Precor Fitness Equipment
PRECOR™: Approximately thirty years ago, after the engineering of a stationary fitness rowing machine by David Smith in his basement, one of the most respected, popular and successful fitness equipment brands was started. Spawning from Mr. Smith's development of an ergonomically correct rowing machine in 1980, Precor has turned into one of the international leaders in the branding, design, production and marketing of fitness equipment. No more than 3 years after David finished the design of the rowing machine in his basement, he was joined by the bright and fitness oriented opportunist, Bill Potts. Mr. Potts brought his knowledge of electronic functionality to the table and sought out to integrate unique exercise programmability for users, as well as easy to read statistical feedback, into the exercise equipment Smith was designing. Mr. Potts believed that allowing people to monitor their stats such as speed, time, distance and other readouts, would increase the popularity of their workout equipment and make using gym equipment more enjoyable for the regular user. Ultimately, making the exercise equipment more interactive from a user perspective, intrigued people because they could monitor their results in real-time. Knowing how fast or long one would have to exercise in order to surpass their previous records, proved to be highly motivating and helped treadmills, stationary exercise bikes and rowing machines become more favorable through the eyes of potential buyers. Through the assistance of Mr. Potts, the popularity of exercise programming options in fitness equipment, and the popularity for Precor fitness equipment as a whole, began to take off. Once 1985 hit, several more additions had been made to the once one man band that was Precor; the Precor brand expanded to carrying treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines.
As momentum gained through popular reviews, it became clear that Precor equipment was expected to be at the top of the industry in the near future. However, in order to be an industry leader, Precor had to be a major factor in the national heath clubs and gyms. Without substantial and successful (gym members like the equipment, it's durable and so on) sales to commercial fitness centers and gyms, it is hard to earn a reputation as the best in the business of fitness equipment manufacturing in the United States. Therefore, proving the foresight of fitness experts true, in 1990, Precor entered the health club scene with a series of commercial treadmills, built to withstand all day wear and tear by people weighing up to 400 pounds. There is a major difference in the structural integrity and mechanical capacities between commercial (health club) and residential exercise equipment. Whereas a solid home treadmill can be used at most up for up to four hours a day, a gym quality treadmill can be used for up to four times as long. Commercially rated gym equipment weights a lot more than home fitness equipment and commercial grade gym equipment is rated to last longer. Precor built their own line of commercial treadmills with the necessary size, mechanical capacities, speed and structural integrity, to compete with the other leading brands in the fitness industry for commercial health club deals and this move catapulted Precor into great positioning.
Precor really threw the fitness industry a curve ball in 1995 when Precor invented the first ever elliptical cross-trainer. It was called the Precor EFX 544. This revolutionary cross-trainer was designed with an adjustable cross-ramp and fixed arms so that its user could complete a total body workout. The adjustable incline ramp makes it easy for users to work out different muscle groups in their lower body through the simple adjustment of the angle on the incline ramp. The EFX 544 was so popular that Precor decided to continue their production of elliptical cross-trainers for usage in health clubs and homes. One of the first additions to the Precor line of elliptical cross-trainers was a cross-trainer with moving upper body arms and called the EFX 556. Precor's business was growing exponentially and with the acquisition of Pacific Fitness in 1998, Precor made giant strides towards building a successful line of strength equipment. A result of this merger was the extremely popular Precor Stretch Trainer, that is a favorite of fitness trainers and gym patrons.
In 1999, Premark International, which was parent company of the Precor brand at the time, was bought out by International Tool Works. Soon after ITW acquired Precor, popularity for Precor increased, as their equipment become more affordable and focused on consumer needs. With a bigger bankroll and more steam built up, Precor was acquired by Amer Sports in 2002 as part of a 180 million dollar deal. Amer Sports coming into the picture resulted in Precor changing their primary goals. After years of revolving around industrial products, Precor's new aim was to become an international distributor of a wider range of fitness equipment and sporting goods.
With all of the success and momentum that Precor had established, they still did not have a dominant and consumer friendly line of strength equipment. That all changed in 2004 when Precor established an Icarian line of strength equipment. Icarian strength equipment can be found anywhere from private home gyms to large health club franchises. The line of strength equipment itself has all home gym products ranging from bench presses, to multi-station and plate loaded home gyms, to weight racks and other strength training machines.
A very popular feature on the Precor cardio line of fitness equipment originated in 2004 as well. Precor started adding an optional Cardio Theatre that would come attached to the treadmill or elliptical. For example, if you are familiar with the Precor 956i Treadmill, it can be purchased with a cardio theatre attached to the display console. Having an entertainment center to use when you exercise has proven to inspire people to workout up to 75% longer than they did on the same treadmill, without some form of visual entertainment. In 2006, Precor introduced its Experience Series line and the Cardio Theater was an option for all Experience Series treadmills and elliptical cross-trainers. After gaining the support of consumers across the U.S., the Cardio Theater went on to win awards at the annual international product design competition, hosted by Business Week.
Speaking of business, we all know how nice it is to stay at a hotel with a really nice workout room while we are on a trip for work, or a vacation with our family. Precor signed a deal with the Hilton Family that would make Precor gym equipment the main supplier of Hilton hotels such as the Double Tree, Embassy Suites and The Hilton. Catapulting Precor into the mainstream, this widely publicized commercial deal between Precor and Hilton Hotels, reminded everyone in the health industry of Precor's ability to manufacture well built, user-friendly and effective exercise equipment.
Several years after Precor began their quest to become an international powerhouse, the production amounts of their Icarian strength line had increased by 300%. If you have worked out in a health club before, you are have more than likely used Precor's Icarian gym machines. Approximately seven years ago, Precor introduced its Experience Series line which is still thriving today in gyms, businesses, hotels and homes across the world. Precor fitness equipment is also owned by Amer Sports Corporation, who according to Precor.com, "is the worlds leading sports equipment company". Since Precor has a mission to be "the most respected brand in fitness equipment (Precor.com)", their relationship makes perfect sense.
A great majority of health clubs and gyms have Precor elliptical cross-trainers, treadmills, stretch trainers, exercise bikes and strength machines. Ultimately, the litmus test for whether or not fitness equipment is solid, is whether or not the fitness equipment in question can be found a favorite amongst members at health clubs and commercial gym facilities. In 2005 & 2006, Precor won the award for "Top Supplier", from Golds Gym and Anytime Fitness. Since Precor fitness equipment can be found across the United States at almost every major health club, and is a consumer best buy award winner, we feel safe in saying that we place Precor in the upper echelon of fitness equipment.