The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Entries in Product Showcase (3)


Running on treadmills now an enhanced experience

A woman runs on a treadmill during the 2014 IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show.Treadmill users in recent years have experienced many new features that improve workouts - from greater shock- absorption, to personalized routines, to abundant entertainment choices - all facilitated by technology.

Today’s treadmills offer an entertainment playground, including Internet connectivity; large, HD screens; virtual landscapes; compatibility with smartphones and tablets; and Bluetooth communication. One model from the WNQ Body Building Equipment Company in China is equipped with an integrated television.

With the rising popularity of mobile devices and apps, the demand among consumers is growing for wearable activity monitors and sport watches, and for connectivity between the treadmill and these devices for workout tracking and data capture.

“A few years ago, many of these items didn’t exist, and now they’re everywhere. Exercisers want them to sync, and clubs want this data to see what their members are doing,” reports Eric Weber, the director of sales and marketing at Woodway USA, Inc. “There’s a continued push toward connectivity, but the challenge is to fully understand what clubs want in terms of data acquisition and user interaction.”

Connectivity also helps clubs by providing automatic maintenance and service alerts that correspond with product usage.

Thanks to technology, treadmill users are expecting much, much more - features such as Star Trac’s Coach system that offers more than one million possible workouts to maintain motivation and progress.

The LFconnect app and Website from Life Fitness enable users to choose preferred workouts, goals, and machine settings while they’re away from the club, and then instantly access them at the gym, as the app syncs with Life Fitness cardio equipment. The app saves all work- out statistics, which can be shared with exercise buddies or trainers.

As Lin Yongju, the R&D director at WNQ, notes, “We need our tread- mill software to collect and record an exerciser’s training data so that, when that individual returns, the system draws upon that data to guide subsequent workouts.”

But not all improvements are electronic. Manufacturers such as Woodway continue to fine-tune the feel of their treadmills, which, in Woodway’s case, depends on its patented Slat Belt system, which reduces shock to the body without compromising proper biomechanics.

Also to maximize comfort, Sproing has replaced a treadmill’s moving belt and deck with a soft, customizable, cushioned surface to significantly reduce joint impact. “This is a better mousetrap, boasting the caloric burn of a treadmill, but less impact than an elliptical,” points out Paul Toback, the CEO of Sproing Fitness.

For even more treadmill options, visit IHRSA Buyer's Guide.


A peek into health clubs of the future

The year is 2040, and your members want a workout. They leave their homes, climb into their personal piloted drones, and head for your club. They park their vehicles beside others in a clean, well-lit garage, and step onto the moving sidewalk to be transported into the building. They enter the lobby, which is airy and open and crafted from environmentally sustainable materials.

At the front desk, they’re greeted by an avatar, their virtual trainer, who knows exactly how many times the member has worked out during the past month, how well they slept last night, what they ate for breakfast, and that they opted to fly to the club today.

The virtual trainer has gleaned all this information from the member’s wearable – or, perhaps, even embedded – fitness-tracking device, and has already programmed a workout for them. Perhaps it’s a ses-sion on the treadmill, or one with free weights, or a group interval class conducted by another avatar. The trainer knows the member’s short- and long-term goals and current, real-time status, and has the perfect workout ready.

Welcome to the club of tomorrow!

See how some in the fitness industry feel the club of the future will look.

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Under Fire! Yoga and Pilates professionals rise to the challenge to ensure students’ safety  

“Don’t do yoga.”

This somewhat surprising admonition appeared in the January 5 edition of The New York Times as part of an article entitled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.” It has, predictably, sent shockwaves rippling through the fitness industry. 

The story was excerpted from The Science of Yoga: The Risks and The Rewards, a new book by William Broad, the Time’s science writer. The book details Broad’s discussions with Glenn Black, a yoga instructor with more than 30 years of experience who teaches classes at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a nonprofit wellness organization based in Rhinebeck, New York.

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