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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Club Industry brings the goods— and Richard Simmons
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis
2010-10-13

This article shared 3596 times since Wed Oct 13, 2010
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The annual fitness expo known as Club Industry took place Oct. 6-8 at McCormick Place.

Attendees could attend workshops this year that featured everyone from a very animated and friendly Richard Simmons ( "Shaping a More Fit World: How to Create an Environment That Motivates" ) to Bill Rancic, who won the first season of the reality-TV show The Apprentice ( "You Don't Have to Be Corporate to Think Like an Entrepreneur" ) .

However, the exhibit once again drew hundreds of people who wanted to check out new equipment, see taut bodies—or both. Among the more interesting products were the following:

—Kickbutt Amped Energy Ballz ( www.kickbuttballz.com ) : The vendors for this product—flavored in either cherry or cappuccino—provides hours of vigor. The very chewy "ballz" are gluten- and peanut-free, and have fewer than 40 calories each.

—Kay's Naturals ( www.kaysnaturals.com ) : These products are advertised as being "delicious, made with all-natural soy protein and high-fiber. These products can help to sustain energy, manage weight loss and stabilize blood sugar." I don't know about the weight loss and blood sugar, but the items taste pretty good. Examples of products are the SnackMix, Cookie Bites and Pretzel Sticks.

—Greater>Than drink ( www.DrinkGT.com ) : This product ( which is powered by coconut water, according to the website ) reportedly delivers high-performance hydration through all-natural ingredients. After drinking this, I must say that I felt a bit more alert—although I had just eaten one of the Kickballz a few minutes earlier. Greater>Than warrants a second look, though. With the company being based in Highland Park, it's available in several locations throughout the city and suburbs, including Potash Bros. supermarket and Exhale Spa.

—Stott Pilates ( www.stottpilates.com ) : As soon as I saw an item labelled "Cardio-Tramp," I was hooked. Stott Pilates is an approach to the original Pilates exercise method developed by the late Joseph Pilates, and the informative spokesmodel ( who was increasingly friendly as the talk went on ) told me about the history of Stott as well as the intricacies of the machine and each piece. ( By the way, the Cardio-Tramp is a board that increases the workout potential for users. )

—100% Pure Liquid Egg Whites ( www.eggwhitesint.com ) : Serious fitness buffs drink egg whites every morning—but the drink is not seen as the most appetizing. This company changes that with tasty concoctions that are salmonella-tested. The whites are also kosher-approved, fat-free and, as you might suspect, protein-packed ( 26 grams per cup ) .

—Brewer's Ledge ( www.brewersledge.com ) : This company has specialized in fitness and climbing structures for more than two decades. The spokesman was more than willing to demonstrate his prowess on the wall—which you can make harder by changing the angle, which would probably give me vertigo.

—Rope Trainer ( www.marpokinetics.com ) : This was probably one of my favorite demonstrations—and it was because of the spokesman, Keith. He detailed how a deceptively simple-looking machine can exhaust you ( to the tune of 210 calories every 15 minutes ) while building various parts of your body—and he did it through demonstrations and jokes. The versatile machine allows you to do 50 different exercises for every muscle group in your body.


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