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Old school machines- tampa powerhouse gym

👍

Let's fill in some blanks.

The Nautilus ‘leverage range’ was called the Avenger. Kinda a play on words since Hammer (Arthur’s son Gary started Hammer after he quit working for his dad.) came first then Nautilus introduced the Avenger for ‘revenge’ and competition. Things did not go well for the Avenger line . . . still born.

And we all know what happened to Hammer. And some people got very rich along the way.

That’s how I understand things went down.
Actually the avenger line is from medx. So Arthur sold nautilus shortly after Gary started hammer. Arthur then got heavily into rehabilitation and designed the Medx range for this reason and became obsessed with reducing friction as much as possible with stacked weight machines (medx machines stack differently) he then produced a hardcore range of plate loaded kit which was the avenger line. The avenger row chest press shoulder and leg press are still rated by many to be some of the best kit ever produced.
 
056E17CC-4B65-4C12-AF28-E4351FBBA43E.jpeg
nautilus leverage line on the right that Gary had input in designing whilst working for nautilus. Hammer on the left that was spawned from the leverage line.
if anyone lives near Georgia madhouse fitness probably has more unique old school kit than any other gym I can think of. He has multiples of the same thing with just a slight tweak of a pad placement or adjustment etc. a true iron collector
 
There is a member on here @ergo who to my knowledge pretty much has every medx piece going along with a mass of other old school kit in storage or his home gym.
 
Actually the avenger line is from medx. So Arthur sold nautilus shortly after Gary started hammer. Arthur then got heavily into rehabilitation and designed the Medx range for this reason and became obsessed with reducing friction as much as possible with stacked weight machines (medx machines stack differently) he then produced a hardcore range of plate loaded kit which was the avenger line. The avenger row chest press shoulder and leg press are still rated by many to be some of the best kit ever produced.
I am impressed. You know your shit.

Thanks for the correction. You are absolutely correct. Good catch. I forget it fell from the Medx tree. How could I have been so stupid?

Why do you know this? Most folks don’t even know Avenger even existed. I have never seen on in a gym, did not even know if any were still in existence.

I saw a few of the Avanger pieces at Joe Cirulli’s gym in Gainesville, FL. Arthur sent me there to see meet Joe and see a bunch of MedX that Joe had. He had a few Avenger pieces. They were very rudimentary chrome machines, I seem to remember just a lever arm. I think I remember seeing a hip and back and a leg extension machine but a lot of water on bridge since then.

I did take some photos of them on them but I don’t think they I printed them, I would have to look through 100lbs. of research material I have on Arthur and Nautilus.

I am fairly familiar with the MedX medical and the gym line. Visited the factory in Anthony many times. (Was never very busy like the Nautilus factory in Lake Helen. Arthur even offered me a job in factory as a machinist but I turned it down. Not my kind of machine shop. Looked a sweat shop to me and was one.)

In Arthur’s living room he had a bunch of MedX exercise machines, not medical. I used them when I lived with him. I remember once, dressed in a tank top and shorts (stupid, he had seen some of the best physiques in the world at the time, he even trained some of them . . . I was not impressive) and asking him if he would train me. He didn’t even look up from the book he was reading and said no, not even looking up. I then said “Arthur, this might be the time you get to train me.” Same response.

But he did years prior when he was hosting doctors from all over the world at his ranch I was the invited to attend one. And I did, actually attended another one the next day. On one of the days I raised my hand when he asked if anybody wanted to be tested on the medical leg extension machine and of course I said yes. He put me through the paces, not fun, and got a readout of my strength curve for my quads. That I know where it is.

Yes, the machines were very very low friction, partially because, as you mentioned, the weight stack moved vertically a very short distance for two reasons. 1. to reduce fiction and 2. to help remove momentum or at least try reduce it.

Gotta stop here. Don't want to bore everybody.

Maybe we can get ergo to chime in. No?
 
Ha ha. There is a subculture of old school kit enthusiasts on the web of which I am one. I have always swayed towards the old stuff and my home gym is full of it. Early nautilus tricep machine. Mid late 90s cybex is some of the best in my opinion. Early hammer and Polaris It’s just built differently.
 
I ended up talking to TK (Tom kinney). He suggested checking out few other gyms

DMV iron - DMV area
Americas gym - Chicago

I am going to take a trip to check out these.

Anyone else have a gym that they recommend please list.
 
Ha ha. There is a subculture of old school kit enthusiasts on the web of which I am one. I have always swayed towards the old stuff and my home gym is full of it. Early nautilus tricep machine. Mid late 90s cybex is some of the best in my opinion. Early hammer and Polaris It’s just built differently.
Do you have photos?
 
Ha ha. There is a subculture of old school kit enthusiasts on the web of which I am one. I have always swayed towards the old stuff and my home gym is full of it. Early nautilus tricep machine. Mid late 90s cybex is some of the best in my opinion. Early hammer and Polaris It’s just built differently.

While my home gym is small and I don't collect...I love that stuff. Been on a few forums and follow a lot for vintage physical culture history as well as equipment and machines. So awesome. If I had just a little bit more room I'd have an early Nautilus pullover like I started on in the late 1980s. Would also have a circa 1990 BodyMasters legpress - never used the Nebula but man, I've tried a lot and nothing ever came close for me. I also liked their seated triceps pushdown - no idea why but damn that thing worked. That was in the period of early hammer. Some good stuff there as well and always cool to try different ones. My local gym in that period had what I believe to be a complete or nearly complete line of BodyMasters and Hammer with a few others thrown in.

Honestly, I'm mostly a barbell guy so all that goes with that and floor space for pulls and OLs. A few select machines I can fit - tilt top reverse hyper, Legend plate loaded lat and row, Strive LE/LC, Inspire FTX (my wife wanted something easy but great unit that is hard to beat unless you go Prime/Cybex Bravo etc..). Boring ass 45 degree hyper and dip station but they work great for me. Some custom pieces from a Montreal builder (belt squat, monos, bench frames etc...). Got rid of my GHD - never got any carryover. Home gym has brought a lot of joy to me over the years.
 

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Here are a few I have on my hard drive. More to come.

Forgive me if I have posted these before.

Casey on a squat machine . . . never saw the light of day.
Very dangerous. Tough to get in and out of. One false
move and it would launch you out like fighter pilot hitting
the eject button. The single platform was used in the
Colorado experiment. The split platform I took the foto
of Casey when I was at the Nautilus hq in Lake Helen,
FL, at the gym they had on site.

The other is a inflametric (sp) leg curl machine. I took this
foto when I was wandering around the proto shop one day.
Don't this ever saw the light of day but don't quote me.
 

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Casey training for the Mr. America at the 'quonset hut' in Lake Helen, FL.
Notice the Universal machines. He used a few pieces leading up to
the contest, 3x per week. Nautilus protos were interspersed as they
were invented and tested by Casey and others. I have a few fotos of
him training there as well. Full disclosure, I did not take these fotos.
I got there too late . . . like everything else in my life.
 

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Arnold and Franco working out on some early protos at the Nautilus
plant in Lake Helen, FL. And Gary Jones on a proto pullover. Notice
the size of the cams. And Sergio on the old plate loading pullover.
This is the only time I have seen his abs. He was arguably in the
best condition of his life here.
 

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Arnold and Franco working out on some early protos at the Nautilus
plant in Lake Helen, FL. And Gary Jones on a proto pullover. Notice
the size of the cams. And Sergio on the old plate loading pullover.
This is the only time I have seen his abs. He was arguably in the
best condition of his life here.

All of the above are amazing. To have even been around it is cool. Some crazy looking stuff too - that squat machine omg. And those cams are crazy. AJ genius in action. I actually like the stuff that didn't make it to market the best - kind of like an idea beginning for early form, to be learned from and refined. Leg curl bench looks great too. Probably easier/cheaper to make in 2 parts like many I'd guess.
 
I really want to open a mid size gym catering to bodybuilding/physqiue in USA with the great equipment.

That would be a dope fun business
 
Just unpacked one of my storage boxes.

Am thinking that maybe Gary designed at Nautilus these then went off on his own for whatever reason . . . then came Hammer.

Anybody know where the Avenger line came in or are they the same?

There has been a lot of bridge under the water for me since then. If anybody could fill in blanks for it would be appreciated.
 

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More . . .
 

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Some old exercise equipment ads. My my how far we have come . . . or not 😉

I had the leg ext / leg curl piece. Still have it but that is another rather long and boring story.
 

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