GYM EQUIPMENT COMPANY HISTORY
Universal Gym Equipment was founded by Muscle Beach alumnus Harold Zinkin
to sell his patented multi-station weight training machine with selectorized
weight stacks. This machine introduced the concept of circuit weight training
to the fitness world and launched the modern era of physical fitness.
Universal introduced the Mark Series-the first series of multi-station
weight training machines. The company
sells one unit per month.
Universal sold one unit per week.
Universal sold one unit per hour.
Harold Zinkin sold Universal in a multimillion dollar deal and remained
as chief executive officer.
The second series of multi-stations from Universal was introduced, including
the Gladiator, Maximus and
Shortly after the second series came the third series of multi-stations,
including the Spartacus and Centurion machines.
The concept of Dynamic Variable Resistance (DVR) was patented by Universal.
In developing the multi-station,
Universal did extensive research on the biomechanical advantages and disadvantages
of the human body. As a result of this research, Universal pioneered DVR
technology, which allows a weight machine to vary the resistance it applies
to a muscle group throughout the entire motion of the exercise. This ensures
constant muscular effort for maximum conditioning results.
Universal began applying its DVR technology to its first series of DVR
single stations, and its first Power Pak home gym.
Universal expanded its cardiovascular equipment line with the AerobiCycle
I, II and III, as well as the ComputeRow. In the same year, the Universal
Fitness Institute was also introduced. This program was implemented to
provide fitness center managers and owners with the management tools needed
to be effective in the industry.
Universal supplied fitness equipment to troops in Kuwait for Operation
Desert Shield in order to keep our fighting forces in peak physical condition
for Operation Desert Storm.
Power Circuit, Universal's new line of selectorized single station weight
training machines, was developed. Power Circuit, designed to be the most
user-friendly strength training equipment in the industry, features over
20 single stations that provide a complete range of strength training
exercises for a total body workout.
As the sole supplier of fitness equipment to the 1994 Winter Olympics
in Lillehammer, Norway, Universal equipped every training facility with
its complete line of cardiovascular and strength training equipment. Today,
over 20 countries use Universal fitness equipment to train for both the
Winter and Summer Olympics.
As the pioneers of circuit training, Universal took the concept to a whole
new level with CrossLine-an innovative
total fitness circuit that combines strength training and cardiovascular
conditioning into one total body workout.
In only 18 months, over 150 of the top fitness centers across the country
have embraced Universal's "Ultimate
Cross-Training Experience."Universal had its best year ever, with
250 employees and $50 million in sales.
Universal filed for bankruptcy.
No Universal products were sold.
Flexible Flyer bought Universal and sold marketing rights to a small group
of investors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Universal Gym Equipment returns to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to continue the
tradition that the Universal name embodies-"Quality," "Strength"
and "Fitness." The company's focus is a core product line of
weight training equipment including single and multi-station machines
and free weights.
Universal is steadily rebuilding sales and its dealer network. As of May
2000, the company employees seven
full-time employees and sells $100,000 in product monthly. Its sales goal
for 2000 is $2 million.
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