Fitness Movin' & Shakin': True, Precor, Johnson Health, OC Gym Equipment, AtHome Fitness, SportsArt, Smooth, SRS Fitness

Check out the latest moves and news happening in the fitness industry.

Economic pressures continue on all sides with more companies tapping into layoffs to help consolidate operations or otherwise help them get leaner and pare back some costs. Most have not gotten away unscathed including Precor, Smooth, True and Johnson Health -- all of which added to their lists of former employees. In Johnson's case, the second round on Dec. 12 was another readjustment after three months as a merged company that combined Horizon, Vision and Matrix as well as the R&D staff. (Click here to see a Sept. 5, 2008, SNEWS story for details on that consolidation.) CEO and President Chris Clawson said total workforce reduction, counting layoffs, attrition, unfilled positions and the like, amounted to close to 12 percent, which eliminated duplication and triplications of some positions when the companies operated separately….

But layoffs and store closures just opened the door for others, it seems. David Silva, a former Busy Body Home Fitness veteran district manager, in late November opened OC Gym Equipment in Newport Beach, Calif., in Southern California's Orange County. The location on Jamboree is a prime, highly trafficked intersection -- that conveniently is quite close to a Busy Body store….

In other retail news: AtHome Fitness ( in Arizona is preparing to open its new location in Gilbert, Ariz., which will make four stores for the four-year-old company owned by Greg Feeder and Bryan Dorksen. The Gilbert store will be managed by Pierre Dufresne. Spiffing up its website are now also virtual tours of the stores to, as Feeder put it, "connect with our potential customers." The tours actually allow a viewer to click on certain pieces of equipment and look at them closely….

Amber Maechler has been rehired as of mid-November as the new marketing and communications director for SportsArt Fitness. She had previously worked at the company as a marketing manager, leaving for a few months in early 2008 to work outside the industry. Also added to SportsArt's roster is Robert Marti, a former Copeland's vet, as the new Oregon sales manager for direct commercial sales. Mont Beardall has also been hired at SportsArt as its new national accounts manager for the sports and medical division…. At Smooth Fitness, new vice president of Internet sales and marketing is Keith Menear. Dennis DeGrazia is no longer with the company but can be reached at 248-760-2466….

Another positive business move by Mark Petit de Mange, president of newly formed SRS Fitness in Pennsylvania. Petit de Mange spent 36 years in the fitness industry, including working on bikes at a Schwinn bike shop as a youth (before he bought it!), at Dick's Sporting Goods and, most recently, for the last six-and-a-half years at the former Leisure Fitness in Delaware as a field operations manager. When Leisure shut its doors, it didn't take him long to open those of SRS, teaming up with with lifelong friend Mike Good as well as fellow former Leisure employees Bob Weiss, Nate Hiles and Mike Douglass. "I looked at it as another door opening," he told SNEWS®. He said he just likes to "fix stuff" and, in fact, SRS stands for "Stuff Repair Service." He can be reached at

Got any news or tips about somebody, some product, or some company doing some moving or shaking? Let us know so we can slip it into our occasional Movin' & Shakin' updates. Just email


Fitness Movin' & Shakin': John McCarthy/Cybex, Busy Body/Gyms to Go, SportsArt, 24 Hour Fitness, IHRSA, Precor, Nautilus/Icon

For the week of Oct. 31 to Nov. 6 Former IHRSA executive director John McCarthy has been named a member of the board of directors at Cybex International. McCarthy retired from IHRSA earlier this year…. Florida-based Busy Body/Gyms to Go is expanding again. Co-owner Carlos Vazquez more


Fitness Movin' & Shakin': Technogym, True, Star Trac, GET Fitness, Life Fitness, Nellie's…and more

With the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing a thankfully successful memory, Technogym has a lot to boast about. The Italy-based company was once again the exclusive fitness equipment supplier. It equipped 20 training facilities including the main fitness center at the Olympic more

Fitness Movin’ & Shakin’: Sacramento Exercise, Icon, Laura (Bond) Capes, Vision, Torque, Horizon, Nautilus, True, and more...

For Jan. 7 to Feb. 25, 2008 Sacramento Exercise has opened a “megastore” (11,000 square feet!) with signage fronting on the busy Highway 80 corridor from San Francisco and Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and all points west. Icon Health & Fitness has sued more

Fitness Movin' & Shakin': Spirit Fitness, Beuerlein's Pro Fitness, Smooth Fitness, BH Fitness, Octane Fitness

For May 6 to June 18 Spirit Fitness has hired a new marketing director. Don Puerling started at Spirit in May. He's worked in sporting goods for fitness and outdoor recreation equipment manufacturers since 1994. Puerling can be reached at Beurlein's more


Fitness: Movin’ & Shakin’ -- East Coast Fitness, HEST, FitChix, Foundation Fitness, Johnson Health, IHRSA and more…

With all the bad news about shuttered retail last year, SNEWS® wanted to showcase some good news: East Coast Fitness was opened nearly two years ago -- during one of the worst times to open a store. Yet, owner Joe Dalzell says he’s not only paid the bills but is now actually more

Fitness: Movin' & Shakin' -- Lifecore, Diamondback, Superior, Charlotte Fitness, Landice and more…

For March 3 to April 3, 2008 Lifecore owners Roger and Traci Bates have as of April 1 closed their Southern California retail store, Boditekk Fitness & Spa, to focus on the growing Lifecore equipment brand they launched about three years ago. The company is also moving into a more


Fitness Movin’ & Shakin’: Bob Harms, Cybex, Diamondback, Star Trac

For April 8 to May 5 Bob Harms reported to SNEWS® he was among the layoffs at Precor last month due to “economic conditions revolving around poor sales performance in Q1.” He had most recently been the company’s national sales manager, consumer, and that position, which he took more

Fitness Movin' & Shakin': Money magazine recommendations, kettlebells/GoFit, Health magazine awards, Matt Chalek/AccuFitness, SGMA board, Playboy Mansion

For Dec. 18- 31 The year-end, new-year fitness equipment write-ups have begun: Money magazine in its January 2008 issue focused on less-expensive equipment with the title "Burn Calories, Not Cash." It recommended limiting "bells and whistles" to cut price. In one "ouch" to more


Fitness Movin' & Shakin -- Spri products, Precor, SportsArt, Fitness Gallery and Harbinger Fitness, plus store openings and closings

Got any news or tips about somebody, some product or some company doing some moving or shaking? Let us know so we can slip it into our occasional Movin' & Shakin' updates. Just email People Precor Fitness ( has hired Tom Hull as the new more