Cardio Equipment Options Break Away from Typical and Routine

Ever-evolving total-body cardio equipment provides peak workout experiences. Here’s what gym operators need to know.

There was a time when members opted for typical 30-to-60-minute, moderate-intensity cardio routines in clubs packed with cardio machines. They did so, largely, to burn fat and calories.

The problem was those workouts were, well, typical and routine. These days, members seek both excitement and efficiency—higher intensity in less time—which presents a challenge to manufacturers to reinvent total-body cardio equipment, as well as tweak its features.

“Club operators want reliable, high-performance products that members can easily use,” says John Kennedy, the vice president of Cascade Fitness. “They must be extremely durable to support shorter routines that are much more intense.”

Novel Offerings from Star Trac, Octane Fitness, and SportsArt

Among these offerings is Star Trac’s novel Trail Hiker, which delivers low-impact natural motion via dual ramping decks with an incline-to-flat step pattern, and dynamic movement arms that simulate outdoor hiking with trekking poles.

Also new is Octane Fitness’ MT8000, a version of its Max Trainer, introduced last year, which offers a stepping movement as the user’s arms push and pull. The MT8000 also enhances the exercise experience with a smart console that offers motivation and internet access.

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“The MT8000 is designed to add variety to the cardio floor, particularly with the 14-minute Max Interval HIIT workout and the engaging Floors program,” says Ryan Simat, the company’s general manager and vice president of commercial and specialty products.

SportsArt’s Verso total-body cross trainer, which also hit the market last year, combines stepper, cycle, and elliptical motions to offer variety. At the same time, its integrated ECO-POWR technology transforms the user’s efforts into usable energy that’s fed back into the power grid.

“Members and clubs value the variability of the unit, along with the ability to make a positive impact on the environment,” says Matt Thorsen, a product manager at SportsArt.

Machines for Enhanced HIIT Experience

Seated total-body machines also are popular for HIIT regimens. Cascade recently introduced its Air Bike Unlimited Mag and Air Rower Unlimited Mag units. Both utilize progressive fan resistance, and allow exercisers to add magnetic resistance for high-RPM routines.

“These differ from traditional air bikes and rowers because they combine eight levels of magnetic resistance with air resistance for versatility,” says Kennedy.

New from Body-Solid is the Endurance Dual Action Fan Bike, which is built to withstand rigorous cardio outings with a large 27-inch fan; a heavy, welded frame; and sealed bearings.

Additional recent entries in this fast-growing category include Healthcare International’s heavy-duty AirTek HIIT Air Bike, Movement’s AirBike, and Octane’s AirdyneX.

“We’re continuing to create new total-body devices that offer exceptional workouts at a great price point,” Kennedy says.

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IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.