STEUBENVILLE - The needs of a small fitness center to add exercise classes and the needs of its members to use exercise classes merged with the installation of a Fitness On Request virtual exercise course system at the Anytime Fitness franchise in the Hollywood City Center in Steubenville.
Owner Arieh Ordronneau said the Fitness on Request system in his facility is the only one in the area. The two closest are at independent gyms in Youngstown and Pittsburgh, he said.
Remodeling of the center, which is celebrating its first year in business, involved providing an expanded room, with a wood exercise floor, the Fitness on Request system and sound system, new exercise mats, balance balls, four spinning course bicycles and other equipment.
FITNESS ON REQUEST, ANYTIME — Arieh Ordronneau, owner of the Anytime Fitness franchise in the Hollywood City Center in Steubenville, demonstrates the Fitness on Request system recently installed in the fitness center. The Anytime Fitness location is celebrating its first year in business.
-- Paul Giannamore
A user goes through a touch-screen kiosk to select a particular exercise course. A 10-foot video screen drops from the ceiling and the instructor teaches the course. It's virtual personal or group exercise.
"You will find classes in everything from yoga and Pilates and basic stretching to cardio-kick boxing, spinning and there are courses for senior exercises, too," Ordronneau said.
There are ab and arm workouts for various levels, hip-hop dance and step classes, upper body, full body cardio and sports drills, among the many choices.
For the next several weeks, the new system is in a guest mode and has 35 classes available for beginners, intermediate-level and experts. In a few weeks, a software upgrade will be put into the exercise kiosk and the system will have 40 courses available. Anytime Fitness members will be able to use an identification code to access their personal settings, which will show which classes they've taken and how often, as well as allowing them to schedule use of the room. Eventually, the system will have a thumbprint recognition device activated, so users won't have to input names and passwords each time they use the room. Instead, a simple scan of their thumb will bring up their personal preferences and exercise history in the Fitness on Request system.
There also will be the ability to schedule classes from home or work via the Internet.
"The neat thing is, if you schedule yourself in for a spinning class at 5 o'clock and you don't get here until 5:13, you'll still get your whole spinning class. The system won't just start and you've missed 13 minutes of class," he said.
The software update will include 40 new classes. In each class, there will be three instructors on the screen, one for beginners, one for intermediate and one for experts, meaning there will be potential for multiple levels of workout for each course, all at once. Users will have the ability to adjust the volume of the surround sound system, too. Users will also be able to schedule a class at the kiosk while others are using the system, he said.
The ability for members to schedule themselves into groups in the room also is a plus. Ordronneau noted that, with a small facility, the basic rule will be that if someone is starting a class and someone else wants to join, they can.
"There are four spinning bikes and multiple mats in there, so anything that's not being used in a class means there's room for more," he said.
Like all Anytime Fitness services, the room is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fitness on Request is a free addition for members but guests who are using the location will have to pay to use the service, Ordronneau said.
He said he is pleased with the results of his first year in business.
"We've got nearly 700 members," he said. "I admit, I was maybe a little hesitant at first. Was there a reason why there wasn't a facility like this and why people weren't working out? But the response has been fantastic. People like the 24-hour availability and having new equipment available. Fitness on Request forces people to push a little more than they usually do."
The first anniversary celebration includes a two-day sale on memberships, for $2 sign-up, first month and key card fee. The offer will be available for those who stop by the center Wednesday and Thursday. For details, see the advertisement in Monday's editions.
(Giannamore's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)