by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
FIBO is the largest fitness trade show in Europe. Held annually in Essen, Germany (this year from April 23-26), exhibitors numbered 517 from 40 different countries and the visitors were more than 48,800.
X-Force of Sweden invited me to attend the show with them and I appreciate their technology and devotion to strength training.
For those wondering, FIBO stands for TNESS/DIES.
I've attended many trade shows, such as those sponsored by IHRSA, the American College of Sportsmedicine, the American Medical Association, the Mr. Olympia, the Super Bowl, and even the Olympic Games, but I've never attended exhibits quite like FIBO.
Related to fitness, it had a little bit of almost everything: martial arts, bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, strongman events, women's fitness, aerobics, spinning, cycling, swimming, nutritional supplements, fat-loss accessories, recreational activities, sleep products, strength-training equipment, clothing, shoes, training aids, massage, and locker-room products.
During the four days of FIBO, I visited every booth that was related to strength training and I must say that there was only one that had the sought-after . The wow factor relates to the first impression. In other words, there's something about a product that makes the person go . . . Wow.
Well, X-Force machines had that response. Not only during the first impression, but while the machines were being applied.
First, a tilting weight stack gets a person's attention. He or she has never seen anything like that before.
Second, an individual must then experience a tilting machine or two. On the first repetition — when the weight stack returns to the vertical position with 40 percent more resistance on the negative phase — there's an immediate Wow look on the trainee's face that's real.
More than 1,000 people visited the X-Force booth at FIBO and the vast majority of them left with eye-opening, enthused, first and second impressions.
Mats Thulin — the inventor, owner, and president of X-Force — realizes that there's an increasing need to have the equipment available for interested people to see and try. As a result, he plans to have a showroom and training area available by August 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden. It won't be until the spring of 2010 before a similar showroom is established in the United States. A professionally made video, however, detailing the equipment and how it functions, will soon be online.
Below, I'm attaching some photos of interest that I took at FIBO.