leisure industry week image

Leisure industry week

At the start of this month I took 2 days out from Personal Training and headed down to the Birmingham NEC for LIW. This is an industry exhibition that showcases products, education and what’s new in industry trends.

What I did

I was attending LIW with ViPR to help showcase the effectiveness of this training tool and to promote the new ViPR programming on Strength and Movement Preparation that is to be launched later this year. I took part in and lead some great ViPR workouts to show the full array of training styles possible with ViPR.

What I saw that I liked

There is no doubt that the big buzz in fitness equipment at the moment is Functional Rigs. FR’s are basically like adult climbing frames that house a host of other fitness equipment such as TRX, punch bags, rebounders, cables and more. I played on several different versions of these and I have to say they are great fun, I love having all my favourite toys in one place.

This year I also discovered the Boxmaster, a multi pad boxing station that feels fantastic to hit. I went back three or four times for mini workouts on the Boxmaster. It feels so good to punch, they have the angles just right and the pads have a perfect spring to them.

Rotating climbing walls also seem to be getting more and more popular at the moment. They come in the form of a rotating circle and also a kind of vertical treadmill. I need to get better at climbing but it’s a great way to workout.

Finally for the second time in two years I attempted a class called ‘Anti Gravity Yoga’. This involves yoga style poses and exercises that are performed in a kind of bed sheet supported form the ceiling. Not only does it challenge strength but the relaxation exercises are so calming.

What I saw that I didn’t like

The next generation of cardio equipment have touchscreen displays very much like an iPad. These displays are used as the control unit for the kit but also house apps such as Facebook, Twitter and you tube, as if we need more distractions to excuse us from training.

One other innovation that I just can’t get to grips with is a gadget that sits in front of your treadmill and displays a moving image of travelling down a road or path as if you were running outside. This does nothing other for me than 1) Make me run more slowly to watch the image 2) Make me want to go and run outside. I’m just not buying into it.

All in all LIW is a great chance for me to play with new toys, network and get a feel for industry trends. It’s always a positive experience. I’ll be there next year!

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