Gym installs electricity generating equipment

Exercise has numerous health benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve mental health and increase your chances of living longer. Now your workout can also contribute to generating electricity for our power grid.

Located at 1605 N. State St., Fitness Gear & Training recently remodeled its space and along with the remodel came the addition of eight new pieces of workout equipment.

The five new spin bicycles, one elliptical and two treadmills at Fitness Gear & Training are capable of generating 4,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and reducing carbon dioxide output by more than two metric tons.

Manufactured by SportsArt in Mukilteo the new Eco-Powr equipment converts physical activity into electricity. Fitness Gear & Training was originally founded in 1989 as Fairhaven Health And Nutrition by Bob and Patricia Palmer. The second-generation family business is now run by vice president, Zac Palmer.

“We are the first and only Eco-Powr training facility in Whatcom County,” Palmer said. The combination of being a specialty fitness store and offering workout training programs keeps me at the forefront of the industry’s latest and best equipment, Palmer added.

“I am always innovating and bringing in the newest stuff,” Palmer said. “When SportsArt first unveiled the Eco-Powr line I knew right away that I had to bring it here.”

Most exercise equipment is selfgenerating, meaning a built-in generator powers the components of the equipment. What SportsArt did was build micro-converters into the systems allowing them to harnesses excess electricity and feeds it back into the grid.

By re-capturing up to 74 percent of kilowatts generated by human energy the facility can offset their overall energy consumption, SportsArt west coast regional sales manager, Craig Arriza said.

“It really speaks to Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest, where you have a very green, sustainability-minded community,” Arriza said.

The commercial-grade equipment is good for marketing to different potential customers with sustainability in mind and has the extra benefit of off-setting utility costs, Arriza added.

The roughly 150 gym members at Fitness Gear & Training have been excited about the equipment, Palmer said.

The leader board technology built into the systems allows the opportunity for a bit of friendly competition. The leader board will show clients the top female and male energy producers for the month and the overall top energy producer.

The reader board also shows the user how much electricity they are generating and a variety of relatable metrics such as carbon emissions offset by the system, kilowatts generated for the facility as a whole and the number of lightbulbs powered.

“From a user experience standpoint they love it,” Palmer said. “They are producing something that goes beyond themselves which is promoting the feeling of giving back in that context.”

The remodel removed internal walls to create more space for warm-up/cool-down, preventative and rehabilitative exercises. The facility moved the cardiovascular fitness room to the first floor and created a client-lounge space.

The gym also offers a new 30-Minute fit program that combines expertise from certified trainers to work clients through a science-based, expert-curated, coach-driven group training program, Palmer said.

Fitness Gear & Training has been involved in the plans, installation and support of fitness facilities for city governments, police departments, refineries, hotels, schools and home


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