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Wiping Away Towel Myths

Wiping Away Towel Myths

As I speak with fitness industry professionals around the country, and around the world, I am frequently asked about towels that are used to sanitize fitness equipment.  Or to be more specific:

“Doesn’t a towel that gets used repeatedly to wipe away sweat become germ-laden from all that sweat?”

Actually, the opposite is true. A spray bottle and towel equipment cleaning system proves to be a very effective method for sanitizing just-used exercise equipment surfaces.  Why?  Because the towels are progressively absorbing sanitizing cleaning solution.  In other words, they are continuously refreshed with the disinfectant.  Therefore, there is a concentrated/significant amount of disinfectant that remains on the towel at all times. The reusable spray-towel, when not in use, is sanitized; it is at “work” even while the towel is “at rest.”

Another important point to consider and understand is that per use, the volume of cleaning solution that is sprayed on the surface to be cleaned, or sprayed on the towel prior to wiping the surface, is generally much greater than the volume of body fluids that are wiped up.  The ratio of the volume of disinfectant on the towel to the volume to sweat is generally in favor of the disinfectant!

Still need convincing? Then consider a little sweat science:

  • In a fitness facility setting, equipment surfaces are NEVER exposed to full sweat-laden nude body surface contact (at least now at any club I’ve ever been to).   An exerciser stands on, sits on, or lies on a machine with a relatively small portion of their total body surface area actually contacting that machine.  However, the major point that can’t be overlooked here is…it doesn’t take much contact (sweaty or not, drops or not) to spread germs or viruses.  The good news, on the other hand, is that it doesn’t take much disinfectant solution to effectively kill germs and viruses!

  • Speaking of drops, excessive sweat at any one spot on the body can turn into a “drop.”  What is the volume of a drop?  It is generally accepted that 20 drops equal 1 ml.  Interestingly, the average amount of cleaning solution dispensed with one pull of a trigger-sprayer is approximately 1 mL. The average person pulls the trigger 3 to 4 times to clean a piece of equipment. That’s the equivalent of 60 to 80 drops of sweat – a lot of sweat!

Hopefully you now see the reasons why we say a towel based cleaning system is a safe and effective way to go: 1) The cleaning solution to sweat ratio is strongly in favor of the solution, 2) the cleaning towel is truly clean and safe to reuse—a very effective method for sanitizing just-used exercise equipment surfaces, and 3) a cloth towel-based equipment cleaning system can save you a lot of money versus pre-moistened wipes and paper towel based systems…and don’t forget, you won’t be generating environment polluting paper and wipes waste, either!

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GymValet Appears in Oscar Winning Film!

Plays supporting role in The Big Short.

When The Big Short won the Oscar, on Sunday night, for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, I celebrated, too, because the GymValet can be seen attached to two Woodway Curve treadmills for almost one minute (in the 56th and 57th minutes of the movie) in the “gym scene” with Ryan Gosling talking on his phone.  Can you imagine my surprise when I saw the movie in the theater and the GymValet appeared on the “Big Screen?”  Very excited and very proud!!

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GymValets Appear in The Biggest Loser Semifinals

A bit battered and worn, but on full display with Colby, Roberto, and Trainer Jen.

As you my know I am a big fan of The Biggest Loser!  I watch it for the fitness “reality?” AND to catch glimpses of the GymValets that are attached to several of the Woodway Curve treadmills in The Biggest Loser Gym.  The four images you see on this post are from this past week’s semi-final episode (air date 2-16-16).  It’s fun to capture close-up images if the GymValets, the contestants and the trainers!  A few comments: 1) Colby’s running form is not the greatest–it’s my assumption that he’s “running” on empty in this semi-final episode, hanging on for dear life to burn a few extra calories, 2) Although the GymValet hook rings are missing, it’s nice to see Roberto using the GymValet to hold his personal water bottle–GymValet at your service, Roberto, 3) Nice to capture a few images with trainer Jen Widerstrom–no doubt that she practices what she preaches, and 4) Back to the GymValets: While I’m not proud/pleased that the hook rings are missing, those GymValets have been attached to the Woodway Curve treadmills for over five years, and they are in, basically, the exact locations where they were originally installed (on the front of the right hand rail).  Good endorsement of the durability and longevity of the GymValet, in a heavy-use, high intensity reality TV setting!

Check out my previous posts with screen shots from The Biggest Loser.  There you’ll see the various trainers and contestants that have had close encounters with the GymValet, thanks to the Woodway Curve treadmills.

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GymValets Close to Home @ MIM Software

MIM Opens On-Site Fitness Center.  GymValets Will Keep Equipment Clean and Safe.

While GymValets are helping to keep fitness equipment clean and safe across the US, Canada and around the world, it’s always a treat when I get a call from a facility that’s close to home, or GymValet World Headquarters as I like to call it.  So, I was thrilled to get a call from Drew Sulzer who was putting the finishing touches on the Employee Fitness/Wellness Center at MIM Software, Inc., in Beachwood, OH,  less than 1.5 miles from “home-base,” that now makes MIM GymValet’s closest customer!  Drew has assembled a great assortment of strength and cardio equipment in a bright, “pie-shaped” area of the office complex–well done!  A Google search had led Drew to the GymValet web site, as he looked for equipment cleaning/sanitizing supplies and accessories–the most-important “finishing touches.” Wasn’t he surprised when he discovered that GymValet was right around the corner!  With MIM’s GymValet system hand delivered and installed, the Fitness Center was ready to open at Noon yesterday (Feb. 15th).  As you’ll note, MIM has decided to use paper towels instead of cloth towels.  Smart/practical decision since there are no laundry facilities on site.  GymValets positioned throughout the gym will make it more convenient and effective for MIM’s exercisers to clean the equipment, before and/or after use, by having the sanitizing solution closer to the equipment.  In addition, that makes it easier and more practical to re-use a piece of paper towel by refreshing it with sanitizing solution because the GymValets place the solution “right at hand” convenient to every piece of equipment.

Proud to share a few pictures of Drew with MIM’s great new equipment, with GymValet poised and ready to go to work!

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GymValet Spreads Wings in Planet Fitness Universe

GymValet Equipment Cleaning System in place at grand opening of new Planet Fitness in Mentor, Ohio.

While GymValets are helping to keep exercise equipment clean and safe in fitness facilities across the US, Canada and around the world, it is always fun to actually see GymValets in action at local gyms.  This week I had the opportunity to visit the newest Planet Fitness in the Greater Cleveland area, during their grand opening ceremonies.  Planet Fitness was buzzing with both  local “luminaries” and, most importantly, hundreds of new members  who were generating a lot of human energy pumping-out their cardio and strength workouts.  And there, at the ready, strategically placed all over the gym floor were over 100 GymValets–placing the sanitizing spray bottles and wiping towels conveniently right at hand, within arm’s reach or a step or two, to every piece of equipment!  With vigorous exercise comes “vigorous” sweat and a lot of body contact with machine surfaces!  I was very impressed to see how naturally and easily the members wiped off and sanitized their just-used equipment, making it clean and safe for use by the next exerciser.  A beautiful marriage of the convenient access, to equipment cleaning supplies, the GymValet holder provides, and pride and respect Planet Fitness members have for their fellow members and their beautiful club.

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I recently had thee opportunity to present the GymValet story to the Craig Zamary’s Speaker Series class, in the Kent State University College of Business Administration.  As a proud graduate of KSU (M.A. 1983, and Ph.D. 1987) it was my honor to pay my entrepreneurial experience forward–especially since the KSU Rec. Center is a GymValet customer.  The title of my presentation was, “My Entrepreneurial Journey.”  Speaker Series is a class offered to Entrepreneurial Studies majors so they can hear real-life entrepreneurial stories form members of the Northern Ohio business community–what could be more real life than hearing the story of a product they see and use every time thy visit the Rec. Center.  However, Speaker Series lectures are not just limited to students enrolled in the class.  Series talks are open to the entire KSU community as evidenced by the promotional screen that advertised my presentation campus wide on the day of my talk.

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GymValets in Planet Fitness, Lansing, MI

Piggy-backing on winning the Tri-County Environmental leadership Award, I visited (one of) the Planet Fitness gyms in the Lansing, MI area.  Vibrant and busy gym–in the middle of the afternoon!  Check out what I consider to be one of the most thoughtfully–for the members–configured GymValet Equipment Cleaning System gyms I’ve ever seen.  Convenient and safe equipment cleaning for the members; saving $25,000 per year on disposable paper (waste) costs for the club – Win-Win!

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I am very proud that the GymValet was recognized along with Planet Fitness Gyms, in the Greater Lansing, MI area, for a 2015 Tri-County Environmental Leadership Award.  GymValet has been credited with decreasing Planet Fitness’ carbon footprint by the elimination of “wasteful” equipment cleaning using non-recyclable paper towels and/or disposable single use wipes.  Additionally, GymValet based cleaning is also credited with saving each Planet Fitness gym over $25,000 per year in disposable paper costs.  Thanks to Fred Mussehl, Regional Manager for five (soon to be six) Planet Fitness facilities in Michigan and Ohio, for recognizing the environmental and economic benefits of the GymValet.  And, best of all, Planet Fitness members truly appreciate the convenient and effective cleaning that GymValet promotes.

That’s Fred and me at last week’s TECLA Annual Awards Luncheon.

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Billy Blanks Leads Tae Bo at IHRSA 2015

Tae Bo lesson From the Master

At the 2015 IHRSA Show my GymValet booth was only 10 feet away from a Group Ex demo. area.  Therefore, I was lucky enough to both be on duty and watch Billy Blanks, Mr. Tae Bo, in action.  Billy hit the fitness industry with a significant “upper cut” in 1998 with the release of his first Tae Bo workout video–remember when Tae Bo was all the rage–with those knock-out infomercials?  Today, 17 years later, Billy hasn’t lost a step and can really draw a crowd–and for good reason!  His Tae Bo workouts are easy to follow–albeit very “invigorating” to do, his cueing is good, and he’s there to teach, not to get his own workout!  His “on-stage” personality is electric!  Couldn’t resist getting some video of Billy leading the way.  I loved when he got I the face of the participants and challenged them to move bigger and better!  That’s great teahing.  Enjoy the video and, if you are so moved, step back from your computer and bust a few moves with Billy!!  Extra bonus…I had the chance to chat with Billy after the workout and get a picture.  Fun to rub shoulders with “fitness industry history!”

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Dr. Bruce Makes Worldwide AP Photo Newswire!

A beautiful day for running – February 2, 2015?  I thought it was, and so did a photographer for the Associated Press as he drove by me soon after I started my run.  What was an AP photographer doing driving in my quaint Shaker Heights neighborhood on a Tuesday morning?  The obvious answer is looking for “cool” snow scenes on a cold (9 degrees above zero) snowy morning.  Cool scene – Yes!  Some dude running in shorts in the cool scene – Bingo!!  When the gentleman taking pictures through a long telephoto lens identified himself as an AP photographer I thought that was pretty “cool.”  One minute of information exchange, and 24 hours later, this image appeared world-wide on a myriad of online news sites.  Right place, right time, good photographer, enjoyable run (after the photo-op)…great day.

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