Treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes are often described as being "iFit-compatible" or having "Gamefit." What do these terms mean?
iFIT. iFit workout cards are programmed workouts that can be inserted into many treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes to provide a truly interactive workout. That is, the workout changes according to the user's actual performance in the workout. You control the workout, but the program reacts to your performance and instructs you accordingly. In some versions, the equipment actually voices the instructions. The program records your workouts and presents the result when you go to workout the next time. In that way, you can set goals and track your progress. The idea is that it's just like having a personal trainer there next to you while you work out.
iFit is endorsed by Jillian Michaels, the personal trainer who is best known for her work on the TV show The Biggest Loser. iFit has also been seen being used on the show.
iFit cartridges ("cards") work only in iFit-compatible machines. iFit is a product of the biggest manufacturer in the home exercise equipment field, ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., which also manufactures many brands of exercise equipment. The cards offer 8-week progressive workout programs designed by certified personal trainers. On treadmills, the cards automatically adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill. On elliptical machines and stationary bikes, the resistance adjusts. Different workouts are available to match the user's objectives, for example, weight loss, specific athletic performance, or general fitness. Different levels are also available, from beginner to advanced. Additional cards can be bought and it's even possible to download new workouts onto old cards.
GAMEFIT. Gamefit is a set of interactive video games built in to your equipment. The goals of the game are achieved through doing the same things you are doing in your workout anyway. By combining your goals in this way, the games get easier as your cardiovascular fitness increases. The idea is that, by adding some other meaning to your workouts, you take your mind off of your workout, make progress toward your fitness goals, and have some fun at the same time.
Does it seem like the robots are replacing the personal trainers? The trainers need not fear. One of the big advantages of having Muscleman standing next to you barking is that it really does make you work harder than if you are left on your own. Can a robot really have the same effect? Maybe. It's easy to try.
Robert Braun is Vice President of Sales at Treadmill-World. For more information on treadmills and ellipticals, see Treadmill-World.com
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