DISQ fitness fans look like action figures, train like multitaskers

Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:06am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some cutting–edge fans of cardiovascular fitness are going a bit bionic as they strap on belts, step into stirrups and grab hand loops on the DISQ, a recently-arrived wearable contraption of adjustable resistance cords.

Fitness experts say the device, which was launched in Germany a year a half ago and has become popular throughout Europe and Russia, adds simultaneous and constant resistance to an aerobic workout.

Crunch, the national group of fitness centers, employs the mobile gadget in a group fitness class called "Transformer w/ DISQ," a 45-minute fast-moving, music-driven cardio workout, to enhance basic interval training moves such as lunges, squats and jumping jacks.

"It's not easy to find programs that combine strength and cardiovascular workouts in one," Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming for Crunch Fitness, said about the class, which was launched in New York, Miami and locations in California.

"It's fun and for the amount of time you spend, you really get a full body workout," she said.

The fitness class was named in a nod to the 1980s television show turned science-fiction movie series.

"We call it Transformer because when you're in that contraption you sort of move like a robot and feel like you're an action hero," Cyrus said.

The DISQ is the brainchild of Dutch speed skater Robbert Boekema, who along with his colleagues, sought a way to train outside the gym.   Continued...

Fitness instructor Deborah Horton leads a class called "Transformer with Disq" at the Crunch Gym in the Manhattan borough of New York September 20, 2014.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri