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.
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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 www.lifefitness.com/home." 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.

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