Total Gym History

As a case study for brand longevity, Total Gym has been moving its customers and driving innovation in physical therapy, home and commercial fitness on the iconic Total Gym incline bodyweight trainer for over four decades. Today, Total Gym generates over 24 million workouts every month worldwide. The Total Gym brand has catapulted into television history, and the company culture inspired by the owners, is driven by the desire to effect a positive change in the lives of the people it touches.

When Total Gym CEO Tom Campanaro designed the first Total Gym incline trainer in 1974, the benefits of exercise were barely a blip on the public radar. Campanaro and partner Doug Marino named the brand “Total Gym” while sitting on the beach in La Jolla, CA. They brought on business partners Dale McMurray and Larry Westfall and in 1976 and the first Total Gym homegrown TV commercial hit the market. As the years passed, Total Gym began to make its mark as a credible fitness machine. It was confirmed by Syracuse University as a safe and effective non-compressive training device and named “best for training the torso” by Consumer Reports magazine.

In 1988, Total Gym moved into physical therapy, where rehabilitation specialists, professional athletes, coaches and athletic trainers quickly realized the benefits of partial bodyweight training on a calibrated incline plane. By 1994, renowned educators like Paul Chek, Olympians like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and professional sports athletic trainers like Larry Mayol and Herm Schneider were using the Total Gym incline trainer to move their clients, their competitive edge and their professional career.