by Al Myers
The other day I was inspecting all the equipment in the Dino Gym for any possible use damage (which there wasn’t) and it dawned on me that I have made all of the equipment in the gym, except one piece. This piece is very unique – and it is the Nautilus Leverage Grip Machine. Dino Gym member Scott Tully donated it to the gym several years ago. It had been in long-term storage at a local college for many years, and was “found” when the college was cleaning out and discarding old items from the college’s old weight-room. It is still is great shape and now gets lots of use by the Dino Gym members. Before Scott brought this grip machine in, I had never seen one before – even though in my younger training days I spent time training in Nautilus Facilities. In the 80’s Nautilus was VERY popular and most towns had a Nautilus Gym. I always imagined that this grip machine probably never was a big seller, as Nautilus main sales pitch at the time seemed to be aimed at the businessman who wanted to get in a full body workout in 30 minutes. Most fitness lifters are not too concerned about having a strong grip.
This Nautilus Gripper focuses on the development of the forearm muscles. As you squeeze using both hands, the leverage arm rises. Plates can be added to the end of the leverage arm to increase the difficulty. It also helps with the grip strength that you develop from training grippers, as the squeezing motion is very similar. I always wondered how old this Nautilus Gripper was, as it appears to be an “original”. Recently I posed this question on the IronHistory Forum. Robert Francis gave me the answer I was looking for. (THANKS ROBERT! ) He explained this leverage grip machine was first manufactured by a Nautilus plant in Mexia, Texas in 1985. It was one of the original Leverage Nautilus Machines. It filled a line of other Nautilus Leverage Machines that included items like the Leg Press Machine and the Pullover Nautilus Machine. Robert went on to explain that these Leverage Machines were the seed product of Hammer Strength, the company that formed after Arthur Jones sold off this line in 1986 to Travis Ward.
I feel very fortunate to have this unique piece of Nautilus equipment in my gym. It is in a gym that appreciates it’s worth – and has members who will use it for its intended purpose to build a strong grip. If anyone else has equipment in their gyms that they would like to see “highlighted” here in the USAWA Daily News, please send me a story and pictures. Lifters ALWAYS like to hear how other lifters train, and learn about equipment that builds strength.