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Q&A: Billy Olson

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It’s that time of year again, when the champagne and holiday treats get tossed, and our New Year’s resolutions kick into high gear. For all those still looking for a plan of action, Billy Olson and his King of Prussia-based company, Smooth Fitness, offer a fully loaded arsenal of cardio and strength-training equipment. Just don’t set unrealistic goals, says Olson. And don’t forget your “commitment to action.”

MLT: The holidays can do some serious diet damage. What’s the best way to recover?
BO:
At first, you just need to make some small changes—especially in terms of bread, alcohol and sweets—and maintain these changes while you exercise. You have to have a good attitude about it, first and foremost.

MLT: Where do folks get in the most trouble with their resolutions?
BO:
I don’t like the term “resolution.” It’s very rigid. People should just make a point to act in a way that’s appropriate to making changes in their lives. If you’re committed to making exercise a real priority, the experience is so transformative.

MLT: What’s the idea behind Smooth Fitness?
BO:
We make world-class, premium cardio equipment, and we offer those products at a 30- to 40-percent discount because we eliminate the middleman. There’s no giant retailer, and we go directly to the consumer.

MLT: How is it different from typical exercise machines?
BO:
We try to out-innovate the competition. If you’re going to buy a machine, you want one with greater specs. Our machines have a bigger running surface, bigger engines, touch screens, iPod compatibility and dynamic motion trainers. All you do is move your hands to the left or right, and it alters the intensity and incline of your workout. We’re constantly trying to push the envelope as to what we can do for our consumers. We’ve also got a product called the aeroSling ELITE. It integrates different aspects of yoga and pilates, delivering a tremendous impact on your body. It’s a system where you get a much larger range of motion and flexibility than other resistance-training systems out there.

MLT: What’s your background?
BO:
I played football at Conestoga High School and went to Temple University. Working out has been a way of life for me. I want people to find the same enjoyment, and I don’t want them to start out so big and aggressive that they lose their commitment. I try to run this company in a way that fosters people’s commitments to themselves.

To learn more, visit smoothfitness.com.

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