Health & Fitness Business ’10: Strength highlights here and there, too

At the 2010 Health & Fitness Business show, the strength-training category fared about the same as cardio -- a few tweaks, a couple of new pieces, a few no-shows and a few re-appearances. SNEWS takes a short peek at a few highlights.
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At the 2010 Health & Fitness Business show, the strength-training category fared about the same as cardio -- a few tweaks, a couple of new pieces, a few no-shows and a few re-appearances.

But that’s not to say there weren’t a few eye-catchers and newsmakers. For one, ProSpot Fitness was back as a late addition to the show -- after its assets acquisition was completed just three weeks earlier by Busy Body/Gyms to Go (click here to see that SNEWS story). Being way back in a far corner behind the back drape of another booth and facing a side wall didn’t stop attendees from dropping in to say, “Hi,” Armando Perez, regional manager, told SNEWS®.

“We’ve been building a lot of goodwill on the brand,” he said.

And it wasn’t the only one shaking hands and putting pen to paper. Powertec Fitness was back and told SNEWS it was a busy, busy show. New was a Compact Gym (WB-CG11) that the company says can offer full-body training in a very small space (dimensions: 77 x 41 x 65). It will be available in March 2011. The company also upgraded its Isolateral Multi-Press -- also available in March 2011 (www.powertecfitness.com). The lever arms now move independently from each other, allowing for isolated muscle workouts. We were told retail prices are still pending, but both pieces will be priced competitively.

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In addition, Body-Solid introduced its Multi-Squat Rack, the SMR 1000, which is a Smith Machine on steroids, basically. We were told the company has tested it up to a 1,500-pound capacity, although it is officially rated as 1,000+ (MSRP $1,435, www.bodysolid.com, photo - right). The full commercial piece has integrated plate storage; 2-inch-by-3-inch, 11-gauge steel, integrated chinning bar and strength band pegs; and an extended frame for better spotter access. It will be shipping in approximately six weeks.

Torque had a small spot of carpet, but it showed off a lot in that small space, with a real broadening of its past line of home gyms. Although the “closet-like” doors still exist, the brand showed off a prototype of its new F1, a small footprint, low-profile, rather petite functional trainer with one-weight stack. SNEWS made the staff measure the cable travel and found about 15 feet as managers walked the cable across the aisle. It is expected to be out in early 2011 (MSRP still pending; www.torquefitness.com). Also new and a bit sequestered in a corner, but not behind closed doors, was the first of what will be a complete line of low-profile selectorized stations, most of which will be out in early 2011. Expected are 11 single stations, said product manager Tom Baumler, and 15 free-weight pieces. All are only 5-feet tall and are about making a facility’s strength room a more inviting environment.

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Another “Body ResiStability” piece from Vectra Fitness is the new BRT (MSRP $1,095), which, of course, stands for “body resistibility training.” Already out is the VFT-1000 (photo, right), which allows users to lock out the cable so they can use their own body weight to train. Check out more on this method by clicking here

Among smaller pieces, we noted a rather sexy set of dumbbells from Rocketlok (www.rocketlok.com), a new company out of Texas. Forget the ordeal of adding and taking off weight on dumbbells by rotating, squeezing or dialing -- the company has a simple twist-on system that securely locks on extra plates. Push one button and the plate comes back off. A 100-pound set has two, 15-pound handles and an MSRP of $399. Did we say yet it was kinda sexy?

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Click here to see both the Vectra and Body-Solid pieces live on SNEWS TV’s “What’s Hot” from the show.

--Therese Iknoian

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