• eBike: The Rise (or Ride) of the Machines

    Let's be 100% clear. I am not big into cycling. I had a road bike that barely covered 50 miles and my current MTB is woefully underused and sits pristine in my garage. So imagine my "joy" when my wife announced that she had secured the loan of a Merida eOne Sixty 800 eBike, and that we would be heading to Castlewellan to hit the trails. She is a keen cyclist and exponentially fitter than me so I know what's coming is 2 hours of torture and her waiting for me at the top of the climbs.

    The dreaded day was yesterday and the beast (battery all included it weighs 22kg+) was loaded into and thankfully not onto the car and off we went. I'd been given the run down by our bike team, so with instructions in hand I prepared for the trails.

    Slight uphill out the carpark, let's whack it into Boost mode and see what the craic is. OK, feels a bit weird, but we're at the trail head so it's time for trail mode. Starting off a bit gingerly, it's a much, much bigger bike than I'm used to, and it feels completely different, we hit a sharp left hander and BANG! Chain had sheared off. Disaster.

    With a walk back to the carpark looming and the thought of a wasted day, Castlewellan Centre came to the rescue with a new chain and we were off again.

    This time it felt different. Before it felt pretty much like a bike with a bit of oomph, but now it was a different machine. Trail mode pushed me round the course but during run transitions when the climb up the fire roads comes around and I normally get left behind and grow to hate cycling again, the eBike came into it's own. Boost mode activated, gentle peddling and suddenly we're hitting 18km/h up a steep gradient.

    It is laughably good fun uphill, it defies all reason being able to do that speed with almost zero effort on a bike that weighs as much as a small horse. It's not quite a trials bike, but it's definitely not just a bicycle. And I think I love it. For the first time ever, I'm not wanting this to be over. I could stay out here all day, or at least until the battery dies. Finish the run, hit the next, hit the next, hit the next, then climb back to the start and go again.

    We've done 90 minutes solid over a space of 2 hours, and I'm fresh as a daisy. Could do the same again, and the battery could take it. I've used two bars of an available five so there's plenty more left in the tank. However, my cycling partner is starting to feel the burn. Not having to wait for me has reduced her rest time to almost nothing and she's done. Turns out non-eBike climbing is pretty difficult.

    The downside, and it's a pretty big one, is the cost. All told this particular model is £4700. And no matter what way you look at it, that's expensive. Is it worth it? For people like me that love the downhill and hate the uphills, absolutely. I've spent the morning trying to justify the cost so I can have one of these immediately. "I'll cycle to work during the summer" I think, knowing fine well I won't. Don't get me wrong, there are cheaper alternatives, the Merida range is available at half that price, but I'm spoilt now. I need this one, and only this one. This full suspension animal that made cycling fun again for me, and can you really put a price on that?

    Day over and I know the time to hand the bike back to Merida is quickly approaching and we're almost ready to hit the road. Time for one more lap? Yep, I'm off...

  • Introducing Jacobs Ladder

    Podium 4 Sport are delighted to announce that we are now the Exclusive Distributor for the full range of Jacobs Ladder products within the UK and Ireland.

    Jacobs Ladder is installed in minutes, self-powered and simple to use. It is considered by those who use it to be one of, if not the best aerobic / anaerobic machines available on the market today. It is also self-paced which means that the faster you go, the faster it goes and similarly the slower you go the slower it goes. It is used in a wide variety of market sectors such as the army and police forces, universities, CrossFit gyms, personal training studios and commercial leisure facilities.

    Jacobs Ladder was designed with physiological benefits in mind such as increasing heart rate quickly, it offers a natural climbing position which reduces stress on the back and hips, it has a very low impact on the joints and the long and dynamic climbing stroke ensures a full range of motion.

    The change in direction of cardio training from long and steady to short and intense means that Jacobs Ladder is a perfect complement to what the market is demanding. Therefore it is a perfect addition to the range of products offered by Podium 4 Sport.” says David Flynn, Senior Key Account Manager for Podium 4 Sport.

    For more information, click here.

  • Podium 4 Sport gains ISO 9001: 2015 Certification

    We are happy to announce that Podium 4 Sport has been awarded with the new ISO 9001: 2015 standard following a recent surveillance audit.

    The updated ISO 9001: 2015 is the best practice management framework and supports our commitment to providing a high level of customer satisfaction. To satisfy the rigours of an independent external audit Podium 4 Sport had to demonstrate having an effective quality management system in operation.

    After receiving confirmation of the certification, Podium 4 Sport Commercial Director Paul Stevenson said, “I am delighted with the business’ ISO 9001:2015 Certification. It further supports our commitment to providing our clients with an unrivalled level of service. This accreditation will enhance our company profile going forward and should also allow us to score well in future bids for large projects.”

    There is advantage in using suppliers accredited with ISO 9001:2015 in helping ensure consistent and good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.

    Well done to all involved!

  • Podium 4 Sport supporting Action Cancer

    Action Cancer’s brand new fundraising initiative ‘Just One Thing’ has the support of three leading local businesses.

    Action Cancer is delighted to launch a brand new fundraising initiative asking local sporting clubs and societies to do ‘just one thing’ to support the charity. The new campaign is sponsored by Podium 4 Sport, Linwoods and Clandeboye Yoghurt who each plan to do ‘just one thing’ of their own.

    Recent international research highlights that 11 different types of cancers are attributed to lifestyle choices therefore this timely campaign is encouraging local sporting clubs to actively engage their local communities, families and friends to get together, do something active, and raise vital funds for Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity.

    Rebecca Dalzell, Schools and Societies Fundraising Officer for Action Cancer commented, “We are asking local sporting clubs to do just one thing during their season in support of Action Cancer’s services. Anything from a friendly match, to a sponsored run or walk, or simply a bucket collection at the start of a game. It goes a long way to helping local families who have been affected by cancer.”

    Action Cancer were thrilled when they received the backing of three local businesses for the campaign. Rebecca continued, “To have the support of local organisations who each have a focus on encouraging a healthy diet and/or lifestyle is tremendous and really helps to boost the campaign. Linwoods, Clandeboye Yoghurt and Podium 4 Sport are businesses which see true value in encouraging a healthy lifestyle and to have them back the campaign to such an extent is just brilliant.”

    If your local sporting club or society can do Just One Thing to round up your season or to kick start next season, get in touch with Rebecca on rdalzell@actioncancer.org, phone 028 9080 3343 or for further information, text JOT to 66777 (standard message rate).

  • Guide: Top 5 Gym Equipment Essentials

    Guide: Top 5 Gym Equipment Essentials

    Choosing the correct Gym Equipment is essential, whether you are running a professional gym or training from home. One of the main advantages of this equipment is allowing the user to have an exercise program that can be followed regardless of the weather.

    We have created a quick guide to some of our Top 5 Gym Equipment Essentials.

    1. Treadmill
    Treadmill
    Considered one of the “classics” of the Gym Equipment world is the treadmill / running machine.


    The surfaces of the machines provide lower impact training when compared to outdoor running.


    Depending on the Treadmill you can set your machine into various programs for pace, incline, rest and length.

    2. Exercise Bikes
    exercise bike
    The exercise bike uses the largest muscle groups in the lower body, the exercise bike is an effective machine for a total body workout.


    Not only is it incredibly effective for increasing cardio fitness, but it's also easy on the knees and joints.

    3. Rowing Machines
    rowing machine
    Rowing machines are built with a long frame that sits low to the ground. They provide resistance through one of three mechanisms magnets, water or air.


    They provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, increasing total body strengthening and endurance. They have low impact on joints when used correctly.


    An added benefit of the rowing machine is you can train yourself individually, no need for a partner and you can set your own pace.

    4. Weights
    weights
    Weight lifting is guaranteed to give a better physique.


    There are different types of weights such as dumb bells, barbells and weight plates also accessories such as benches and machines.


    These are all available in different sizes so whatever your ability you will find the one to suit you.

    5. Gym & Fitness Accessories
    gym equipment accessories
    Your gym equipment accessories are often the simplest of tool to help you train however they are often overlooked for the bigger and more impressive looking machines.


    There are many items that fall into this area such as skipping ropes, resistance trainers and swiss balls to fat, heart and blood pressure monitors.


    Here is a small list of items that might interest you or your users that are not mentioned above;

    • Resistance Bands

    • Foam Rollers

    • Plyo Boxes

    • Fitness/Aerobic Steps

    • Ab Cradles

    • Power Wheel

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