Tom became a self-taught student of exercise equipment and methods, tinkering in his garage to find or make various objects with which to weight train. By the early 1970s, Tom was competing in regional and national bodybuilding competitions. However, a steady increase in steroid use among professional bodybuilders disillusioned Campanaro, and he soon bowed out of the sport.
Tom founded the Total Gym® Company with business partners Dale McMurray and Doug Marino in 1974, with Larry Westfall joining the team within the year. They developed the Total Gym incline bodyweight trainer, a high-quality version of a machine that encouraged the use of multiple muscle groups together in each exercise—now referred to as “functional training.”
As Campanaro and his partners tirelessly showcased the benefits of Total Gym far and wide, the company grew. Infomercials, the darling of direct response TV, were Campanaro’s next coup. He knew the potential reach of infomercials—combined with the medium that could offer comprehensive demonstrations—was the right marketing strategy. Today, Total Gym is the longest running broadcast infomercial in history, with over 4 million users and a billion dollars’ worth of Total Gyms sold through the infomercial and in retail stores in over 85 countries.
In 2003, the company launched the GRAVITYSystem®, a versatile and turnkey fitness program designed to drive revenue and attract members while putting the Total Gym incline trainer to maximum use. With 6,000 certified GRAVITY Trainers worldwide, over 3 million GRAVITY workouts are offered each year in commercial fitness and wellness facilities around the globe.
These days, Tom, who is originally from Philadelphia, PA, continues to work out on Total Gym at his own home and devotes time to his family, which includes his daughter, Shanan, son, Jesse and his wife Blythe. Joy Campanaro, his wife, works alongside him in the business overseeing the company’s marketing and design departments.
Brenda DyGraf - 2013 NFHOF Inductee
Widely recognized as a top exercise trendsetter in today’s product- driven fitness industry, Brenda is responsible for bringing numerous breakthrough products to fitness enthusiasts worldwide including, but not limited to;
The Ab Roller Plus - first ab product featuring head and neck support
The InStride Walker - first ‘A’ frame walker
The Revolution Cycle - first home spinning bike
The Lateral Thigh Trainer – unique bi-directional stepper
The AirClimber Xpress - compact air stepper featuring Air Power Technology
Certifications: Certified by AFAA as Personal Fitness Trainer and selected by them to train upcoming Fitness Instructors, USA/Europe. Certified and Expert Presenter for IDEA and personally trained and certified by Nautilus equipment founder, Arthur Jones as Professional Fitness Trainer.
Spokesperson for 19 different infomercials which have been broadcast in over 30 countries. Brenda has appeared monthly on the Home Shopping Network for 15 years and bi-monthly on QVC for five years.
Brenda continues to reach new heights in the exercise video industry by choreographing and starring in over 190 exercise videos and DVD’s. Featured in a line of Cosmopolitan fitness videos and co-starred in Gilad Janklowicz’s infomercial and videotape series “The Quick Fit System”
Brenda won the prestigious United States Aerobic Championship in two categories; Single Female and Mixed Pairs and also won 18 aerobic championships in three different categories; Single Female, Mixed Pairs and Team
Brenda’s Overall Message; Whether it’s one of Brenda’s exercise videos, infomercials or live performances, her heartfelt message is always the same; “If you rely on the champion within you, you can do anything.”
Clyde Emrich - 2013 NFHOF Inductee
Born: April 6, 1931 | Hometown: Lake Bluff, Illinois
Clyde Emrich born April 6, 1931 and in 1946, at the age of 15, he began lifting weights. With no one to train him, he turned to Strength and Health magazines for guidance, building his own weight training equipment by utilizing homemade cans of sand and cement and cable-chest expanders.
His intense barbell training paid off with several athletic achievements, such as winning his high school wrestling championship and completing the 100-yard dash in 10.2 seconds. He went on to enjoy an incredibly long and successful competitive weightlifting career that stretched from 1948 to 1968, continuing his tradition of self-coaching.
In 1963, Chicago Bear’s Coach Halas invited Clyde to meet with him. He asked Emrich to act as a consultant to the team and to help them set up a basic strength training plan, which Clyde was happy to do. The Bears went on to win the championship that same year, giving further credence to the importance of strength training in maximizing athletic performance. For the next eight years, Emrich continued training with many of the Bears players at the YMCA, lifting competitively himself until 1968, and he continued to act as a consultant to the team. Then, in 1971 the Bears hired him to become their first full-time strength and conditioning coach, making him one of the first strength coaches in the NFL.
He coached in this capacity through 1991. At that point, Clyde moved into administration but in 2005 he to return to the weight room to help the players with their training. In 2008, the franchise honored their longest tenured employee by naming their weight room after him. He has over 49 years of weight lifting experience and continues to be the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago Bears at age 84.
Clyde Emrich, a living legend and pioneering NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach, is a member of the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame, the Illinois State Weightlifting Hall of Fame, the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. He is affectionately known as "The Legend", an extremely appropriate tribute to this true Legend in the Field of Strength and Conditioning, who has had such a major impact on the development of the strength and conditioning coaching profession.
Anibal Lopez - 2013 NFHOF Inductee
Born: August 24, 1942 | Hometown: Deltona, Florida
As a teenager, Anibal’s passion began to grow for both weightlifting and bodybuilding. He began training at home with a barbell and pair of dumbbells that he ordered from a Weider magazine for $19.95 and a homemade bench made of wood. In 1969 Anibal joined the AAU and entered his first novice contest, “Mr. Wagner”, and won the over-all title. As he continued to improve, he won such titles as, Mr. New York City, Mr. New York State, Mr. Eastern America, and Mr. Brooklyn. He then qualified to compete in the AAU Jr. and Senior Mr. America contest where he placed 3rd against renowned competitors.
In 1978 Anibal entered the WBBG Pro-Mr. America contest and won the title. He also won Pro Mr. World and most of best body parts awards. This qualified Anibal to compete in the NABBA Mr. Universe contest where he placed 3rd in his division. The doors began to open to traveling, performing posing exhibitions, and appearances on TV and radio. He became a motivational speaker for academic institutions such as StetsonUniversity in Florida, correction institution, schools and recreational organizations.
Over the years Anibal has dedicated his bodybuilding accomplishments to encourage others to use exercise or bodybuilding as a tool to improve or change their lives.
Now, retired from competitive bodybuilding, he continues to exercise and stay in the best shape possible. Anibal stays active as a personal trainer and has his own private personal training facility where he can teach the importance of staying in good physical condition but most of all taking good care of their health.
The 2013 National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:
“Fitness Superstars Gather to Celebrate!”
April 21, 2013 – Glendale Heights, Illinois
Following a week of flooding rains, it was nice to see “Rays of Sunshine” provided by the fitness superstars who participated in the 2013 National Fitness Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Induction into The National Fitness Hall of Fame is the highest honor a fitness professional can receive and those present certainly embraced the moment.
The evening’s reception began with the mingling of family, friends and fans alike, all sharing warm greeting of congratulations and fun-filled stories as glamorous Red Carpet interviews were conducted by Addison’s own, Don Figarelli, the “Don of Sports.”
After dinner was served by the terrific staff at the Glendale Lakes Golf Club in Glendale Heights, Illinois, the ceremony commenced with Hall of Fame founder John Figarelli presenting the “Volunteer of the Year” award to Walt Sloan. For several years, Walt has provided various support for the Hall with great slideshow presentations and graphic design work. He was very polished and thanked his beautiful wife, Esther Gutiérrez Sloan (2010 HOF inductee) for her support and inspiration.
The Hall of Fame’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” was presented posthumously to the late, great Paul Bernstein, “Mr. Physical Fitness USA” (2009 HOF inductee) for his tireless dedication of sharing his fitness philosophy to the Nation for over 50 years. Bill Crawford (2012 HOF inductee) was very majestic in his introduction and Paul’s lovely wife Sandy accepted on behalf of Paul and children Robert, Eric and Heidi.
The individuals who comprise the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 are well known, not only in the fitness community, but among the general public as well. It was nice to hear them thanking those persons who helped make their long careers so successful. The HOF Class of 2013 includes Tom Campanaro, Brenda Dykgraaf, Clyde Emrich and Anibal Lopez.
Mark Rothstein (2011 HOF inductee) had the privilege of introducing both Anibal Lopez and Tom Campanaro. Anibal Lopez, professional trainer and multi-titled bodybuilder gave a very warm and heartfelt speech as he thanked his family and loved ones. Tom Campanaro, inventor and CEO of the Total Gym was very out-going and well spoken. Tom also thanked his family making special mention to his wife of 38 years, Joy and his mentor and friend, 92 y/o John Biaselli, as being crucial to his success.
The ever stunning Cathe Friedrich (2011 HOF inductee) introduced the next inductee, Brenda Dkgraaf. Brenda, past fitness champion and television personality, brought glam and glitz to the stage as she humbly accepted this top honor. She sincerely thanked those present; her family and friends, especially her Mom & Dad, as well giving a shout-out to the many fans for supporting throughout the years.
To really bring it home, Fred Schutz (2010 HOF inductee) introduced Clyde Emrich. Fred had the audience in stitches telling a few jokes that produced “gut-busting” laughs. As he brought Clyde up to the stage, you could tell that these two octogenarians had, not only mutual respect for each other but, admiration that only comes from a friendship of nearly 60 years.
When Clyde spoke you could sense that you were part of a historic moment as he thanked his family, friends and who were with him on this special day. The 82 y/o past Olympian and long-time Chicago Bears strength training coach was inspiring to all.
The sold-out crowd included many HOF notables including past inductee Frank Ruettiger (2012 HOF inductee), both Dr. Phil & Nancy Claussen (2009 HOF inductees), Del Reddy and Jim Whitehead (2010 & 2012 “Volunteers of the Year” respectively), Betty Scarimbolo (2009 “Rising Star of the Year”) as well as Superbowl Champion Chicago Bear, Tom Thayer and owner Brian McCaskey. Figarelli ended with the night by thanking everyone who was present for supporting The National Fitness Hall of Fame and its current Class of inductees and invited everyone back next year!
Finally a special thanks to The American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) for sponsoring this wonderful event and all the many volunteers, for without their help this event would not be possible.