Marcy History with Walt Marcyan

Last Updated on January 19, 2018 by marcypro17cybertegic

The Marcy brand and Marcy fitness products originate from the founder, Walter Marcyan, born August 24, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois.  He was a well-known competitive weightlifter, bodybuilder, performing Strongman hand-balancing acts. Marcyan committed himself to a life dedicated to exercise, physical conditioning, and agility.  In order to further his understanding of physical conditioning, he became a doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, which led to the development of an early multi-station weightlifting machine.

Walter Marcyan     Walter Marcyan, Founder of Marcy brand and Marcy fitness products

At age eighteen, Walt received his first set of dumbbells, and began competitive weightlifting soon after.  At 165 lbs. and 19, he won his weight class in the Illinois State Championship and the Central AAU Championship for two consecutive years, 1933 and 1934.  He then went on to win the Pacific coast Championship in 1937, and the California State Championship and the Golden Gate International Exposition Championship in 1939 with official totals of 775 lbs. and 785 lbs. respectively.


Marcyan holds records in lifts that include 133lb. pullover and press 400 lb. clean to the shoulders, and a 205 lb. one arm snatch.  However, his personal best in the three Olympic lifts, at 190 lb. body weight, were 282 lb. Military Press, 262 lb. Two Arm Snatch, and an incredible 330 lb. Clean and Jerk – totaling 874 lbs.  He also trained as a contestant in the first Mr. USA contest where he placed sixth in his division, which marked the beginning of the bodybuilding profession.

In 1946, Marcyan then opened his famous House of Health, the first of seven gyms in the Los Angeles area, offering personal training to assist members with full amenities that included a juice bar, sauna, wet steam, and game room.  During this time, he began to design fitness equipment, which led to the opening of his production facility for the “Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company” in Glendale CA.

Bruce Lee Circuit Trainer

Bruce Lee’s Marcy Multi-Station Home Gym Machine

In 1959, Marcy introduces the first ever All-In-One Gym multi-station gym for the home, designed by Marcyan.  Marcyan then publishes the Physical Power magazine, where he is the first to promote weight training as a way to enhance athletic performances to high school and college coaches, and athletic directors.

“The primary goal of our physical education and athletic program should be’ that every American boy and girl should be stronger and healthier and that they should have attained the knowledge to maintain these blessings through later life.”

He wrote on youth fitness.

In 1965, Walter Marcyan graduates from the Los Angeles School of Chiropractic Medicine, which led to the development and introduction of a sophisticated piece of equipment called the Circuit Trainer.  The Circuit Trainer is a multi-station weight machine that allowed as many as sixteen people to work out simultaneously moving from “station” to “station” and exercising all the muscles in the body after completing each circuit.  These machines were used at universities, military bases, high schools, police and fire departments, as well as professional gyms throughout the United States and around the world.

Amongst other things, Dr. Marcyan was well-known man, making major contributions to the weightlifting and physical fitness community.  After the assassination attempt on President Reagan, Marcyan equipped a state-of-the-art gymnasium at the White House and Reagan’s private home in California to help with his rehabilitation.


In the late 1970’s and 1980’s, Marcy Fitness Products became the leader for home gym equipment bringing innovative quality exercise equipment into the comfort of any home.  Compact multi-station machines that fit easily into the average size room, or garage.  As the years pass, his company then led to the development of the following products:

Dyna Gym – multi-purpose home gym

Mach-1 – an automated barbell station

Master Gym – first selector weight stack, multi-station home gym with continuous loop pulley system and wall mounted design

Brawny – high-end line of home weight benches and abdominal boards

Body Bar – first affordable home gym available to the public

Monster Bench – first single leg weight bench and leg developer

Pro Max – first reverse incline weight bench with front loading positioning

EM-1 (Exercise Module 1) – revolutionary home gym system with cutting edge designs of a pivoting press arm pulley, leg and arm curl station, and sliding incline bench.

The Wedge – wrist and forearm developer

Apex – brand name line of commercial single and multi-station machines

Impex Inc. – Company who purchased the Marcy brand in 1998


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Dr. Marcyan, 94, died of complications related to old age on September 9, 2007 at his Escondido home in San Diego County of California.  He was married to his wife, Betty, for 51 years, who died just twenty-two hours before him.  He leaves behind four children, and sixteen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The vision for this brand was to simply make strength and fitness training increasingly accessible to the entire nation.  Succeeding with drive and determination, Marcyan quickly transformed this type of training into a mainstream pastime, creating a solid foundation for Marcy Fitness products as a bench mark for all home fitness equipment.  This Legacy lives on.

Smith cage machine equipment

Marcy offers a wide variety of home exercise equipment produced to compliment the human body’s natural movement, promote correct form and technique for all ability levels.  See the best home gym exercise equipment Marcy has to offer at


Resources [1], [2], [3]


  1. Sirs:
    Trying to find some information on one of your first circuit trainers, the Model is
    CT-15M, if you could please e-mail me at [email protected], or possible call me at 701-563-6400, as would like to get this unit up and operating for use in our fitness room. Please give me a call or e-mail me if you can help me out. I Thank You for your time and assistance. Sincerely, Gary Greff


    1. Good morning Peggy, thank you for reaching out to us. Please accept our sincerest apologies, we do not have a site or app to promote used Marcy items (though it is a great idea!)

      If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at any time. have an awesome day!

  3. October 24, 2023 1252 pm
    Purchased a Mach 1 from a co-worker either late 80s or early 90s. He didn’t have a manual so his wife video
    taped as we disassembled. Videoagraphy wasn’t her forte. The frame was painted after rust removed but never reassembled. I pretty much know how the handle bar and the two handle grips pulleys set-up. My confusion is the benchpress feature. Don’t know how the two long black flat bars with holes are set-up (used). The only years, after purchasing the mach 1, that I worked out were in 1994-1995 ( used my Paramount free weights I’ve had since 1961). I’m in my late 70s now and like Peggy said above, I need to clear my garage. It’s in good shape and I’d like to give it away and keep it from the junkyard. I’m going to place an add in our “next door” app. Picture(s) of the unit or a PDF manual would be very helpfull. I perused your slide show on the Marcy history. It was very nostalgic. The magazine caught my eye because of Bill Pearl on the cover. I started workingout at Bill’s gym in LA in 1965. I saw Sergio Oliva and Dennis Tinerino being shown the gym by Bill in 1966. Reeves also came thru once. Bill was such a nice man and had a tremendous physique. He will be sorely missed. Thank you for my post. Sincerely Tony V.

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