One of the keynote speakers at this year’s LIW 2015, industry analyst and trend watcher Ray Algar of Oxygen Consulting, spoke passionately about the need for greater innovation in the increasingly competitive fitness market.
With specialist boutique fitness clubs at the top end, and the rapid expansion of ultra-low cost budget gyms at the other, the majority of fitness and leisure operators must now innovate to survive.
In fact, “We’re looking for something different” was the most common phrase we heard on our stand. So it’s clear the ‘innovate or die’ message is really beginning to sink in.
What’s different about interactive fitness gear?
The essence of good ‘interactive’ equipment is that it engages your brain as well as giving you a workout. Imagine a session on a standard treadmill waking your brain up as well as your body. Not going to happen! But with interactive, you’re playing a game as you exercise, challenging yourself or taking on your friends to get your best score ever. Your brain is alive, the challenge is on, and you’ll work harder than ever before without realizing it.
As one leisure centre HFM eloquently described, 15 minutes on a CardioWall leaves him “physically exhausted, mentally stimulated, and itching to go again to beat my score”
So what are these interactive products, and who will benefit from them? Well here are the four cornerstones of the Rugged Interactive range:
1. CardioWall. Wall-mounted, looks amazing and takes up no space. For everyone from elite athletes to children or disabled users. Choose a programme (for stamina, speed and reaction, high intensity, or an all-over head/body workout), choose an accessory (med ball, D-ball, Vipr, gloves or just hands); go for it for 1 minute or more; check your score; tell your friend you just beat them! The CardioWall brings a genuinely new dimension to what you offer your gym members – and will get them talking.
2. CardioWall Pro-X. An imposing, 2.5m-wide tower of steel, flashing lights and computer electronics. Challenges the pro-athlete and analyses their performance data in detail.
3. TrailBlazer Traverse. Six metres long, two metres high, a traversing wall that makes even the most exercise-averse young person want to climb and build balance, hand strength, hand-eye coordination and confidence. Huge fun.
4. CardioFloor. Our latest addictive new fitness tool. Embedded in gym matting, the lights stimulate agility, high intensity workouts, footwork, peripheral vision and more. For gyms, sports clubs, schools.
Other popular interactive kit includes dance mat systems, portable wireless sensor sets and boxing simulators.
So why should EVERY fitness club look seriously at interactive equipment?
You’re looking to attract new users
You need to re-energise your existing members/users and make them more loyal
You have to attract a wider range of users – seniors, sports teams, GP referrals, young people all love interactive equipment.
You want to make visiting your site more fun
Your club needs to stand out from the crowd – and to compete against the budget operator.
You need a tool for your PT’s to engage with clients
Your members want a faster, more intense cardio workout
Well-designed interactive fitness equipment will achieve all of these. If you haven’t started taking it seriously, do so now before your competitors steal your thunder.