endorsed by Lance Armstrong, and has been designed to create a neat interactive workout pod. However, as technology has


developed, it has become increasingly hard to encourage young people to put down their games consoles and take part in physical exercise. Suppliers such as SHOKK and ZigZag have tried to combat this problem by putting equipment such dance mats into gyms, with contemporary music and fun moves designed to make exercising fun. Kieran Murphy, marketing director at


SHOKK, says: “We recognise that using the most up-to-date technology plays a vital role in the battle to get more young people into physical activity. Ten years ago, gyms were very adult-orientated places, but our concept offers young people the perfect outlet to exercise


and challenge themselves. Our branding is vibrant and fresh and we create an environment that isn’t just about exercising but also about having fun.”


meeting needs It’s clear that design and technology have been key areas of focus among fitness equipment suppliers in recent years. The gym floor has become more streamlined, more inclusive and more about the needs and comfort of the user.


Leisure Industry Week (LIW), which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on 21–23 September 2010, will host hundreds of suppliers showcasing their new product launches. For more information, please visit www.liw.co.uk


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 61


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