Let's Take A Trip Back In Time...

A story of passion, inspiration and commitment to help you keep fit and Find Your Feel Good

1940-1950

muscle beach in Santa Monica, California
Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California

The history of Exercise.co.uk starts back in 1940 when competitive weightlifter and fitness pioneer Walter Marcyan moved to Santa Monica. Here he began training at the newly established Muscle Beach: a famous strength training facility that still exists today.

In 1946, he opened the first Marcy retail store in America. The success of his store meant that by 1947 he could open the first House of Health gym in the LA area. These offered personal training programmes to its members.

He claimed that “The primary goal of our physical education and athletic programmes should be that everybody should be stronger and healthier and that they should have attained the knowledge to maintain these blessings through later life.”


1951-1975

The first-ever all-in-one multigym for the home.
The first-ever all-in-one multigym.

By the 1950s, Marcyan realised that going to the gym wasn’t always easy or convenient. This pushed him to begin designing gym equipment that could be used in the home. Walter was an innovator and a visionary. His patented designs were years ahead of their time and are still widely used in commercial and home applications today. His first significant development was the “Master Gym” with patented Automatic Barbell, which had the convenience of pin weight selection in a compact unit you could use independently. The success of this led to the foundation of the Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company. By 1959 he had created the first-ever all-in-one multigym for the home.

Marcyan’s work took off, and by 1961, his home gym equipment had become very popular. It was then that he decided to start publishing an educational magazine called “Physical Power”. It was designed to educate coaches, athletes, and students so that they could make the most out of their weight training.

Then, in 1971, Marcyan was introduced to martial artist icon Bruce Lee who specifically asked for a gym to be shipped to Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was with this equipment that Lee built his iconic physique for the film Enter The Dragon.


1976-1990

impex, USA

Over the next 20 years, Marcyan’s work continued to progress to new heights. By 1981, Marcyan had become so well known that he was personally chosen to rehabilitate President Ronald Reagan after a failed assassination attempt.

The following year, in 1982, an American family-owned fitness manufacturer called Impex was launched in the US. After making a deal with the Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company, they made joined with Escalade to produce strength equipment on a larger scale bearing the Marcy name and distributing them throughout the US.


1991-2005

In 1992, Impex acquired the full rights to the Marcy brand for distribution in the US. Over the pond, in the UK, a small home fitness business called Puretec Limited was being founded, which went on to become the exclusive UK distributor of Total Trainer Home Gym Equipment in 1998. Though relatively unknown, the turn of the century saw Puretec Ltd moving into larger premises and selling home fitness equipment through eBay.

The success that Puretec Ltd saw from this meant that in 2003 they had reached the top 3 seller ranking and Powerseller status on eBay and even landed themselves an invitation to the Premium Seller Awards in London. In addition, the success of eBay allowed them to launch their own website purefitnessandsports.co.uk. In 2005, Puretec Ltd caught the eye of Impex, and so began their relationship as they acquired the rights to Marcy. This made them the UK’s only distributor of the brand. At the same time, they also gained themselves the rights to Everlast, becoming a major Everlast seller. 


2006-2020

Over the next 11 years, Puretec Ltd partnered with Amazon UK before launching the PureFitness and Sports collection in 2012. In 2016, after years of sharing the Marcy brand, Puretec Ltd became an official member of the Impex Inc group. They also gained the rights to supply home fitness brands Steelbody and Bionic Body within the UK.

In 2019, Exercise.co.uk was born. A new website designed to provide customers with high-quality, affordable equipment, along with a way to educate and guide customers through their fitness journey. This and the result of 73 years of hard work meant that the same year saw the Davina McCall fitness collection launch and a move to a new 60,000 sqft office and warehouse space in Yorkshire.


2021

2021 sees the fitness industry returning from the Covid-19 pandemic bigger and stronger than ever. After 75 years, Exercise.co.uk remains true to Walter Marcyan’s fundamental beliefs. We aim to empower and educate people to stay fit and healthy and to #findyourfeelgood. We provide a 5-Star service and affordable, reliable products to customers throughout the UK, as well as reaching a milestone of over 500 articles in our Learn area. 2021 also sees the promise of new things, with the arrival of the Inspire collection, and many more new and exciting things on the way.

“The primary goal of our physical education and athletic programmes should be that everybody should be stronger and healthier and that they should have attained the knowledge to maintain these blessings through later life.”

DR. WALTER MARCYAN 1913 – 2007