Club Industry Expo 2009 Recap
The Club Industry Expo is a great place to play with the latest fitness gear and software. While bigger companies like Life Fitness and Star Trac took up most of the expo floor, smaller companies with tinier booths were displaying some fantastic products.
For the second year in a row I attended Club Industry Expo at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. Product choice was sparse and the few companies I was hoping to see (live Pneumex and Vita-Mix) where not there. I went on Saturday this year, and I bet I would have seen a lot more companies had I gone earlier in the week. Even though there were fewer products this year than last year, I still found a few hidden gems for us personal trainers and aspiring athletes.
Woodway was this year showing off their new SpeedBoard line of motorless treadmills. The curved design of the running surface allows for easy acceleration and deceleration at your own pace. This makes high intensity interval training very easy to do. World of warning: I tested the floor model while there and found this style of treadmill takes some getting used to. For a brief moment I felt like I was going to fly off the back of the machine. But I think that was because I’m not familiar with the equipment and not because of a design flaw.
Going up against Lynx Performance Grips is newcomer Gripad. What makes this a great alternative to workout gloves is the finger loops to prevent sliding and slipping. These simple neoprene pads eliminate sweat, won’t stain your hands and are machine washable. Plus you can order them with custom logos!
If you thought foam rollers couldn’t get more advanced, think again! The TP Massage Ball, TP Footballer and TP Quadballer were specifically designed to target trigger points and muscle spindles to aid in relaxation and recovery. Trigger Point also developed a new foam roller they call The Grid, which offers various foam densities across the length of the roll. This allows you to quickly adjust pressure during your workout.
So you want a climbing wall but don’t have time to build it yourself? Instead of dedicating an entire room to your vertical sports, why not just buy a pre-build, fully adjustable rotating wall? Their latest designs are specifically designed for at-home use and comes with a variety of hand holds. This is a great way to improve your grip and increase your upper body strength.
And my pick for Best In Show:
FITNESS VIDEO GAMES
Let’s face it: Americans love video games and hate going to the gym. Luckily, new products from distributors like Exergame Fitness and iTECH are blurring the lines between workout and play time. Creative solutions like large-group Dance Dance Revolution, the Lightspace Play Floor and Makoto agility arena are setting a new standard for video game makers and fitness facilities. Products like these are giving Nintendo’s Wii Fit a run for its money and are bringing a level of friendly competition back into adult fitness. A lot of these products are backed by research and can become terribly addicting to play over and over.