IDEA: Fitness Power Plant

I like things that "kill 2 birds with one stone".. it's even better if nothing dies, and if I don't have to look for any stones. So here's the non-bird killing idea of the day: a fitness center/power plant.

This is an easy one, it only has 3 parts:

  1. Start a fitness center
  2. Modify exercise equipment to generate electricity (machines with spinny parts are easy to modify to act as generators – ellipticals, exercise bikes, etc)
  3. Use electricity generated by club members


Startup costs for a fitness center are not low, it would be quite an investment. Building and equipment costs would add up crazy fast. Modifying the equipment to turn them into generators (even in the easy cases) would be a lot of work. Most commercial equipment doesn't look like it's very friendly to the necessary modifications – it might be cheaper and easier to build everything from scratch. And from a power stand-point, it would take a lot of people working pretty hard to generate any sort of usable power.

BUT.. if someone were starting a new fitness center somewhere, it would be really cool if they looked into doing something like this. It would be a great gimmick at least, and would create a small amount of 'green' electricity from energy that would have been otherwise wasted. You could even encourage people to work out by subsidizing membership fees by the amount of electricity that each user generated – the more you work out, the less you pay.

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  1. unlikelymoose said,

    People would be all over this. The citizens of this nation thirst for easy ways to be green. Seriously.

    October 30, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  2. sparx said,

    You're either delusional, or your sarcasm hurts me. 😉

    I think the most common response you'd get from your "average citizen" would be along the lines of: "Oh! That sounds really neat! I'm going to… oooh! There's something shiny over there!"

    October 31, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  3. Kate said,

    brilliant idea!! we humans can create our own power and energy while we burn calories!! i love the idea of saving the environment at the same time i'm being healthy 🙂 i think you should run with this…just don't make us all into human hamsters running on a giant wheel 😛

    October 31, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  4. sparx said,

    If you can get me funding, I'm sure I could do some amazing things. 🙂

    October 31, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  5. Kate said,

    i'm sure you can get funding…green is in and i'll bet the government would be willing to kick in some funding your way. you could probably get Al Gore to be a sponsor and spokesman for your new eco-friendly power-station/gym

    October 31, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  6. sparx said,

    With the current administration? I think they'd be much more interested in exercise equipment that ran electricity INTO people. *bzzzt*

    I think mr gore has a restraining order against me…

    October 31, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

  7. spudart said,

    good idea! I've often thought of this when all the treadmills and bikes are being used. That energy should be at least stored up somewhere. I heard in California, people are allowed to sell energy back to the energy company.

    November 5, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  8. Leonnie said,

    Hi, I just found your post on a random google search and found it very interesting. I am a final year design student in Newcastle, UK and have been working on a very similar concept for my final year major project. I was interested to know whether or not you had developed the idea any further since? Would be great to discuss my project with you.

    January 2, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  9. Nick said,

    They should put these in prisons, and give criminals something useful to do….

    October 4, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

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