Sometimes, the best new ideas and products at trade shows are hidden.
For anyone attending IHRSA 2014 in San Diego this week, make sure not to miss start-up company DMX Fit and the debut of its DMX Strength resistance trainer — it’s something a bit different and could be a game changer.
Finding this brand won’t be easy — it’s a last-minute add to IHRSA and sharing a booth with Trixter (#4724) — but we suspect crowds will gather, as the show progresses.
Founded in 2012 by Dave Schmidt, a physicist and outdoor enthusiast by training, the company sets out to make fitness equipment more intuitive and natural.
“My passion is applying what I know of fun and natural physical world to the mundane world of working out indoors,” Schmidt told SNEWS in an exclusive preview before the show.
The DMX Strength, which will be on display at IHRSA, uses motorized isokinetecs to automatically adjust the amount of resistance in conjunction with how hard the user pulls. In other words: no stopping to change weights — ever. Furthermore, the mechanism works throughout the entire range of motion, so the resistance will adjust infinitely throughout a single curl or lift. The resistance is also multi-directorial — a user can get resistance pulling up and pushing down in the same rep. The technology was developed and built in partnership with Seconn, a fabrication and automation firm in Connecticut — DMX’s home state.
“When you pull harder, it resists harder … when you back off it resists less,” Schmidt said.
While to some it might seem like an easy way to slack off, Schmidt countered, saying it lets people lift more at the perfect pace. Think of it in terms of a single rep, he said, “at the very start of the lift, it’s harder to lift a greater amount of weight, but in the middle you can lift that weight.”
Instead of users increasing the weight and either giving up at the start, or worse injuring with the initial jolt, they can automatically start at the weight they need and progress seamlessly to the maximum weight all in just one lift.
The safety aspect of the machine, also lets people push further, Schmidt said, because it will never let a person go beyond his or her breaking point, it will only let them lift what they can.
“It allows you to hit higher highs when it’s safe to hit those highs, and in the end you do more work,” he said. Another example is users who set out to do 10 reps, but give up at seven. With the DMX Strength, Schmidt said, they get all 10 in — maybe the first seven at the greater resistance they started with and the final three at a little less resistance.
“You can push the muscle to the limit of failure each and every rep,” Schmidt said.
All those automatic calculations of resistance eliminate a lot of time in one’s workout. Not only is less time spent on the physical aspect of changing weights or resistance, but also the mental aspect of figuring out the right levels to be at. The person progresses in weight automatically, without unnecessarily staying at lower levels or injuring themselves at higher levels. All of that timesaving also allows for more intense and aerobic workouts, Schmidt added.
Because there’s no selecting resistance, an-Android-based touch screen and programming let users know how much weight they’re lifting for each rep, the average of an entire set, and the translated caloric burn.
That’s important for people to see and use to improve their technique, Schmidt said. “If workouts are being done uniformly, you’ll burn more calories.”
DMX is still figuring out how best to get the data to users – either it will upload to the cloud or interact with an app.
The programming also takes users through the exercises — several back-to-back for those more intense workouts — showing them examples of how to do each exercise and then counting down reps.
“People aren’t intimidated,” Schmidt said, “because they see exactly how each exercise is done. They can walk up to the machine, do the workouts, progress over time and look like [and indeed] they know exactly what they are doing.”
Schmidt said he is coming to IHRSA looking for distributors — wholesale and MSRP for the DMX Strength are still being determined — and to introduce the brand that will debut several more innovative products over the next few years. Those upcoming products include a spin bike and ski machine that will feel like the real thing, he said.
They will all start at the commercial level, but the plan is to then to expand to retail as well.