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Equipment Durability and Design: Going Behind the Scenes at Life Fitness' Franklin Park Testing Lab

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From 03 – 10 October, Life Fitness will be powering Graham McKenna to set a new Guinness World Record, as the former British Army recruit attempts to beat the current record for the number of marathons run on a treadmill in seven days.

Graham’s target - 21 marathons – will see him run over 550 miles on a treadmill in just one week. So, whilst Graham’s been training outdoors over the summer months, he needs to be confident that when it comes to the challenge, his choice of treadmill will stand up to the test. And that’s where Life Fitness comes in. 

But what goes into ensuring every piece of Life Fitness equipment is comfortable and effective for its users, and critically, meets the durability and reliability standards that customers expect? 

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Life Fitness’ Franklin Park facility in Chicago is home to the teams who are responsible for just that, designing and manufacturing fitness equipment that delivers the best possible workout experience for its users.

Life Fitness has been using biomechanics analysis as part of equipment design for over 20 years; its team of biomechanics engineers are dedicated to understanding the science behind the exerciser’s experience and using this information to inform the product development process from start to finish.



The Industrial Design team are then responsible for the overall appearance of the products, combining research and findings from the biomechanics analysis with aesthetics. Their work informs the mechanical engineering phase, where the equipment is manufactured.   

Once products are made, they are then put through rigorous testing across the five test labs at the Franklin Park facility. The team test the entire system as a user would use it, using stress strain evaluation and mechanical testing systems to ensure the equipment can withstand exerciser’s demands – even if that’s 21 marathons in just seven days!

To find out more about Graham’s challenge and how you can support him in his world record attempt, visit https://www.rungrahamrun.co.uk/.

From everyone at Life Fitness, we wish Graham the best of luck!

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