Ask an Expert: Ed Trainor

Ed Trainor, the VP of fitness services and product development for Town Sports International.

You have questions, we have answers. We took some time this month to speak with Ed Trainor, the VP of fitness services and product development for Town Sports International, about how clubs can easily improve cardio areas.

“How have members evolved in their usage of cardiovascular equipment?”

ET: Other than as a tool for weight management and cardiovascular conditioning we’ve recently observed members performing high intensity interval training, and also requesting coaching programs and fun challenges or competitions.

“What new trends do you see emerging in cardiovascular equipment?”

ET: Movements have basically remained the same for the most part, with walking and running on treadmills remaining every bit as strong. However, new features are now in development to add upper and total body integration, biking, climbing and rowing all remain the standard movements, while  lateral training has re-emerged in several forms. In climbing, the step-mill movement seems to be gaining strength, and ellipticals, in all forms, seem to be very popular, especially with the user-defined path, combined with total body.

“What new technologies are your members requesting?”

ET: Technology in the form of entertainment seems to be the biggest request by members, and if we can deliver as an industry, their request is for the same features they have while at home (sitting on their couch) or while driving their cars. Video On Demand and a music library with multiple genres at the touch of a button. Bluetooth, ANT and wireless capability needs to stay aligned with the evolution of mobile phone technology and tablets.

“How do you perceive cardio training to evolve over the next 10-20 years?”

ET: Data will be king. Using the tracking data to coach and build programs for individual members, that also uses personal biometric data so that we can customize programs and track measurable results, will likely happen in the near future. Hopefully, our industry’s cardio machine technology will be able to recommend, motivate, challenge, coach and reward our members using time efficient workouts that yield measurable results. Our industry is in a position to help the individual take personal responsibility along with their communities in the fight against obesity and the strain it puts on the health care system.

Top 5 Must Have Cardio Features

1)  Dependability with some level of self diagnosis for service and repair similar to the auto industry.

2) Simple user-friendly consoles to run the functions of all machines.

3) Coaching intelligence, how to use the machine properly, also with advanced progressive programming.

4) TV or PC with multiple video and music genres.

5)  Ability to download data and communicate with mobile devices and the cloud.

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