Outdoor Trade Shows

Seven new products worth checking out at IHRSA in L.A. this week

IHRSA starts in just a few days and SNEWS gives you a sneak peak at some things you will be seeing at the trade show, which will be held in Los Angeles this year.

While many companies are keeping their new products under wraps (nobody wants to give the competition an edge, right?), some manufacturers opened up to SNEWS about what they’re debuting at IHRSA this week.

From a product that simulates digging holes in the ground to a super-sexy weighted vest that comes in bright colors — think pink! — IHRSA attendees have a lot to look forward to on Wednesday.

Years ago, Mike Kadar was digging a hole for a fence post when he realized his abs really were working hard. So he designed Core Stix (MSRP $1,300 to $1,800, photo, right), which consists of a board with three mounts on the front and several holes where fiberglass “Stix,” or rods, can be inserted in various ways, giving the user a full-body workout.

“It’s a total body trainer that works every muscle in your body in an upright position,” Kadar said. “Every movement you do, you can get core engagement.” The Core Stix product has become popular with high-profile personal trainers such as Gunnar Peterson.

Right now there’s only a commercial unit, but people can purchase it for the home if they choose. Eventually, Kadar said, he’d like to develop Core Stix classes he hopes would take off the way Zumba has.

Some people would rather do their regular exercises with a little extra weight on their bodies to burn more calories. That’s where Hyper Wear comes in. For IHRSA 2012, the company is bringing two new models of its weighted vests, the Sxy and the Fit (MSRPs $125). The Sxy is just for women while the Fit is unisex, said CEO Dirk Buikema.

The Sxy (photo, left) is more comfortable for women due to its scoop-neck front and bright colorways.

“We wanted to give women a model specific to them with a color and design that makes it fashionable,” Buikema said. The vests start off with five pound weights and users have the option to purchase additional five-pound booster packs to make the vest up to 10 pounds.

Buikema said some specialty fitness retailers already sell the Pro, and he thinks many will be interested in the Sxy and the Fit. Plus, he said he hopes clubs and gyms might stock it for people to purchase to use in group exercise settings.

In terms of strength equipment, Matrix Fitness is launching its new Versa strength line, which the company said offers enhanced versatility and customization for commercial fitness facilities. Products in the line are comfortable as they were designed with the way the body naturally moves in mind.

While it doesn’t fall under the accessories or equipment category, FreeMotion Fitness is launching its Stages Indoor Cycling app, which should be available in the iTunes store this week. The app is ideal for anybody who is a dedicated user of FreeMotion indoor cycles, and has both an iPad or iPhone and a Wahoo Ant+ Fitness key. The app, through the key plugged into an iPhone or iPad, syncs up to the cycle used in a class (or outdoors if a user has the right technology on his or her bike). Once synced up, users can throw the phone in their gym bag and it will record everything from power to heart rate. Even if everyone in a spin class is using the app, nobody’s will interfere with anybody else’s.

“They don’t have to use a USB anymore,” said Doug Crawford, FreeMotion Fitness’ vice president of product development. “This makes the [workout] personal to you and you’re able to put in your own settings.”

Plus, the app works with training logs like TrainingPeaks, and Crawford said eventually it would work with others that are popular.

The equipment category is also going to be interesting at IHRSA this year. Nexersys brings its iPower Trainer (List $7,500, photo, right), which is manufactured and distributed in North America by Tag Fitness.

It’s somewhat of an interactive MMA interval trainer that has a touch screen console and several options for workouts, from a personal trainer to a sparring session with an avatar. Eventually, said Tom Bowen of Tag Fitness, the product will be WiFi enabled, allowing users to spar with others anywhere in the world where other iPower Trainer’s are being used.

As with many products these days, the iPower Trainer is USB enabled, allowing users to capture their workout data and the product will help the user design a workout based on previous workouts and skill level.

Usually companies release the commercial version of a product and later release a consumer version, but PowerPlate did it a little differently. After launching the PowerPlate my7 at the Health and Fitness Business Expo, at IHRSA the company will launch the pro7, the commercial version. This product, said PowerPlate President Mark de Gorter, is unlike any the company has ever launched

“The pro7 is the biggest, most advanced, yet easiest to use PowerPlate ever created,” de Gorter said. The product’s honor as the “biggest” is probably because of its surface plate, which is 916 mm wide and 830 mm long, an area that can accommodate up the three users at a time.

The unit’s 10.4-inch touch-screen console teaches users how to do more than 1,000 exercises and has about 25 different preprogrammed workouts. As with the my7, users can choose workouts based on whether they want to “look better,” “play better” or “feel better.”

“At the end of the day we think the pro7 is going to open up an entirely new avenue in vibration training,” de Gorter said. That avenue includes the possibility of a vibration training group exercise course. “Real excited about being able to do that.”

–Ana Trujillo