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Gyms everywhere are constantly looking to develop programs and classes that are fun and engaging for their members; something to shake them out of their routine and renew their enthusiasm for staying in shape.
New York City-based health club Asphalt Green has revealed a playful and bright new way to make fitness fun with AG6, a workout that to the untrained eye looks more like an arcade. AG6 utilizes PRAMA technology, an interactive fitness platform created by Spanish fitness company PAVIGYM that uses floor markings and lights to create a versatile and interactive workout setting and experience.
After hearing good things about PRAMA through the grapevine, Asphalt Green director of fitness Jennifer Coccia and associate sports director Pedro Raicovich made the trip to Spain last June to see it for themselves.
Alongside nearly 30 other representatives from health and fitness clubs across the world, Coccia and Raicovich received a tour of the manufacturing facility, learned the background of the company, and were taken through a few workouts in the original PRAMA facility.
“By the time the workout was over, we made a few friends in the class,” Coccia says. “We’d never met these people before, and there were also some language barriers between us, being from all over the world. When we’re thinking about creating a new program for groups, we always think about how we create communities, and that was apparent very fast.”
Aside from the sociality of the workout, Coccia noted that the technology allows the instructor to focus more on motivating the participants in the class rather than constantly looking at the clock to time workouts. That aspect is vital in a high-intensity interval training setting, where every single second counts. The organization of the space with the markings was also a major selling point for Asphalt Green, which hosts a number of community and sports programs as well.
“If you try to do the same class in a regular group exercise studio, it would be mass chaos,” Coccia says. “The way the room is laid out, we knew bringing in this type of technology would allow us to utilize the space in a number of ways.”
As for the workout itself, AG6 is a completely customized high-intensity interval program that focuses on short bursts through seven different lettered stations in their PRAMA-enhanced exercise space. During a workout, participants do four rounds through the stations at varying times.
“The first round is 30 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, really trying to get the participants used to the exercises and going through the flow of the class, just to get people acclimated,” Coccia says.
That’s followed by two rounds of one minute of work and 20 seconds of rest before the fourth round, which picks the pace back up to 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.
“By the fourth round, you really know where one exercise is and you know what moves you’re doing, so we’re really able to push people,” Coccia adds.
Around 20 facilities in Europe use PRAMA, but Asphalt Green is the first fitness center in the United States to adapt the technology. The feedback to AG6 has been positive, and it’s even drawing people from other boroughs to Asphalt Green’s facility on the upper east side of Manhattan. Given the popularity from Internet buzz and happy participants, Coccia says she wouldn’t be surprised to see AG6 utilized in other clubs in the U.S. soon.
“We’ve had so many emails from people asking how they can franchise AG6,” she says. “Word is spreading pretty fast.”