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Werner Kieser Passes

I am new here.
Not sure if this was posted already .

Werner Kieser, who was featured in Dr.Darden‘s latest HIT-book passed away May, 19th. 2021. He was 80 years old.

About Werner Kieser

Werner Kieser died of heart failure in the night of yesterday, Wednesday. As recently as Tuesday, he had visited the Kieser Training studio in Zurich Enge together with his wife, Gabriela Kieser, MD. It was the last strength training session of his exciting life. Werner Kieser (* October 18, 1940 in Zurich; domiciled in Lenzburg) opened his first strength training studio on Kanzleistrasse in Zurich in 1966. Today, the company operates more than 160 fitness studios with a focus on Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Werner Kieser’s wife, Gabriela Kieser, MD, is a formative co-developer of Kieser Training and provided the medical backbone for the health-oriented company. Werner Kieser learned the trade of a carpenter as a young man and engaged in amateur boxing in the 1950s. In a boxing match he suffered an extremely painful ruptured pleura, whereupon a friend drew his attention to the possibilities of strength training, which was almost unknown at the time. His pain disappeared within a few days with simple dumbbell training. For Werner Kieser, this experience was the impetus to offer strength training to friends - and later customers. First of all, he bought a book on welding to make simple dumbbells and metal benches. Gradually, he expanded what was at first a decidedly simple dumbbell studio into a chain with innovative machines. In 2017, he and his wife sold the company to longtime CEO Michael Antonopoulos and board member Nils Planzer. Until the last day, he tinkered with new strengthening possibilities for the human body, even for muscles that are difficult to train, such as the pelvic floor, foot, hand or shoulder muscles. The media gave him various titles, such as “back guru,” “back pope,” “strength apostle,” “fitness pioneer” or - due to his “less is more” concept“

( source: kieser-training)


I visited with Werner many times and he was wise and well educated. We always had great times together.

I met you both together at FIBO in Germany probably 8 years ago.
You were sitting in a corner of a booth ( X-Force ?) and talking.
I introduced myself and we had a nice chat.

May he he sleep well.

You may mean Keiser equipment?

Werner owned and operated Kieser-Training gyms in Central Europe.
He built his own equipment but it was not Keiser.

Werner Kieser considered the blue Nautilus line as the Big Bang of the fitness industry

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I’d agree with that! I love the blue machines !

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I had the opportunity to train at the Kieser Studio in London. Felt more like a hospital. Very clinical. No music. Staff wore white lab coats.

But I put up with that because they had a full set of MedX equipment.

I didn’t know the man, but thanks for creating a gym I could use MedX in!

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On one of my visits with Werner in Germany, we went to his club for a workout. Afterward, in the locker room, he had six stainless steel circular shower stalls. But I soon discovered the showers only had cold water.

“A cold shower is much better physiologically after a workout,” Werner replied, “compared to a warm one. Plus, it’s more efficient and saves money.”

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Here is an excerpt from Kieser I translated from German to English:

„ In 1978, Werner Kieser meets Arthur Jones, who would become Kieser’s most important mentor until his death. To the head of research at Nautilus, Dr. Ellington Darden, Werner Kieser explains: “I’m going to set up a chain of gyms, exclusively for high-intensity training on Nautilus machines. No sauna, no juice bar, no nothing. Just training, hard training.”

Werner Kieser kept word!


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Now days it seems to be going in the other direction. Now they want a juice bar, sauna, steam room, computer link up from one machine to the next so they can zoom chat to some guy across the gym! Oh yea, and some exercise stuff.

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The London studio had the same stainless steel shower cylinders. I think, combined with the staff in white medical coats, the stainless steel shower cylinders were creepy. Like a gas chamber. Some kind of torture chamber out of a Bond film. I was not going to get in one and close the door. If it was a cold shower in London, it would have topped off the experience.

I politely didn’t get along with one lab coat wearing trainer. They wanted me to use their training cards and follow their workouts. 10 sets of vanilla straight sets to failure. I had my notebook with my mutated Darden-esque workouts with dropsets and pre-exhaustion.

…but I got to use MedX.

If I have a fetish, it’s checking out different gyms. And the Kieser Studio was unique.

While working in London and I found out I was working 500 metres away from a gym owned and run by David Prowse. By the time I knew, it had shutdown. I could have trained at Darth Vader’s gym.

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With the lab coats and all it sounds like a Superslow gym? Was Hutchins somehow involved? Ha ha!

There’s a detailed chapter about Werner Kieser, with photos, in my book: The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results.


Stop watches and ties too, lol

I have never been to a Kieser-Training gym but know they don’t cater to the ambitious trainee, who wants to build muscle. It is a health oriented concept. Like 2 times a week for 30 min. Most there go for strengthening the lower back and fighting shoulder pain etc.

„Strength for more health“

I trained at the London gym until about 2005 , when I was told by an instructor that I could not perform “zone training” on the medx equipment.
As my membership was only a couple of weeks away from renewal I decided to leave.
I did enjoy my time there though.


I wouldn’t want to be told what to do like that lol but I would very much be interested in the equipment

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The lab coat wearing trainers would occasionally wander the quiet gym and correct the form and speed of trainees. I remember having my form corrected on a wrist curl machine of all things.

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I just re-read this this week. It’s a great chapter in a great overall book. This belongs in every serious trainee’s library.

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That’s the way to do it. Clinical, spartan, no gimmicks, no bullshit.