• AB Show Keynoter Randy Hetrick Talks TRX Success

    by Paul Steinbach June 2018

    It began by accident. Isolated from fitness equipment during a 1997 deployment, Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick rigged some martial arts belts he found packed with his gear into a makeshift workout tool — what would evolve over the following eight years, including a stint at Stanford Business School, into the suspension trainer at the core of fitness juggernaut TRX. AB senior editor Paul Steinbach asked Hetrick, who will deliver a keynote address titled "Lessons of a Frogman: Business Leadership I Learned as a SEAL" at AB Show 2018 this November in New Orleans, for a closer look at the surprises and successes that have turned his functional training equipment and education brand into a rapidly growing $60 million-a-year enterprise.

  • CrossFit Gym Boycotted Over Cancelled Pride Event

    by Jason Scott June 2018

    June is Pride Month, and the calendar is full of events celebrating the LGBTQ community. Apart from the parades and parties, many businesses are getting into the spirit by hosting their own events, as well.

  • How Campus Rec Centers are Offering New and Diverse Services

    by Michael Popke June 2018

    With fewer than 3,100 students, the University of Richmond will never be among Virginia's largest campuses. Yet for years it has been at the forefront of exploring modern approaches to student wellbeing and is now building a new facility that will house all campus healthcare services in one location. Those entities will include the Student Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, as well as wellness education and nutrition services.

  • Indoor Gyms to Target Tough Mudders, General Public

    by Paul Steinbach May 2018

    It will have rowers, stationary bikes and monkey bars. Just no mud.

  • Kline Center Shades Multipurpose Exterior Space

    by Paul Steinbach May 2018

    With its all-glass facade, a 2014 addition to the Kline Athletic Center at Dickinson College employs a shading system of vertical steel tubes spaced from the curtainwall at varying dimensions.

  • 8 Undeniable Truths of Health Club Ownership

    by Rob Bishop May 2018

    I've been a club owner for more than 20 years. In that time, I've met a lot of people who want to own their own club, and they sometimes ask me what it's like. Here are eight truths that anyone interested — or already entrenched — in this profession should always keep in mind:

  • Three Utah Schools Awarded Free Fitness Centers

    by Andy Berg May 2018

    Three schools in Utah are getting new fitness centers courtesy of a new program aimed at promoting healthy habits and fighting obesity in school-aged kids. 

  • What to Look for in Strength Equipment From one of the Strongest Coaches on Earth (Sponsored)

    by Matrix Fitness May 2018

    Vernon Smith is regarded as one of the strongest coaches in the world. The head strength and conditioning coach at Marian University in Indianapolis can deadlift and squat more than 900 pounds. Now he’s taking on a new challenge as his school opens a new training facility. Athletic Business caught up with him to find out how he picked the right equipment for the job.

    Did you have any challenges to overcome as you went about setting up this new facility?

    Since Marian is a private school, it’s all about boosters and donations. About three years ago, we had a donation given to us to redo our facilities. It was about $50,000. I went to Matrix and they outfitted me with what I needed. Recently, however, we had a donor donate $14 million to our new [facility] project, and about two and a half years ago, they gave me permission to start outfitting that new facility, and we now have everything ordered. For me being a strength coach, being able to get this funding and be trusted to outfit this facility, it’s been a blessing.

    How will the new facility help you and your student-athletes?

    There’s 17 hours a day where you have to work with 24 programs. We now have the support to get the job done but before, as a strength program, we were really behind. We were to the point where we had 60 football players in a weight room, we had to break it up. We'd have three sessions just for the football team. I’ve done it with the least amount of equipment, with the least amount of funding, and we didn’t have a strength and conditioning budget. Now, we’re getting pretty much everything we need.

    What did you look for when shopping for new equipment?

    Right now, we have 24 programs. So we need equipment that is quality and is going to last. With Matrix, that’s what I seem to find. Their products are durable. I know they’re going to last. And their customer service is second to none.

    What was your goal when outfitting the new facility?

    I’m doing my best to make sure we have enough square footage per athlete, and we have enough room to train efficiently. We want to ensure we have space with everything that we do in that facility, which includes group training and those kinds of things. We’re going from a 2,200-square-foot facility to our new facility which will be 7,000 square feet. So, I’m going from six power racks to 15.

    I have to say that Matrix is kind of underrated when it comes down to it. I mean, you have all these companies and for the most part a rack is a rack. But Matrix's customer service, their loyalty, their ability to give me what I need, I feel like other companies can't do that.

    That's why I continue to work with Matrix. They let me explore. They let me be able to say, ‘Hey, let’s try this with this rack,’ or, ‘This might be more efficient for my program.’

    Vernon Smith

    What motivates you?

    The thing that motivates me is that God has given me a power to help others. That's my calling. My thing is to not only make these kids better athletes but better students and better in life. I think that's why I have so much passion for this industry, so much passion to help this individual realize, ‘Hey, I’m going to be a college graduate, first and foremost, and I’m going to be able to support my family beyond what makes me do what I do every day.’

    For more information on Matrix Fitness' strength equipment offerings, visit

  • New Projects: Gordie Howe Sports Complex | University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Master Plan and More

    by Courtney Cameron May 2018

    Breaking Ground

  • New Product Roundup: Ninja Equipment | Indoor Surfaces | Fitness Equipment

    by Courtney Cameron May 2018

    Check out the newest products as seen in the May 2018 issue.