Adding to the traditional strength line launched after it acquired the assets of Flex Fitness, Star Trac introduced the HumanSport line of functional cable trainers at the IHRSA show March 21-23 in Las Vegas.
Star Trac acquired the assets of Italy's HumanSport from its founder, Eliseo Falcone, who was the founder of Teca Fitness, which was sold a few years ago to Technogym. Falcone had introduced his sleek line of six compact cable trainers called HumanSport at the Fibo fitness show in Germany in May 2006. As of early March, Star Trac owns HumanSport's intellectual property, including designs, trademarks and patents.
"It was another piece in the puzzle to have a complete suite of products to offer our customers," Star Trac CEO Steve Nero told SNEWSÂ®. "We looked at the opportunity, and it was the best in class."
This means Star Trac now has a full line of updated cardiovascular equipment, a full line of traditional selectorized strength-training pieces, and a sleek new line of cable-oriented functional trainers.
Although the HumanSport line launched at the Fibo show 10 months ago, Nero and the Star Trac company became more keenly aware of it at the United Kingdom show in September. Impressed by its low-profile, wood-trimmed look, Star Trac decided it was a good addition to the company when it was approached about an acquisition, despite the fact that Star Trac wasn't looking at the time to add another equipment line.
"It wasn't a need; it was an opportunity," Nero stressed. "Opportunities are now coming to us. We didn't go searching it out."
Showcased in its own area in the Star Trac booth -- set up to create some intimacy as if a user were really on the floor of a small club and surrounded by the machines -- HumanSport is only six pieces, with the ability to hit two target areas with each, making them the equivalent of 12 pieces. They also have the flexibility of most functional trainers to become even more with the creativity of a user or trainer.
"We think this is the next generation in functional training," Nero said.
All six pieces are built with the identical tower, each with two weight stacks, but with the platforms, seats or arms positioned on them to create a different machine with varied uses. Each has a list of $4,200. For example, one is a "shoulder chest" and another is an "arm crunch." See the HumanSport website (www.humansport.com) to see the machines.
The line is heavy on aesthetics with wood trim (available in light, medium or dark tones), and also has upholstery available in synthetic ostrich for a textured look.
Star Trac had acquired the assets of Murietta, Calif.-based, Flex Fitness in November 2004, becoming Star Trac Strength, a wholly owned subsidiary of Star Trac, under which this line will also fall. Click here to see our Nov. 12, 2004, story, "Star Trac pumps it up with acquisition of Flex Fitness."
SNEWSÂ® View: The HumanSport line has an amazingly sleek and inviting look -- extremely classy and quite Euro. That said, it is possible the look really wouldn't fit in with the equipment already in some clubs, but could be a perfect addition for corporate centers or other vertical markets because of its small size and small number of pieces. Of course, since many of those types of facilities don't have trainers and are mostly unstaffed, education will be vital for users to figure out what to do with the cables, cuffs and bands to get a great, functional workout as well as one that can be sport-specific in movement. Star Trac has stepped up yet another notch in the fitness industry with its full family of equipment.