At the early age of 19, Walter Marcyan began training with barbells and soon after won the central AAU Light Heavyweight Lifting Championship. From 1934 through 1940, Walter Marcyan began entertaining audiences as a Vaudeville Strongman, performing incredible feats of strength and balancing acts. In the early 1940’s, Marcyan moved to Santa Monica, California where he began training at the newly established Muscle Beach: a famous training facility that still exists today.
In 1946, he opened the first of seven strength training gymnasiums, House of Health, in the Los Angeles area. He was the first to offer personal trainers to his members and emphasised the importance of strength training to men, women and children. A visionary, Marcyan was the first gym owner to provide personal trainers to assist members and provided the first full amenity gym – creating the blueprint for the modern day health club.
In 1959 Marcyan introduced the “Master Gym“ with patented “Automatic Barbell“ - offering dozens of exercises, the convenience of pin weight selection and safety in a compact unit. Constantly innovating, Marcyan would go on to introduce the first compact multi-station weight machine that fits easily into the average size room, the “All In One“.
In 1960 he began publishing “Physical Power Magazine”. An early advocate, he was one of the pioneers who helped convince athletes they could substantially improve their athletic performance through weight training. Marcyan laid the groundwork for future physical fitness programs in schools throughout the USA.
Numerous inventions followed that elevated the market in home equipment and popularised the home multi gym workout amongst fitness enthusiasts worldwide, and led Marcy fitness products to its position as leader in home gym equipment throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s.
In 1972 Marcyan agreed to ship one of his circuit training machines to Kowloon, Hong Kong. Here it was to be utilised by legendary martial artist Bruce Lee to sculpt the most iconic physique in film history - exhibited later that year in “Enter The Dragon”.
The cornerstone of Marcy’s success as a fitness brand, and the reason Lee was so attracted to the Marcy® “Circuit Trainer”, was that the workout stations of the machine were developed by kinesiologists and exercise physiologists for the express purpose of training each muscle group for a functional purpose. Or as Lee himself put it, the circuit trainer allowed him to “express” his total fitness.
Walter Marcyan was an innovator and a visionary. His patented designs were years ahead of their time and still widely used in commercial and home applications today. Now, 50 years old and still going stronger than ever, the legendary Marcy brand continues to make its mark by offering new and innovative products to consumers worldwide.