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The History of Life Fitness in 5 Products

Posted 23/08/2017 : By: Brandon Last

Life Fitness has been at the forefront of fitness technology since its incorporation as Lifecycle Inc. in 1977. In this article, Amazon Leisure takes a look at the history of the world leader in fitness equipment by looking at 5 of their products, each of which represented a massive leap forward in fitness technology.

The Original LifeCycle

The world's first electric stationary exercise bike was developed by the chemist Dr. Keene P. Dimmick in 1968. Dimmick wanted to improve his exercise routine and invented a piece of equipment to meet his needs. He had no idea at the time of the revolution in the fitness industry that his stationary bike would create.

However, some people did, Ray Wilson and Augie Nieto, the founders of Life Fitness, saw the potential in Dimmick's invention and bought his design. After some modification, they marketed this innovative new product as the LifeCycle, and in doing so, kick started one of the most recognisable and highly regarded brands in the fitness industry.

The innovative LifeCycle monitored the pulse of the user through an earpiece, it also measured the crank revolutions per minute and the calories that the user had burned. The central display showed the work level which represented the resistance that the exerciser was pedalling against. There were inputs too, the user could set the intensity of their workout through the 'exercise level' setting in order to put them through a more rigorous routine or scale it back as required.



The LifeRower LR-8500

The Life Rower was state of the art when it first came out in 1986. It was the first piece of fitness equipment to combine commercial-quality fitness equipment with a video game.


In the video game, you compete against a pacer boat into which a helicopter drops new rowers to increase your challenge. With '80s era graphics (the best available at the time), the game looks dated and even a little comical now however it was a much more serious training tool than it initially appears.


It was developed with the input of Olympic rowers and was designed in a way that the better your form, the better you performed in the game. A computerised coxswain continually gives you feedback on your form and instruction on improving it. A further element of fun is added by a shark that will eat rowers when their pace slows.

The user got feedback on their performance in terms of strokes per minute and calories burned and the amount of time you had been exercising for. Even though the Life Rower was the first machine to introduce gaming into exercising, it certainly hasn't been the last. It has left a long legacy, many rowing machines today still have the option to compete against a pace boat and a number of cycles and other gym machines will link together and allow users to race against each other.

Hammer Strength MTS Iso-Lateral Row

In 1997 Life Fitness acquired Hammer Strength and their worldwide reach and technical expertise took them from strength to strength. Hammer Strength products have become the first choice for elite athletes around the world because Hammer products can take the hammering they dish out and the advanced bio-mechanical research that goes into each product produces results.

In 1999, Hammer's MTS range came out, it is based on the same biomechanics of the plate-loaded iso-lateral products but with dual weight stacks. This enables the independent limb movement that has made plate loaded the choice of the professional athletes but with the convenience of integrated weight towers.

The superior belt drive system on Hammer MTS products gives short, direct transmission, smooth performance and premium durability.

The separate weight stacks on the MTS Iso-Lateral Row provides independent diverging and converging motions. The underhand grip and overhead pivot provide a natural arc of motion and neutral wrist positioning. And the seat adjustments deliver additional stabilisation


Life Fitness Discover SE Console

To keep up with the technology boom in 2013, Life Fitness decided to create a console that was up to update and ahead of its time. This was the start of the Discover console which still holds up many years after the initial release.

The Discover console has an simple layout so it's easy to pick up and use with access with the most up to date entertainment options such as streaming videos from popular steaming media apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, ESPN and many more or even playing pre-installed games such as Solitaire, Mahjong and chess so you can stimulate your mind whilst keeping fit.


RunSocial is a feature that is exclusive to the Discover SE3 which allows exercisers to compete with friends, family, professional athletes or anyone around the world. Combined with the LifeScape feature, which allows you to have a set course around various landscapes around the world, this creates an engrossing experience so that you'll forget that you worked up a sweat.

This console comes on a various amount of machines such as the 95X Cross trainer so you feel like you are exploring a lush jungle, the 95C upright cycle so you can ride through a quaint, tranquil town in France or an Elevation Series Treadmill so you can go on a run and compete with your friends.


InMovement Treadmill Desks

The innovative InMovement Treadmill Desk prioritises your health whilst allowing you to be productive during a desk job. The ergonomic design combined with an optimal 2mph so it doesn't distract you from any important matters and increase productivity.

It is well-known that being sedentary for too long is harmful to your body and the average day is plagued by prolonged sitting. InMovement brings movement to your office with this contemporary treadmill that allows you to keep in shape whilst you work.

Research has proven that walking keeps the brain active and has been linked to increased productivity and improved mood as well as burn up almost three to five times more calories by just strolling rather than sitting whilst you work.

With so many pros and very little cons it'll be surprising to not see one of these in every workplace in the near future.






The History of Life Fitness in 5 Products
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