History of the Nautilus Fitness Equipment

As with any other aspect of our lives, we would like the best equipment on hand when we exercise. Many of us go for brands when it comes to our clothes, makeup, perfume, and other products. While we might get by on copies or even non-branded items, it’s a wise step to go for the proper make for our exercise equipment. This is because it’s a matter of both our health and safety as well as achieving our weight loss and strength goals properly.

When we talk about exercise equipment, the name of Nautilus can’t be too far away. We now know it as a large company providing all sorts of products related to exercise. However, this venture started out quite small, as we’ll see in the discussion below:

History of the Nautilus Fitness Equipment

Origin of Nautilus

Nautilus originally used to be the name of a piece of exercise equipment invented by Arthur Jones, who was the founder of Nautilus Inc. and MedX, Inc. Now, the name applies to all types of exercise equipment produced by Nautilus, Inc.

About the Founder

Arthur Jones (1926-2007) was a self-taught exercise physiology student. He got the Nautilus idea when he first picked up the barbell and rightly found it to be a cumbersome piece of exercise equipment. As a result, he began trying to duplicate the effectiveness of barbell weight lifting without the bulkiness and difficulty.

Thus began his quest for the ultimate in exercise equipment, mainly stemming from a need to address the drawbacks brought about by exercising with barbells. This occurred back in the late 1940s, and we’re still benefiting from that drive today.

The Torso Pullover

Before anything else, Jones first developed his first exercise machine – the torso pullover. This focuses on the improvement of the abdominal muscles as well as what bodybuilders call “lats” (latissimus dorsi, which is the broad and flat muscle located in the middle and lower back, and in the back of the arm). He had been developing it for over twenty years, registering several prototypes along the way until he finally built the winning machine.

He chose the name Nautilus because the cams of this machine are likened to the chambers of the mollusk, which has a logarithmic spiral shape. A cam is an irregularly-shaped wheel that is mounted on a cylinder, which is usually a rotating part. Cams are a part of the internal mechanical linkage, and they produce flexible or reciprocal motion to another connected or contacted part.

The cams are then wrapped around with chains that support a series of weights. These help the user of the machines control the resistance as he or she lifts the weights.

Jones patented the Nautilus machine and introduced it to the public in 1970 – first to a weight lifting convention in Los Angeles, California. He would then hold demos on how the machine worked in order to sell them to customers.

The Gym With Nautilus Equipment

In 1975 Dr. Michael O’Shea opened his facility, Sports Training Institute in New York City, and offered only Nautilus equipment. He reported that many of his regular clients were professional athletes such as Billie Jean King, Diana Nyad, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, and several others.

This was only one of the reasons that contributed to the Nautilus’ success. Once the athletes found these machines to be effective and easy to use, they spread the word. with these endorsements, the demos, and the efficacy of the machine themselves, the company eventually grew and achieved new heights.

The popularity of the Nautilus machines gave Jones a massive fortune, earning hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the machine sales. His wealth landed Jones on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people.

Selling Nautilus

He formed the Nautilus Inc. in 1986 which he later sold for $23 million. Jones was also the founder of MedX, Inc. which is a line that manufactures equipment to correct back and spinal conditions. He also sold MedX in 1996 and then lived in comfortable retirement until his death in 2007.

Nautilus Today

As of now, Nautilus Inc. is located in Washington and is a global marketer, manufacturer, and developer of all kind of fitness equipment. Several brands come under its umbrella, including Schwinn Fitness, Universal, Modern Movement, Nautilus, Bowflex, and Octane Fitness.

The products of this company and its subsidiaries are sold through infomercials and television commercials for the most part. However, they are also widely available on major online selling platform such as Amazon, along with retail stores and call centers. The products are available all over the world but are especially in demand in the United States.

As the company has changed hands over the years, it’s become more focused on researching and developing more cost-effective and workout-friendly machines.

In 2011, the company stopped selling its exercise equipment directly to gyms and is now focusing on selling to private homeowners. The rise of the home gym and home-based workout programs, along with the increasingly busy schedule of the average individual are probably the main factors in this decision.

From 2013 to 2017, Nautilus, Inc. was among the top workplaces according to The Oregonian. It was also reported to be the company that had the healthiest employees in the area.

A Nautilus Example

With the popularity of this Nautilus equipment taking over the globe, we should definitely consider getting one of these products for ourselves. Most people have a home gym these days or own at least one piece of exercise equipment if they’re used to working out on a regular basis.

If you’re one of these folks or want to start exercising in a safe and effective manner, you might consider the Nautilus R14 Recumbent Bike. This contraption will help us to track our goals by setting individual exercise targets for different users. Plus, it has no less than 22 programs, a capacity for about 9 profiles, eight controls for heart rates, and several other options including a quick start button. Check out this bike here and see whether it’s right for you:


This exercise cycle will get you about 20 resistance levels, all of which cater to different workout intensities. That means a novice and an expert can work on the same piece of equipment without feeling too overwhelmed or bored. The workouts are smooth and consistent; thanks to the weighted flywheel and the high inertia drive system.

You can also keep good track of your progress by looking at the DualTrack LCD displays provided in this machine. Feeling like a bit of good music while working out, there are also in-console speakers in here, complete with an input port (MP3). There’s also a fan that you can adjust to your preferences, along with a USB charging port and a tray for your media devices. With the comfy and adjustable vented seat, you get an experience that won’t let you overheat while exercising.

Summing Up: Why These Machines Are So Popular

Today, you won’t be hard pressed to find a Nautilus machine somewhere near you, whether it’s in a home gym or a conventional one for the public. There are a lot of reasons why Nautilus machines are so popular. Among the main reasons is the fact that they’re much safer to use than conventional equipment, as you are unlikely to get injured on a Nautilus (we can’t say the same of barbells)

The machines and the weights are adjustable according to the user’s body type, so even women will not be intimidated by exercising on the Nautilus. A lot of body building buffs find working out on the Nautilus rewarding and fun at the same time. All this is why we have to thank the late Arthur Jones and his Nautilus fitness equipment – they ultimately changed the face of exercising, fitness, and bodybuilding