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club ents


The Entertainment Experience


Julie Fisher takes a look at some of the recent innovations in the area of in-club entertainment


R


esearch conducted by Leisure-net Solutions found that 78 per cent of us experience some boredom


when exercising on CV equipment – but with the advancements of entertainment technology at our fingertips, surely this doesn’t have to be the case? How are manufacturers helping to keep fitness enthusiasts engaged and motivated?


IMMERSION OR DISTRACTION? According to Duncan Lawson, owner of Instyle Fitness: “It’s all about ‘mental engagement’. If we engage the brain in an activity while working out and have fun at the same time, we can get fit. It’s that simple.” Michael Rice, CEO and founder


of Trixter, agrees: “Consumers want something fun, different and engaging. They want to be motivated – stimulated both mentally and physically – and they want social interaction. We’re living in an increasingly less social environment, and our fi tness regimes need to offer something more than solitary training.” Introducing competition allows


operators and suppliers to incorporate this sort of social element. Clubs such as Virgin Active and SLM are using Trixter Xdream bikes to run race nights and inter-club challenges – a


Above: Precor’s new touchscreen, and (left) Trixter’s Xdream bike that can race bikes in other clubs


april 2011 © cybertrek 2011 april 2011 © cybertrek 2011


cost-effective way for operators to engage with members and keep them motivated at the same time. Meanwhile, following fi ve years of


development, Instyle has launched WebRacing software and a bespoke bike to showcase it. The app is compatible with any CV equipment, including rowers and cross-trainers, with features so realistic that you can not only see and feel the terrain, but also the changes in resistance as you slipstream behind and then overtake another racer. Equipment can either have its own touch-screen PC or connect wirelessly to a server, providing virtual racing within a club or inter-club live over the web. However, Rice is quick to point out


that easing boredom must not distract from the workout itself. “By distracting people we dull the brain, thus dulling the physical effort put into the workout. Just distracting them won’t make them work harder,” he says.


“Virtual sport is the true future for the gym, when people are engaged and involved – even immersed – in sporting simulation and where each workout is a competition against yourself.”


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 67


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