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club ents

On the other hand, Daniel Clayton,

vice president of international development for Matrix Fitness, comments: “Demands are being placed on health clubs – and ultimately on manufacturers – to create fi tness equipment that allows users to enter into an entertainment experience that takes their mind off the task at hand as much as possible.” Fair to say that different people

will be motivated in different ways – something Lawson noted in his research into what motivates people to exercise.

“There are those who need mental engagement – fun and distraction – and those who require integration of data: the ability to analyse and dissect performance,” he says. “Connectivity via the web is paramount to both.”

CONNECTIVITY Innovations in technology move at an incredible pace and, with interactive home fitness now a global entertainment phenomenon thanks to the likes of WiiFit, it’s no wonder gym-goers expect some degree of interactivity when they are exercising. According to Darryl Taylor, Precor

EMEA’s entertainment and services manager: “Entertainment and technology are intrinsically linked, and the future of club entertainment will naturally mirror the vanguard of entertainment technology. “Networked fi tness [equipment

that’s linked together – in club or even across a number of clubs – via the internet] opens a whole world of possibilities and promises to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of members, who rightly expect to enjoy a choice of media while working out.”

Resistive Screen

Daniel R Wille, vice president

of global marketing, product and business development for Life Fitness, agrees: “The concept of connectivity is revolutionising club entertainment. Users today want options for maximising their workout: they want immediate access to their progress, workout plans, music and video. And connectivity is going mobile. Club members want on- the-go entertainment and access to their personalised content.” The Life Fitness Virtual Trainer

website, an online workout programme and results tracker, has seen a 53 per cent increase in global use over the last year; its recently launched Facebook application, which allows users to post their workout results to their Facebook profi le, has already led to a further doubling of daily visits to the website. The company also introduced a Smartphone app at IHRSA, enabling exercisers to update their workout results via their mobile devices. ZigZag’s Expresso internet- linked bikes also have software that links the gym fl oor with social media: riders can share their milestones on Facebook and

Capacitive Screen

Twitter, challenging their online friends to beat their scores.

CAPTIVATING CONSOLES Following three and a half years of developmental research, Precor launched its new Experience Series CV range at IHRSA last month, combining award-winning cardio units with a new range of consoles, most notably the P80. The P80 console incorporates a highly robust, commercial grade

‘capacitive’ touch-screen, much like an iPhone or iPad – the user simply glides a fi nger across the unit and the screen adjusts instantly (see illustration, left). Capacitive screens are widely considered to offer greater sensitivity than a resistive screen – which requires pressure to be applied to push on- screen buttons, for example – as well as being more robust and reliable. The new console delivers a fully

integrated media experience, with a host of features from an upright viewing angle for correct posture, through new easy-to-use motion controls, to high quality graphics. It also has iPod connectivity and provides a gateway to networked fi tness, providing limitless entertainment options. Taylor points out that education can

Precor’s P80 console features a capacitive screen – the same sort of screen as on an iPhone

68 Read Health Club Management online at

also be entertaining. Fitness is foremost for Precor and the P80 features a series of tutorial videos designed to help users get the most from their training, along with a vast array of workouts, all with descriptive photography and all designed to encourage the user to try different programmes with specifi c goals instead of pressing the ‘quick start’ button. Research conducted during a trial of the new equipment found that, as a result, more than 40 per cent of users chose a new programme. Meanwhile, Technogym’s Visioweb can be used to email personalised messages

april 2011 © cybertrek 2011

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