HFB 2012: Some products at HFB shun categories

There was some stuff at the Health & Fitness Business Expo in Las Vegas that was unclassifiable, leading us to create one story just for those things. Read on to find out what they were.
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There was some stuff at the Health & Fitness Business Expo in Las Vegas that was unclassifiable, leading us to create one story just for those things.

Strength? Cardio?

Is it a strength machine? Is it cardio? You decide. The Avanti Cardio Gym 6 (CG6) isn’t new to HFB, but what was was the company’s scaled down home model, the CG3. The CG3 (MSRP $3,999) is perfect for the exercisers who want to store their multifunctional product in its own cabinet but still have a gym quality workout.

“The beauty about this one is it folds up into its own cabinet and the door closes,” said Todd Brian Lewallen. The unit also comes with a lower-pully system that customers can use while standing up and the computer will still count those exercises in its reps count.

Mike Kadar made his debut at HFB after rocking his product called CoreStix at IHRSA back in March 2012. Though the story is the same – he found digging holes for fence poles to be a great core workout and sought to emulate that with a fitness product – the suggested ways to use the product have been tweaked a bit.

“We have developed more exercises because more people have been purchasing the equipment and adding their own unique exercises,” Kadar said, so he’s drawn inspiration from them. While the piece was designed with upright training in mind, “That doesn’t mean you can’t lay on the board in other positions for other exercises,” Kadar told SNEWS.

The CoreStix product is a board and three mounts on the front that have several holes in it for the fiberglass “Stix," or rods, to be inserted and used in various ways for a full-body functional workout. The models range anywhere from MSRPs $799-$1,399).

Kickboxing continues to grow in popularity and now your customers can get their kickboxing action in on the Nexersys NXS-H (MSRP $2,995). It’s a home unit of what the company showed at IHRSA back in March. The piece features seven pads to contact when doing kickboxing or other high intensity interval training exercises. The on-screen feedback provides accuracy, strike count, power, points, reaction time, heart rate and calories burned. The 19-inch LCD monitor console includes more than 100 training videos and unlimited avatar sparring “follow me” rounds. The booth was busy the entire show and Tim Bowen said it was a great show for the company.

“I’ve never been at a show and signed up so many dealers at once,” Bowen said.

SNEWS was quite intrigued by the Jacob’s Ladder. We’ve seen it on the Biggest Loser, we’ve written about it in other stories, but we’ve never tried it until the company made its HFB debut last month. Let us just say wow. The workout was excellent and we felt we could have continued to go on.

The Jacob’s Ladder unit comes equipped with a safety belt and after the user programs the workout they want to do, they start their climbing. The belt is hooked up to a cable that runs into the machine and signals it when you go higher up the ladder, thus making the rungs go faster.

Industry still vibin’ with vibration

Vibration is still prevalent in many booths and newcomer to HFB this year, 3G Cardio, showcased its new vibration units.

“What we’re seeing in our stores is the numbers of vibration units we’re selling are going up without offsetting other products,” said Pierre Dufresne of 3G Cardio.

3G Cardio, owned by Arizona-based fitness retailer At Home Fitness, had three different vibration units: The AVT 3.0 (MSRP $2,499); the AVT 5.0 (MSRP $3,999); and the AVT 6.0 (MSRP $4,999).

The AVT 3.0 has a 50-hertz capability and a heavy-duty motor and color options are black or silver. The AVT 5.0 is the company’s mid-level piece with a 50-hertz capability and 24 built-in programs. The 6.0 has all the same features as the 5.0 only the vibration platform size is bigger, at 33 by 27 inches versus the 28 by 23 inches.

PowerVibe brought to HFB its new Zen Pro Touch (MSRP $2,699), a new touch screen piece that’s easier to use and comes with a virtual personal coach who shows your customers precisely what to do and how to do it.

“She’s showing you the exact exercise you need to do,” said Tricia Christianson, a customer service representative for the company. “Everything is right there for you.”

The new unit, unlike the last model, comes with wheels so that it’s easy to move, yet it remains sturdy.

Another piece is the Home Pro 2 for users who want vibration training but can’t purchase the larger units or don’t want them to be prevalent in their homes. The Home Pro 2 (MAP $899) easily slides under a customer’s bed and comes with both elastic and fabric straps.

“It’s perfect for someone who can’t do the higher-end products,” Christiansen said.

Prevent and nurse injuries

Sports injuries are common and have many customers scrambling for braces or wraps at Walgreens. Why go to Walgreens when they can use you as a one-stop shop?


Mueller Sports Medicine brought a few of its new Hg80 braces with gel-pad compression technology, including the Hg80 Elbow Sleeve, Ankle Sleeve, Knee Sleeve and Knee Brace.

SNEWS was most impressed with the Knee Brace (MSRP N/A), which has a tibial containment system with a secondary shell and patella buttress. It’s supportive springs keep the knees braced while allowing for unrestricted movement. Plus it features the new HydraCinn moisture-wicking fabric.

Also Vectra Fitness offered its new Easy-Up Ball Stand for stability ball storage and pick-up. This could also be considered injury prevention for your customers who might not want to bend over to pick up their stability ball. With this product (MSRP $50), they can simply press the pedal and up pops the ball.

Though it’s always a source of debate as to when you should stretch, it’s pretty much agreed upon that everybody should do it as some point. Perhaps your customers don’t like to stretch on their own. That’s where BH Fitness comes in with its new S300 stretching machine. The unit has a 350-pound user capacity, ergonomic design, large cushioned seat and knee pads, adjustable seat to accommodate all sizes and heights. Its oversized, welded steel tube construction provides stability and strength. The unit also includes adjustable safety straps and stretching guide console. The guide shows customers how to properly stretch lower back, hamstrings, glutes, hips and shoulders, among other areas.

--Ana Trujillo

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