The newest fitness equipment is interactive, personalized and, most importantly, effective.
By Laura Carson Miller and Linda Domingo
“By far the most impressive machine is the AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer),” says Steve Hall, director of Fitness and Squash at Sea Island, where new Precor equipment was installed in December 2012. “It’s a unique piece to Precor—basically a hybrid elliptical, Stairmaster/Stepmaster and Arc Trainer allowing a full range of motion with zero impact.” The Precor equipment is the newest addition to the modern facility, which also includes indoor pools, Pilates, personal training and yoga. “Our clients are impressed with all the functions and options the new pieces offer, and how ‘distracting’ the TV- and Internet-capable console is, for making the workouts go by more quickly,” he adds.
Just as mobile phones and tablets put a world of information in the palm of your hand, fitness equipment—such as treadmills, ellipticals and exercise bikes—are following suit, embracing the latest in technology and connectivity. From touch screens to iPod connections to sensors that record useful information (like calories burned and heart rate) that can be shared over the Internet, equipment manufacturers are implementing high-tech capabilities to keep users engaged.
At the forefront of this trend is Precor, a company that designs and builds premium fitness equipment. Sea Island Life sits down with Precor Consumer Marketing Manager Jeff Hall to discuss the changing face of fitness and how to plug in and maximize your workouts.
Sea Island Life: What different capabilities are we seeing with modern, high-tech fitness equipment?
Jeff Hall: Networked fitness equipment is coming of age now. Most significant is the personalization that is possible from this technology. With touch screens and video on the new machines, exercisers can get much more information about a specific workout. The newest machines also offer HD video content, Internet connectivity, RSS news feeds and iPhone connectors.
SIL: What are some of the ways this new equipment keeps exercisers coming back for more?
JH: Studies suggest that about one-third of health club members quit each year. Often it’s because a person fails to get guidance—the blending of fitness and technology makes greater personalization and education possible. It makes the saving of all your workout data easy and accessible. For instance, a personal trainer can create today’s workout plan for you based on the workout data that’s been uploaded to your profile. This is great for frequent travelers, as you can now work with your personal trainer when you aren’t even in the same city!
SIL: How can users of the new high-tech equipment maximize its benefits?
JH: With all of the tracking now possible to record and analyze, it’s easy to see progress, set goals and stay motivated. The outcome is exercisers who will remain more engaged and achieve the results they want in a safe and time-efficient way.