Top Product Brands for Fitness Facilities
Fitness is an important aspect of our everyday lives. It is imperative for people to realize that fitness helps to keep our body strong and immune to health problems. Lack of fitness greatly reduces a person’s life expectancy and increases the chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other health problems. This is why many gyms and health clubs are reaching out to new customers by offering the best trainers and fitness equipment that will aide in reducing weight and increasing strength.
Which is the best commercial fitness equipment?
There are many brands of fitness equipment today, with manufacturers entering the market daily. These manufacturers both sell and lease their equipment to gyms, health clubs, and for personal use so as to spread brand awareness and increase revenues.
In my opinion, based on use and experience, major brands such as Precor, Star Trac and LifeFitness provide the best quality fitness equipment. The amount of research that these companies spend on their design and technology is unparalleled. This is why they are the leading brands for fitness equipment around the globe. But which brand is the best?
Customer service & product reliability
In order to determine which brand is the best, I first go to customer feedback and reviews. Customers play an important role in the development and design of any product. Based on their feedback, companies will have to adapt and redesign their products so that their customers are satisfied. As a customer myself, who has had experience with all three brands, I would highly recommend Precor, Star Trac, and LifeFitness, but for different qualities.
How are Precor, Star Trac and LifeFitness different?
Precor takes great pride in the fact that they provide regular servicing of their equipment as part of their operational activity. Star Trac, backed by Core Health & Fitness, offers ongoing education and certifications, as well as product service training. Its Core Connect is a one-stop shop for warranty registration, preventative maintenance, service requests and parts orders – making maintaining equipment easy. LifeFitness’ training and education division Life Fitness Academy develops cutting edge fitness education and programming that helps owners optimize their training zones.
These brands manufacturer a wide range of products from HIT Zone tools to kettle bells to treadmills. All three brands provide equipment for both personal and commercial use. Star Trac seems to have a wide range of high-quality products for cardio, strength, and entertainment whereas LifeFitness’ product line has grown significantly, now also representing Hammer Strength, Cybex, SCIFIT, and Indoor Cycling Group.
Commercial fitness equipment updates and awards
The world has changed since 2013 when this blog first ran and the digital revolution certainly leads the way. LifeFitness now promotes a digital coach with a library of 1,500+ exercises that allow gyms to offer an online experience without investing in content development. According to their SEC filings, more than 90 percent of their cardiovascular equipment is connectable with an internet interface for both exercisers and fitness facilities.
Precor’s products are considered to be the most reliable according to a 2009 IHRSA Health Club Equipment Benchmarking Report which ranked Precor #1 in 12 of 14 categories including quality, reliability, ease-of-use, consumer excitement. In 2013 Gold’s Gym Franchisees named Precor Vendor of the Year-Equipment for the fifth time in eight years. The only downside that I would add is that Precor is pricier than the others but well worth the overall product experience.
Financial stability & growth
- Amer Sports Group manages Precor, which was established in 1980. Since this blog first published, Precor has expanded its line through acquisition of functional training systems provider Queenax and established a partnership with Mad Dogg Athletics, creators of the Spinning® indoor cycling program. They’ve greatly expanded their cycling choices, offering a new 600 line of uprights and recumbents. Most significantly, in December 2020, Peloton announced plans to acquire the equipment manufacturer Precorfor $420 million.
- LifeFitness was established in 1977 as LifeCycle but acquired by Brunswick Corporation in 1997. Their products reside in an estimated 250,000 clubs across 160 countries.
- Star Trac has been showing promising results over the years and it has been steadily increasing earning since its incorporation in 2011 in Irvine, CA. It is now under the wing of corporate holding company Core Health & Fitness, based in Vancouver Washington.
Topic for discussion:
- What, in your opinion, is the best fitness equipment brand and why?
- What are some other top notch commercial fitness brands that I did not mention?
- What are some other factors that you take into consideration when evaluating fitness equipment for your business?
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The blog originally ran Aug. 19, 2013 and updated Jan. 23, 2021.