SGB hit IHRSA global fitness trade show in Orlando, FL to find this week’s best new products.
OCTANE FITNESS ZR8000 ZERO RUNNER
High-impact is so last season. But high-intensity remains the pinnacle of our workouts. Enter Octane Fitness’ new ZR8000 Zero Runner, $8,399, the commercial follow-up to last year’s retail version. The machine’s independent hip and knee joints does wonders to mimic the sensation of running, sans the harmful impact on the body. Intensity comes from the no-motor, no-belt design. We dig machines that don’t do the work for us. An upgraded console (extra) will allow users to monitor and analyze their running stride.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with wearables. Mio Global shined through on the IHRSA floor with its new Slice, $99, wrist tracker, taking its old blocky models (more geared at run-heads) to a skinny, chic bangle (more for everyday). But this reduced model packs a big punch. Equipped with PAI technology (Personal Activity Intelligence), the Slice comes with an advanced tracking solution that does away with steps in favor of heart rate averages – directly linked to scientific studies shown to improve health. It’s part of a larger trend for fitness trackers, as brands compete over more refined and accurate data to win consumers in a very crowded field.
PRECOR/EXOS DIGITAL TRAINING
Athletic training group EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance) has been helping pro athletes get in shape for years, and through a new technology partnership with Precor, announced at IHRSA, it looks to bring its philosophy to gyms on a virtual basis. Exos VP of Performance and Innovation Kevin Elsey gave SGB an inside look at the cardio-trainer-meets-athletic-scientist programing (subscription required), which is featured on Precor’s new P82 Console for its equipment. The digital training provides tailored, time-efficient workouts for users who login on any machine in any participating gym. The programming builds out and remembers their progress and training as they go. Like a trainer, it’s there to push users a little further each time, but also recognizes those off days, and allows them to scale back if needed.
There’s a shifting mindset away from equipment being the “machine” to the body being the machine. This manifests in stripping the motor and running from our own kick. Technogym’s Skillmill is self-powered and made for the elite that tries to break traditional treadmills by outrunning the preset top speed. It’s also one of quite a few hybrids that we saw on the IHRSA show floor that mixes cardio with functional strength (trend alert!), adding a multi-drive gear to increase/decrease resistance and forward handles to mimic a sled push. No need to jump off the treadmill to get the cross-training in.
STAMINA JUVO BOARD
One of the broader, but significant trends we saw at IHRSA was the industry’s push to tap into the large crowds and culture surrounding yoga, Crossfit, running and the overall active lifestyle market. Brands recognize these pursuits in many ways are the fresh, and particularly younger, face of fitness that are more about a lifestyle than just wanting to shed pounds or look buff. A good example of that is Stamina’s Juvo Board, $699, which fuses balance training with yoga and body resistance workouts, and even serves as a good stand-up paddleboard (SUP) trainer.
Lead photo courtesy IHRSA
Photos courtesy David Clucas