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GymValet vs. the Rest – IHRSA 2012

My “State of the Holder” Address:

Here at GymValet, I am very proud of the unique niche the GymValet is filling for health and fitness facilities of all types and sizes across the US, Canada and around the world.  The GymValet is the perfect holder for the cleaning supplies used to clean/sanitize cardio. and strength equipment before and/or after use.  It can also serve as a holder for exercisers’ personal effects–water bottles, towels, iPhones, iPods, keys, etc.  The GymValet attaches directly to equipment with no tools required, i.e. no drill holes in the beautiful frames of your expensive equipment!  One of the primary benefits of the GymValet’s Velcro-strap attachment system is that YOU can customize exactly where you want to place the GymValet based on accessibility, safety and convenience.  The image below shows the GymValet on a Woodway treadmill in the Student Recreation Center at the University of Illinois–one of 400 GymValets they have in their facility!

GymValet on a Woodway Treadmill

I fully recognize that many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) now include water bottle holders–but not towel holders–on their cardio. equipment; generally, well placed near the electronics panel .  The primary spirit of the GymValet has always been to provide a holder that gives easy, within arm’s reach access, to the equipment cleaning/sanitizing supplies.  To be 100% honest, a sanitizing spray bottle should be nowhere near where an exerciser stores their personal water bottle.  BUT, the sanitizer should/can be safely placed within 6-12 inches of that location!!  That’s the beauty of the GymValet–place it where it is most accessible and has the best chance to be noticed and used.

The other side of the coin is strength equipment.  Very few OEMs offer holders on strength equipment.  Why?  You’d have to ask them.  I’m just glad that there IS an option to put a spray bottle and towel holder on the strength equipment of manufacturers that don’t offer it, or offer an ineffective and/or inaccessible option–that option is the GymValet.

After six years on the market, I am proud to say that the GymValet still stands as a singularly unique product, as a non factory installed, non screw on or bolted on, bottle and towel holder.

As I alluded to before, over the past five years or so, a limited assortment of “holders” have appeared on equipment as factory add-ons.  So, while I was walking the trade show floor at last week’s IHRSA Show, I decided to check out what some of the equipment manufacturers are currently offering in the way of “holders” on their cardio. and strength equipment.  Based on my tour, I put together a video montage of the holders with a few editorial comments mixed in.  You will notice that a few major manufacturers are cited under the category of “used to offer” holders, while others are (noticeably) missing—because they do not offer (and never have offered).

As I’ve blogged about on several other occasions, fitness facility owners, managers and directors have options as to how to approach the equipment cleaning/sanitizing issue.  What products and/or systems to offer—that’s up to them.  No supplies should not be an option.  I just appreciated the opportunity to use the convenience of the IHRSA Show to tour and evaluate the “State of the Holders.”

Any comments regarding this issue would be appreciated.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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