New Products and Services Review

Plate-Loaded Equipment and Free Weights

The weight room is a staple at health clubs. And plate-loaded equipment and free weights are staples in the weight room.

As more and more people are realizing the benefits of strength training — from osteoporosis protection to muscle gain and fat loss — bodybuilding enthusiasts are finding diverse company in the weight room. That's why club owners need to make sure their plate-loaded equipment and free weights are as user-friendly and up to date as possible.

Equipment manufacturers understand what clubs — and club members — need. They provide equipment suitable for any exerciser: men, women, the elderly, deconditioned, serious athletes and more. Here are some of the quality weight-training products and equipment available today.


Because of lead's greater density, Criterion Lead-Core dumbbells are up to 50 percent smaller than cast or plate type dumbbells. For example, the company's 100 pound dumbbell is 7.75 inches round and only 11.5 inches long. Smaller dumbbells mean better control for safer and more productive workouts. The lead core is covered by a .25-inch-thick steel shell that can be chromed or powder-coated to match gym colors, and the rubber end-cap can be customized. Criterion's ergonomic handle reportedly features unique square knurling for superior grip and comfort.

Criterion Bodybuilding Equipment, 2520 Highway 267 S., Searcy, AR 72143; (800) 899-5400; (501) 268-5605; fax: (501) 268-0602; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 119


Hampton's Fusion Rotational Grip Plates feature ergonomic rotational grips, which allow for a smooth, fluid motion when lifting or moving the plates. The durable, solid rubber casing also gives Fusion a sleek, aesthetically pleasing look.

Hampton Fitness, 1913 Portola Road, Ventura, CA 93003; (877) 339-9733;
Circle Reader Service No. 120


IGX Strength Pro-Style dumbbells are assembled in America using an aircraft-quality 5/8-inch hex bolt tightened up to 300 psi, to ensure the highest level of safety and durability, states the company. Available with either hammertone gray iron or rubber-encased heads, all models feature precision-machined ASTM 1018 steel handles and Iron Grip's urethane end-caps with permanently engraved weight markings.

Iron Grip Barbell Co., 1567 Sunland Lane, Costa Mesa, CA 92626; (800) 664-4766; fax: (714) 850-6910; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 121


Ivanko's stainless steel Olympic bar features 218,000 psi tensile strength. The bar is ultrasonic tested for internal cracks and magnetic particle tested for external cracks. The company states that the bars will never peel, chip or rust.
Ivanko Barbell Co., P.O. Box 1470, San Pedro, CA 90733; (310) 514-1155; fax: (310) 514-1363; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 134


Hammer Strength's new plate-loaded V-Squat offers the same motion as its popular H-Squat in a more space-efficient format. The V-Squat reportedly provides a greater range of movement about the hip than traditional leg press machines while reducing back and knee strain, and building strength in the gluteals, quadriceps and hamstrings.

Life Fitness, 10601 W. Belmont Ave., Franklin Park, IL 60131; (800) 634-8637; (847) 288-3300; fax: (847) 288-3703; [email protected];;
Circle Reader Service No. 122


When the human body exerts force through multiple planes, contrasting torque patterns are inherent. According to the company, Magnum's equipment features a Biangular design, which creates the least obstructive and safest pathway to generate torque from point “A” to point “B.” The Biangular mechanism guides the human body through motion that comes naturally, rather than forcing the users to define their own path of motion. With nothing more than a seat adjustment (in most cases), Magnum Biangular delivers perfect form for every repetition for any user, states the company.

Magnum Fitness Systems, 2201 12th Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172; (800) 372-0554; (414) 764-4068; fax: (414) 768-7047; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 135


Nautilus offers a complete line of Olympic stations, racks and benches crafted from heavy gauge steel. Each piece offers many safety and performance-enhancing features, including: Boltaflex upholstery, Efson-molded nylon pulleys, nylon-coated cables, impregnated bushings on pivot points and sliding members, zinc-plated weight horns, mushroom-headed racking pegs, and molded rubber footpads.

Nautilus International Inc., 709 Powerhouse Road, Independence, VA 24348; (800) 628-8458; (540) 773-2881; fax: (540) 773-2298; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 123


Nebula's newly designed 45-degree calf machine offers comfort and support to the user by loading the weight on a linear bearing sled. This unit takes the load and puts it on the glute in a seated position. No more loading up on shoulders, knees or the back. The calf machine's locking system works like a Smith machine, which allows the user to lock out the sled in an upper position without having to stoop or squat it off the bottom. The unit also comes with Nebula's round foot block to give the user better foot support throughout the movement. This round block also lets the user roll the foot forward to contract the calf muscles without doing a toe raise.

Nebula Fitness, 1142 N. Center St., Versailles, OH 45380; (800) 7-NEBULA; fax: (937) 526-9411;; [email protected]
Circle Reader Service No. 136


The PFW 7700 Smith machine features an advanced design. The lifting arm is counter-weighted to reduce bar weight from 40-plus pounds to 14 pounds for lighter training. Isolating the bar catch assembly from the weight bearing shaft prevents binding. The lifting bar assembly is supported by four 1-3/8 inch bearings. Weight slide carriage features Thompson Super 16 linear ball bushings for ultra-smooth movement regardless of the load, the company reports. Thirteen height adjustments accommodate any exercise, while six posts provide convenient plate storage.

Paramount Fitness Corp., 6450 E. Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90040; (323) or (800) 721-2121; fax: (323) 724-2000; [email protected]
Circle Reader Service No. 137


The Thera-Crunch is a compact, plate-loaded bench that performs a simultaneous upper crunch and reverse crunch (patented). University tests demonstrate that in the analysis of one of the most popular floor exercises (the bent-leg sit-up), the Thera-Crunch achieved more than 47 percent greater muscle isolation, according to the company.

Quantum Fitness Corp., 10245 W. Airport, Stafford, TX 77477; (800) 937-2282; fax: (281) 495-7542;
Circle Reader Service No. 124


Streamline's plate-loaded back machine has three sets of rubber grips positioned along the lift bar that afford the user multiple back exercises, including shrugs, notes the manufacturer. Pivot points are ball bearing, and the foot plate is angled to minimize back strain.

Streamline Fitness Equipment Inc., 20 Progress St., East Stroudsburg, PA 19301; (800) 729-6488; (570) 424-6488; fax: (570) 424-7778; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 139


Strive's patented target loading technology allows users to vary the resistance curve of the exercise. Maximal resistance can be placed at any point in the motion. According to Strive, muscles are optimally trained through all regions of the motion, leading to better results in less time, shorter yet more comprehensive workouts, increased muscle fiber recruitment and the elimination of overtraining.

Strive Enterprises Inc., 2403B Washington Road, Canonsburg, PA 15317; (800) 368-6448; (724) 873-5780; fax: (724) 873-5770 Circle Reader Service No. 140


The SupraBar and the SupraBar Cable System utilize the biomechanical process of supination — the inward and outward rotation of the wrist — to improve strength-training benefits. By utilizing movable and rotating grips, all of the SupraBar products isolate exertion to the targeted muscle group while relieving stress on tendons and joints. SupraBar is a free-weight bar designed to work with Olympic weights. The SupraBar cable attachments hook onto standard cable systems. The SupraBar Cable System includes the Cable Curl Bar, Butterfly Tri-Bar and unique Spreader Bar for multiple exercises.

Troy Barbell & Fitness, 2516 Fairway Park Drive, Houston, TX 77092; (800) 872-7767; (713) 957-2882; fax: (713) 957-3577; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 138


The CT-770 horizontal leg press from Tuff Stuff features a 2-inch-by-3-inch, 11-gauge tubular steel frame structure, which is welded wherever possible for added strength and structural integrity. The large pivoting foot plate maintains correct foot positioning throughout the range of motion, and back-pad supports are fully adjustable to various positions. The deluxe model features an adjustable seat carriage with a linear bearing system to accommodate any user and height variance.

Tuff Stuff/Task Industries Inc., 1325 E. Franklin Ave., Pomona, CA 91766; (909) 629-1600; fax: (909) 629-4967; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 125


York Barbell's G2 dual handle grip plates are functionally designed for both maneuverability and multiple use. This patented, unique contoured-handle concept allows for the G2 grip plates to be used alone to perform a variety of strength-building movements. The slotted design makes it easy to pick up, and an advanced interlocking feature allows more weights to be loaded and stored than traditional plates, according to the company.

York Barbell Co., P.O. Box 1707, York, PA 17405; (800) 358-9675; fax: (717) 764-0044; [email protected];
Circle Reader Service No. 126

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