The NordicFitnessChair™, by maker NordicTrack®, was a strength trainer that was meant to be coupled with the NordicTrack skier, an aerobic exerciser. I don’t know when Nordic Track actually discontinued this device. Though the Fitness Chair does not get used every day, the concept of an unobtrusive exercise machine delights me.
How it works: Using a resistance brake mechanism (brake assembly), the Fitness Chair works the body using isokinetic resistance, that is, if you pull slowly there is gentle resistance and if you pull quickly there is heavy resistance. Changing the angle of the exercise arms and routing pull cords to different pulleys allows for several different exercises.
This Nordic Fitness Chair was purchased by a family member in 1990. It has the original manual and exercise card for the Nordic Fitness Chair "Basic 6" Workout Program which works the back (latissimus dorsi), shoulder (deltoids), chest (pectoris major and minor), arm back (triceps brachii), arm front (biceps brachii and forearm flexors), and abdominals (rectus abdominus). I have a magazine clipping from 1991 showing two additional lower body exercises (hamstrings and quadriceps).
I would like to hear from other Nordic Fitness Chair owners/users. I especially need information on Chair parts and Chair sales at any venue. I will try to post information here whenever possible so keep checking back.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your stories (send photos, too!). But please, DO NOT ask me where you can buy a Nordic Fitness Chair. If I knew, I would post it here.
Need a Manual? Click here!
Updates (newest at bottom of page):
Conversation with Nordic Track Online - 11/6/2002
Two documents, courtesy of Mason of Santa Cruz, CA:
Back Care Program manual and Lower Body Exercise manual
Document, courtesy of Charlie of Banning, CA:
Advanced Training Manual which includes "Basic 6" Exercises, suggested exercise routines, 16 Advanced Exercises, 12 Accessory Bar Exercises, Sports Strength and Conditioning Programs, and Training Journal form. Lots of information! Thanks again to Charlie!!
Document, courtesy of Charlie of Banning, CA:
Advertisment that appeared in the March 1992 issue of Longevity Magazine.
Photos of Exercise Bar courtesy of Charlie of Banning, CA
Another "conversation" with Nordic Track Online - 8/18/2003
Step-by-step instructions on Replacing the Cords in the Brake Assembly. Thanks to Bob of PA!
Email received Dec. 4, 2003, from Tom of Roseburg, OR:
"I just got off the phone with Icon.com. They do not have any parts for Nordic Track Fitness Chairs. Looks like we are out of luck."
Courtesy of Eric of Portland, OR:
Advertisement for Workout Intensity Meter and Workout Exercise Bar
Some folks have asked about the original price of a Nordic Fitness Chair. We paid $699 plus $33 for shipping back in 1990.
This is a comment from Bozocity of Maine that I think is of special importance:
"The cord used on the Nordic Fitness Chair is *NOT* the same as the parachute cord commonly available at hardware and army-navy stores. Parachute chord is made of nylon and is designed to stretch when tensioned (to absorb shock when a parachute opens). The chord on the Chair is polyester and is designed not to stretch, so that all energy is transferred to the brake. Using parachute chord will make the Chair feel mushy, with low resistance. I was able to find good chord at a rock climbing store. Although most of their chord was designed to stretch, they had some thin chord intended for lashing items together that does not stretch. Its superior abrasion resistance makes it better than the original chord."
9/8/2009 – I was checking out the Nordic Track website recently and found something vaguely familiar: the Nordic Track Personal Trainer III. [1/28/2016 - link not working - perhaps a discontinued product?]
12/13/2010 – A fitness chair that is truly a usable office chair: the GymGym. (Thanks to Kurt and others.) [1/28/2016 - link not working - perhaps a discontinued product?]
8/12/2014 – A story from a reader:
"Judging from the dates, you may have already learned this--in re the discontinuance of the Nordic (upholstered) exercise chair. After I "retired" (USN) was looking fro something to do and responded to an ad for a sales rep for Nordic-Trak. In the Mall at Appleton, WI. I was hired, and learned a great deal. The chair works best in conjunction with the skier. However, Nordic decided to discontinue the chair around late '92 or early '93. The cry from the sales force was loud and clear; "Please do not discontinue the chair" (I always offered the chair when a skier purchase was made. Sold a lot of them because of explaining the conjunctive use. Especially for the older folks. As I am now. (85) I still use the skier and the chair, and the comments regarding my physical fitness, including my doctor, are many!
"I was a "swimmer" in the Navy, (EOD), and staying fit was mandatory. Became a lifelong habit. Thanks for your post in re the chair. Lots of favorable comments. Wish NT still had it to offer."
1/28/2016 – Searching online today and I found that the previous 2 "fitness chairs" I mentioned above are not to be found, but here is one sold at Costco.com: "Resistance Chair".