Despite the kettlebell’s rich history, dating back at least to the 1700s, there are many people who have not yet heard of this tool. Only recently has the product caught the attention of mainstream fitness folks. Fitness pros and enthusiasts, both men and women, ranging from young to not so young, nonathletes to superstars, are starting to find use for the cast-iron tool that has its roots in Russia. The kettlebell may not be a new product, but creative programming using the age-old device is certainly “swinging” into action.
Stories of failed exercise equipment leading to injury have been making headlines. Recently the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary
recall of 3 million fitness balls, for example. According to a press release, manufacturers received reports of balls bursting while in use. “Many of the injuries that occur with stability balls come from a poor-quality product [not made to handle] repetitive use in the gym,” states Abbie Appel, IDEA presenter and author, and Resist-A-Ball® master instructor.
In recognition of breast cancer awareness month last October, gyms across the country plugged in special pink treadmills from CYBEX®. The equipment manufacturer’s goal was twofold—to raise awareness of the disease and to promote the importance of exercise as a preventive measure. CYBEX also donated funds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) for every mile logged on the pink 750T treadmills during the month. “This is an example of wonderful corporate citizenship,” stated Myra J. Biblowit, president of the BCRF.
It seems that the economic slowdown has trickled into fitness equipment sales. Information from a Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) press release states that sales dropped from $4.7 billion in 2007 to $4.2 billion in 2008. “The fitness industry was not immune to the side effects of the tough economy,” said SGMA president Tom Cove. “But because people are aware of the importance of a regular physical fitness regimen, we expect the fitness industry to regain strength as the economy heals.”
Instructors: Are you getting maximum use out of the equipment you have? There are numerous approaches to designing a group exercise class using equipment. The first thing you want to do is take inventory and know what you’re working with. Make sure you fully understand the intended purpose of the equipment and can communicate this effectively to members. Then look around and make a mental note of how much space you have to work with. Will members have enough room to execute movements properly?
Before you teach your next class, take a look around. Have you noticed how crowded the studios have become? Not so much with people, but with equipment! What are we supposed to do with all that stuff? The thought of incorporating even a few items can be overwhelming. Well, help has arrived at last! We’re going to look at integrating equipment into two popular class formats: strength training and interval-based workouts.
This year our 14th annual survey
went to club owners, fitness
directors and other fitness professionals
in the midst of a
financially unstable economy.While the
fitness market may not be booming, it
seems to be at least stable, which is great
news when businesses all around the
globe are faltering. The really encouraging
aspect of this year’s results is that the
diversity of classes, equipment and programs
offered has continued to increase.