A couple of very important dates were not mentioned in Part I of the Soloflex history. Let’s begin there.
The Super Bowl ads began running in 1985 and were run again in 1987 and 1995. These were the most expensive forms of advertising for any business and absolutely the most expensive advertising Soloflex had ever done. These ads on the Super Bowls were huge for Soloflex. Just like any company would dream of, these launched the Soloflex world into more homes than any other type of advertising could do. One of the ads was just mentioned in US Today’s “Sexy” Super Bowl ads. These were fantastic ads. Soloflex has been a leader in putting sexy in advertising and that is one aspect about the company that will never change. Soloflex took the body beautiful exposed out of the motorcycle world and put it in over 10 million house holds.
By late 1991 Soloflex was running two shifts just to keep up with the demand. Their advertising agency, 53rd Street Advertising, was putting out some of the most popular ads of the day. Sexy, Sexy, Sexy. These ads were in major magazines, television and newspapers. By the end of the 90′s television was soon to end however. Ad costs along with DVR and TIVO just made the television ads not a good investment any longer.
Two buildings were added in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Production demanded it. A total of 125,000 square feet was now available for ordering, making and shipping all Soloflex products.
A peak of 400 employees were running Soloflex by the mid early to mid 90′s. Selling the number one home weight lifting equipment took a lot of people.
Soloflex introduced the Rockit in 1993. This lower body exercise machine has been Soloflex’s 2nd best seller. It is the perfect equipment for legs. All of the strain put on the back when doing lower body exercises is eliminated. Over half a million have been sold to date.
The rubber coated hand weights plates were introduced in 1995. These are very special and unique in that they have a rubber coating around the iron plate to help with the clanking of noisy plates as well as adding some protection if dropped on a foot. Their sales have been climbing ever since.
The Armchair Quarterback was introduced in 1985 but I forgot to mention that in Part I. Sorry. The Armchair was made famous by Gold Medalist, Mitch Gaylord. It was a full body exercise machine. The use of your own body weight was how this machine worked. That is very hard for the average person. The Armchair Quarterback is no longer in production for that very reason. A very well made machine just too hard for all of us.
In 1994 Soloflex was forced to into battle with NordicTrack. A lawsuit was filed. NordicTrack was in violation of copy right infringement and trademark. This was settled between the two companies and an undisclosed amount was paid to Soloflex by NordicTrack. Both companies said the settlement was fair.
In 1999 a second lawsuit was filed against Direct Food, Inc. or Nautilus, Inc. This is the company that manufactures Bowflex and Nautilus Fitness equipment. The suit was also won by Soloflex. The same reason for the lawsuit, copyright and trademark infringement. Nautilus tried to copy the Soloflex way too closely. When you make the best home weight lifting equipment you are bound to be copied. Others want to be like you, the best.
Soloflex is still a family owned business. Marilyn and Jerry Wilson are still involved in the company along with their daughter Connie.
P.S. The picture at the top of the story will is from a book Mr. Wilson wrote. It covers Soloflex from day one to now.
Doctors and exercise experts agree that the percentage of body fat you carry around is more important than how much you weigh. (Additionally, muscle–which is “healthy” tissue–weighs more than fat, though it takes up less space.
So, the bathroom scale isn’t the best measure of your health and fitness.
A body composition test measures what percentage of your total weight is body fat. Everything else is lean body mass (muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, skin and organs).
How Much Body Fat is Too Much?
Of course, you do need some body fat, to help carry on normal body functions. For instance, fat helps protect your internal organs from injury. However, a high percentage of body fat can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. Experts recommend men carry at least 5 percent body fat; women should carry at least 12 percent. But those are just bare minimums for maintaining health.
The recommended body fat level for most men is around 15 percent. For women (who have higher body fat levels) a 22 percent range is considered healthy. Generally speaking, the more fat you carry (above the recommended levels), the worse shape you’re in. Men usually carry their body fat in their abdomen; women carry fat in their arms and their thighs. And statistics show that Americans are increasingly carrying far too much fat.
In 1996, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that–between 1980 and 1991 an additional 8 percent of American population became over fat. By 2011 the percentage of over weight Americans has hit 68 percent. This means that 7 out of 10 Americans are now over weight or obese. The percentage of children that are over weight or obese is between 30 and 40 percent (depending on ethnicity and gender). According to the U.S. Surgeon General Office the over 300,000 people are dying every year as a result of being too fat. From diseases to heart attaches to actually choking to death. It is unhealthy to be fat.
The reasons given for these loses in “the battle of the bulge” are simple: the American people– adults and kids–are eating too much and not getting enough exercise. Fad diets are not helping, though Americans spend an estimated $40 billion a year on trying to control their waistlines. Statistics show that as much as 95 percent of those people who go on a diet regain all their weight (meaning body fat) back, often times increasing their body fat levels.
If you are concerned about your percentage of body fat, or that or your children, you should seek the guidance of a physician in planning an exercise program and low-fat diet. Under no circumstances should you put children on a diet without the advice of a doctor.
How We Lose Muscle, and Gain Fat
One of the major problems for inactive adults is the fact that–without regular weightlifting (resistance training) of some kind–the muscles you were born with and develop through your active teens and twenties, will rapidly start to be replaced by fat.
As a general rule, inactive women and men start losing muscle at the rate of half a pound a year. This half-pound annual loss of muscle also sees about a pound and a half of fat gained each year. Scientific studies have shown it does not matter if you’re doing regular aerobics, or if you overall body weight remains the same, you will be losing muscle and gaining body fat as yo approach middle age.
By the time you reach 70, most people will have lost about 30 percent of their muscle, unless they have taken steps to prevent (or reverse) the atrophy of their muscles.
Resistance training is the only way to maintain and re-build muscle. For every pound of fat you replace with muscle, your body will burn about 50 extra calories a day, even when you are at rest. An additional benefit of weightlifting is the strengthening of bones (part of your lean body mass), which helps guard against osteoporosis.
Where to Get Tested
If you are interested in getting a body composition test, talk to your doctor, or someone at a sports clinic. They routinely measure clients’ body composition, using a variety of methods.
Many doctors and professionals often measure body fat by using hand-held calipers. A hydrostatic test entails submerging clients in a pool for “underwater weighing”. And Magnetic Resonance Imaging (an MRI) measures fat and muscle by taking X-ray like “pictures” of soft body tissues, muscle, and bone, rendering each of these in different tone, or colors.
The most sensible approach to reducing your percentage of body fat is do eat a healthful, low-fat diet, and to adopt a regular exercise program that includes building and maintaining your muscles.