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The Evolution of Gym Equipment

What do you expect when you walk into a gym? A clean, welcoming environment with enough equipment to provide you with the exercise you want to do. That could be exercising to maintain or improve your health, fitness, strength training, or bodybuilding. Whatever reason you exercise, you will want equipment that will provide cardio, strength, stretching and flexibility exercises. You will also expect to find high-tech, smart equipment providing a motivating user experience.


Most gyms today provide various levels of smart equipment, functional training equipment and instruction. However, this was not always the case.


The Longevity Of Gyms

You can track fitness training back to the Ancient Greeks. The training areas were also places of education, with well-known philosophers talking to the athletes of the time. Now we have good sound systems and eclectic background music. Of course, you can also play your sounds—or an uplifting podcast—via your ear pods or headphones.

The idea of the value of gyms became popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Possibly to have fitter soldiers for all the wars ongoing at that time! The sort of exercise equipment you find at this time would include,

  • Climbing ropes 
  • Pommel horses
  • Climbing frames
  • Mats


These were to strengthen your body through combat sports, a mixture of body-weight exercises. Dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands and Indian clubs also started appearing in the 1900s due to entrepreneurs like Bill Pullum. 


Early 20th Century Gyms – The Start of The Machine Age

Fitness celebrities and entrepreneurs like Charles Atlas and Vic Tanney encouraged fitness centres—for men in particular—to improve their physique. However, by the 1960s, people were encouraged to stay healthy by regular exercise. Callanetic exercise being the most popular. Gym equipment saw the addition of pieces like,

  • Swiss balls
  • Bosu balls
  • Foam rollers

Alongside these, machines such as CrossFit and monster lifting stations appeared. You could also find vibration machines thought to reduce fat, a claim never substantiated. Exercise bikes were in use but they were not electronic. There was also no heart monitors available on any equipment, as you will find in today’s gyms.


Gym Equipment To Expect In Today’s Gyms

Today’s gyms are pivotal in the ever-evolving world of fitness and health. A noticeable difference from previous eras is that they now have a place for technology and digital innovations. 


An increasingly popular piece of gym equipment is body analysers, which offer insights into your health and highlight areas to focus on—achieved by analysing your body composition, including protein, mineral, body fat and water.


You will find gym equipment like cross trainers, rowers, bikes and treadmills in today’s modern gyms. These come with high-def touch screens that allow users access to popular fitness apps, Virtual Go interactive workouts and TV, and the ability to share your workouts with family and friends. 


You can also control your fitness profiles and keep in touch with your fitness goals, heart rate and other physical tests ensuring a better user experience.


If you want to know more about modern gym equipment, call us.

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