Precor Fitness Equipment: Treadmills, Crosstrainers and Bikes

PRECOR™: Approximately thirty years ago, after the engineering of a stationary fitness rowing machine by David Smith in his basement, one of the most respected, popular and successful fitness equipment brands was birthed. Spawning from Mr. Smith’s development of an ergonomically correct rowing machine in 1980, Precor has turned into one of the international leaders in the branding, design, production and marketing of fitness equipment. No more than 3 years after David finished the design of the rowing machine in his basement, he was joined by the bright and fitness oriented opportunist, Bill Potts. Mr. Potts brought his knowledge of electronic functionality to the table and sought out to integrate unique exercise programmability for users, as well as easy to read statistical feedback, into the exercise equipment Smith was designing. Mr. Potts believed that allowing people to monitor their stats such as speed, time, distance and other readouts, would increase the popularity of their workout equipment and make using gym equipment more enjoyable for the regular user. Ultimately, making the exercise equipment more interactive from a user perspective, intrigued people because they could monitor their results in real-time. Knowing how fast or long one would have to exercise in order to surpass their previous records, proved to be highly motivating and helped treadmills, stationary exercise bikes and rowing machines become more favorable through the eyes of potential buyers. Through the assistance of Mr. Potts, the popularity of exercise programming options in fitness equipment, and the popularity for Precor fitness equipment as a whole, began to take off. Once 1985 hit, several more additions had been made to the once one man band that was Precor; the Precor brand expanded to carrying treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines.

As momentum gained through popular reviews, it became clear that Precor fitness equipment was rated to be at the top of the industry in the near future. However, in order to be an industry leader in fitness supplies, Precor had to be a player in the national heath clubs and gyms. Without substantial sales to commercial fitness centers and gyms, it is hard to be a real player in the business of fitness equipment manufacturing in the United States. Therefore, proving the foresight of fitness experts true, in 1990, Precor entered the health club scene, with a series of commercial treadmills, built to withstand all day wear and tear, by people ranging from skinny to fat, and tall to small. There is a major difference in the structural integrity and mechanical capacities between commercial (health club) and residential exercise equipment. Whereas a solid home treadmill can be used at most up for up to four hours a day, a gym quality treadmill can be used for up to four times as long. Precor now had their own line of commercial treadmills. Precor now had a line of heavy duty gym equipment with the necessary the size, mechanical capacities, speed and structural integrity, to compete with the other leading brands in the fitness equipment industry.

The year of 1995 was another breakthrough year for Precor, as they invented the first elliptical cross-trainer and put it on the map in the form of their Precor EFX 544 cross-trainer. The Precor EFX 544 was designed with an adjustable cross-ramp and fixed arms. The adjustable incline ramp makes it easy for users to work out different muscle groups in their lower body through the simple adjustment of the angle on the incline ramp. The EFX 544 was so popular that Precor decided to continue their production of elliptical cross-trainers for usage in health clubs and homes. One of the first additions to the Precor line of elliptical cross-trainers was a cross-trainer with moving upper body arms. After already having the cardiovascular fitness industry in the palm, through the acquisition of Pacific Fitness in 1998, Precor made giant strides towards building a successful line of strength equipment. A result of this merger was the extremely popular Precor Stretch Trainer, that is a favorite of fitness trainers and gym patrons.

In 1999, Premark International, which was parent company of the Precor brand at the time, was bought out by International Tool Works. Soon after ITW acquired Precor, popularity for Precor increased, as their equipment become more affordable and focused on consumer needs. With a bigger bankroll and more steam built up, Precor was acquired by Amer Sports in 2002 as part of a 180 million dollar deal. Amer Sports coming into the picture resulted in Precor changing their primary goals. After years of revolving around industrial products, Precor’s new aim was to become an international distributor of a wider range of fitness equipment and sporting goods.

With all of the success and momentum that Precor had built open over the last 2 decades was great, but they still did not have a dominant and consumer friendly line of strength equipment. That all changed in 2004 when Precor established an Icarian line of strength equipment. Icarian strength equipment can be found anywhere from private home gyms to large health club franchises. The line of strength equipment itself has all home gym products ranging from bench presses, to multi-station and plate loaded home gyms, to weight racks and other strength training machines.

A very popular feature on the Precor cardio line of fitness equipment originated in 2004 as well. The cardio theater feature on Precor cardiovascular equipment, came as a result of their relationship with an entertainment technology firm, ClubCom. For example, if you are familiar with the Precor 956i Treadmill, it can be purchased with a cardio theatre attached to the display console. Having an entertainment center to use when you exercise has proven to allow some people to workout up to 75% more than they did on the same treadmill, without the cardio theater. The year of 2006 also marked the year that Precor introduced its Experience Series line and the Cardio Theater was an option for all Experience Series treadmills and elliptical cross-trainers. After gaining the support of consumers across the U.S., the Cardio Theater went on to win awards at the annual international product design competition, hosted by Business Week.

Around this time is when Precor struck a deal with the Hilton Family, that would make Precor gym equipment the main supplier of Hilton hotels such as the Double Tree, Embassy Suites and The Hilton. Catapulting Precor into the mainstream, the widely publicized commercial deal between Precor and Hilton Hotels, cemented Precor’s status as a premier brand in fitness equipment.

Several years after Precor began their quest to become an international player with strength based fitness equipment, the production amounts of their Icarian strength line increased by 300%. The year of 2006 also,marked the year that Precor introduced its Experience Series line and the Athletic and sporting good brands such as Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Mavic and Salomonare are all different product lines under their parent company, Amer Sports Corporation. Precor fitness equipment is also owned by Amer Sports Corporation, who according to Precor.com, “is the worlds leading sports equipment company”. Since Precor has a mission to be “the most respected brand in fitness equipment (Precor.com)”, their relationship makes perfect sense.

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Top 10 Ways to Gauge Your Fitness

It may be difficult to measure your fitness level if you wish to understand how healthy you are, or if you are starting a new workout regimen. Everyone’s fitness level is different, and are personally based on factors in a few different categories including aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition. Fitness is more than how fast or long you can run, how much weight you can lift or what your body looks like in a bathing suit. If you want to know how healthy and fit your body is, try assessing your fitness level with these tests:

– Resting Heart Rate (RHR)- Your resting heart rate can be a good, simple indication of your overall fitness level. The number of times your heart beats each minute, asses your aerobic fitness capacity. When your body is at rest and relaxed, count the number of heart beats you feel in a 60 second time period. A lower RHR corresponds to a stronger cardiovascular system and higher aerobic fitness level.

– 1 Mile Run (or brisk walk)- This test indicates the level your cardiovascular fitness is at. Using a flat and measurable route, see how long it takes you to complete 1 mile running, or if you have to, walking quickly. If you don’t get winded or dizzy you are in a good fitness position; if you do, you need to work on improving your cardiovascular fitness. Ideally, you should be able to complete one mile in 9 minutes or less.

– Push Ups- Push ups are a great exercise for overall fitness, and can be a good indicator of upper body strength and endurance levels. There are many people that have trouble performing even one proper push-up. This exercise involves the shoulders, chest, triceps, abdominals and some legs, and are a great way to asses your upper body fitness. See how many you can do in row; women should aim for 12 and men should aim for 20.

– Wall Sit- This exercise is used to asses lower body and leg strength and endurance. “Sitting” in an invisible chair with your back up against a wall for as long as possible, is a good way to gauge your lower body fitness, as well as the endurance in your leg muscles. With your knees at a right angle, breathe freely while seeing how long you can hold the position.

– Flexibility- Fitness is also a measure of how flexible your body is. To asses flexibility, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out, and then try to reach and touch your toes. If you can’t touch your toes this does not mean you are not fit, many people can’t reach this far. However, you definitely need to work on this area of fitness if you can’t reach much further than your knees. Flexibility is important to overall health, so work on stretching each day to improve flexibility and fitness.

– Balance- Like flexibility, balance is also an important factor in good fitness. An overall healthy body relies heavily on being well balanced, and the risk or injury and broken bones from falls increases drastically with age. To asses your fitness level in this area, try standing on one foot with your arms at your sides for a period of one minute. If you feel as if you may fall, stand close to a wall, table or chair. Work on improving fitness levels in balance, try practicing exercises that focus on and promote good balance like yoga or Pilates.

– Plank- This is a great exercise to asses your core strength and stability. Your fitness level relies on those deep, stabilizing muscles that are in the trunk of your body. Your core strength and fitness can be assessed by practicing holding the plank position for as long as you can. Proper planks are held with the forearms on the floor, toes curled under, and your back straight and parallel to the floor. Doing this exercise each day will increase core muscles and overall fitness.

– Vertical Jump- As kids, this part of our fitness level was certainly up to par, and used often. However, when you get older it is a much looked over part of overall health that can indicate the power exertion your body possesses as well as the power in your muscle fibers. See how high you can jump with markings on a wall or a 2-foot tall box.

– Waist to Hip Ratio- This fitness test is used to asses body fat distribution. The waist to hip ratio indicates the proportion of fat stored around the waist compared to hip girth. Those who hold more weight in their midsection as belly fat, are more likely to experience health problems like heart disease and diabetes, as well as a lower fitness level. To calculate your waist to hip ratio, measure the circumference of the widest part of your hips, and smallest part of your waist. Then divide the waist measurement by the measurement of your hips. For women, a healthy ratio is less than .8, and for men it’s less than .9.

– Burpees- This full body exercise is a good way to indicate your fitness level if you can do even a few in a row. A burpee is an intense workout that challenges your muscular fitness, cardiovascular fitness, endurance and body power. Perform as many as possible in one minute to really test and push your fitness level.

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Fitness Equipment Glossary

There are dozens and dozens of different type of fitness equipment out there so keeping track of them can be quite the task, even for an expert. The constantly influx of new type of innovations and equipment also do not help and can intimidate newcomers to the fitness world. We have compiled a list of the most common terms regarding fitness equipment and break them down to simple to understand, non-jargon explanations. We have also detailed which body part the equipment targets, if applicable. If words like ergometer, P80 console and smith machine baffle you, this list will be your friend. We have gathered up all the fitness equipment names that we could find and we are constantly adding to this list.

Ab Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: abdominals

An ab bench is a fitness bench that is generally at a decline, usually with padded leg rollers to hook your legs or foot around to perform a crunch or sit-up. There are also adjustable versions of these where you can perform different exercises on.

Adjustable Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Similar to a flat bench, but they are adjustable to either become a flat bench, an incline bench or a decline bench.

AMT

An abbreviation for the Precor AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) which is an all-in-one elliptical machine. It is able to change strides and adapt to the user without any manual adjustments.

Arc Trainer

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, core (if it includes upper body: triceps, biceps, back)

A cardio machine created by Cybex that closely resembles an elliptical, but the independent floating pedal mechanism further reduces impact on your lower joints.

Assisted Chin Dip

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: triceps, deltoids, pectorals, abdominals, biceps

An assisted chin dip machine is a tower with two protruding rods. Some machines will have the user either kneel or stand on a weighted platform. The user starts with their arms at a 90 degree angle and extends their arms to perform the exercise.

Crosstrainer

See entry for elliptical.

Curl Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Also sometimes called a preacher curl. This bench resembles a seat with a padded section in front. The user places their arm over the padded section of the bench and can perform curls with proper form.

Cybex

One of the leading manufacturers of fitness equipment. They mainly specialize in producing strength equipment with over 150 unique pieces. Cybex is also known for their innovative Arc Trainer cardio machines.

Decline Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench where the user’s legs are higher than their head. It is used for bench presses that target the lower portion of the chest.

Elliptical

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, core (if it includes upper body: triceps, biceps, back)

An elliptical is a stationary cardio machine that simulates running or climbing. Users stand on pedals which allows for a low impact workout. Some elliptical also have movable arms which will also allow for an additional upper body workout. Also sometimes referred to as an elliptical crosstrainer or a crosstrainer.

Ergometer – This is quite the confusing term. Sometimes an ergometer can refer to the device inside your exercise machine that tracks your statistics like heart rate, calories burned, distance run, etc. An ergometer can also be referring to an indoor rowing machine. See rowing machine for further definitions on the term used in that context.

Flat Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A flat bench is designed for users to lie flat on top of. It is designed to support users while they are performing bench presses.

FreeMotion Fitness

A fitness equipment manufacturer that produces both strength and cardio equipment. They are best known for their FreeMotion Functional Trainer, which uses pulleys and cables to allow a more dynamic range of motion.

Functional Trainer

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: Entire body

Functional trainers are all-in-one fitness machines that usually look like one large tower. Many of them utilize cables or pulleys in order to accommodate a wide variety of different exercises. Functional trainers target upper body, lower body and the core. The type of exercise varies depending on the model.

Hoist Fitness

Hoist Fitness is a San Diego based company that produces strength-training and indoor cycling products for commercial and home markets.

Incline Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench where the user’s head is higher than their legs. Generally used in bench presses and curls.

Incline Press

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: pectorals (upper chest), deltoids, triceps

The incline press machine is a weight machine that consists of a seat with two handles located in front of the user that are attached to weights. The user extends their arms and slowly brings them back to starting position to complete a repetition.

Indoor Cycle

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior, core

An indoor cycle is a stationary bike that is similar to an upright bike, but is generally smaller and uses a weighted flywheel. It is commonly used in indoor cycling classes where riders ride the indoor cycle in a group in a group, following an instructor and music.

LeMond Fitness

LeMond Fitness, powered by Hoist Fitness, is a fitness company formed by Greg LeMond that specializes in creating stationary cycles.

Life Fitness

Life Fitness is one of the largest and most respected fitness equipment manufacturers. They manufacture every type of equipment including cardio and strength machines.

Matrix Fitness

Matrix Fitness is a commercial grade fitness equipment manufacturer. They are known for their industrial design and contemporary look.

Olympic Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Olympic benches are slightly larger than standard benches and are generally made of composite steel for maximum durability. Olympic benches are also more padded since they’re designed to be able to withstand larger weight loads and heavier lifters.

P80 Console – Precor’s newest consoles for their cardio fitness equipment. It has a 15″ LCD capacitive touchscreen. It is also iPod/iPhone compatible.

P30 Console – Precor’s older style console. Includes large LED display and motion controls.

Power Rack

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A power rack is a machine with four vertical bars and two movable horizontal bars used to catch barbells. Many power racks also come with additional horizontal bars to perform chin ups and pull ups on in addition to barbell exercises. They are usually wide enough for a person to easily fit inside, along with a fitness bench.

Preacher Curl

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

See entry for curl bench.

Precor

Precor is a worldwide leader in the home/commercial exercise equipment due to their emphasis on superior quality, creative innovation and overall performance. They specialize in both strength equipment and cardio and are probably most well known for their innovative AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer).

Recumbent Bike

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior

A recumbent bike is an exercise bike that places its user in a reclining position with the pedals out in front of them. The recumbent bike is great for users with back problems because there is

less pressure on the lower back due to the laid-back position.

Smith Machine

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, back

A smith machine is a machine usually consisting of a vertical steel rails that is used in weight training. It is primarily used with a barbell and as a self-spotting machine. There are slots on the smith machine that you can hook a barbell onto with only a twist of a wrist. There are also usually safeties which can be placed at a minimum height to catch the barbell and prevent injuries. Smith Machines usually only also vertical movement and are primarily used for squats.

StairMaster

A fitness company established in 1983 and known for their stair climbing fitness equipment. Their most famous products include the stepper and stepmill.

Star Trac

Star Trac has been manufacturing exercise equipment for both home and commercial use since 1979. Their main specialties are their Pro Treadmill lines, their complete lines of selectorized strength equipment and much more.

Stepmill

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, calves

A stepmill resembles an escalator in the sense that it is an endless set of rotating steps. These steps are attached to a belt that revolves with every step. Stepmills are meant to exactly simulate stair climbing and uses your own body weight as resistance, which can increase the amount of calories burned.

Stepper

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, calves

Steppers are machines that have two side by side pedals that you pump up and down to simulate stair climbing. Since steppers rely less on bodyweight, they are more effective for lighter individuals who may not have enough mass to properly move the stepmills. Generally, steppers allow you to adjust resistance level to adjust intensity and difficulty of the workout.

Upright Bike

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior, core

An upright bike is an exercise bike where the user sits in an upright position, similar to a road bicycle, with the pedals almost directly below the seat. The upright position helps to simulate real road bike riding and engages the core more than a recumbent bike.

Weight Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench (sometimes called a fitness bench) is a padded board supported by legs and its primary purpose is for weightlifters to sit or lie down on. There are various types of weight benches, including an incline bench, a decline bench, an ab bench, a preacher curl/curl bench and an Olympic bench.

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Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Body Composition
Flexibility
Muscular Strength
Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

Balance
Reaction Time
Coordination
Agility
Speed
Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of Physical Fitness emphasizes the difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Its point-of-departure is the “health” of the US nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that respect, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components are more important than those related to Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Although the concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with “good health”, the 5 Components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow for their measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the objective of measuring the 5 Components is to advise clients about their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Health Related Fitness, which is of direct interest to the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard which allows for consistent application.

It is therefore important for those working in the health and fitness industry not to mistake “overall physical fitness” with “Health Related Physical fitness.”

To conclude, let us consider this distinction between Physical Fitness and Health Related Fitness

One needs to bear in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall Physical Fitness, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The distinction therefore, between these two terms, exists in that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where the “rubber hits the road.” The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired fitness goals.

Cleto Tirabassi is a certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

His work centers on the “sensible approach” to Health Related Fitness, which entails the use of practical, flexible and sustainable methods to achieve optimal levels of health and physical fitness.

His clientele belongs mostly to the group he calls “average everyday people”, who in short want to be in excellent shape, yet still lead a conventional life.

Based in Rome, Italy – he is dedicated to guiding the individuals he works with to realize their health and fitness goals. He also understands that the health and fitness industry is constantly evolving and therefore maintains a close watch on trends in his field of expertise.

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Portable Fitness Equipment

Since I first began personal training in 1985 people have stated basically the same goals: To lose fat and gain muscle, improve athleticism, heal the body,increase movement skills, spend little money and train whenever and wherever they wanted. I am pretty sure you want the same, but there’s a problem. Maybe you travel, it’s hard to get to the gym, or maybe you don’t like the gym and/or you can’t afford to build your own machine laden gym at home? So what do you do? Well the answer has been here for over 30 years. The answer to true physical fitness is portable fitness equipment from the Monkey Bar Gym! Portable fitness equipment has evolved from the light resistance bands and ankle weights they use in aerobic classes. Today portable fitness equipment is literally all you need to get into the greatest shape of your life. Whether your goal is basic overall fitness, strength, conditioning OR high level sports performance you can get it all with portable fitness equipment.

How do I know this? It is all I have ever done and all that my dad Bobby Hinds has ever done. My Dad started the beginnings of portable fitness equipment with the beaded jump rope and training program in 1973, which sparked the Jump Rope for Heart program. He followed it up in 1976 with the first ever Portable Gym. Back in the day people thought my dad was crazy…still do , but he was way ahead of his time. He saw a huge need for people to stay in shape while on the road, traveling, working out at home or outside. He knew that not everyone wanted to workout on machines, or had the money, time or drive to workout in a gym or inside for that matter. So, he took it upon himself to change it and the fitness world has never been the same.

Today, portable fitness equipment can do everything you desire in your fitness training: YOU CAN get stronger, leaner, improve athletic performance, heal & prevent injuries, increase movement skills, spend little money and train anywhere you want, anytime you want!!! Portable fitness equipment can also allow you to follow an online training program, almost like having your own personal trainer! Because of all of these tremendous benefits, portable fitness equipment is a common term in the fitness industry. I feel my Dad and his company, Lifeline USA, are a huge reason for portable fitness equipment being such an integral part of the fitness industry today. I have always believed in portable fitness equipment, so much that I opened up my Monkey Bar Gymnasium in 2001. It is the first hard core strength and conditioning training facility in the country that uses ONLY portable fitness equipment!

“Full body anywhere, anytime training is all we do and all we’ve ever done” says Monkey Bar Gymnasium, Certified Natural Trainer, Jessica Rucker. “We teach movement mastery first and then add resistance via portable fitness equipment. Using Resistance cables, Kettlebells, Jungle Gyms, Med & D-balls, Jump Ropes, Power Push ups, Power Jumpers, Vertical Jumpers and Power Wheels all add more challenge to basic bodyweight movements, thus taking them to the next level. It’s clearly the main reason everyone who trains with us either online or at the Monkey Bar Gymnasium is incredibly fit”.

So what exactly is portable fitness equipment? Any piece of exercise equipment that you can easily pack and take anywhere in the world and get a tremendous workout. That is why my dad’s first Portable Gym’s tag line was “a gym in a bag”. Portable fitness equipment gives you a great workout, not just an okay one.

IT WORKS!! A workout with really good portable fitness equipment improves your strength (functional muscle), conditioning (leaner body), sports performance, agility, mobility, stability, strength and power. Want proof, At the Monkey Bar Gymnasium we AVERAGE 17 lbs of fat loss and 5.4 lbs of muscle gain over the first 60 days of training…did I mention, only using portable fitness equipment!

More Proof. On a recent road trip, Jessica and I brought along all of our favorite Portable Fitness Equipment, a Power Push Up, Jungle Gym, TNT Cable, Power Wheel, Power Jump Rope and even the new Lifeline Kettlebell. Yes, the Lifeline Kettlebell. This may not be a true piece of portable fitness equipment, but it is a heavier version, it still is portable and definitely is fitness equipment. On our road trip we really put all of the portable fitness equipment to the test.

Could we drive more than 3,000 miles & get great workouts at the same time? The answer was definitely YES!!Every hour we drove, we stopped and did a killer set with each piece of equipment. One hour we did a set of squat presses with the TNT Cable, the next hour a killer set of chins and rows with the Jungle Gym, the next hour 100 doubles jumping rope as fast as possible, the next hour 40 snatches each arm with the Lifeline Kettlebell. Honestly, it was amazing! Each set only took us 3 minutes! When we would get back in the car we felt incredible! We were totally energized and ready to go and looked forward to the next hour and what we would do. By the end of the day, we had without question, gotten a heck of a workout and we were both tired but very satisfied in knowing that we not only can do these workouts anywhere at anytime, but that working out with Portable Fitness Equipment is the best way to attain ultimate fitness.

The World is your Playground” workout anywhere / anytime (AA), indoors or outside!!!

Lets lay out a Backpack of Portable Fitness Equipment for you to workout AA!!

1) Jungle Gym: Pure bodyweight training: chin ups (assisted to kip ups), push ups, dips, rows, flys, assisting pistols /1 leg squats, leg curls, runners, core rollouts and lots more. One piece of equipment that can do full body training for strength & conditioning! Weight about 1.5 lbs, fits in pocket.

2) TNT Cable: Pure resistance training: squats, full extensions, cable cleans, presses, Russian twists, diagonal chops & lifts, resisted running & backpedaling, 1 arm punches, rows and lots more. Weight about 1 lb., fits in large pocket.

3) Power Jump Rope: Pure conditioning training: probably the single best tool for overall full body conditioning. Weight 1.5 lbs, fits in pocket.

We put them all together in the Portable Monkey Bar Gym. It even includes a comprehensive training DVD.

Add more fun to your BackPack with the following:

The Power Push up: Voted Best piece of exercise equipment by Mens Fitness. Can adjust from 20 to 270 lbs of resistance for your push ups. Weight 2.5 lbs., fits in backpack easily.

The Power Jumper: The Best Jump Training device on the market…and it’s portable! Get the Jump Training DVD, it’s great. You can do all lower body exercises with it too. Athletes average 6-8″ improvements over 12 weeks of training. Weight 2.5 lbs, fits in backpack too.

A Note on the Resistance Cables – 3 big points:

1) Non-Fixed ranges of motion – meaning you must react and balance the resistance, this improves motor function and performance greatly.

2) Progressive variable resistance – as cables lengthen they increase in resistance, creating an excellent balance as your leverage becomes greater, it becomes greater!

3) Adjustable resistance – in seconds you can lighten or increase the resistance. This means you can match bodyweight movements with precision resistance, can load or resist up to max loads thus giving covering all levels of strength training from endurance to power.

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