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ASU boasts world's largest interconnected gym

PHOENIX -- Students at Arizona State University are redefining what it means to track workouts.

ASU now boasts the largest interconnected gym facility on Earth. The university's four campuses are equipped with the largest installation of Precor exercise machines that are all linked by Preva, software that helps student track numerous aspects of working out.

"We have 148 cardio machines on the Tempe campus and the other three campuses have 50 machines each, said Sun Devil Fitness Director Tamra Garstka. "The Tempe campus is the largest single location cardio-install in the world."

The partnership with the fitness equipment giant, Precor, started when ASU set out to expand the installations at their fitness centers on all campuses, said Garstka.

Precor won the bid and added the Preva app.

Preva lets students create an account on either a machine or an app. After they have an account, they can set workout goals, track distance covered and other information. The app lets students continue their workout away from the gym if they choose.

"You can create an account and put goals that you want," Garstka said. "You can set a goal of the duration that you want to go on a weekly bases, the distance, or the calories."

The app then sends students text messages or alerts on their progress. Having an account and using the app on the machines or on a phone is free.

ASU allows students and staff to compete in contests using their workout information. Garstka said that from September through November of last year, over 3,500 students had begun using the Preva app. ASU plans to continue having fitness challenges to get students excited and engaged about participating. \

"We wanted to set the standard of ‘Well Devils' is what you do," she said. "We want people to feel that's the environment we've created at ASU, a healthy environment.

"Sun Devils is what you are but Well Devils is what you do," she explained.

Users can opt to send data from Preva to researchers at ASU and the Mayo Clinic for use in obesity studies.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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