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HEALTH Club Industry '03
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3084 times since Wed Nov 19, 2003
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Although it would almost sound like a nighttime hotspot were it not for the year in the name, Club Industry 2003 featured a lot more than some very fit bodies. The health and fitness expo, held last month in McCormick Place, had exhibits that showcased upcoming trends in food, exercise, and other related areas. (Attendees could also pay to attend seminars on everything from strength training to igniting a gym staff's creativity.)

Although I inhaled enough protein bar samples and health shakes to drop an elk, I also managed to pay enough attention to find out what's next on the health frontier. So, without further ado, here are some of the companies behind products and services that you may see or experience in your favorite health club very soon:

Strive ( The company behind Smart StrengthK and the 1-2-3 machines showcased a bevy of products, including one that doubles as an adductor and an abductor (for your legs) as well as a machine that can simultaneously work your arms, chest, and back. I felt the difference after doing only a few reps on the latter machine.

Advecor ( This company specializes in marketing strategies for health clubs. Advecor uses detailed demographic reports to help gyms target the most responsive areas.

Technogym ( Technogym, which advertises itself as being devoted to wellness, unveiled interactive products that engage all of the senses. The newest treadmill, for example, features television screens and even dispenses aromas to make exercising more pleasurable. Even more incredibly, users keep memory keys that track their workouts whenever they re-insert them into the machines.

Flex Fitness Sports ( Not only does this company have machines to help attack every part of the body, but the items come in over 20 colors.

Schwinn Fitness ( Boy, has this company come a long way. The exercise bikes sport easy-to-use handlebars, pedal resistance control knobs, cages that can hold one-liter bottles, and zinc-dipped frames that are rustproof. CarbRite Diet (http://www.carbritediet. com): If you're into Atkins and want practically nothin' to do with the carbohydrates, check out the wide variety of bars that are available. (Just be sure to read the nutrition label to make sure you get what you pay for.) You can also try a sampler pack that includes the tasty S'mores bar. Go to the Web site to get your free handbook that includes low-carb menus and recipes.

Bosu Balance Trainer (http://www.bosu. com): You may have heard of these exercise hemispheres. Trust me, these items will test your balance—and just when you've mastered standing on one, you have to actually exercise on it. If you're really insane, try handstands or clapping push-ups on it.

Lifeline USA ( The people at this company don't believe in working out with dumbbells, but in 'pumping rubber.' (Get your mind out of the gutter.) The company reps stress the importance of exercising with rubber cables to do everything from push-ups to bench presses. If that doesn't pique your interest, maybe the seventysomething demonstrator at the expo could show you the benefits. Actually, judging from his enthusiasm, I think he would come over.

Petra Body Care Experts (http:// Sometimes it's not about the workout, but what comes after it. Petra promotes everything from sunscreens to deodorants to body-reviving shampoos. I received a couple of samples and I have to say that the lotion was just about the smoothest thing I've slathered on my person. (Again, leave the gutter.)

Full Swing Golf ( For those of you about to swing, we salute you. This company promotes indoor golf simulators that allow the users to hit the ball and get immediate feedback about that slice, um, swing.

Futrex ( Most of us hate being analyzed, but sometimes it is for our own good. Futrex sells body composition and facial skin analyzers that use infrared and black light, respectively. The analyses are harmless and no one has to know but you.

Island Oasis (http://www.islandoasis. com): Get away from sodas with these tasty mixes that come in 16 flavors, including mango, peach, raspberry, ... and (non-alcoholic) margarita.

Moreover, a 12-ounce drink only has 120 calories and has 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

The No Sweat Game (http://www. This has to be the first fitness-oriented board game I've ever seen. A roll of the 20-sided die determines if you have to exercise (actually doing jumping jacks, push-ups, or something else) or if you can gamble your way out. The goal is to win the gold medal. Unfortunately, no commercial endorsements come with this win. 3D Gym Studio (http://www. .sg): This company helps fitness entrepreneurs market their clubs by presenting gyms in a 3-D layout. Visit the site to see a sample.

The Ramp ( The device is basically a small platform with sections that are different colors. The ramping program involves choreographed lunging to upbeat music. Just think dancing at Roscoe's but make it a little less aggressive. Hydrorider ( I can't shake the feeling that the idea for this machine formed when someone's cycle fell into a lake. Anyway, this unique program features the user riding a stationary bike in a pool. Not only does the water provide immediate resistance but a quick cool-down as well.

This article shared 3084 times since Wed Nov 19, 2003
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