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When it comes to fitness, there is something new in the world of training every time you read a fitness magazine. Last week it was Pilates. This week it is core or functional training. But no matter what comes down the pike, the one thing that remains constant is the strength of the iron that the fitness industry was built upon. From Muscle Beach to the local gym, free-weight training is still what helps keep the industry and its members strong.


EPIC Strength free weights bring a rugged new look to the weight room with an ergonomic and space-efficient design. With electrostatically powder-coated, 11-gauge steel tubing, EPIC Strength free weights will maintain their looks through years of heavy-duty use. The tripod design provides a stable base in a small footprint. Ergonomic features, including low plate loading and Y-shaped frames, make EPIC Strength free weights easy to use. Contact: FreeMotion Fitness, 1096 Elkton Dr., Suite 600, Colorado Springs, CO 80907; phone: 877-363-8449; fax: 719-955-1104;
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Hammer Strength offers more than 20 premium, heavy-duty benches and racks that feature a sturdy, bolt-together design and are constructed of the same durable components as Hammer Strength plate-loaded equipment. The Olympic family consists of a squat rack, a power rack and four benches. The Free Weight family includes five fixed benches, a multi-adjustable bench, a single dumbbell rack, a barbell rack, a deluxe weight tree and seated arm curl. The Body Weight family uses the exerciser's weight as resistance and features five pieces, including a back extension and abdominal workstation. Contact: Life Fitness, 10601 W. Belmont Ave., Franklin Park, IL 60131; phone: 800-634-8637;
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Hampton Fitness Inc. has updated its Eclipse dumbbell and barbell line with its patent-pending ergonomic grip, the Snug-Grip. The Eclipse dumbbell line has been re-engineered with Snug-Grip's contoured, ergonomic rubber handle, which supports the hand's curvature, creating a comfortable solid grip. The outside shoulders of each handle have been expanded to 50mm, which centers the hand and eliminates the impact caused by traditional handles that can slide during workouts. Hampton's Dura-Lock end cap, which secures the plates in place, has been restyled and flush-mounted for longer life. Contact: Hampton Fitness, 1913 Portola Rd., Ventura, CA 93003; phone: 877-339-9733; fax: 805-339-9733;
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Manufacturers of dynamic strength training equipment for more than 25 years, HOIST Fitness Systems offers a wide variety of free-weight and strength-training solutions. These innovative systems are precision built with superb componentry and have proven durability, effectiveness and versatility. The equipment features 2-inch by 4-inch powder-coated tube steel, nickel-plated rack-out systems and top-quality upholstery. Contact: HOIST Fitness Systems, 9990 Empire Street, San Diego, CA 92126; phone: 800-548-5438;
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Iron Grip features the Iron Grip eWeight Planner. Iron Grip has partnered with 14 of the top strength equipment manufacturers in the industry to take the guesswork out of planning your gym's free weights. Iron Grip's new program calculates the correct quantity and size breakdown of Olympic plates, bars and dumbbells, using the quantity of your club's plate-loaded and free weight equipment as a guide. Contact: Iron Grip Barbell Company, 4012 W. Garry Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92708; phone: 800-664-4766 or 714-850-6900; fax: 714-850-6910;; For more information, and a complete list of participating manufacturers, visit
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Ivanko's new 5 ½-foot stainless steel “shorty” Olympic bar (Item No. OBS66) is for serious weight training where shorter bars are preferred for precise upper body exercises. It meets the same demanding standards of Ivanko's cutting-edge 7-foot stainless steel Olympic bar (Item No. OBS-20KG) — hardened to 218,000 psi tensile strength to prevent bending, ultrasonic and magnetic particle tested to avert breakage, straightened to 10/1000-inch tolerance for torque-free lifts, and 100 percent stainless steel for long-lasting aesthetics. Clubs are encouraged to acquire several of these “shorties” to ensure peace when more than one user is in the weight room at the same time. Contact: Ivanko Barbell Company, P.O. Box 1470, San Pedro, CA 90733; phone: 310-514-1155; fax: 310-514-1363:;
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Magnum Fitness Systems has been building the most sophisticated, extensive line of free weight equipment since 1978. The Magnum line consist of 64 different pieces. There are 18 plate-load machines, 14 working benches, 11 different storage racks, four unique power rack systems and 17 different Olympic stations. Its heavy-duty construction guarantees it will withstand the use and abuse of serious lifters. Its clean appearance and straightforward design make it inviting to use for novice lifters. Contact Magnum Fitness Systems, 2201 12th Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172; phone: 800-372-0554 or 414-764-4068; fax: 414-768-7047;;
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At Nautilus, we've built our machines stronger than they have ever been to stand up to the punishment your customers give. The Smith machine is engineered with racking pegs for nine weight bar adjustments to fit different benches and users. Adjustable safety stops with rubber bumpers reduce noise, and the walk-through design assures the user of a full range of bench placement options. Every piece of Nautilus free weight equipment allows users to experience an effective workout, quickly and efficiently. Contact: The Nautilus Health & Fitness Group, 1886 Prairie Way, Louisville, CO 80027; phone: 800-688-9991;
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The Paramount plate-loaded series includes a total of 20 new models. Paramount applied its Advanced Rotary Technology to five new upper body plate-loaded models. Paramount's press arms provide both adjustments for varying user size as well as pivoting handles. The series has five models with traditional linear movements for the chest, shoulder and back. The Total Body models provide multiple exercise movements using the same machine. Designs have a minimal footprint while keeping structural integrity. Contact: Paramount Fitness Corp.; 6450 E. Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90040; phone: 323-721-2121; fax: 323-724-2000;;
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Check out these products and technology topics for the rest of the year:

July: Selectorized equipment

August: Nutritional supplements

September: Plate-loaded equipment; day spa products

October: Sporting life including basketball, inline skating, volleyball, tennis, golf, tanning booths and services

November: Lockers and locker room amenities

December: Flooring and flooring systems If you would like to be listed in any of these upcoming categories, e-mail

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