Fitness products star on the small screen: Kettlebells on The Big Idea, Life Fitness on Oprah

The week after all of America started its six-week holiday cycle of eating overload -- usually eyeing the New Year as the time to turn over a new leaf and think fitness -- two TV shows with huge viewer numbers highlighted fitness products and businesses.

The week after all of America started its six-week holiday cycle of eating overload -- usually eyeing the New Year as the time to turn over a new leaf and think fitness -- two TV shows with huge viewer numbers highlighted fitness products and businesses.

>> On the evening of Nov. 27, the MSNBC show "The Big Idea," with Donny Deutsch, the so-called maverick CEO who built a multi-million-dollar advertising and media business, introduced Sarah Lurie, the teacher behind GoFit's new kettlebell instruction, as one of its nightly lineup of businesspeople who are making it big.

No, she's not quite into billions -- as the show tag says about its entrepreneurs in what it calls "your roadmap to the American Dream" -- but she's making big gains.

As part of an evening lineup that included the Yankee Candle Company founder and Bob Costas, renown sportscaster for NBC, Deutsch led in to the Lurie interview saying, "A woman who would not take 'no' for an answer…she is making millions and living the American Dream." The episode was all about confidence and how having it differentiates those who are successful from those who are not. Lurie talked of her background on Wall Street, her budding training and studio business that is kettlebell exclusive, and how her kettlebell DVD on Amazon has hit a chord with the growing workout trend and sold 200,000 copies since August.

Unfortunately for Lurie sponsor GoFit, supplier of her kettlebells, there was not only no view of the GoFit name on the kettlebells she used, but there was also no mention of the GoFit name.

Lurie herself got big exposure, however, and her background is impressive: She dropped out of college to join Wall Street and had a male boss who laughed at her when she approached him with the idea to develop a program for women called Women & Investing to help guide them. She was told women did not care about investing. She said she knew he was wrong and moved on. She went back to college and got a degree in economics, as well as founded a non-profit to teach girls about technology. Fitness was an after-thought at age 27. She stumbled onto the old Russian training of kettlebells, tried them, liked them and decided not only was it the next big thing in fitness but something she could build on. Her studio, Iron Core, in the San Diego, Calif., area only teaches kettlebell classes.

The best part was when Lurie, dressed in high heels and a skirt, showed Deutsch how to do some of the movements. Her advice to others: Fake it until you make it with confidence. Know your product and your service. Sell to benefit others, not just to line your pockets.

Click here to see a link to the episode, called "Get in the Game" with co-host Bob Costas, that includes Lurie.

>> The next morning, Nov. 28, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Life Fitness got exposure that any company can only dream of. Winfrey trainer Bob Greene has been on the show doing a weight loss series, featuring program participants who are showing progress -- sometimes to the tune of a couple of hundred pounds in weight loss.

This episode was a hats-off salute to 21 weight-loss participants "to inspire the 'Best Life Diet' weight loss challengers and other amazing weight loss winners." Winfrey and Greene told them they had a surprise after everyone was lined up on stage: All were going to receive their choice of a T7-0 treadmill, an X7 elliptical trainer or a G7 home gym from Life Fitness, which were then rolled out onto the stage behind them. Said Winfrey, "I love this equipment. I work out on this stuff every day." Each also was given complimentary delivery and installation from Life Fitness.

But, if you go to the Oprah website, you have to look really hard for the fine print that thanks Life Fitness for the donation and support: "Special thanks to Life Fitness for providing our show guests with exercise equipment. For more information, visit" There are also no photos of the equipment. Still, everybody knows the power of Oprah.

Click here to go to the webpage with information about the episode.

SNEWS® View: Although, of course, a great and drool-worthy benefit to the companies involved, the fitness industry in general reaps rewards from having its equipment and motivators on national TV, in front of a huge audience. We'll bet that retailers may just feel a few hits on both brands and on equipment in general.


Star Trac treadmill hits the small screen on CNN

Star Trac's new Pro Elite treadmill that interfaces with a Palm device to communicate workouts and act as an exercise log managed some airtime on CNN during the key New Year's Resolution period. On New Year's Day, the treadmill -- the one SNEWS wrote about in October -- was more


GoFit Kettlebells

While the kettlebell has actually been around for centuries, hoisted by Romans and Russians alike, the fitness industry has given this handled cannonball-looking weight a major facelift to appeal to the modern masses. GoFit has been with the pack, launching a set of brightly more

Small is big, or so says IDEA fitness programs/equipment survey

If you can hold it in one hand, it's hot. That's the apparent message from the 2004 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, one of the more comprehensive looks at trends in gyms and wellness centers across the United States. For the first time, the survey of 281 health clubs more


How to Sell: Kettlebells

Kettlebells, those cast iron cannonball-like things with handles and a flat bottom, aren't exactly new. In fact, the Romans were swinging them around their bodies in training many centuries ago, and the Russians still have "girya," or kettlebell, competitions that date back to at more

Health & Fitness Business '07: Kettlebells center stage, small tweaks to familiar gadgets keep accessories category moving

At this year's Health & Fitness Business Expo, the once-incidental category of accessories has continued to quietly emerge as one of the growth spots in the industry's future. Everybody's heard the predictions -- that consumers will continue to buy products and services aimed at more

Kettlebell by GoFit

GoFit Kettlebells, the hot new dynamic training tool that deliver an intense workout that can be done in half the time of a traditional workout, while producing twice the results. GoFit Kettlebells feature a class defining oversized, powder coated handle that makes them more user more


SNEWS 2011 Fitness Retailer Survey - Part 3: 'best' strength equipment brands; kettlebell update

As always, there is a ton of information to digest in our annual SNEWS® Fitness Retailer Survey. To help you not miss a beat, we’ve broken it into four parts: >> Click here to access the first part on the “best” and “most difficult” suppliers, plus some sales trends, which ran more


The Great Kettlebell Handbook

Kettlebells are not only the hot thing in fitness equipment, they’re also the latest subject in a series of “Great Handbooks” – concise booklets that focus on the basics of an activity or piece of equipment with illustrated exercises. For the uninitiated, a kettlebell is more


Torque Fitness celebrates ‘The Big 5’ with new products, direction

Torque Fitness’s first five years in business were a roller coaster. The boutique strength equipment company came into the industry when the economy was on a high that seemed endless (Click here to see a May 2006 SNEWS® story). But end it did, leaving some of the smaller and more