Captain Chiosso’s Polymachinon

Posted on Monday, August 19th, 2013 by John Wood

Many people today would argue that “oldschool” training consists of barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells — which it absolutely does, at least in a manner of speaking… However, the very first strength machine was created in 1831, which pre-dates all of that other training equipment. In 1831, Captain James Chiosso — a professor of gymnastics at London’s University College — invented his “Polymachinon” which provided a complete system of physical training utilizing a series of pulleys, levers and weight stacks. It is not evident in the illustration above, but the Polymachinon had hidden doors which could be opened to reveal a grip machine and other devices used for adjusting the resistance levels of the various exercises. The machine was quite effective, but before its time and hence, did not achieve the notoriety that later breakthroughs enjoyed.
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Author: John Wood

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