Ivanko Cable System Attachments



I've made the analogy before, but I think it bears repeating: its useful to look at the gym equipment you purchase and use as tools. Every craftsman relies on his tools to get the job done. In many cases, and in the right hands, the quality of your tools determines the quality of job you do. And in any case, it's always a pleasure to use well made tools. If you're going to use them, why not use good ones? In the long view, the cost of a good tool is negligible when compared to the lasting value and long term benefits the tool gives.

One of the perversities of this industry, whether the gym owner or buyer is aware of it or not, is that you're usually paying a much larger mark up for a machine than you are free weights. Machine makers often get significant profits,where we humble free weight makers often don't get such a benefit. In fact, the opposite is usually true: the more quality a bar or plate is, the less you're usually paying for this quality.

Because a company like Ivanko puts so much of their cost into quality and production, we can't make the mark ups of a machine maker, or even those free weight companies who have and continue to widely imitate us. Instead what happens is this: we set a standard of quality and competence and the cheap companies use our final price (a reflection of our costs) as a gauge to try to sell you inferior equipment. They're able to claim that they are 15 or 30% (for example) less than Ivanko! But what goes unmentioned is the fact that their costs (and therefore the end value to you) are often much less than the 15 or 30% "savings" you're getting. In other words, you're paying more for less. Since I've been writing these articles, I've advocated purchasing quality, and therefore value, when equipping your gym with plates, Olympic bars, fixed dumbbells and barbells.

One area to which I've given less attention though, is Cable System Attachments.

These are the tools that we all use to exploit the benefits of the expensive machines you've probably purchased for you gym. In the 1970s and 80's, I set about to re-imagine the function and design of cable attachments. In some cases,this resulted in improving and refining existing designs. In other cases, the results were complete innovations.

Before I started to re-imagine what a cable system attachment could be, I found most were poorly designed using tubing and welded tabs. Not only were the designs crude but aesthetics were an afterthought and totally out of place with the explosion of designs coming from machine makers of the time.

Ivanko's contribution was to marry simple, beautiful, one piece, well-rounded designs with functionality, including drop-forged swivels for performance and durability. We also pioneered the rubber safety end ball with a threaded stem. The designs cost more, but we felt it was the best way to make these tools.

Immediately, counterfeiters started copying the basic look of our attachments, but attendant with that blatant copying came the usual cheapening of the product: cast fittings, cheap bushings, superficial knurling on the handles, bad chrome jobs. Moreover, the designs were often copied so poorly that they hung "unbalanced" on a machine. Such a state affairs is still evident today.

The stirrup handle, an attachment great for doing one arm cable work, crossovers, bicep curls, & triceps extensions used to be built like an actual stirrup and would dig into your arm. It wasn't very comfortable and this discomfort, I found, resulted in a less effective exercise. Our stirrup handle (SH-5), however, is a one-piece forged steel swivel design, which allows it to lie flat against the arm.


Ivanko Stirrup Handle Cable System Attachment (SH-5)

Ivanko Stirrup Handle Cable System Attachment (SH-5)


One of our most versatile pieces of equipment, is our 28 inch Palms Parallel Lat Bar (PPLB-28). It is also an original Ivanko design. The Parallel Lat Bar is probably one of the most difficult attachments to get right. It's a perfectly balanced one piece design without welds. It is also useful for palms-facing, lat pull down work, as well as palms together pulley work.


Ivanko Palms Parallel Lat Bar Cable System Attachment (PPLB-28_

Ivanko’s Palms Parallel Lat Bar (PPLB-28)


Like the PPLB-28, the 11 inch Multi-Purpose Bar (MPB-11), if it is to be made right, requires that you make it perfectly balanced. A club favorite, the MPB-11 isgreat for all kinds of tricep, curl, and lat work. My favorite use for it though is low row curls with a floor pulley.


Ivanko Multi-Purpose Bar Cable System Attachment (MPB-11)

Ivanko Multi-Purpose Bar (MPB-11)


The tricep rope has been around for a long time. I've seen examples that incorporate modern designs that are over 100 years old. It is another versatile piece of equipment for various types of tricep extensions, standing, kneeling, or seated curls with a floor pulley, among other exercises.


Ivanko Tricep Rope Cable System Attachment (TR-29)

Ivanko’s Tricep Rope (TR-29) is a premium example of its kind.


Our 29 inch Tricep Rope (TR-29), will stand up to abuse in a gym. I have compared our tricep rope to others, ….and I believe that you will not find a tricep rope this is manufactured better or that is comprised of the quality of individual components that Ivanko's TR-29 is. And our price is nearly equivalent to those tricep rope comprised of inferior materials. We might not make the markup that others do, but I can't stand offering cheap, shoddy products made from inferior materials.

Click here for Ivanko’s full line up of premium cable system attachments.