By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor/member
It’s time for a refresh! Every four years at VIDA, we swap out all of our cardio equipment and bring in a fresh collection of bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and stepmills for you to enjoy. You’ll always find the latest and greatest because that’s what our members deserve! We prioritize member feedback to ensure that you’re getting the equipment you want, but we also like to include some unexpected machines that you didn’t even know you needed — until now.
Dates for the new equipment:
U Street – Oct 2nd
Logan Circle – Oct 8th
The Yards – Oct 10th
Gallery Place – Oct 11th
City Vista – Oct 15th
Before the new equipment makes its way to the gym floor, we’re giving you an inside look at what to expect with these upgrades. For starters, of the seven manufacturers, VIDA is partnering with, four will have consoles that enable you to directly log into your Hulu and Netflix accounts: Life Fitness, Matrix, Precor, and Technogym. Binging has never been easier!
Classics like Life Fitness and Precor will remain a core part of our lineup. We’re also stocking our clubs with member favorites like the assault bikes and rowers. “They’re great for interval training — short cardio bursts combined with weightlifting,” explains Aaron Moore, Director of Operations at VIDA.
We’re also making room for some new kids on the block like Technogym, Octane, and Matrix.
“Matrix is a newer partner for us,” Aaron says. “We’ve bought stepmills from Matrix before, but now we’re getting some of their stationary bikes, as well as treadmills. We want to give our members variety, both in terms of the biomechanics and in the content the consoles offer.”
Another exciting addition? Apple GymKit compatible technology in Technogym machines, which enables you to connect your Apple Watch (a Series 2 or the new Series 3). You’ll share data between the two devices and get a super detailed deep dive into your workout. Aaron says members can also look forward to having “the Rolls Royce” of stepmills in the Artis Climb.
“Some stepmills have all these attachments, they go two feet higher, and they’re kind of intrusive,” he says. “With Technogym, it’s the cool, sleek lower profile design. It’s a very well-constructed piece of equipment, and the content is probably the most dynamic of any console that we’re going to have on any cardio machine. There’s tons of on-demand content, live TV, virtual courses, and the ability to log in and track your workouts. It’s the Rolls Royce of stepmills.”
VIDA is also getting two Technogym performance pieces: the Skillrun and the Skillmill Connect. These both feature “tank-style tread” that absorbs impact, similar to what you see on Woodway treadmills (which, by the way, aren’t going anywhere). “The Skillmill Connect is the big departure,” Aaron says. “There’s no console. All it has is this little monitor — basically it’s just giving you an output of force. There’s no on-demand content or information.”
This machine is intended for short bursts, sprints, and sled pushes, ideally while working with a personal trainer. “This is a compact way of offering that sled push movement without having to dodge somebody in the gym,” Aaron says.
The Skillmill Connect also includes a parachute attachment so members can do an indoor version of wind sprints. “It’s very performance-based, and many initial users are going to be clients who are getting instruction from personal trainers. Then people will see that and go, ‘I want to do that’ because it’s new and fun.”
The Zero Runner is one more addition to VIDA’s cardio lineup. It’s a treadmill alternative designed for people who can’t run anymore because it causes too much impact on their joints. “Because it’s a semi-controlled range of motion, it can help you improve your running stride so it’s more effective,” Aaron says. “You can run faster and longer with less impact than when you’re running outdoors. We think this machine is going to be pretty powerful for us.”
Another honorable mention goes to the Reflex Treadmill from Freemotion, a power belt style treadmill that absorbs the running impact back into the machine. “A lot of people, particularly outdoor runners, don’t like running on treadmills because of that pounding,” Aaron explains. “This absorbs it so you don’t have that. It’s a cushion feel — there’s some give to it that goes down so you’re running and striding.”
With so many awesome new machines to try out, it’s important to remember that safety is our members’ number one priority. If you see something you want to try but aren’t sure how to get started, ask a personal trainer or membership consultant for a quick demo. They’re ready to give you the guidance you need to make the most of our state-of-the-art equipment.
“This is new stuff, so don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Aaron advises. “A lot of it does have a learning curve and requires some coaching. We’re more than happy to schedule a time to walk you through the equipment and provide a free orientation.”