Are you gambling when you are buying unbranded gym equipment from an unknown retailer?

The covid pandemic managed to convert more people to home training virtually overnight than anyone thought possible. Imagine a large portion of gym-goers all trying to buy gym equipment all at once. This sent demand through the roof – and sadly, prices too.

When the prices went up people thought they could make a killing. If they got the equipment imported and sold it at inflated prices it would be easy money. This gave birth to multiple startups with dreams of becoming leading Australia’s gym equipment suppliers.

We wish it was that easy!

Some tried their luck in manufacturing the equipment locally while others just jumped online and ordered container loads of random gym equipment without ever seeing it or testing it.

It was probably the worst time in history to start selling gym equipment. Normally you would go and visit the factory – first to see if it existed and then to see what their set up was like.

The factory would naturally show you samples, but that does not mean that they made those samples. If the factory is a mess and unorganized, maybe they might be trying to make gym equipment and got some quality samples in to get your order. Then they would try their best.

However, you had a better chance of getting to Mars than getting to China and back in the middle of March 2020. So, nobody new to the game would have had the opportunity to tour multiple facilities and pick the best.

Sam is not a risk-taker, and he has never done that in over 15 years with gym equipment. Weight racks and dumbbell racks yes – but a dodgy weight rack is less likely to kill you than a dodgy bench press. I might add that we get our weight racks and dumbbell racks from the same supplier we have been using for 13 years, so do not worry our weight racks won’t kill you!


Since you can not visit the factory the next best thing is to get samples sent over.

Even getting samples sent over is fraught with danger, especially during covid. As mentioned above everybody got into gym equipment, and not necessarily for the long term. If you sent over a quality sample, you could get a massive order. If the order is garbage and the importer never orders again it is no big issue.

Ultimately new players were forced to buy online. Buying anything online without seeing it in person is like shopping on You think that you are getting a mad deal cuz, but the reality is often disappointing. It is even more disappointing when that reality is sitting in a container.

If your one hundred percent genuine Apple AirPods that you picked up for $12 including shipping does not work, you do not feel too bad tossing them in the bin. But what do you do with the tens of thousands of dollars that you invested in that container????

With the gyms finally being allowed to open a lot of people are slowly heading back to the gym – which we encourage as we feel for the gym owners who suffered through no fault of their own. As a result, the home and garage gym craze where people would pay astronomical prices for second-rate gym equipment is finally coming to an end.

It might sound like I am just rambling but remember that we were one out of two companies in the whole of Australia who did not take pre-orders or inflated their prices. Why?

Because we knew that there was no way we could fulfill the orders on time or guarantee the quality of them.

We were genuinely sad for people after reading our competitors’ excuses for failing to fulfill orders. It is almost like they were forced to accept the order and take the money from their customer even though they very well knew that they could never keep up with demand.

The reason why I am writing this article is so that you would be able to differentiate the legitimate products in the market from the inferior ones. After all, a lot of companies just started imported random equipment just to try to keep up with the demand.

No true enforced standards in Australia – what does it mean?

I am pretty sure you see the terms like “Commercial/Industrial Grade” on almost every single piece of gym equipment out there. But what exactly does it mean?

First, there is no such thing as Commercial or Industrial standards for gym equipment in Australia. For the equipment to be graded it must be tested in an independent testing laboratory to comply with some type of universal standard.

Two minutes on the world wide web will quickly show you that you cannot even get all the necessary tests here in Australia. Or if you can, they cost an arm and a leg.

So where are these claims coming from?

It seems that you can write whatever numbers you want since no one is going to challenge you on your statement. A lot of these numbers do come from manufacturers. Some manufacturers do proper testing, and they have the proper documentation to support it.

A lot of manufacturers do not do the proper testing but will still have documentation to support it. Remember in China you can buy a Play Station 7 so anything is doable.

That is the main problem with the legitimately certified equipment (ATX® or Ironmaster) is that the weight load capacities must be the safe working loads. These are real-world numbers that have to be supported by testing – while our competitors do not have to support claims.

We have been forced to use loading capacities on some of our items because that is what everyone else does – we do not like doing it but it makes it possible to compare apples with apples.

A loading capacity is basically chucking as much weight on an item and see if it still stays upright. This is not really a good indication of the safety of the item. Some tests I have seen and the corresponding numbers published look super impressive. But if someone loaded that much weight on an item and someone farted in the gym, it would start an avalanche of weight plates!

Plus, a machine might post a 40,000kg load capacity, but it might tip over when doing the exercise with only 100kgs.

The stuff you can get away here in Australia just simply would not fly in Europe. One injury because of false weight load capacity and you are looking at doing time. In America, it would be a hundred-million-dollar lawsuit.

Probably the best example of that we have so far is the Czech Powerlifter/Strongman Petras Petr squatting 350 kgs on the ATX® Safety Squat Bar.

As Germans do, they only say a conservative safe working load of 300 kgs!

Notice how little flex or movement there is in the structure? – That is quality German Engineering. Some of our competitors would claim a 3,000kg capacity on this bar.

Europeans use two different certification grades for their equipment:

– EN 20957 I.II.IV Class H – This means that the equipment can be safely used in both domestic and studio settings, but it is not recommended for larger commercial gyms.

– EN 20957 I.II.IV Class S – The highest rank you can get for the equipment. This is to certify that the equipment can be safely used in a commercial setting,

Are you really saving money?

Some companies say that they are getting their racks and other equipment from the same factories as the big brands and they are passing the saving onto you. They sometimes even use the same pictures.

Sorry to break it to you, but that is not true.

The big brands have their own factories and do not source benches, racks or barbells from different suppliers.

So, what exactly are you getting?

We receive multiple emails a week from “manufacturers” in China who claim to supply all the big brands including Rogue.

A lot of these “manufacturers” are just random dudes who act as agents. They get any design they can get their hands on from the internet and send out price lists. They take the order and then go and shop the order around to different factories.

Sometimes these factories have never made these designs. But that will not stop them from having a go – I mean what is the worse that can happen? If somebody dies in Australia there is no recourse whatsoever in China.

Sometimes they can make very impressive copies that work well. Other times they look top-notch, but when you go to use them, they are a complete fail – like a leg press that was running on no bearings or rollers.

Then other times it is just plain comical – an Olympic Hex Trap Bar that was meant to be 86 inches but was 86cms instead.

gambling when ordering

What about spare parts?

every day we get emails from all around the world from desperate trainers hoping to source some spare parts in order to make their machine usable again.

Why they can’t get them from the place they purchased it from?

a. Not every gym equipment retailer is selling spare parts.

b. Some want to charge a quarter of the cost of the item for a single part.

c. Some companies no longer exist, so the lifetime warranty on your Power Rack is pretty much gone.

– “Hi – do you have foam rollers for the leg extensions on a York 401 home multi gym set? Thanks”

– “Hey guys chasing a replacement screw lock pin for a force USA adjustable bench. I’m not sure about the diameter and was wondering if you might have anything that will fit or know of somewhere I can get one? Thanks”

– “hey mate i have a dynafit machine with lat pulldown pec-deck chest press and smith machine trying to find what rollers and cable i would need to replace it all as i cant find the make of the unit on line cheers”

– “Message: Do u have an office in Nigeria”

– “Hi, I need new cables for a Force USA functional trainer and your Barbarian BB-9077 Upper Cable style (ball on one end and bolt on the other) is the closest thing I can find but I need 2 cables that are 6695mm in length each. Is this something you can help me with? Thank you in advance.”

This is just some of the questions we have received this week – and it is only Tuesday as of writing this article. It was because of these questions that we started stocking generic spare parts and our range is growing all the time.

If there is any part that is not in our range and you are chasing, we might even be able to source it for you, and it add to our range long term.

For our gym equipment customers, the beauty in dealing with ATX® is that they always send spare parts, whenever there is an issue.

Plus, we also keep stock of any of the items that we currently sell. If there is an issue with your ATX product we can nearly always sort it out within days. For the newcomers to the industry who are not familiar with after-sales service, they may not decide to hold spares.

It would be a rarity for a factory to send parts for warranty by airfreight. Especially when the relationship is only young. If this is the case then you might be waiting months for spare parts to arrive by sea freight.

studio rack

Good luck getting optional attachments!

Manufacturing a power cage is not the most difficult task out there. As I have said many times, you just grab four uprights and connect them with cross members, and you’ve got yourself a power cage.

The difficult part is manufacturing the smaller parts and add ons. Probably the most common example is j-hooks. There is an abundance of basic power cages circulating the market. All of them feature different specifications, from upright width and depth to hole size and spacing.

These are the measurements you need to know before you even begin looking for suitable attachments and add ons – j-hooks, spotter bars, spotter arms, weight horns, jammer arms, monolifts etc.

Not every company is willing to invest their time and money into manufacturing optional accessories. Yet alone making them out of quality materials. J-Hooks are the best illustration of this hurdle – a hurdle that may DIYers found hard to jump when building their covid power racks.

Coming up with a j-hook that is functional, safe, cost-effective, and somewhat aesthetically pleasing is harder than it looks. Making something decent adds cost. You must create the jigs, then trial and error a few prototypes.

Unless you are in it for the long term, putting that effort into an array of accessories is not worth the effort.

This is yet another advantage of the ATX® Range. As of right now, you can choose from over 20 optional accessories which range from neck trainers to monolift and lat tower options. Their range of power racks is massive plus sold all through Europe.

They can afford to invest the time and money into developing quality attachments because they know that they will sell many of these in the long run.

wrist roller


Most of the ATX® Products come with either a 3 or 5-year Manufacturer’s warranty. It might seem odd that they do not offer a lifetime warranty. Especially when we always rave about how over-engineered their equipment is, and a lot of our competitors offer “lifetime” warranties.

I say “lifetime warranty” because I have seen so many brands and so many people selling them go out of business in my time in the industry. The ones that do not go out of business will worm out of it saying that it is wear and tear or something.

On quality gym equipment, the structural welds and frames are designed to last a lifetime. The failure rate for those parts is extremely unlikely in any well-designed piece of gym equipment. The warranty issues associated with these parts are manufacturing-related and will be spotted when you are building it.

We always say that once you build our equipment, if it goes together sweet, a structural issue will be as rare as hens’ teeth.

It is the moving parts such as bearing, pulleys, grips, and pads which are not covered under your “lifetime warranty”.

The question is how and from where you will be able to source those parts if you have purchased equipment from an unknown seller. Who could disappear the very next day leaving you with a “Commercial Product” and “Lifetime Warranty” which you can’t use.

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter if it is gym equipment or any other product – if you are buying a product with a brand that has just been dreamt up from a company that has been operating for three months you are taking a gamble.

It is covid rules now, so normally I would not recommend doing such a thing, but if you are desperate and want something now then buy it. If money is not an issue then just take the gamble. We are out of stock and can’t give arrival dates so I fully understand.

However, if you are tight on money and do not like taking risks then you are best off waiting. Not just for our products, but any brand that has some sort of proven track record.

quality power rack