The Access Strength ensures fitness for all

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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Access Strength is making it easier than ever for wheelchair users and those with disabilities to pump iron.

Various universities, hospitals, community centers and care facilities have already ordered The Access Strength, a fitness machine that can be used by anyone regardless of ability, which took “Best in Show” at the recent International Design Excellence Awards.

“We built, designed and engineered it from the ground up to remove the barriers that are found in traditional systems,” said Ryan Eder, founder & CEO of IncludeFitness.

Eder was a senior at the University of Cincinnati studying industrial design when he noticed a man in a wheelchair at the gym with a bag containing homemade accessories to help him adapt to the equipment.

It was then that he decided to focus his senior thesis on the initial concept for The Access Strength.

“It was extremely strenuous for him and you could see his frustration from across the room,” he said.

The machine features a patented pulley system, which can be reconfigured to meet an individual’s reach, whether they’re in a standing or sitting position; and hands-free handles to secure weight stacks.

“They function the same way a spring-loaded pin does; however, you can adjust the entire machine with a single arm and a closed fist,” said Eder. “In fact, we had a quadruple amputee able to adjust the machine with his elbows.”

The machine also collects data—such as workouts, exercises and machine configurations—via the IFCloud, which is HIPAA compliant and integrates directly with healthcare providers.

“We can really start to understand what is working and what’s not for an individual, as well as look at trends across entire demographics,” said Eder. “This allows us to provide high quality care with better outcomes at lower costs in a way that is simple, intuitive and enjoyable for the patient or consumer.”

Various universities, hospitals, community centers and care facilities have already ordered The Access Strength, but when it comes to retail, Eder says, “those conversations are still very early on.”