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Five things that got people excited
at NIRSA and IHRSA 2017 -

The latest news, videos and workouts from the Escape Fitness Team.

Five things that got people excited
at NIRSA and IHRSA 2017

Having just stepped off the plane following a captivating week in the bright lights of Los Angeles, exhibiting at IHRSA 2017, the Escape team are eager to recap on their findings.  

Our time at IHRSA (an annual convention to support health clubs, spas and sports facilities) followed soon after NIRSA (an event specifically for those involved in fitness for colleges and universities). Both shows were full of inspiration and, with industry celebrity Pete Holman and BATTLE FIT creator Jon Reynolds as part of our team, the energy levels radiating from the Escape booths were electric.

So let’s take a closer look at some aspects of the NIRSA and IHRSA shows that got the crowds excited.

1 - Fitness is fun for millennials

The influence millennials are having on the fitness world has been apparent for some time. As trend-setters, who are constantly on the lookout for fresh, new ways of keeping fit, it’s important for clubs to have a fitness plan that fits the millennial profile.

NIRSA certainly put this group of consumers in the spotlight. Dei from Wingate University (pictured below with Escape’s Tommy Matthews) was impressed with our ‘business in a box’ MOVE IT training programme, which has recently been implemented for her students and staff to enjoy. The students attending our NIRSA booth also clearly loved functional fitness: the Escape TIYR flip challenge caused a buzz with them and they threw themselves into the action.

Students of Texas Tech University in Lubbock received the Escape treatment toward the end of 2016. Aimed at small group functional training, personal training and sports conditioning, their space features a 15-foot Escape Octagon Hub Training System (HTS) frame, Plyosoft Boxes, Corebags, Bulgarian Bags, Core Momentum Trainers, Kettlebells, Quad Sleds, TIYRs and a Speed Track. Read the full report here.

2 - Escape launch its first app

The digital age and the fitness world have collided. Digital fitness devices are being utilised more than ever before, which is clear to see with the excitement the launch of the Escape app caused.

Mobile fitness apps are convenient ways to keep track of progress whilst receiving instant workout ideas and tips. For those who don’t want to splash out on a personal trainer, the app is the easiest way to stay on top of their goals.

The much anticipated Escape Fitness app was launched at IHRSA 2017. The app will motivate and help users fully incorporate functional fitness training into their exercise plan any time, anywhere. Available now on Apple IOS and Android, the app has been designed to benefit trainers, gym goers, group instructors and those who work out from home.

The app demonstrates how to perform specific exercises and entire workout combinations using the Escape Corebag, Sandbag, Multi Grip Medball, Bulgarian Bag, CMT, GRIPR, Plyosoft Box, Kettlebells, VERTBALL, Battle Rope, Bars, Plates and TIYR. Additional material is available for a small fee.

To download the APP:  Apple IOS  Android

3 - Group training solutions were a big HIIT

High intensity function group training is really hot right now! Escape’s Head of Education and Programming, Tommy Matthews, was therefore thrilled to be launching all three of the Escape group training programmes.

NIRSA and IHRSA 2017 served as the perfect opportunity to launch the complete Escape programming suite. Consisting of three innovative programs, the team were delighted to unveil HIIT THE DECK, MOVE IT and BATTLE FIT.


The versatility of the Escape Deck 2.0 is the key to this superb group training package. Using just the Deck and a handful of other carefully-chosen tools, we’ve created a group programming package that works for large groups, small groups, boutique studios and even one-to-one PT.


Developed by former British Army officers, this programme has been designed to test the physical and psychological strength of each participant, in a series of challenging movements. Demanding 100% effort from participants, BATTLE FIT is used to enhance teamwork skills, improve fitness levels, boost confidence, develop strength and aid in fat loss; ultimately driving top athletic performance in a controlled setting.


Providing calorie crunching, high intensity interval training in a fun, challenging and supportive package, MOVE IT was certainly a massive hit during our time at NIRSA and IHRSA. MOVE IT provides an energetic workout for members of all fitness levels. The aim of the game is to gradually increase the intensity of the workout with each ‘zone’, throughout the 30-45 minute workout.

4 - Escape Turf: a new generation in flooring

You may not think that flooring could make our list of what got attendees excited, but think again! Everything that happens in the gym, happens on the gym floor. Withstanding heavy weights repetitively being dropped, members performing sprint drills and impact of training tools being dragged back and forth, the gym floor generally takes a beating from day to day.

The Escape Turf was used during both events to enhance the exercise experience. This new-generation synthetic turf flooring has consistently out-performed its predecessors in wear and resistance tests. Attendees, who experienced the supreme quality of the turf first-hand, were amazed by the positive effects it had on their workout.

Available in six standard colours (black, green, orange, red, slate and tan), custom colours are available on request and Escape can create bespoke zones and layouts.

5 - Fun with functional frames

As well as launching the Escape training programme trio, NIRSA and IHRSA presented the opportunity to unveil a new range of products. We will be profiling all of these in future blogs. But let’s make a start now by looking at what we’re doing with functional frames.

As functional frames continue to grow in popularity in gyms and health clubs, the new Octagon Half BOX and Octagon T2 were positively received by all guests.

The Octagon Half Box is a specialist station for strength training, with catch Racks for barbell lifting, squatting and bench pressing.

The Octagon T2 is the perfect compact blend of functional frame, attachments and equipment storage, packed with facilities for pull-ups, dips, boxing, barbell lifting and more. Switch quickly between frame-based exercises and use of the functional tools neatly stored on the integral rack.

As a great option on Octagon frames, the Escape Target range served as a talking point for all who visited our booths. Adding a fun new element to throwing and slamming, people were impressed with the diverse range of movements possible.

Members are able to rev up the power of a throw or slam with a Wall Target, whilst achieving a fast rotational movement. And for the classic CrossFit ‘squat and throw’ wall ball exercise, we’ve created the Leg Target and Dock Target, both of which are mounted much higher up as required for this type of movement.

Attendees who really wanted to have fun with the targets arranged a set of four or five into varying heights on the same Octagon. They used this set-up to complete a fast, pulse-racing workout that created explosive power.

Do you want to get a taste of the NIRSA and IHRSA experience?

For more details about any of the products or programmes that were featured at NIRSA or IHRSA, or to discuss any of the topics covered in this article, please do not hesitate to contact us: sales@escapefitness.com

UK: +44 (0)1733 313 535
USA: +1 (614)-706-4462
Germany: +49 (0)2921 590 10 70