Spinning becomes Spin Fitness: broadens base with Peak Pilates acquisition; alliances with BodyBlade, FreeForm

Putting a spin on its offerings, Mad Dogg Athletics has become Spin Fitness, playing off its heritage as the creators of the Spinning indoor cycling workout, while indicating its future goes well beyond cycling.

Putting a spin on its offerings, Mad Dogg Athletics has become Spin Fitness, playing off its heritage as the creators of the Spinning indoor cycling workout, while indicating its future goes well beyond cycling.

At the IHRSA show, Spin Fitness (www.spinfitness.com) announced its acquisition of Peak Pilates, while also debuting a working alliance with BodyBlade and FreeForm boards. Those categories are in addition to its 2008 acquisition of the Resist-a-Ball brand.

“There are lots of commoditized products and not a lot of concepts,” John Baudhuin, president and CEO of Spin Fitness, told SNEWS®. Products, he said, compete on price, while concepts compete on providing solutions.

Now with a family of concepts, Baudhuin said, Spin Fitness offers a deeper set of equipment-based educational offerings and the products and services to complement them. In addition, the “Mad Dogg” moniker isn’t well-known -- therefore the move to using the “Spin” brand across the company’s products and services.

“We have the equipment and we have the education,” said Fred Heim, marketing director, calling the-company-formerly-known-as-Mad-Dogg “the world’s largest equipment-based education provider.”

The fusion under one roof of indoor cycling, stability ball workouts, Pilates (www.peakpilates.com), BodyBlade (www.bodyblade.com) and the FreeForm Board (www.freeformboard.com) does not however mean those will all be combined into one workout - necessarily. Some parts could come together, Heim said, just as instructors have over the years created classes of Spinning and you-name-it, but more than anything else, the company will offer comprehensive education on fitness programs using all of the above equipment. Spin Fitness will also continue and its more recent outreach to consumers, for example, via its Spinner infomercial.

What fell out of the offerings was its launch a year ago of “Spin Yoga,” which Baudhuin said the company decided to put aside since it didn’t really have the equipment that united the other offerings, as well as its own version of Pilates called Spin Pilates. Peak Pilates, as the creator of the MVe equipment and workout, fits instead into the Spin family; it will continue to be run by President Julie Lobdell out of its Boulder, Col., office.

“We’re about the classical Pilates,” said Lobdell, but added that they take it to another level by incorporating other forms. “That’s the future,” she said.

She pointed out that everything evolves, just as Joseph Pilates developed his workout system from knowledge of dance, martial arts and other movement forms.

Physical therapist Bruce Hymanson invented the BodyBlade and brought it to the market in 1991. His passionate promotion of the blade has been a standard feature at many club and instructor shows. The piece, which looks like a sword, oscillates to force the user to use balance and muscle in a way like no other piece does. FreeForm, in contrast, is a small board developed by Austrialian Tony Susnjara who as a yoga teacher was attempting to find a way to help his students perform certain “jump through” moves with some assistance. The board is a small circular piece with wheels that can be locked out or not, depending on its use.

--Therese Iknoian


SNEWS® View: Baudhuin is in the process of creating a bit of an empire with his collection of exercise programs and the equipment they use. Now the task will be to keep the message clear as to who “Spin Fitness” is and what it provides, as well as allowing the different creators to continue with what they do best. They can’t – nor do they say they want to – create “The Next Spinning” since none of these items possesses that kind of cache or draw, but taken as a whole they can offer clubs and even consumers a well-rounded program – one that can be found with one-stop shopping.

--SNEWS® Editors


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