Title: BUILT FOR PERFORMANCE, COMMITTED TO SUCCESS
Gary Jones created Hammer Strength in 1989. Back then, just like now, the strength equipment was constructed from steel but designed with intelligence.
With input from the Cincinnati Bengals, Jones developed unique machines that move the way the body does, resulting in efficient and effective strength equipment designed for high levels of performance. The type of performance relied upon for nearly three decades by professional teams, elite college programs, and any other athletes willing to put in the work.
Hammer Strength is made in the U.S.A. to the high standards our strength equipment is known for.
Title: FOCUS ON EQUIPMENT
Rugged Hammer Strength bumper plates and bars are the ideal complement to HD Elite racks and HD Athletic racks and rigs.
HD Athletic racks and rigs are rooted in the heritage of Hammer Strength, but built for today’s training facilities. Rugged modularity allows for you to construct a strength training area ideal for your athletes.
Meet the Team
Our strength team has more than 50 years of experience at the highest levels of coaching andathletics. They are experts who know the needs of strength coaches, because they were inthose shoes before joining Life Fitness and Hammer Strength.
“Coaching is not an occupation, it’s a calling,” explains Lon Record. “Some of us carry a coaching gene.”
Lon coached his way up the rungs of the athletic ladder, starting with internships at Lock Haven University and Penn State. From there, he proceeded to Austin Peay, Notre Dame, Florida International and Villanova, alongside men’s basketball coach Jay Wright. Each stop presented an opportunity to grow and learn from great coaches and programs.
His current position is as the national athletics manager for Life Fitness and Hammer Strength in the education market — meaning he bridges the gaps between schools, coaches, products and knowledge. “They wanted to bring someone from the community that could speak the language and translate,” says Lon. “Experience lends a bit of credibility. And there’s an excellent opportunity to use that unique skillset and translate it to a business prospect.”
“I have the opportunity to continue coaching and work alongside our own unique athletics team. We strive to educate coaches and administrators on the process of facility design, while providing them the support they need. The opportunity also exists to coach our salesforce on the needs and trends in the strength and conditioning community. As any good coach will say, you can never stop learning, and the time with our engineers and product mangers has been invaluable in bridging the gap between the toolmaker and the craftsmen.”
Lon’s passion is ignited by his involvement with other coaches in the strength training community and his current team, which benefits from over 50 years of combined coaching experience. He continues to drive the Hammer Strength commitment to excellence, educate the community, match products with coaches, and build on his valuable relationships.
“It’s all about lifting weights,” says Tom Proffitt, sales manager of Hammer Strength. “It’s just simplicity. When you sell the best, it’s easy. You can show and tell about it—no problem.”
Proffitt went from driving trucks and delivering Nautilus equipment in 1980 to being an integral part of Hammer Strength in 1988. From there, he led the sales force by presenting Hammer Strength equipment at trade shows across the country. “I was traveling 100,000 miles a year … there was no holding back.”
A passion for selling Hammer Strength equipment gives Proffitt the perfect foundation for sales success. But he insists it isn’t him, but the equipment that really does the talking. “It’s a no brainer. Everyone else in the world is trying to copy and imitate what we’re doing.”
Proffitt led the sales team in 1997 when equipment orders billowed to the point that the warehouse couldn’t manufacture fast enough to meet demand. Fortunately, in 1997, Augie Nieto, founder of Life Fitness, facilitated a merger agreement between Hammer Strength and Life Fitness, which quickly allocated production capital to meet growing sales demands.
Since his methods worked, he continued to rinse, wash and repeat for over 30 years.
“It’s about lifting weights … you have to have strength,” says Tom. “You have to move steel and iron. It’s always going to be about the basics.”
Proffitt knows about current trends. He’s seen things go out of style and then find their way back again—something he says is inevitable.
Tom’s goals are to continue elevating Hammer Strength by focusing on the simple tweaks and tapping into new markets besides the elite professional and college programs, and several military branches that already use Hammer Strength.
Heather attended the University of Cincinnati as a volleyball player who lacked physical presence. Her strength and conditioning coach, Mickey Marotti, trained her “just like the football players.”
“Male or female didn’t matter,” says Heather, “I became a different player. I just fell in love with strength training and conditioning. Sometimes people ask me about other things in my life and it always leads back to this. It’s what and who I am. It’s my fabric.”
After college she worked at Notre Dame for five years with Marotti before becoming the assistant athletic director at the University of Tennessee, where she worked alongside legendary women’s coach Pat Summitt.
“Her fight against Alzheimer’s, her fight to win in basketball, her fight to teach her athletes. It’s her iron will. It's commitment. It shows her integrity and character.”
Heather’s character and loyalty also shine through when asked about joining Life Fitness and Hammer Strength.
“I don’t want to make you think there’s no other equipment company out there, but I just never thought of it. You never see this kind of position — with other companies there are the usual sales reps, not strength and conditioning coaches who teach about the equipment. Hammer Strength is more about education.”
In the future, Heather wishes to strengthen the bonds between Hammer Strength and the strength training community.
“Not just what equipment fits and how it fits, but what they’re doing and how we can help their philosophy, time schedules, coaches and planning.”
Her ultimate goal is to create a better space for athletes who have the ambition to grow mentally and physically, but may not have the resources.
“It’s not work for me. It’s not hard. It’s just who I am.”
Consistency, intensity and patience. Lessons from former University of Oklahoma strength coach Pete Martinelli’s start every project for Blair Prince. Prince cut his teeth with the Sooners football program under legendary coach Barry Switzer. He joined the national athletics team of Life Fitness and Hammer Strength in December of 2015, and brought more than 35 years of coaching experience with him.
Prince began his journey with the Sooners in 1982. His dream of playing for the Sooners shattered by injuries, he set his sights on becoming a football coach. He found a spot as team manager charting plays, and eventually began spending a lot of time in the weight room. In 1985, he was offered a position on the strength staff by Martinelli.
As an assistant strength coach for Martinelli and Joe Juraszek, Prince had the opportunity to work with countless championship level coaches and athletes. That experience led to the head strength coach position at OU.
In 1999, Prince rejoined coach Juraszek with the Dallas Cowboys with a role that evolved into an assistant strength training coach. During this time Prince also started working for Tom Proffitt and the Hammer Strength Athletic/Education team.
“We have been fortunate to be trusted inside and around a lot of great people and programs” Prince said.
Prince imparts many coaching quotes and stories in conversation and when discussing Hammer Strength. When we start a new project with a coach or administrator three quotes always come to mind for Prince:
“Keep it learnable and likeable,” Rex Ryan.
“Some people just don’t get it. Then they get it,” Bill Parcells.
“They know what they’re not. You’ve got to show them what they can be,” Barry Switzer.
Prince says it’s not just weight rooms, but something larger. When he listens to coaches who may not know how big their opportunities are, he challenges them to look beyond the horizon and focus on what their weight rooms can be, not what they are.
When asked why Prince has chosen Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, the reasons are simple: “The team I get to work with every day. There’s a team concept here and I am a team guy. I like leadership and I am a lifelong student of motivation. There is no better leadership and no better team than the one I am with right now.”