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Sports science triumphs at 2014 sportsclub trade show

This Shockwave Indo Row demonstration by Josh Crosby showed how patented technology is energizing sports business.
This Shockwave Indo Row demonstration by Josh Crosby showed how patented technology is energizing sports business.
Photo by Max Donner

Whats new? Quite a lot in the world of sports business. Today’s International Health and Racquet Sportsclub Association trade show at the San Diego Convention Center is generating sales success with innovative equipment and fitness training tools that put sophisticated sports science to work. Both club managers and fitness devotees are impressed that superior technology can give them a competitive edge.

A standout technology exhibitor is Vectra, which features 35 patents for its exercise equipment. The key is simplicity. Vectra’s patented level adjustment technology transforms a single bench press into a multi-routine workout mini-gym by converting the elements of the bench press into eight different versions. Vectra’s patent for release at a fingertip improves the precision of distance settings on resistance equipment. Vectra’s cable and pulley technology is so effective the company profits from licensing it to other fitness equipment manufacturers. Vectra promotes its “Made in the USA” technology and manufacturing expertise.

Another American sports business showed how its patented technology is transforming one of the world’s oldest and most traditional sports into a high-tech training tool. Shockwave demonstrated the Indo-Row Studio Rowing Machine, which uses encased basins of water to replicate the experience of rowing outdoors in indoor sports studio environments. The technology approach to fitness has broad appeal because rowing is one of the few sports that athletes of all ages pursue avidly. In addition, overweight and even obese individuals who are trying to lose weight and shape up adapt easily to fitness through rowing, because their excess weight strengthens their legs over time and gets their rowing exercise programs off to a confidence building start. The Indo-Row Studio Rowing Machine also replicates the calming sounds of rowing on the water. Shockwave is adding to the benefits of its technology with exercise routines and group class programs developed by champion rower Josh Crosby.

International exhibitors also introduced new concepts that demonstrate how globalization of the fitness industry is making fitness for all an achievable goal. A German company which operates fitness clubs focused on optimal spine health and physical therapy demonstrated handcrafted wooden exercise platforms designed to relieve pressure on the spine by conditioning muscles to become longer. The German brand Rueckgraet means backbone and the equipment is being rebranded Fle-xx spine care in the USA. TechnoGym of Italy is also featuring a new brand called ARTIS. ARTIS is being introduced to health club operators as complete line of equipment for cardio, strength and functionality. These enhancements to traditional resistance equipment are also improving the company’s competitiveness with CrossFit style workout studios.

One way that advanced technology is improving services for members of leading health clubs is through turnkey outsourcing. Affinitech of Minnesota presented an informational display at the IHRSA trade show demonstrating its integrated technology solutions for audio-visual systems at health clubs. Typically, multiple screens provide a variety of programming and high definition audio can be customized to exercise programs and health club member preferences. Outsourcing audio visual and wi-fi services to Affinitech also lets health clubs focus on personalized fitness solutions for health club members. Affinitech is currently working on a showcase project at the soon to be completed Lifetime Fitness club in Laguna Niguel, California.