A British gym has become the first in the world to harness the energy of its users – to generate its own electricity.
The bikes, cross trainers and ‘vario’ machines will each feed around 100w per hour back into the power supply at Cadbury House near Bristol.
New treadmills will use 30 per cent less electricity and the resistance machines such as weights consoles will generate enough energy to power their own information screens.
The 42 pieces of equipment, named ARTIS and supplied by Technogym, cost £600,000 and are considered the most energy efficient in the world.
Jason Eaton, general manager of the club at Congresbury, said: “This is the very latest in health club technology in terms of design, sustainability, connectivity and biomechanical excellence.
“On top of that we’re reducing the level of energy needed to power the club which is great for the environment.”
The revolutionary technology works by storing surplus energy inside a dynamo within the gym equipment.
The design means that a user must begin using the machine before any of the functions become operational.
Once they have begun to exercise the equipment will power up, generating electricity from the energy the user is producing.
As soon as the machines have generated enough power to switch on the display it will then begin storing any surplus energy inside a holding cell, or dynamo, which is, in turn, fed back into the building’s electricity supply.
The treadmills use innovative brushless motor technology, combined with low friction materials, to reduce their energy consumption by 30 per cent.
The state-of the-art equipment also allows users to connect to the machines using their smart phones via Unity, an interactive console.
Enthusiasts can log on via Quick Response (QR) codes of Near Field Communication technology and track their own training programme and records.
Web bookmarks, apps and social networks are accessible from the machines and gym-goers can even use programmes such as Facebook or even Skype while exercising.
Each cycling and running machines have a screen on the front, which can access the internet and various TV services, as well as provide access to training information and professionals.
Users can also virtually compete against anyone else around on the Unity system.
The strength machines measure your reps and will alert you if you are pushing the weights to slow or too fast.
Outside workouts can also be linked to ‘Unity’ so users can keep track of bike rides, runs, hill walks or team sports allowing a complete overview of their physical activity.
Jason added: “The prevalence of smart phones has opened up the way people live their lives and by allowing them to manage their work out and training programme via this sort of technology is a great step forward.
“The boundaries for this new wave of health club equipment are almost endless and for our members to upload other activity and use other Technogym equipment anywhere in the world will help our instructors manage members’ programmes much more closely.”