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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.

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