The ChurchFitness.com 2010 New Equipment Showcase
By Rob Killen

I can hardly believe that yet another year has almost come and gone. There is definitely some truth in that the older we get the faster time seems to go. As we conclude 2009 with the holidays it’s a time for us to enjoy good food, spend time with family and take in our favorite sporting events. After all the fun and good times are over, we are faced with the arduous task of adhering to our New Year's resolutions. For many of us, our number one New Year's resolution will involve losing weight.
Here are a few of the latest and greatest pieces of commercial exercise equipment you may find in your local health club or faith-nurturing fitness center to assist you in reaching your weight loss goals. If your fitness center doesn’t already have these exercise machines, they should seriously consider adding them soon. The members and staff will appreciate it. When used consistently, the following four pieces of equipment can help you achieve your fitness goals and go a long way in helping you keep your New Year’s resolution.
Star Trac eSpinner Bike
The popularity of Spinning® (also know as indoor cycling classes) has grown over the years. As a result, facilities have begun to place Spinners® in the main cardiovascular area of their facility, outside of the group studio environment. The new eSpinner was designed to meet the need for a Spinning-based cardiovascular product that can be utilized by all members any time they want, instead of only during a spin class. The eSpinner provides a true Spinning experience through video coaching and motivation in a true virtual Spinning class format. It’s also ideal for people who have a desire to participate in a spinning class, but may have felt intimidated to attend one. The eSpinner provides the perfect introduction to the Spinning experience. Star Trac has equipped each eSpinner bike with an easy to use touch screen, providing comprehensive programming, entertainment and made for iPod® technology. The eSpinner is built on the platform of Star Trac’s most popular group cycle, the NXT.
Clients who try the eSpinner may learn for the first time the benefits and motivation that Spinning can provide. The eSpinner videos feature a Spinning instructor who will guide the rider through the workout just as if the person were in a class. Beginners are encouraged to view the bike setup and safety video before riding. Additional information for beginners is available at Spinning.com.
The Spinning videos are embedded within the computer. This computer builds a customized workout depending on the energy zone, time and level selected. The video instructor guides the rider through the workout with tips on technique, hydration and inspiration. Due to the unique video programming on the eSpinner, and the rider’s ability to choose different energy zones and time, there are literally thousands of potential combinations of rides varying between 20 and 60 minutes. The eSpinner offers a broad variety of rides to meet the needs of beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercise enthusiasts. The eSpinner is truly unique and will certainly offer something for every type of client looking for coaching, guidance, motivation and entertainment.
Octane Fitness – Pro3700 Elliptical
Octane fitness is the first company dedicated exclusively to elliptical training machines. Though they have only been in the fitness industry for around six years, Octane is quickly garnering the reputation for making the best elliptical machine in the industry. The Octane Pro 3700 model is their third generation elliptical training machine. The Pro3700 elliptical is the first club model to feature Octane’s unprecedented Converging Path handlebars, which are ergonomically designed to deliver the most effective, comfortable workouts. The Pro 3700 also features Octane’s patented MultiGrip handlebars, allowing the users five different positions to hold during their exercise session, and convenient fingertip controls on the moving handlebars.
The lower body on the Pro3700 can be adjusted to a stride length of either 20.5” or 24” to accommodate the majority of health club members. Soft grip pedals and even closer pedal spacing at 1.8” optimize comfort.
New customizable interval programs add motivation and challenge for users – from beginners to elite athletes – and convenience for trainers. The ease of use, variety of programming options, and smooth fluid motion make the Octane Pro 3700 the best elliptical machine on the market.
CYBEX BRAVO FUNCTIONAL TRAINER
No report on the best new fitness equipment in the industry would be complete without mentioning the name Cybex. Cybex International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment for commercial and consumer use. Cybex is unique in that it was the first exercise equipment manufacturer to get its start in the medical and physical rehabilitation markets. The Cybex product line is designed using exercise science to reflect the natural movement of the human body. Cybex fitness equipment is engineered to produce optimal results for users from the first-time exerciser to the professional athlete. Cybex has a world wide reputation for manufacturing some of the finest fitness equipment in the industry. The Bravo Functional Trainer and Total Body Arc Trainer could arguably be their best two pieces.
The Cybex Bravo Functional Trainer is a total training solution offering more than 300 different exercises that enhance strength gains, movement coordination and core integration. A recent independent study was conducted by the Department of Kinesiology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. It showed Bravo users experienced nearly two times the core muscle activation of traditional cable training, while being able to lift the same amount of weight as in a fully stabilized position. These significant advancements make the machine ideal for elite athletes, as well as casual exercisers who want to train their upper and lower bodies in the most efficient and effective manner. Bravo provides more options and versatility than any product in its class, and only occupies a 6' x 6’ area. Bravo’s patent-pending design incorporates two unique features that completely alter the approach to functional training: The Progressive Stabilization Pad allows users to incrementally modify their stability, introducing specific challenges for different functional tasks. The Cable Width Adjustment lets the height and width of the cables to be adjusted. This means the direction of resistance can be completely controlled.
Cybex 750A/DA - Total Body Arc Trainer
Okay, I admit that it’s not exactly fair to call the Cybex Total Body Arc Trainer “new” since it’s been around for several years. However, the Arc Trainer is still considered by many industry experts to be the single best piece of cardiovascular exercise equipment in the industry today. Fitness Management Magazine issues the Nova7 award annually, which names the “best in category” for equipment manufacturers, as well as other areas in the fitness industry. The Arc Trainer won the prestigious Nova7 award for two consecutive years.
The Cybex Total Body Arc Trainer is essentially three machines in one, allowing users to exercise for strength, power, endurance, cardio, and weight loss. The Arc Trainer offers up to 100 ranges of resistance, and 20 different incline levels. At the lower incline levels, the “glide” is a cross country skier. In the mid-range levels, the motion is a “stride” (like an elliptical except with proper positioning). At the high levels, it has the “climb” of a stepper or climber. A variety of programs also make the Arc Trainer fun to use. The versatility of the Arc Trainer makes it the workout of choice for beginners or heavy-duty cross trainers.
Cross training refers to working various parts of the body by combining different exercises in a variety of ways. Typically one activity or sport trains certain parts of the body but not others. Cross training aims to eliminate this. Cross trainers are generally non-impact machines – sometimes called “ellipticals” – which refers to a specific motion. All ellipticals are cross trainers but not all cross trainers are ellipticals. Research shows that the Arc Trainer burns more calories than any other cross trainer or elliptical tested.
The science behind the Arc Trainer’s big calorie burn is the Arc motion. It engages the right muscles – quads and glutes – that demand lots of energy from the body during exercise. This results in greater caloric expenditure during your workout session on the Arc trainer, as opposed to other cross-training machines. The Arc pattern of motion allows the hip and knee to move synchronously, while the foot stays under the knee reducing joint pains and providing a more comfortable workout. With the movement pattern of the Arc Trainer being less stressful to the joints, it can be used longer without putting a strain on the knees, hip or back. Personally, I have just one piece of exercise equipment in my home – the Cybex Total Body Arc Trainer!
Do you want to find the latest and greatest fitness equipment of 2010 in your fitness facility? If you are a member then talk with your fitness center owner or director. Your input and regular positive support are important in their equipment purchasing decisions. If your job is to bring new exercise equipment to the fitness space you manage then talk with an equipment consultant to take these machines for a test drive. Remember that new additions keep your facility fresh and your members eagerly inviting their friends to join them. It looks like 2010 is going to be a great year to exercise.
Rob Killen is a 20-year veteran in the health and fitness industry. Rob received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Wayland Baptist University in Texas, and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Rob regularly consults with health clubs, and has a passion for helping churches looking to develop fitness ministries. For any assistance in planning or growing your church fitness ministry, Rob can be reached directly through churchfitness.com .

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