With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic came a flurry of gym closures and an inevitable surge in exercising from home. As we move towards a post-Covid climate, working out from home might very much be here to stay. For many, home gyms conjure up images of brutish weight machines and aerobic eyesores, relegated to one artless room of the house. Technogym, however, and its Personal line of luxury gym equipment places equal weight on both form and function. Designed by the revered Italian architect and designer Antonio Citterio, the collection is a symphony of sleek lines, first-rate materials and advanced technology.
The brand—a purveyor of arguably some of the sleekest and best home gym equipment on the market—was founded in the early 80s, decades before the pandemic propelled the heft and brawn of home workouts. And, ahead of its time, its innovation and entrepreneurship are entrenched in the brand’s history.
Founder Nerio Alessandri spent his teenage years working for an automobile repair shop across the street from his home, gaining an intimate understanding of the cogs and whirrs of a machine. He studied industrial design in his native Italy and initially aspired to work for the fashion designer Georgio Armani. Alessandri loved exercise but found his local gym in Cesena—a sun-dappled city near the foot of the Apennine Mountains—off-putting, housing bodybuilders and inadequate workout equipment.
Drawing on his passion for biomechanics, Nerio retired to the garage in his parents’ house and started designing his own hack squat machine. He fine-tuned his invention over a stretch of evenings and weekends, spending his days working in a local packaging firm. Finally, the machine was complete. A rudimentary structure, it was to pave the way for the wellness empire to come.
Honing his design approach, he created an entire line of gym equipment, entrusting a skilled local team in Italy’s Romagna region with the manufacturing. 1986 saw the launch of their first domestic workout machine, known as the Unica and Technogym became an institution of firsts. The brand integrated television screens into the workout equipment before its competitors and was the first to connect the exercise devices to the internet. The dawn of the Technogym Ecosystem, in the last decade, inspired a holistic community of users across the globe, each availing of training sessions and wellness content. The brand provided workout equipment for eight Olympic games, worked with megastars of Formula One and football, and supplied countless luxury hotels and homes.
Architectural titan Citterio had designed buildings and commercial spaces for the brand in the past, but the launch of his Personal line was a sight to behold. A seven-piece collection, each model is made using die-casted aluminium, which he feels makes them “simultaneously lighter and more robust”. The collection—an exercise in minimalism—features micro-polished steel accents and sculpted frames. Each piece of Technogym equipment is conceived to complement a beautifully designed interior, acting as an artwork in itself. Furniture-like, the brand’s designs fuse state-of-the-art tech with the sophistication of Italian high design making the gym equipment both an ornament and object of function, delivering results without compromising on aesthetics.
The Cross Personal elliptical trainer sees a silver sphere reflect the room around it, the frame sweeping upwards. The same mirror effect is achieved in the Recline Personal and Bike Personal, the die-cast aluminium glinting against the matte black silhouette. As for the Kinesis Personal, cast aluminium arms and magnetic hand grips are set against an American oak panel with a mock leather paint treatment. The personal workout bench, the workout rack and the treadmill are treated with the same deftness of design.
Wellness is the nucleus of the brand, with equipment that restores both body and mind. This is driven by world-class technology, such as UNITY, the touch-screen interface on all cardio equipment, which invites users to access to the Technogym Live platform—the ultimate digital user interface that inspires people to embrace exercise and make it a part of their daily lives thanks to a personalised training experience. Netflix and YouTube are a tap away, as are communication apps and soothing footage of scenic mountain paths and trails. Tailored to each user, the equipment can link up with wearable devices and sports tracking devices, meaning the Technogym system can help to monitor progress even when exercising outdoors. On the Kinesis Gym machine, FullGravity™ Technology delivers bespoke results, allowing users to focus on a single muscle group of their choosing.
Thanks to this dual dedication to design and function, Technogym has earned a multitude of awards—to name but a few, twelve Red Dot Design Awards, three Compasso d'Oro awards, twelve ADI prizes assigned by the Italian Association of Industrial Design, three International Design Excellence Awards and four iF awards. Amongst other super luxury hotels, Atlantis The Palm hotel in Dubai is home to the Personal line, as is Orlando’s spectacular Ritz Carlton. Design maestro Kelly Hoppen is a longtime collaborator with the brand, integrating Technogym equipment into curated properties across the globe.
Founder Alessandri believes post-Covid the world of exercise will change, with clients working out both at home and at the gym in a blended approach. It has never been more integral for a home to feel like a haven, with wellness at its core and those seeking to build a luxury home gym ought to look no further. This is the future of exercise—with a design edge.