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Ask an Expert: Mike Feeney

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Mike Feeney, founder of NeV.

You have questions, we have answers. We took some time this month to speak with Mike Feeney, the EVP design, construction and co-founder of NeV, about implementing strength lines in fitness clubs.

“How has the usage of strength equipment changed for members in clubs?”

MF: It hasn’t. The only thing that has changed is that it has become sexier and more user friendly. A cable cross machine is still a cable moving a weight in a direction that you’re choosing. But, we have made it sexier and given it more bells and whistles. The member is much more educated about their fitness needs and goals today than they were 20 years ago. They are being more creative in their workouts. I think a lot of that has to do with what they see on TV or what they see in a personal training area.

“What are some new trends in strength equipment?”

MF: The only thing that I think has been a good trend is no more pins in weight stacks. As a club owner, you often found the pins missing or broken, or being used in another machine that it wasn’t designed for. The pinless stacks are very user friendly, they’re great to do supersets with, and have gone through the design and durability phases — the members tend to enjoy it.

“How do you see strength equipment changing over the next 10-20 years?”

MF: I think cables are a direction that people will go to. But, 30 years ago, that’s all they used. If you’ve been around the industry a long time, what we’ve done is taken what was around 30 years ago and created an evolution in training over the years. I think that everything has come full circle. When I started in 1990 you had one line of Nautilus in your club. You did 12 exercises and you were done. In the past 25 years, that concept has come in and out a number of times. Now, people call it the 30-minute workout, the quickset. I think you’ll continue to see how people are getting workouts done in a time-conscious manner. Constantly doing something different that gives the member a change and keeps them intrigued.

Experience:

– 20+ years working in the fitness industry
– At NeV he oversees facility planning, design, construction and asset purchasing
– Served as Vice President of 24 Hour Fitness for 18 years
– At 24 Hour Fitness he successfully maintained more than 400 locations and purchased all exercise equipment

Feeney’s Top Equipment

FreeMotion Dual Stack Cable Crossover: “Offers most flexibility and creativity to any exercise you want to do.”

Hoist Roc-It: “Offers good movement, extremely comfortable, easy to use, and fun factor.”

Star Trac Cable Cross: “Great piece that I like training on. Has rock climbing grips on it, has great sex appeal. Has great motion to it.”

Marpo Rope Machine: “Fits into our train different philosophy.”

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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