When you’re a fitness champ and you develop back and knee problems from your high-intensity workouts, avoiding the gym is simply not an option. That’s why Steve Nichols decided to develop a machine that would provide the same outcome without the wear and tear on his body. The result is Jacobs Ladder – a combination treadmill/ladder climbing monster that is so tough, it’s been used and verified by the Navy Seals, Army Rangers, FBI and many more to keep them all in top condition.
As a former construction worker, Steve was used to climbing ladders and knew the kind of workout it gave him every day. But it wasn’t until Bob Palka came along in 2004 that Steve’s idea literally climbed to the next level. As a former Penn State All-American, Palka has always been big on keeping in shape. But then Bob suffered two herniated discs and used the Jacobs Ladder to rehab his back without surgery. His experience convinced him there was a huge market for the product – so he decided to buy the company from Steve. With 19 years of business experience, Bob also knew how to take Steve’s idea and really blow it out.
Bob’s philosophy on business is simple, “Create value for customers and do it better than anyone else.” And that’s exactly what he’s done since taking the company over.
Starting out in a 5,000 square foot warehouse, Jacobs Ladder has now grown into a massive 35,000 square foot manufacturing space and has shipped their product to over 50 countries worldwide.
Jacobs Ladders has been featured on NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” Showtime’s “Billions,” CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow” and was used to train Robert Downey, Jr. in the “Iron Man” movie series. It has also been used by numerous professional sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Boston Celtics, Kansas City Royals to train their athletes. It has become a high intensity interval tool for countless Division I athletic programs like Penn State, Duke, UNC, Ohio State, Michigan and more. It’s even been used to train people to climb Mount Everest. But the low-impact cardio machine has also been used by older non-athletes to help take stress off their backs and joints.
But the Jacobs Ladder story doesn’t end there. The company continues to innovate with the development of Jacobs Ladder 2, Stairway and Stairway GTL and their newest product, Jacobs Ladder X, that are designed specifically to train fitness enthusiasts, athletes and professionals while allowing everyday users to take their fitness levels to new heights. No matter which product you choose, you will most certainly “Love To Hate It” just as much as other athletes, agents and everyday people do around the world.
Jacobs Ladder: A Step Above the Rest
Club Solutions Magazine talks to Jacobs Ladder owner Bob Palka about the company’s journey from relative unknown to overnight success. Learn more about how the company started and why Jacobs Ladder is now a high-intensity interval training must-have.