Somerset Fitness Center First In County With Space-Age Treadmill That Allows Users To Walk On Air


Teaven Everett, a world-class 800-meter runner and performance coach at Somerset Fitness & Wellness, waits for the AlterG treadmill to gauge his weight.

“Walking on air” is more than just a catch phrase at a Somerset-based sports fitness and rehabilitation center.

Somerset Fitness & Wellness, 900 Easton Avenue, is said by its management to be the first center in Somerset County to feature a new kind of treadmill, one that uses a sealed chamber filled with air that can lift the user to the point where they are only moving on 20 percent of their body weight.

Called the AlterG F320, the machine is billed as an “anti-gravity treadmill” designed by engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The machine, it’s makers say, is useful for people who are rehabbing from leg- and hip-related injuries.

One person who swears by the machine is Tevan Everett, a world-class 800 meter runner who is a performance coach at the center. Everett said he’s used the AlterG since his days at the University of Texas, and uses it now to ease the punishment done to his body by years of running.

Everett, a professional runner with the New Jersey-New York Track Club, has reason to be measured in his workouts: He’s aiming for a slot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.

“The peak age for my event is 28,” he said. “I’ll be 28 in 2016.”

“I have to make sure I’m not over-training,” he said.

Everett said he and the team train on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus during the week. His first year, he said, he took it easy after training.

But soon he realized that he wanted to prepare for his life outside of competition; Everett said he hopes to become a coach.

And what better way to prepare for that career than to be a coach in a fitness center, he said. Especially one that uses the machine he grew to depend on in college.

Users of the AlterG don a specially made pair of shorts that are zipped into the air chamber on the treadmill. The machine calculates the user’s weight, then fills the chamber with air, slightly lifting the user and effectively reducing their body weight.

Controls on the top of the unit regulate the percentage of body weight cut and also the speed of the treadmill.

Everett said the average person using the AlterG after a hip, leg or knee injury will reduce their rehabilitation time.

“I used it when I was injured,” he said.

Everett did a quick demonstration of the unit, programming it to reduce his body weight – 155 pounds – by 40 percent and setting the treadmill to an easy jogging pace.

“I feel like I’m walking on the moon,” he said.

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