StairMaster Fitness Equipment: Health Club Quality Fitness Steppers

StairMaster is a health club quality brand of exercise equipment, known best for their world renowned Stair Climbers and StepMills. StairMaster stair climbers have two unconnected, individual steps, acting independently of one another, while the StairMaster StepMill has one rotating, escalator like staircase. Close to thirty years ago, the first exercise StairMaster climber would be introduced into the world of health and fitness equipment. This new StairMaster invention was called the StairMaster 5000. In 1983, Lanny Potts and associate Jim Walker introduced the StairMaster 5000 to the world through Tri-Tech, Inc., at a trade show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, held by the National Sporting Goods Association.

After the immediate success of this 5000 StepMill, StairMaster looked for for ways to improve their new and popular stepper through technological advancements. Within a year, the SM 5000 would be replaced with the StairMaster 6000. While the StairMaster 6000 would appear virtually identical and mechanically similar to the 5000 stepper, the SM 6000 would provide its users with digital enhancements. Technological upgrades in its programming, created an atmosphere that was more interactive for the user. People could now print their statistical feedback on a thermal printer and keep an eye on their pulse through heart rate monitoring. Monitoring ones heart rate while exercising is essential for many people that workout on cardiovascular fitness equipment. One is able to be careful and at the same time push their limits, as long as they have the ability to monitor their heart rate. In order to watch their progress electronically, the SM 6000 displayed real time workout information on its CRT.

In 1985, a running simulator cartridge was developed in order to further enhance the digital user feedback on the SM 6000. Later that year, Tri-Tech, Inc., sold Nautilus Northeast the distribution rights for StairMaster fitness equipment. For the next 25 years, Nautilus would make significant contributions to the fitness equipment industry through their continual production of consumer oriented, health club quality and economically viable fitness stair climbers. Nautilus is the fitness equipment company responsible for inventing the StairMaster 4000PT, 4200PT, 4400CL, 4600PT, 4600CL, 7000PT, Sm 916 & SC916.

The International Health, Racket and Sports Club Association (IHRSA) held a trade show in Nashville in 1986. It was during this convention that StairMaster unveiled its new creation, and launched the StairMaster 4000PT. This stair stepper was built without an escalator like, revolving staircase. Rather than a mechanical speed controlling the speed of a rotating staircase as was the case with the SM 5000 and SM 6000, the SM 4000PT had two steps, with motions independent of one another, simulating climbing stairs. Mechanically speaking, its aggregate pedal movement was controlled through a shared rotating shaft, while speed controls were configured through its alternator. StairMaster would have a great deal of success with their new 4000PT stair climber and the two independent steps design, would set the trend for the next decade. As interest in the rotating staircase models soon began to fade, sales for the StairMaster 4000PT skyrocketed.

StairMaster manufactures some of the most popular and effective stair steppers and StepMills in today’s fitness equipment industry. If you have spent any considerable amount of time using stair climbers at the gym, then you have most likely exercised on a StairMaster climber before. As the largest manufacturer of commercial and home gym stair steppers nationwide, StairMaster is responsible for the design, production, development and marketing for the worlds finest stair steppers. Spearheading the fitness equipment industry with exciting and ground breaking features, StairMaster continues to impress fitness experts across the globe with the premium products that StairMaster continues to introduce into the world of gym equipment.

Specializing in the production, marketing and sales of stair steppers for over three decades now, StairMaster remains the undisputed, heavyweight champion of gym quality and residential Stair Steppers. Examples of the excellent and meticulous manufacturing process that StairMaster religiously employs can be seen through their impressive line of stair steppers. The StairMaster 4200PT, StairMaster 4400PT/CL, the StairMaster 7000PT StepMill, SM 916 Step Mill and SC 916, are all examples of the unwavering dedication towards perfect craftsmanship that StairMaster follows. More altruist than capitalist, StairMaster is addicted toward bettering the fitness equipment industry through their ongoing production of structurally sound, bio-mechanically correct, stair climbers and StepMills. Aesthetically flamboyant and mechanically inferior exercise equipment is not an option for those who seek efficient and effective gym equipment, because cheap and flimsy exercise equipment will serve as nothing more than a waste of space. StairMaster stair climbers underline and highlight everything good about efficient and effective fitness equipment. Amongst the greatest exercise equipment in the gym sits the StairMaster 916 StepMill. Unlike stationary exercise bikes, treadmills and cross-training equipment (elliptical machines too), the SM 916 StepMill has an extraordinary feature that motivates its user to exercise for long periods of time. The constantly rotating stairs of the SM916 create an environment in which the user can’t cheat themselves. Escalator like rotating steps, make it impossible to rest and break while using the SM 916 Step Mill. Users are motivated to complete their workout on the SM 916 due to the fact that trying to slow down may result in falling off the stair-climber and interrupting the workout. While running on a treadmill, it is easy to slow down the speed to a snails pace without losing all momentum.

StairMaster is owned by their parent company Nautilus. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Vancouver, Nautilus is an industry leader for fitness sales. While developing, manufacturing and marketing fitness equipment under the Nautilus name, other well known and discount fitness equipment brands produced by Nautilus include Schwinn Fitness, Bowflex and Treadclimber. Nautilus provides a wide range of exercise equipment ranging from premier, health club quality fitness equipment, to lightweight, inexpensive and small fitness equipment for the home. Nautilus has received a lot of attention over the past several years due to their creation of the Bowflex Treadclimber. Bowflex SelectTeck Dumbbells have been a success for nautilus lately too. Schwinn Fitness we all know for their awesome Airdyne stationary bike. Recently Schwinn has been noticed on the horizon once again with their steady production of popular spin bikes. Treadmills made by Schwinn Fitness have gained notoriety as well. The Schwinn 860 Treadmill and Schwinn 840 are both solid buys if you are looking for a lightweight treadmill for your home gym.

Buying Fitness Equipment That Will Not Break Your Budget

When you’re keen on buying a home fitness equipment but wary about the cost, there’s a way to reap the benefits of exercise without blowing your budget. You may go for used equipment that’s hardly been used and still in excellent working condition. You may purchase used exercise equipment from a friend, or obtain a good deal from an online store or actual sports shop. Online retailers offer a wide range of equipment ranging from treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers, elliptical trainers to free weights and other exercise paraphernalia at a discount or special price. An online auction site likewise offers the suitable venue for individuals who want to sell their used equipment and go through the bidding process.

There’s the notion that lesser priced fitness trainer may not be constructed from strong, hard-wearing materials and may have serious flaws that can create discomfort for the user. On the contrary, there are quality used fitness equipment that continue to soar in sales.

Here are some tips you can keep in mind before buying used equipment. Before making the purchase, know your current fitness level and make sure the machine you have in mind will serve you well. When you have that down pat and you really want to set up your own mini home gym, check just how “used” the equipment has been. Has the equipment undergone abuse from its previous owner and liable to break down in a matter of weeks? Does the warranty still cover the equipment upon your purchase?

It may be a good idea to try out the machine first. Whether you’re buying the used fitness machine from a friend or found it in a yard sale, you need to be able to test drive it to prevent headaches or regrets later on. Check also if the model you’ll be buying has been phased out and therefore will make it difficult for you to find replacement parts when breakdown occurs. Most fitness trainer manufacturers maintain a website. Verify information by checking information online, or call up the company to check pertinent data. Choosing to buy from a reputable company with a good track record is ideal.

Purchasing slightly used equipment will save you a lot of money compared to buying a brand new one from a regular sports equipment store. Another reason consumers choose to buy a used exercise machine is they’re well aware how fast models may evolve and are thinking they may soon buy another equipment.

Note that there are also sports equipment suppliers that specialize in used fitness machines. They are usually the ones approached by corporate or gym operators or individual fitness buffs who want to part with their slightly used exercise equipment (after finding they want to invest on more advance fitness equipment). Some stores specializing in used fitness equipment check the condition of the old exercise equipment they buy and improve them to make them spanking new. Ideally, a good store has done a product quality control check before selling the item as refurbished fitness equipment.

Some stores even add additional stuff to suit client specifications. They also provide warranty for the equipment. So you see, deciding to buy home gym equipment need not be a costly endeavor. Just choose well.

Fitness Equipment Glossary

There are dozens and dozens of different type of fitness equipment out there so keeping track of them can be quite the task, even for an expert. The constantly influx of new type of innovations and equipment also do not help and can intimidate newcomers to the fitness world. We have compiled a list of the most common terms regarding fitness equipment and break them down to simple to understand, non-jargon explanations. We have also detailed which body part the equipment targets, if applicable. If words like ergometer, P80 console and smith machine baffle you, this list will be your friend. We have gathered up all the fitness equipment names that we could find and we are constantly adding to this list.

Ab Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: abdominals

An ab bench is a fitness bench that is generally at a decline, usually with padded leg rollers to hook your legs or foot around to perform a crunch or sit-up. There are also adjustable versions of these where you can perform different exercises on.

Adjustable Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Similar to a flat bench, but they are adjustable to either become a flat bench, an incline bench or a decline bench.

AMT

An abbreviation for the Precor AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer) which is an all-in-one elliptical machine. It is able to change strides and adapt to the user without any manual adjustments.

Arc Trainer

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, core (if it includes upper body: triceps, biceps, back)

A cardio machine created by Cybex that closely resembles an elliptical, but the independent floating pedal mechanism further reduces impact on your lower joints.

Assisted Chin Dip

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: triceps, deltoids, pectorals, abdominals, biceps

An assisted chin dip machine is a tower with two protruding rods. Some machines will have the user either kneel or stand on a weighted platform. The user starts with their arms at a 90 degree angle and extends their arms to perform the exercise.

Crosstrainer

See entry for elliptical.

Curl Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Also sometimes called a preacher curl. This bench resembles a seat with a padded section in front. The user places their arm over the padded section of the bench and can perform curls with proper form.

Cybex

One of the leading manufacturers of fitness equipment. They mainly specialize in producing strength equipment with over 150 unique pieces. Cybex is also known for their innovative Arc Trainer cardio machines.

Decline Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench where the user’s legs are higher than their head. It is used for bench presses that target the lower portion of the chest.

Elliptical

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, core (if it includes upper body: triceps, biceps, back)

An elliptical is a stationary cardio machine that simulates running or climbing. Users stand on pedals which allows for a low impact workout. Some elliptical also have movable arms which will also allow for an additional upper body workout. Also sometimes referred to as an elliptical crosstrainer or a crosstrainer.

Ergometer – This is quite the confusing term. Sometimes an ergometer can refer to the device inside your exercise machine that tracks your statistics like heart rate, calories burned, distance run, etc. An ergometer can also be referring to an indoor rowing machine. See rowing machine for further definitions on the term used in that context.

Flat Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A flat bench is designed for users to lie flat on top of. It is designed to support users while they are performing bench presses.

FreeMotion Fitness

A fitness equipment manufacturer that produces both strength and cardio equipment. They are best known for their FreeMotion Functional Trainer, which uses pulleys and cables to allow a more dynamic range of motion.

Functional Trainer

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: Entire body

Functional trainers are all-in-one fitness machines that usually look like one large tower. Many of them utilize cables or pulleys in order to accommodate a wide variety of different exercises. Functional trainers target upper body, lower body and the core. The type of exercise varies depending on the model.

Hoist Fitness

Hoist Fitness is a San Diego based company that produces strength-training and indoor cycling products for commercial and home markets.

Incline Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench where the user’s head is higher than their legs. Generally used in bench presses and curls.

Incline Press

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: pectorals (upper chest), deltoids, triceps

The incline press machine is a weight machine that consists of a seat with two handles located in front of the user that are attached to weights. The user extends their arms and slowly brings them back to starting position to complete a repetition.

Indoor Cycle

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior, core

An indoor cycle is a stationary bike that is similar to an upright bike, but is generally smaller and uses a weighted flywheel. It is commonly used in indoor cycling classes where riders ride the indoor cycle in a group in a group, following an instructor and music.

LeMond Fitness

LeMond Fitness, powered by Hoist Fitness, is a fitness company formed by Greg LeMond that specializes in creating stationary cycles.

Life Fitness

Life Fitness is one of the largest and most respected fitness equipment manufacturers. They manufacture every type of equipment including cardio and strength machines.

Matrix Fitness

Matrix Fitness is a commercial grade fitness equipment manufacturer. They are known for their industrial design and contemporary look.

Olympic Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

Olympic benches are slightly larger than standard benches and are generally made of composite steel for maximum durability. Olympic benches are also more padded since they’re designed to be able to withstand larger weight loads and heavier lifters.

P80 Console – Precor’s newest consoles for their cardio fitness equipment. It has a 15″ LCD capacitive touchscreen. It is also iPod/iPhone compatible.

P30 Console – Precor’s older style console. Includes large LED display and motion controls.

Power Rack

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A power rack is a machine with four vertical bars and two movable horizontal bars used to catch barbells. Many power racks also come with additional horizontal bars to perform chin ups and pull ups on in addition to barbell exercises. They are usually wide enough for a person to easily fit inside, along with a fitness bench.

Preacher Curl

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

See entry for curl bench.

Precor

Precor is a worldwide leader in the home/commercial exercise equipment due to their emphasis on superior quality, creative innovation and overall performance. They specialize in both strength equipment and cardio and are probably most well known for their innovative AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer).

Recumbent Bike

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior

A recumbent bike is an exercise bike that places its user in a reclining position with the pedals out in front of them. The recumbent bike is great for users with back problems because there is

less pressure on the lower back due to the laid-back position.

Smith Machine

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, back

A smith machine is a machine usually consisting of a vertical steel rails that is used in weight training. It is primarily used with a barbell and as a self-spotting machine. There are slots on the smith machine that you can hook a barbell onto with only a twist of a wrist. There are also usually safeties which can be placed at a minimum height to catch the barbell and prevent injuries. Smith Machines usually only also vertical movement and are primarily used for squats.

StairMaster

A fitness company established in 1983 and known for their stair climbing fitness equipment. Their most famous products include the stepper and stepmill.

Star Trac

Star Trac has been manufacturing exercise equipment for both home and commercial use since 1979. Their main specialties are their Pro Treadmill lines, their complete lines of selectorized strength equipment and much more.

Stepmill

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, calves

A stepmill resembles an escalator in the sense that it is an endless set of rotating steps. These steps are attached to a belt that revolves with every step. Stepmills are meant to exactly simulate stair climbing and uses your own body weight as resistance, which can increase the amount of calories burned.

Stepper

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, calves

Steppers are machines that have two side by side pedals that you pump up and down to simulate stair climbing. Since steppers rely less on bodyweight, they are more effective for lighter individuals who may not have enough mass to properly move the stepmills. Generally, steppers allow you to adjust resistance level to adjust intensity and difficulty of the workout.

Upright Bike

Category: Cardio

Body Parts Targeted: hamstring, quadriceps, calves, gluteus maximus, abdominals, tibilais anterior, core

An upright bike is an exercise bike where the user sits in an upright position, similar to a road bicycle, with the pedals almost directly below the seat. The upright position helps to simulate real road bike riding and engages the core more than a recumbent bike.

Weight Bench

Category: Strength

Body Parts Targeted: N/A

A weight bench (sometimes called a fitness bench) is a padded board supported by legs and its primary purpose is for weightlifters to sit or lie down on. There are various types of weight benches, including an incline bench, a decline bench, an ab bench, a preacher curl/curl bench and an Olympic bench.