The future of indoor cycling classes: computerized rides to track your stats

AFP Relax News
LifeCycle GX

Fans of indoor cycling classes, meet what could be the next big thing: Life Fitness's Lifecycle GX, a group exercise bike featuring a cycling computer to track your fitness stats.

The new bike launched Thursday at this week's giant International Health, Racquet & Sportclub Association (IHRSA) fitness trade show in Los Angeles, where attendees can test-drive the new bike by participating in a series of group fitness classes during the show.

In addition to providing cool features such as an ergonomic seat, magnetic brake and lever, and zinc oxide coated frame, the bike also comes equipped with a computer, which tracks speed, distance, resistance level, cadence, calories, time, heart rate and percentage of max heart rate.

Last year's hot new indoor group cycle was the RealRyder, an Italian-made group fitness bike that moves, shifts, and turns for a feel that is closer to a real road bike.

Another new bike making the rounds at major trade shows such as IHRSA is the Power Plate powerBIKE, which combines Power Plate vibrations with a stationary ride. The bike emits vibrations to your muscles (stimulating up to 2,400 muscle contractions per minute), which the manufacturer says means you work harder, burn more calories, and get a more efficient workout in a shorter amount of time.

Another new launch this week at IHRSA is Life Fitness's Synrgy360, a total-body personal training system designed for health clubs and gyms. The system combines several popular training applications, including functional training, boxing, suspension training, core training, reaction training, sports-specific training and strength training. Check out the machine in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8AxpJxvkO0

Also yet to be officially announced, fitness company Octane plans to debut a "mystery" elliptical cross trainer at the event this week.

A rival to the IDEA World Fitness Convention and FIBO, the IHRSA, now in its 31st year, is another top, long-standing fitness trade show held in Los Angeles, drawing hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of industry pros every year.