New Fitness Accessories Energize the Group X Toolkit

These novel training tools from IHRSA suppliers are keeping health club members interested and engaged.

Enthusiastic crowds continue to flock to group X classes, attracted by fresh programming and imaginative new accessories that enliven virtually every exercise format—from aqua, to Pilates, to HIIT.

“Given increasingly demanding consumers and the competition for group X enthusiasts the strongest it’s ever been, operators who want to engage and retain people have to introduce and use novel and interesting training tools,” says Rachel Young, the head of training and education for Escape Fitness.

Companies Respond to the Need

Equipment Merrithew Stability Barrel Lite column

Merrithew’s Gliding Motion and Mobility Disks, and Flex Band Loops—all small, lightweight accessories—complement yoga, Pilates, and barre sessions, and have been incorporated into the company’s new Total Barre workshops.

“Health clubs and studios have a daunting task. They have to constantly engage with their members, and, simultaneously, attract new clients in a highly competitive environment,” says Lesley Hopps, Merrithew’s vice president of education. “These products animate their programming to keep classes compelling and fun.”

“Health clubs and studios have a daunting task. They have to constantly engage with their members, and, simultaneously, attract new clients in a highly competitive environment.”

Lesley Hopps, Vice President of Education

Merrithew - Toronto, Canada

JumpSport’s Fitness Trampoline with Quick-Release Handle Bar features an added handle bar to fitness trampolines provides stability and facilitates fusion classes that combine barre and cardio exercise. The company’s new rolling storage cart makes it easy to transport and store up to 12 units.

Appropriate for pools and open water, the AQUA Stand UP inflatable paddleboard is used in the Creative Fitness Company’s unique stand-up paddleboard aquatic trainings. The programs, choreographed to music, include ones for muscular conditioning, yoga, Pilates, and HIIT.

Accessories that Can Handle a Hit

Equipment 19 CV Jumpsport morning workout column

An IHRSA 2019 morning class uses Jumpsport equipment.

Enhancing functional movements by adding resistance, the TRX Power Bag ergonomically shaped soft bag can be lifted, carried, dragged, or slammed. Its seven handles comfortably accommodate a variety of exercises.

“We devote a lot of time and energy to evaluating the user experience, in order to design quality accessories that we can offer at an attractive price point,” says Nick May, the vice president of sales for TRX.

Escape Fitness’ new Thai Bag is ideal for mixed martial arts (MMA) and Muay Thai routines that incorporate kicks, punches, and knee and elbow blows. Suspended from strong material straps, it’s quieter than traditional chain-strapped bags. The firm’s STRONGBOX is a compact, all-in-one, adjustable bench, plyo platform, and equipment storage unit that facilitates quick transitions between exercises.

“Health clubs,” says Young, “are always looking to increase their ROI, which means maximizing floor space and offering more engaging classes. Utilizing innovative high-quality accessories that deliver exciting workout experiences helps make that possible.”

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This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.