GMX7, a sports equipment company, is making waves with a resistance training tool used by more than half of Team USA’s Olympic swim team.
Seven-time Olympic gold medalist David McCagg founded the St. Petersburg-based company. When McCagg trained for competitions and the Olympics in the 1970s, his resistance training came from what were called electric towers.
When McCagg returned to the sport – after nearly four decades focusing on his career in real estate – he noticed that swimmers hadn’t upgraded their equipment. “It’s no different from what we’ve used, but it’s after 40 years,” he told Coffee Talk.
McCagg decided to make a change, starting with the size of an electric tower first. Weighing over 230 pounds, electric towers are not easily transportable.
“Resistance training is the key to winning,” says McCagg. Noting the importance, McCagg reached out to Robrady, a Sarasota-based product design company, to see if any changes were possible.
“They said, ‘No, it couldn’t be done,’” he said. But a few weeks later, CEO and Design Director Rob Brady had an idea.
By the time Brady was done with it, the product was life changing for swimmers. The X-1 PRO is compact and portable, measuring only six inches long. The weighted device is hooked to a line that runs the entire length of the pool. Resistance levels provide endless workouts for swimmers of all skill levels.
“Simply put, we developed the iPhone over the payphone,” says McCagg. The device corrects a swim stroke and mitigates injuries while providing gentle, consistent resistance.
In partnership with 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, GMX7 began testing the product with elite swimmers. In just a year and a half, more than 750 X-1 PROs have been released around the world. McCagg says there hasn’t been a single comeback or a bad review.
The X-1 PRO won a silver medal in the America by Design television series, where Lochte, in the first episode, discusses the impact of the product on his life. “I have tried all the resistance tools and hands down this is the best,” Lochte said on the show. “If you don’t have that as a swimmer, you’re going to fall behind.”