Workout Trackers – What is the deal?

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director, Northwest Fitness


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

I’m a bit of a junkie for tracking workouts, and have read several blogs put out by big companies reviewing their capabilities.  The funny thing is, most of them are simply glorified pedometers with an app that displays some information.  Here is how they differ and why we sell the Polar Loop!

FitBit – at the time of writing this, there are 3 models available.  FitBit Flex (wrist) $99.95, FitBit One (flash drive size for in pocket) $99.95 and FitBit Zip (belt clip on) $59.95. Here is a handy comparison page on their website: http://www.fitbit.com/comparison/trackers  FitBit does a fine job of tracking steps and sending that info on to their website or app.  The problem is it doesn’t do much for in-depth analysis of specific workouts, and is at best a guesstimate on actual calories burned.  You can use their website to track other things like diet, but many features you need to pay an annual subscription for of $49.95/year.  http://www.fitbit.com/premium/about  FitBit is water resistant, not waterproof.  If you plan on swimming, you should probably look for another product. https://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/articles/1083828-i-washed-my-tracker Overall, the FitBit is one of the leaders in the category, but is somewhat limited if you want more detail such as heart rate! The best thing about FitBit is the ability to sync to most mobile devices, connect and compete with friends, and it plays well with other fitness apps.

Polar Loop

Polar Loop

Nike FuelBand – $169.95 or $149.95 depending on color – the best thing about this unit is it looks cool.  These are unfortunately overpriced, need frequent charging, and talk in “Fuel Points” which is Nike’s own calculation – not a well known means of work like calories.  It also is only water resistant, not waterproof – so swimming is not an option. http://support-en-us.nikeplus.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20771/p/3169,3180  It also does not pair with a heart rate monitor for detailed workout tracking.  If you want more from your workout tracker, there are better options out there.

Polar Loop – $109.95 – this is the one we carry in our store.  Why?  1. It pairs with a bluetooth heart rate monitor (we sell the Polar H-7 strap).  This gives you much more detail on the app and website so you can do a much better job getting accurate information into the database.  2. It is waterproof – so swim, shower, and wakeboard while wearing it. 3. Polar Flow app offers detailed information and links to your polar account for viewing online as well as social and friend competition options. https://flow.polar.com/#home  If you just want the step tracking, $109.95 gets you started, and if you want to take it to the next level, add the H-7 strap for the ultimate package at just under $200.

Want to see it live before you buy?  Drop by the store.  I will show you my app, detailed info and help you get started!




Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/workouts/workout-trackers-what-is-the-deal/


Octane Q-series Elliptical Overview


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

What happens when you mix a great feeling elliptical trainer with the best technology?  AMAZING RESULTS!  That is what you can expect from the latest Octane Fitness Q-series ellipticals.  In this post we will talk specifically about the Q37xi and Q47xi models with the iPad compatibility and new SmartLink technology.

We already know that Octane makes a great feeling elliptical.  Their patented movement patters and excellent biomechanics make their ellipticals easy on your joints, and fun to use.  They are easy to get on and off, plus have a low step up height which makes them the ideal choice for any basement or low ceiling height situation.  Their displays have now been upgraded and simplified to offer a sleeker, more refined user experience.  Octane has added a light bar that gives the user critical feedback to let them know how hard they are working.  The light bar also is the indicator of when to start and end strength exercises during cross-circuit workouts, and is now multi-color to enhance booster programs like glute kicker and arm blaster.

Not only has the console itself been upgraded, but now the xi models offer bluetooth connectivity to any iPad2 or newer.  By downloading the free SmartLink app, the user makes their workout experience much more interactive, intuitive, and user friendly.  It takes the traditional programs and adds categorization for easier understanding of the intent of the program.  The user can choose from 12 “lose weight”, 20 “feel better”, 12 “tone up”, and 30 “athletic performance” programs that include live video to show you what to do and when! Check out the videos on this blog and then come see it live at the store.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/octane-q-series-elliptical-overview/


Time to start training LATERAL?

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

If you are like most people, you have worked out on a treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper and exercise bike.  What is the one thing all of those machines have in common?

Helix H1000 Lateral Trainer

They use your muscles in a front to back pattern which targets a certain mix of your muscle groups.  It may be time to try something new, something different.  Something LATERAL?

Have you ever done a defensive slide drill in basketball?  How about speed-skating or downhill skiing?  Nothing lights your legs on fire like lateral movement.  Equipment manufacturers are now bringing lateral to the options in cardio equipment.

In testing, they have shown amazing muscle activation to the glutes, core, inner and outer thighs – which are all target areas for those who want to lose weight and look good. Helix is even offering a promotion for the month of January – they are so sure you will love the lateral movement of the Helix Trainer, and they are so sure you will need a new wardrobe, that they are backing it up with a $50 Macy’s gift card with purchase of the H1000 and $100 for the HLT3000.

We are also offering special 12 month 0% interest during the promotion! Come in and try one today…or for more info on lateral training, visit http://www.helixco.com/lateral-training/  

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/time-to-start-training-lateral/


Workout at work – the ultimate timesaver!

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

Feeling time crunched? Putting too many hours at the office to get to the gym? Here is how to burn some calories WHILE at work!

The treadmill desks by LifeSpan Fitness are specifically made for walking while you work, and come in several affordable options. The treadmill is different from traditional treadmills in that unnecessary components like the elevation motor are eliminated, saving cost. They are also optimized for walking at slow speeds using a high torque motor geared for the intended use. They max out at 4mph, but I rarely go above 1.5 mph because it is hard to get any work done going faster.

There are 3 different desk options you can pair with LifeSpan’s most popular treadmill, the TR-1200. The desk components available are the DT3, DT5 or DT7.

20131211-104430.jpgIf you already own a standing height adjustable desk, the TR1200-DT3 is for you. This is the treadmill base, connected by a piggy-tailed control board that simply sits atop your desk. This system is on sale for $999 ($1499 MSRP).

20131211-104419.jpgThe TR1200-DT5 is a pop-pin, manually height adjusted desk with the control board embedded in the front lip of the desk. If you don’t have a desk yet and are looking to keep costs down, this model goes for $1499 ($1999 MSRP) and is the most popular version of the treadmill desks.

The TR1200-DT7 is an electronically height adjusted desk with the control board embedded in the front lip of the desk. This is the version I use on a daily basis. It goes for $1999 (MSRP $2499) and is the most flexible option. I prefer this because I change positions throughout the day – sometime walking, sometimes just standing, and sometimes sitting on an exercise ball on top of the treadmill. Each of these activities is most comfortable in a different position so I like having it be so easy to move the desk height as needed with just the push of a button.

20131211-103322.jpgBoth the DT5 and DT7 are designed to be a functional desk. They are large enough for me to have 2 computer screens, a phone, and writing space in addition to my keyboard and mouse. I also love the ergo pad on the lip for resting my wrists while I am typing. There are racks built in underneath and an adjustable hole in the back of the desk to make managing cords and power supplies a snap. If you need more space, there are specialized monitor mounting systems, and additions for desk sides available to customize your specific setup.

Are you ready to get a treadmill desk? Contact us today!




Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/workout-at-work-the-ultimate-timesaver/


We Sell Award Winning Products!


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

It is always our goal to sell the best products at the best price everyday.  This year many of our products have received recognition as the best product.  Here is a complete list of the awards from Fitness Professor Reviews 2014 including links!

Bodyguard T460xc – Best Treadmill Any Price Range
Bodyguard T280PO – Best Treadmill under $4500
Landice L-7 Pro Trainer – Best Treadmill under $4000
Vision Fitness T40 Elegant – Best Treadmill under $3500
SportsArt T611 – Best Treadmill under $3000
LifeSpan TR3000i – Best Treadmill under $2000
Vision Fitness T10 – Best Treadmill under $1500
LifeSpan TR200 – Best Treadmill under $1000
LifeSpan Treadmill Desks
– Best Treadmill Desks Any Price Range

Elliptical Trainers:
Octane Q47ci – Best Elliptical under $5000
Octane Q47c – Best Elliptical under $4500
Vision Fitness S7200HRT – Best Elliptical under $4000
Octane Q37ci – Best Elliptical under $3500
Octane Q37c – Best Elliptical under $3000
Octane Q35c – Best Elliptical under $2500
Vision Fitness X40 Classic – Best Elliptical under $2000
Vision Fitness X10 – Best Elliptical under $1000

Cross Trainers:
Octane LateralX – Best Cross Trainer Any Price Range
Octane xR6ce – Best Cross Trainer under $4500
Octane xR6e – Best Cross Trainer under $4000
Octane xR6 standard – Best Cross Trainer under $3500
BodyCraft R25 Recumbent – Best Cross Trainer under $2000

Recumbent Bikes:
Bodyguard R9x – Best Recumbent Bike Any Price Range
Bodyguard R6x – Best Recumbent Bike under $2500
BodyCraft R25 Recumbent – Best Cross Trainer under $2000
Vision Fitness R10 – Best Recumbent Bike under $750

Upright Bikes:
Bodyguard V9x – Best Upright Bike under $2500
SportsArt c521u – Best Upright Bike under $2000
Vision Fitness U20 Elegant – Best Upright Bike under $1500
Vision Fitness U20 Classic – Best Upright Bike under $1000

Indoor Cycles (Spin Bikes):
Relay Fitness EVOcx – Best Indoor Cycle under $2000
Relay Fitness EVOix – Best Indoor Cycle under $1500
Waters Tsunami Pro – Best Indoor Cycle under $1250
LifeSpan S2 – Best Indoor Cycle under $750

Best Rower:
BodyCraft VR500 – Best Rower under $2000

Home Gyms and Functional Trainers:
Vectra VX-FT 2-Stack – Best Functional Trainer under $6000
Vectra VX-FT 1-Stack – Best Functional Trainer under $4500
Torque Fitness F7 – Best Functional Trainer under $4000
BodyCraft PFT – Best Functional Trainer under $3500
Tuff Stuff SPT-6 – Best Home Gym under $3000
Torque Fitness F1
– Best Functional Trainer under $1500
Torque X-Rack Warrior – Best Rig/Rack System under  $750

That is a ton of recognition in many different categories and price levels.  Come shop with us to buy the best!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/we-sell-award-winning-products/


Best price guaranteed – and better service too!

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn

Sales Director

We offer a BEST PRICE GUARANTEE! That means if you find a lower price on the exact same product, we will match or beat the price! Plus, the fact that we are local and offer service, you can rest assured that you will have the best ownership experience possible if there is ever a problem with your equipment.

We offer our products at our best price EVERY DAY, and GUARANTEE the BEST PRICE for 30 days after you make your purchase, so you can be sure you are making a great decision!

When you come into our store, we can show you all of the equipment options. We let you try the equipment with a knowledgeable salesperson to assist you in finding the best product for your needs. Once we have found the best product, we are happy to search the internet with you to make sure you are getting the best price!

In the market for a new piece of fitness equipment for your home or business? Visit our store today!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/best-price-guarantee-and-better-service-too/


5 Critical Steps to At Home Fitness Success

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn

Sales Director

I talk to a lot of customers about how they can BEST set themselves up to succeed in an at home fitness program. There are 5 essential things to consider. Take these factors into consideration, and you increase your chances of sticking with your program incrementally!

1. Product Selection

People ask “What is the ‘best’ piece of equipment to get?” Unfortunately there is no single answer that fits all situations. To get a fully rounded fitness program going, you want to have the ability to work both cardio and strength. Cardio options include treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and the like. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. In short, get what you like using. It really doesn’t matter if you burn a few more calories on one piece or the other if you don’t use it, so get what you will use! For strength, you can go as simple as a few dumbbells or kettlebells, or as elaborate as a full multi-station home gym. Again, determine the way you like to strength train and get the equipment that you are most likely to enjoy using.

2. In Home Placement

Many people think, “I’ll put it in the garage!” Nothing could be more detrimental to your success. In the winter time, the garage is almost as cold as going outside, in the summer it can be too hot! Since most people workout in the morning or evening due to schedules, the temperature of the garage tends to keep people from going out there to get their workout in. For best results, create a space inside the home that is climate controlled and inviting.

3. Entertainment

Get a television in your workout room! Whether you like watching sports center, the batchelor, or biggest loser, combining your tv time with workout time will give you the best chance of creating a habit. For me – it’s morning sports center while sprint training on the treadmill, followed by strength training on my functional trainer. If you are not a tv person, set yourself up to read or listen to music that motivates you to get moving!

Virtual Active Training

4. Motivation

Track your workouts. There are many ways to do this from keeping your statistics in a journal to great apps that offer tremendous feedback. Monitor your heart rate and push yourself by making improvement a priority. Some of the new cardio equipment consoles have this technology embedded and automatically track your progress for you. If you need this technology to keep track of your progress, spend the extra money to get the features you need to motivate you. Another great thing to do is set up a contest or weekly check in with a friend or family member to review the last week’s workouts. Having someone to answer to will help motivate you to stick with it.

5. Buy Quality Equipment

Many people want to “just get something cheap on craigslist.” Nothing will kill your workout program faster than poor quality equipment. Unfortunately craigslist is full of junk! I study craigslist everyday to find QUALITY used products to sell at our store – 99% of the listings are the low-end products from sears or costco that people bought before reading this article. Low end machines are typically unstable, not smooth, and break down frequently with limited local support to repair them. If you are on a tight budget, it is better to buy a QUALITY used piece from a store like us – who will back it up with a service and labor warranty than guessing about whether something on craigslist is worthwhile.

Hopefully this will help you get set up for success in your at home fitness program. If you are in need of QUALITY equipment, contact us to work with our experienced sales consultants and determine the best products for your specific needs, space constraints, and budget. We will help educate you, allow you to try a wide variety of products, and help you put together a program for at home fitness success with no pressure!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/5-critical-steps-to-at-home-fitness-success/


Treadmill motor horsepower ratings

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

If you are shopping for a treadmill, you will surely hear how important the motor is to the performance and durability of the product you are going to purchase.  You will commonly hear that you must have a 2.5 or 3.0 “Continuous Duty” motor.  The fact is HORSEPOWER ratings can be misleading.  There is no regulation on how horsepower is rated on treadmills.

Take these two treadmills for example: The Vision Fitness TF-20 vs. the Sole F65.  The Vision motor is rated at 2.75HP while the Sole F65 is rated at 3.25HP.  The Vision motor weighs 4 times what the Sole does and is physically larger by quite a bit.  On top of that, the Vision rating is taken at 3200RPM while the Sole rating is at 7720RPM.  This means that they took the rating on the Sole while working twice as hard as the Vision.

Vision Fitness Drive System

You can make a smaller motor give you more horsepower by winding it up to a higher RPM, but it will pull more power and wear out faster.  Since both companies offer a lifetime motor warranty, you may think this to be irrelevant – except when you look at the parts warranty.  Vision offers 5 years parts, and Sole offers 3.  The part that is most likely to fail due to high power draw on the motor is the lower electronics board – this is the brain of your treadmill.  It takes the power from the wall and supplies the motor with the power to make the treadmill give you the speed you want it to run at.  When it is running high levels of power and surging for your footfalls, it is heating up – and we all know that heat is the enemy of anything electronic.

So with that being said, it is obvious that the Vision Fitness motor is a better quality motor, and will help the other components to last longer as well.  The motor is the most expensive part of your treadmill and the combination of HORSEPOWER and RPM that the reading is taken at will give you a good indication of the quality level.  Other things you can check are the physical size and weight of the motor.  Typically the bigger and heavier, the better the motor.  Don’t be fooled by companies that try to “out-spec” their competition by giving unrealistic Horsepower ratings at high RPM.  Go to a store with a knowledgeable staff that can help you determine your needs, and find the right product to fit. In fitness equipment, as with most things, you get what you pay for – so buy quality for the best ownership experience.










Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/treadmill-motor-horsepower-ratings/


Need some motivation?

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

Looking for the ultimate workout motivation? Look no further – the new “Touch” console on the 2013 Vision Fitness ellipticals, treadmills and exercise bikes has it all! The new “Touch” screen is packed with features and motivation to get you results. It offers workout tracking for up to 4 users. Once your profile is setup, just log in before each workout and the calendar automatically updates your workout statistics.

There are tons of programs available – highlighted by the “Virtual Active” trails that actually interact with your machine. With these programs your treadmill will change elevation to match the HD trail as it is passing by. As you adjust the speed, the feed of the trail adjusts to match your pace. If you are on an elliptical or bike, the resistance kicks up with the elevation of the trail, and the speed adjusts to match your pedaling speed. To take it one step further, you can display the “Virtual Active” trails onto your HD television using the “Passport” player.

There are tons of other great features that you will find in the “Touch” console. It connects with Nike+, has integrated on-screen controls for your iPod, and tons more. The best part – it is so intuitive to use, I was able to figure it out without even cracking the owner’s manual. To see this live for yourself, come on down to the store and we will give you a live demo! Check out the full line of Vision Fitness products here.

Vision Fitness Touch Console

Vision Fitness Touch Console

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/need-some-motivation/


New technology = more fun while working out

Jeff Hahn - Sales Director


By: Jeff Hahn
Sales Director

Bodyguard "imagine" iPad app

Bodyguard "imagine" iPad app

One of the biggest hurdles to sticking with any workout program is boredom.  Keeping the user entertained and maximizing results are the two biggest factors in sustaining a solid workout plan.  Once you have made the decision to buy equipment for your home, you are on your way to success!  New technology in one brand of treadmills is making workouts fun again – and their iPad integration makes it impossible to run out of fun things to do while working out.

Bodyguard fitness has just launched the “imagine” iPad app for their treadmills.  This is not simply a docking station that will charge your iPod and play music, but a fully integrated treadmill control panel app that utilizes the many great features we already use on the iPad everyday and allows for maximum multitasking and fantastic reporting on workout results too!

Studies have shown that we are now spending more time than ever on the internet.  Just recently the statistics have changed to be more on mobile devices and more time using apps than using web browsers.  The iPad dominates the tablet computer market and has more apps than any other competitive product.  The ease of use and great features give iPad users unlimited options when it comes to entertainment.  You have true entertainment options like movies, YouTube, and streaming live sports; you have social media like facebook, twitter, and pinterest; you have email, internet, games, and even interactive exercising apps that give you that “on the trail” outdoors experience like Virtual Active.

So now that you know that the entertainment options are are unlimited, let’s talk about the “imagine” app and how it can help you reach your fitness goals!  The first thing you notice about the app is the ease of setting up your user profile.  You enter your name, weight, age, etc and even snap a quick pic of yourself and you are ready to go.  Now each time you use the treadmill, just select your profile and you are logged in for history, data, and custom settings.  Setting up programs is a snap.  Each program has a brief description of what the intended use is.  Find the one you want and follow the prompts to customize the speed, elevation, heart rate and you are on your way!  Upon completing your workout, the data is saved so you can easily replicate the program you just did the next time you want to do it.  A data export allows for easy charting and graphing of performance to make sure you are reaching your fitness goals.  For more details, check out this quick video, then head on into the store for a live demo!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.nwfitnessportland.com/blog/cardio-equipment/new-technology/

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