The All New X3S Functional Core Trainer


When it comes to core training the debate rages on as to whether isolation orfunctional training is better. There are certainly merits to both sides of the discussion but what if you could have BOTH in one simple, effective and space saving machine? Now you can with the all new X3S Bench from The Abs Company.

Check out the X3S
The X3S Bench combines three movements, lower body, upper body and isolated core training into one motion while eliminating the rest period in between exercises. Not only can you train your complete core but the X3S also allows you to train your quads, glutes and hamstrings with one simple compound movement. It is total bodyfunctional training in a compact space in the gym. The X3S Bench can also challenge any fitness level with the use of dumbbells or weighted balls for a total body workout.

What a Difference a Tour Makes

Why don’t they join?

It’s no secret that in order to run a successful health club business you need to continually gain new members. Attrition rates have stayed steady for many years and we know that over half of members are gone within 6 months of joining your club. Therefore it is critical to constantly have new members joining the club. The key to gaining new members is understanding why they do and do not join. Do you know the number one reason that a member will not join your club? If you guessed price or location you would be mistaken! The number one reason prospects leave your club without joining is that they don’t think they will feel comfortable there – that they won’t be successful. Research tells us that one of the top things prospects want is a flat stomach. You don’t even need the research because the prospects themselves will tell you this in their interview. If you overwhelm them with all of the things they need to do to achieve this, how do you think they will feel? Perhaps like they won’t fit in there? That they won’t be successful?

A New Perspective

If a prospect walked into your club, told you exactly what they wanted and you showed them you have it, would they join? Of course they would! Let’s go back to our prospect who told you they wanted to flatten their stomach – they wanted to strengthen their core. Instead of talking to them about the diet and cardio, what if you said “That’s great. We have a dedicated area in the club just for this – it’s called the Core Strength Zone. Let me show you!” And then you take them over to a few fun and effective ab machines such as the Ab Coaster or Ab Solo, and show them how it’s done. Don’t you think this will take the tour in a whole new direction? Now the prospect says to themselves – she listened to me, they have what I want here, I bet there are a lot of other great things this club has to offer! The prospect will now feel more comfortable and open to seeing what else your club has to offer. This approach doesn’t just go for people who talk about getting a flat belly. It’s what you could be doing for every prospect that comes through the door. Instead of a standard tour showing the things that you feel are important, customize the tour and gear it to what THEY want to see (based on their initial interview) and watch your closing ratios climb!

Profiting From Your Existing Members

Many club owners I speak with focus their non dues revenue around personal training and the ever growing Small Group Training. The member who uses a personal trainer is typically their most valuable member to the club, so naturally owners want to provide offerings that cater to this profitable group. This includes equipment selection and programming options. Though a sound plan on the surface, it has an inherent flaw. What percentage of your members participate in training? If you are a non studio facility the national average is around 10%.

That means 90% of the membership is not using these services yet the club is not being designed for them! It is this 90% that will typically spend less and be most likely to quit. If the equipment and program offerings at your club are being dictated by the needs of the personal training community you are risking the other 90% of your membership. That’s a horrible risk.

It is imperative that club owners listen to the needs and wants of this segment of the membership and make sure that they too feel comfortable and successful in the club. A great way to accomplish this is to create dedicated spaces in the club that the average member wants to use and can do so successfully. One example is the selectorized strength circuit. Though not overly popular with the training population, the general membership still flocks here because they know they can get an effective workout and be successful doing it. Another great option is having a Core Strength Zone – a dedicated area in the club for your members to train their abs and strengthen their core. Such an area can include 3-4 popular Ab Machines and some open floor space as well for non equipment based exercises. We have installed such areas in clubs world wide and members love it. The idea is to create a space where members can focus on a body part that is important to them and allows them to train in a comfortable, non intimidating environment.

It’s clear that providing your members and prospects with areas of the club where they can feel comfortable and successful will help you to grow and retain membership. It’s also clear that non-dues revenue is critical for the long term success of most fitness centers. Let’s bring it all together to create a well oiled, profitable operation. We know that some members will be coming in for the latest fitness activities such as small group training and high intensity interval training. We know others will want to work one to one with a personal trainer. Having these offerings inside the club walls is critical or they will seek them out elsewhere as the industry has seen. The question remains how do you increase the usage of these services to the 90% of members that are not currently participating? The answer lies in providing yourself with ample opportunity to offer training services to that other 90% of the membership. You can do this if they are coming to the club and are being exposed to it. They will only keep coming to your club if they are feeling comfortable and successful. Areas such as your strength circuit and Core Strength Zone do just that which is why we call them The Gateway. They bring the members in, keep them coming, and give you the opportunity to engage them in all the other great fitness options your club has to offer! Don’t ignore this very important aspect of club/member dynamic and you will stay on the road to success.

How the Ab Solo was born...and how it can help YOU

When Sean Gagnon, VP of the Abs Company, first saw the Ab Solo at a trade show, he knew it was another hit ab product like the Ab Coaster.  He saw an effective ab machine that was intuitive to use and turned the boring ab crunch into a fun and exciting exercise.  Understanding the growing trend to offer more innovative Ab Machines for members at health clubs, Mr. Gagnon pushed his company to acquire the rights to the Ab Solo when he heard that the owners wanted to shut down their business.  Gagnon began discussions and a deal was made for The Abs Company to acquire the rights to the Ab Solo brand in 2013.

Out with the Old, In with the New Ab Solo

The Abs Company spent several months researching and implementing a new Ab Solo design, making the product more compact, sleeker, quieter and with fewer moving parts.  The new design features and air filled lumbar support pad that is comfortable for the user and also provides a pre-stretch to maximize full range abdominal contraction.  Three mulit-color “touch targets” were added to promote oblique training and to provide an opportunity for personal trainers to interact with clients while exercising on the Ab Solo, for example calling out a sequence such as “black, red, throw, red, yellow, etc.”  The redesigned unit also includes a counter/timer which gives instant feedback for counting reps or timing intervals.  

The new Ab Solo was launched in the 4th quarter of 2013 and many clubs have installed the unit and are raving about the new design.  Not only do members love using the product, but with a smaller footprint and fewer moving parts, the new Ab Solo also takes up less space and requires less maintenance – two huge benefits for health club owners.  

For health clubs that own the original Ab Solo, The Abs Company offers a special promotion of a trade-in credit for upgrading to the all new Ab Solo.  Many clubs have already taken advantage of the deal and are reaping the benefits of the new design.  Just one more way The Abs Company is leading the way in innovative core training.

All New Vertical Crunch Machine

We couldn’t wait to show you the all new Vertical Crunch machine.  The space saving Vertical Crunch provides a complete abdominal workout — upper, lower and obliques in one machine. The linkage system allows beginners to easily sit and perform an effective crunch motion.  Plate loading allows for increased intensity for advanced users and the built in weight storage keeps your fitness floor neat and orderly. Its free swivel seat allows the user to seamlessly change from rectus abdominus to obliques without pausing the workout.

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Our Latest Innovation - The Abs Coaster FT!

Check out the latest innovation in the Ab Coaster line up.  The Ab Coaster FT.   FT stands for Functional training and that’s exactly what this machine delivers. Your body moves independently and the FT allows you to strengthen and tone your core in the way the body was designed to move. Guaranteed to give you a burn like you’ve never felt before!

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What Fitness Pros Think of Target Abs

The all new Target Abs Bench from The Abs Company provides a great total core workout in a space saving design. The interactive targets show you exactly how far to reach so you know you are performing the perfect rep every time! Not only effective, but FUN!  You won’t even know you’re working your abs.  Touch them with your hand, or advanced users can add resistance with a medicine ball. The reverse grip handle adds a whole new dimension allowing you to train the lower abs in a fun and effective way. The Target abs bench has no adjustments – just get on and start training those abs!

Ab Seduction

The next time you are in the checkout line at your supermarket, take a look at the covers of the fitness magazines on the racks. The headlines scream out to you: “Flat Belly in 7 Days,” “Shrink Your Belly Fast” and “Secrets for a Sexy Tummy.”  Publishers use these headlines to get people to buy lots of magazines. How does this work? The answer lies in human beings’ basic desire to look their best, and flat abs area part of that package. The bottom line for marketers is this: the promise of a flat midsection is one of the most powerful motivators when it comes to health and fitness. Health clubs can use the same type of marketing strategy utilized by magazines. Several successful club chains have already followed suit.

For example, a Planet Fitness owner in New York decided to give members what they wanted — an area in the club dedicated to core training. When Planet Fitness corporate saw the results of member excitement, the company decided to recommend that all of its new clubs add this area.

Another major health club chain, Retro Fitness, has created an area in its clubs called “Retro Abs” so that its members can work on core training in a dedicated area of the fitness center. Many other independent club operators are doing the exact same — setting up a dedicated space in their club with innovative abdominal machines where members can focus on core training. If you want to use this strategy to increase your sales closing ratio, here are a few things for your club to try:

  • Start focusing on abs when marketing. Let members know that you can help them lose weight and earn flat abs.
  • Create a dedicated ab area in your club just for ab machines. The more variety, the better. When touring prospective members always finish the tour with, “And this is our ab area, where our trainers can focus on ab training and the importance of losing belly fat.”
  • Before leaving the club, get your prospect to try an innovative ab machine. Once your prospect feels their abs burning, they will be hooked.
  • Show “before” and “after” photos to prospects of some of your members who have lost weight. Then focus on the positive side effect of losing belly fat, such as a healthier heart, greater energy and more.

These successful health club chains understand that catering to their members is the key to good business. Giving your members what they want will help retain membership rates and also increase new memberships. Ab-focused marketing works.