Horizon Enters the Strength Training Market

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COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. (July 27, 2007) – Horizon Fitness – one of the fastest growing fitness equipment manufacturers in the world – is stepping into the strength training market with a fresh approach to home gym design. As more first-timers, seniors and women add strength training to their daily workout, Horizon Fitness looks to tap an unfilled need in the marketplace.

Participation in strength training is at an all-time high according to the SGMA International, a trade association serving the sporting goods industry. Despite the surge in participation, sales of traditional home gyms in the market have been flat.

Through its consumer research, Horizon Fitness believes it knows the reason for the disconnect. First, the face of today's “weight lifter” is changing. The biggest growth in the category is coming from non-traditional strength users including women, seniors and those new to fitness. These users are looking to lose weight or better their quality of life. Whether it's keeping up with the grandkids or lifting heavy groceries, they're looking for functional, rather than traditional, strength training solutions.

Despite this shift in consumer demand, manufacturers have continued to offer contraptions that appeal to the traditional weight lifter while alienating beginners. As a result, Horizon Fitness is creating functional strength home gyms that deliver the perfect strength training solution for the beginner, but are also versatile and robust enough to appeal to advanced users.

“We've seen a flood of new consumers to the strength training category,” said Mike Olson, vice president of marketing for Horizon Fitness. “Unfortunately, today's equipment hasn't kept up with the changing demands. Our research has shown that most home gyms are complicated, intimidating or designed for people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, while those shopping for equipment are looking for functional strength to better their everyday lives. Our approach to home gym design is simple – we want to make strength training easy and inviting for people at all fitness levels.”

Horizon Fitness' simple approach to home gym design can be seen in several new models that will roll out this fall. All models, with MSRPs ranging from $699 to $799, offer a wide variety of features that are appealing to first-timers, as well as those who are more experienced with strength training.

First, users can complete a total body workout in as little as 20 minutes. The equipment allows an individual to shift from one exercise to the next without having to reroute cables, which is common on competitive models.

Users can select from 60 to 75 unique lifts using integrated components as well as various attachments (lat bar, bicep curl bar and leg cuffs). High-quality cables and commercial-grade pulleys equipped with bearings make lifts extremely smooth, minimizing stress on the body while prolonging the life of the equipment. Weight resistance is quickly and easily modified through the use of an incremental weight system.

For those just getting started in strength training, or individuals looking to spice up a dull workout routine, Horizon Fitness includes an illustrated, step-by-step workout guide with each home gym. The workout guide includes time-based, total-body workout routines, as well as exercises that allow users to focus on specific areas of the body. The guide also has 12 sport-specific workouts for those who want to strengthen their golf game or get ready for the upcoming softball league.

For more information about Horizon Fitness' approach to functional strength training, visit HorizonFitness.com or call 1-800-244-4192.

Horizon Fitness is a subsidiary of Johnson Health Tech Co., Ltd., the fourth-largest fitness equipment manufacturer in the world with roughly $348 million in annual sales revenue (2006). Horizon offers a wide assortment of fitness equipment designed for in-home use, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes and functional strength training equipment. Products are sold through a variety of retail channels including sporting goods retailers and department stores.

Horizon Fitness differentiates itself in the marketplace by designing and manufacturing fitness equipment that is durable, easy-to-use and provides peak performance for maximum value. Every key component that goes into a piece of equipment is manufactured at a Johnson Health Tech facility (vertically integrated manufacturing). As a result, all parts work seamlessly together to create an exercise experience like no other.

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Editor's Note: For product samples, photography or other requests, please contact
Brian Meehan at (262) 789-7630, ext. 133, or e-mail brianm@celticinc.com.

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