Gym Equipment, and History?

I am  a gym enthusiast. I’ve always gone to the gym, done my little bit of exercise, use the machines and the dumbbells and just left. Happy that I’ve done my exercise, stayed healthy and that’s it. No thought to the equipment I’ve used. As long as it served my purpose, I was happy.

Over the years, I have seen a change in the way these gym equipment work and realized, of course these products must have a history. I wanted to know how these machines have evolved and how they made it all the way to todays gyms.

All equipment found their roots in the 18th century agriculture. The treadmill utillizes technology that was initially developed to enable animals to perform work. Cattle and horses were put on a tread wheel which would help to ground up crops such as grains. Treadmills where also used as torture devices for prisoners in labor camps, used also either to process grain, as it was with cattle and to demoralize and despirit an individual


Every gym has sets of dumbbells, dumbbells also have a history. Their origins are from ancient Greece. Writings from the fifth century B.C describe dumbbells as “halteres”, handheld weights that athletes used for jumping and swinging exercises. These were also used by the Romans and the English in the 1500’s. Even though dumbbells date back to ancient times, the word did not come in to use until a few centuries ago. The most commonly accepted explanation is that church bell ringers, to build up arm strength, practiced in silent or “dumb” bells.


With the development of free weights, after years of major advancement, American fitness guru, Jack Lalanne, innovated several pieces of  resistance machines, the mechanical principals behind these pieces such as the leg extensions, the cable pulley machine can be found in gym equipment around the world.

When visiting a gym now I look at these machines and equipment differently. People have been using similar equipments for generations, just that now they look different, perhaps made with better quality and advanced materials and hopefully materials that are sustainable as well. As  most things these days, keeping fit and healthy involves cutting edge technological advances that incorporate hi-tech features. Since it deals with the health of the body, exercise has become  very serious matter. The Equipments used must be designed to work the body and the different muscles without causing any damage

I guess it’s time for my run now.

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