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virtual plane simulator last month, at Cox Green Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The Dogfi ght virtual plane simulator is connected to a recumbent exercise bike and is designed to bridge the gap between exercise and entertainment. Users propel the plane by pedalling and control the simulator via spring-loaded handles. Graphics and sounds “instantly transport the user to the breathtaking world of virtual fl ight”. There’s a choice of futuristic aircraft in

which users can undertake their mission, with environments including a hostile winter landscape, a tropical archipelago, a cityscape and a desert. Once the player has mastered the art of fl ight, battle commences: users compete against other players in the gym for an adrenaline- pumped game of aerial combat. Duncan Lawson, director of Instyle

Fitness, says: “The fi tness industry is notoriously hesitant to accept new changes in technology, but doing so is vital if leisure centres are to maintain interest from new generations. Today’s young gym- goers demand to be entertained and kept mentally motivated during a workout; Dogfi ght is the perfect solution.”

guided training But is there a danger that too much entertainment might put people off their workout? Star Trac seems to think so and has responded with a personalised workout led by a professional running coach. Offering more than one million workout options, the Star Trac Coach programme has been embedded into the E-TRxe treadmill and goes hand-in-hand with the increased industry focus on the benefits of personal training. “Treadmill users tend to choose their

workout programme, then listen to their iPod or watch the TV, so never engage 100 per cent in their workout. They zone out, concentrating more on what they’re listening to or watching rather than pushing themselves further, increasing speed, intensity or inclination,” says Star Trac Europe MD


Matt Pengelly. “Star Trac Coach engages with them from the beginning of their workout to the end. This is the fi rst programme to offer real-life training to each individual user, providing them with a better workout experience and helping them achieve greater results.” Pengelly says the launch was inspired

by the success of the eSpinner, a Spin bike for the gym fl oor that offers instructor- led workouts members can follow in their own time, via the personal screen. MyRide, with its Livestrong-branded

bike distributed by Matrix, also offers coaching in the latest version of its software. Launched at LIW, MyRide v3.0 offers high-quality graphics, with a range of scenery through which to cycle; a MyRide app store will also be launched, offering more rides for download. However, the key focus is on coaching. Workout programmes can be entirely personalised, and encouragement is based on a modifi ed version of RPE (rate

Read Health Club Management online at

A Precor survey found that 66 per cent of members get bored during their CV routines

of perceived exertion) to ensure no user groups are alienated. Also offering motivational advice are

two new CDs from Audiofuel. These take members through well-constructed running programmes: high tempo music specially composed to match the running stride, combined with voice coaching.

staying relevant People are now used to carrying around their own stock of music, checking social media accounts whenever they want and watching their favourite TV programmes when it suits them. Clubs will have to embrace this shift in behaviour to keep the ‘i-generation’ motivated. kath hudson

october 2010 © cybertrek 2010

The fitness industry is

notoriously hesitant to accept new changes in technology

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