Personal_Training_at_a_Gym_-_Cable_Crossover1Gyms – what a transformation! Gone are the days of rusty rowing machines and half-deflated yoga balls. These days it’s all about super-sophisticated technology and enhancing the gym experience as much as possible. After all, it’s a competitive market.

Here we have a look at some of the fancy technological gadgets that are improving gyms and boosting the number of workout addicts heading to their local health clubs on a regular basis.

1. Sophisticated scales

Now these are clever: scales that not only tell you how your weight loss is going, but keep you abreast of a whole host of other vital statistics.

Many leading gyms have invested in body analyser scales that can deliver a catalogue of figures including body fat, body water, muscle mass, body mass index (BMI) and basal metabolic rate (BMR). All these factors come together to give you a much more in-depth report on how your health plan is going. This information also helps personal trainers at the gym get a better overview of the work they need to put in to get you where you want to be.

As any health nut knows, that pesky pin on conventional scales can dance about all day long, giving you a confusing reading on your progress. The body analyser scales give you a better insight into all the elements that come together to make you… you!

2. Treadmill screens

The treadmill is a staple piece of gym equipment, but fans of running long distance will agree it can get pretty boring staring at the wall. To combat the boredom (and push for more miles – great for the gym’s continued success) high-tech gyms have invested in treadmills that have mini TV screens attached.

The best treadmill screens are the ones that are fixed directly in front of you, so that you don’t have to hunch over or crane your neck to see what’s going on. So whack on some daytime TV and pound that belt!

3. Visioweb

If This Morning doesn’t cut it for you, how about finding a gym that boasts Visioweb in its list of gadgets? It’s a clever little touchscreen display that allows you to browse the web, update your status (‘Hey everyone! I’m running!’) and even play backgammon if you so desire.

What’s more, you can hook up your iPod or iPhone and listen to your own personal selection of tunes while you exercise.

4. Secure lockers

It’s a pain having to strip yourself bare of expensive possessions before you hit the gym (removing that wedding band will always be met with a raised eyebrow), but who wants to put their expensive personal effects in a flimsy locker?

Some of the more state-of-the-art gyms are installing super-secure, software-managed electronic lockers that ensure your personal effects are totally safe from prying fingers.

Access is constantly monitored and activity is recorded through the control board so that you know your important items are always safe from harm. Gyms that invest in their customers’ safety in such a way are bound to be the preferred choice.

5. Power Plate

There are countless pieces of gym equipment that are worthy of a mention, but one of the standouts has to be the Power Plate. It’s been installed in many gyms across the world and allows gym-goers to tone their muscles, increase weight loss, strengthen their core and increase muscle mass.

The vibrating plate to the base of the equipment is the key. During targeted exercise routines, the addition of vibration can yield impressive results over a period of time.

So if your gym has a Power Plate, make sure you hop on – but ask a personal trainer to show you the ropes first. You don’t want to vibrate straight off and land on your rear…

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Written by James Sheehan, a gym lover who work out 3 times a week.