Using the right fitness equipment can make your workouts fun and effective. In contrast, low-quality machines ruin your workout experience, make exercises less effective, and put you at a higher risk of injury. The question is, how do you determine if the equipment you are using is good? One option is to look at the company that has made the devices you want to use. Often, all you need to know about a machine comes from looking at the brand.
In this post, we will take a look at seven of the biggest fitness equipment brands to seek when trying out a new gym in your town or on the road.
Technogym is a fitness brand founded in the distant 1983 in Italy/Europe. A couple of years after coming to life, Technogym released heir first strength training line and followed that up with a home multi-station in 1986. After that, Technogym's management began diversifying in the digital world, unlike many other companies. In 1996, they released Wellness System - software that helped people manage their training.
For the first time in its history, Technogym was chosen as the official training equipment supplier for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. In addition, the company was again chosen to supply athletes with equipment for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Throughout its long history, the folks behind Technogym always pushed the boundaries by coming up with the first cloud platform in the fitness sphere and releasing beautiful home training equipment. The company released Technogym Bike in 2019, an indoor bike equipped with live and on-demand cycling classes.
2. Life Fitness
Founded in 1977, Life Fitness is based in the United States. The first product Life Fitness ever sold was an exercise bike. Since then, the company has specialized in producing and distributing fitness equipment, including stationery bikes and treadmills. Life Fitness was the company that created the first-ever electronic stationary bike.
In 1988, the company created the first computer-based strength training program to promote an active lifestyle and teach people practical training principles. The company has specialized in producing and distributing equipment, such as stationary bikes and treadmills. Life Fitness considers itself as a "Family of Brands"; it makes sense as they also own other well-known brands:
- Hammer Strength
- ICG Indoor Cycling
Not to be confused with the 1999 movie starring Keanu Reeves, Matrix is another massive player in the fitness industry. The company was launched in 2001 to produce and deliver premium fitness equipment to facilities worldwide. Matrix Fitness is part of Johnson Health Tech (JHT), a multinational company that manufactures and distributes fitness equipment worldwide.
Since its start in 2001, Matrix Fitness has become one of the most profitable brands inside JHT, often accounting for up to 70 percent of its annual revenue. What began as a humble project with a handful of strength and conditioning machines quickly became versatile and highly profitable. Today, Matrix Fitness offers over 500 products and serves commercial gyms worldwide.
Today, most people know NordicTrack as this huge brand that manufactures and distributes high-end fitness equipment to facilities worldwide. But despite its current dominance, the company wasn't always an industry leader.
Like other companies on our list, NordicTrack has been around for a while. The company was founded in the distant 1975 and began with a single product: a ski machine. Edward and Florence Pauls started the company as a modest mail-order business in their basement. Ed Pauls worked on the device to become a good skier. Their initial products were branded under Nordic Jock, given their initial target market of college ski racers.
Today, NordicTrack manufactures all sorts of equipment, including items you can buy for a home gym set-up. Because of their versatility, many NordicTrack devices are also present in hotel gyms that bet on high-quality equipment.
BowFlex was established in the mid-1980s with one goal in mind: Bring a genuine gym-like experience to the home of every enthusiast. While other companies obsessed over signing big contracts with large gym chains worldwide, the folks behind BowFlex developed some of the first multi-gym set-ups that are so popular today.
People liked BowFlex precisely because it offered something different from many competitors. Trainees could now invest some money, get a versatile machine, train at home, and make excellent fitness progress. There was no need to make small talk in the gym, wait around for equipment, or deal with the post-workday crowds.
These days, BowFlex does much more than that, and the company offers a wide range of devices and weights for training facilities and home gyms. One of their most popular products is the adjustable dumbbell, which innovatively adjusts resistance in seconds.
6. Rogue Fitness
Rogue Fitness is a relatively new company, having been established in 2007. But despite its late start when compared to competitors, the brand quickly made a name for itself. Bill Henniger began a website when he struggled to find all the necessary equipment for his new gym. His website sold all the equipment one would need to set up a CrossFit gym.
The company began by selling equipment from other companies before slowly transitioning into manufacturing. These days, Rogue Fitness manufactures all kinds of CrossFit equipment, barbells, squat racks, weight plates, and accessories like benches, dumbbells, medicine balls, and more. Rogue also offers accessories for squat racks and cardio equipment, like their Rogue Echo Bike.
Like many other industry leaders, Precor has also had its fair share of successes and failures along the way. The company was established in 1980 and has since grown into one of the most recognizable fitness brands.
Precor's first achievement on the manufacturing scene came in the form of a fully-functioning rowing machine. A decade later, Precor delivered the first cushioned treadmill that set the stage for safer and more effective treadmills. The company is also responsible for creating the Elliptical trainer, one of the most popular and versatile cardio machines. Since then, the company has never stopped pushing the boundaries, innovating, and delivering versatile devices to people worldwide. Today, Precor is known as one of the best brands for cardio equipment. End of 2020, Precor got acquired by Peloton.
Some closing Thoughts
Of course, not all fitness equipment is the same. High-quality equipment not only looks great, it feels great. However, not every brand produces the same products, as you can see in the overview below:
If you want to stick with your brand, many hotel chains have agreements with one or two brands to equip their gym. In addition, as part of the "Hotel Gym Insights" in our search, you can check which brand is used primarily in your selected hotel gym before booking - no more surprises.