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Maintaining Strength Equipment

With new studies appearing daily documenting the benefits of strength training, clubs are seeing increased interest in their strength training equipment and it is getting used now more than ever. The best way to keep your equipment consistently providing safe and trouble free operation and looking good - is to establish a regular preventive maintenance program.

The following preventive maintenance area guidelines are highly recommended as a comprehensive and easy to follow program that will provide the best insurance for extending equipment life and providing maximum uptime plus helping to protect against the arch enemy of all equipment - rust and corrosion from perspiration.


Check for small tears and rips daily – an ounce of prevention here is worth a pound of cure.

a. Light soiling
Wipe down soiled upholstery with recommended cleaning products such as GymWipes or a mild solution of 10% household liquid dish soap and 90% warm water. For areas requiring something a bit stronger, use a solution of liquid cleanser and warm water applied with a soft bristle brush. Be sure when finished to follow up by wiping away any residual cleaning solution with a water dampened cloth.

b. Moderately difficult stains
Dampen a soft white cloth with a solution of 10% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and 90% water. Rub gently. Again when finished be sure to rinse with a water dampened cloth to remove any residual bleach concentrate. The same procedure can be used with full strength household bleach - if necessary but you must be very careful to rinse this off well to remove any residual bleach.

c. Severe stains
Allow the bleach to puddle on the affected area or apply with a soaked white cloth for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse with a water dampened cloth to remove any residual bleach. - or as an alternative - Dampen a soft white cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub gently. Rinse with a water dampened cloth to remove any residual rubbing alcohol.

d. Upholstery – Luster
To restore some of the lost sheen and luster to your upholstery try applying a light coat of spray furniture wax to the upholstery surface. Apply for 30 seconds or so and follow with a light buffing using a clean white cloth

When using strong cleaning agents such as bleach or rubbing alcohol, it is advisable to first test them in an inconspicuous area to insure they do not damage the fabric or alter the color.

Other miscellaneous cleaning agents may contain harsh or unknown solvents and are subject to formula changes by the product manufacturer without notice. So, should you choose to use these other cleaning agents, carefully try them in an inconspicuous area to test for potential damage to the material being cleaned. Never use harsh solvents or cleaners which are intended for industrial applications.

To clean stained or soiled areas, a soft white cloth is recommended - avoid the use of paper towels.

Cleaning products may be harmful/irritating to your skin, eyes, etc. Use protective gloves and eye protection. Do not inhale or swallow any cleaning product. Protect surrounding area/clothing from exposure. Use in a well ventilated area. Follow all product manufacturer’s warnings. Cybex and its vendors cannot be held responsible for damage or injuries resulting from the use or misuse of cleaning products.

Formula 409
Top Job
Windex with Ammonia D


Rust, Scratches and Gouges
Perspiration salts are highly corrosive and will leach into any microscopic openings in even the most impenetrable paint finishes. So it is very important to keep the equipment clean and dry to prevent rust and corrosion. All users should be instructed to wipe up any liquid spills immediately and use GymWipes to wipe the equipment after each workout, to remove remaining perspiration from the handrails and painted areas.
Club staff should clean the equipment at least once a week.
Wipe down with GymWipes to clean perspiration and dirt off the frame and painted surfaces.
To clean perspiration and dirt off the frame and painted surfaces, wipe these areas down with GymWipes
Be sure to dry the frames thoroughly.
AVOID cleaners containing abrasives - as these could scratch or damage the equipment finish.

Although scratches and gouges can and will occur from time to time, addressing them while they are small and manageable will help prevent them from spreading and causing much larger problems in the future.

To Minimize Fine or Hairline Scratches:
Mild automotive polish applied and removed with a soft, clean cloth will help fill in minor scratches.

Johnson Paste Wax
Mirror Glaze #10 Plastic Polish - by Mirror Bright Polish Co.
Novus Plastics Polish #1, #2 - by Novus Inc

Touch up paint is available for any signs of surface rust or to cover any deeper scratches and gouges – contact Cybex Service to order.

As perspiration can be insidious in getting into small nooks and crannies in the paint finish a good protective measure would be to apply a light coat of automotive wax to the metal frame parts as an additional protective layer against moisture.

Addressing any signs of paint damage or rusting when and if they first appear will greatly increase the longevity of your strength equipment and keep it looking in top shape!

As a side note - Do not place the strength equipment in an area of high humidity, such as in the vicinity of a steam room, sauna, indoor pool or outdoors. Exposure to extensive water vapor, chlorine and/or bromine can adversely affect the finish of the product.


Clean chrome tubes using chrome polish - then help keep your chrome protected by adding an additional protective layer with car wax seal.
Neutral cleaners with a pH between 5.5 and 8.5 are recommended, and as always, be sure to dry thoroughly and AVOID acid or chlorine based cleaners and also cleaners containing abrasives as these could scratch or damage the equipment.


Inspect all nuts and bolts for looseness, tighten as required.


Inspect grips for wear or damage and replace as necessary.
Inspect all handles and bars for wear or damage, particularly at any tab style connecting points.
Inspect all snap links for proper latching or wear.


Inspect all weight stacks and increment weight systems for proper alignment and smoothness of operation.
Wipe all guide rods clean over their entire length, and then lubricate with a light coat of medium weight automotive engine oil.
NOTE - Several accounts have reported odd smells associated when using synthetic oils as a guide rod lubricant - so it might be in your best interest and that of your members to avoid those Never use Teflon spray as a guide rod lubricant.
Never use WD-40 as a guide rod lubricant as it is primarily a cleaner and degreaser.


Replace all belts - at least - once a year.
Inspect all belts for proper tension and any non-uniformity, wear or damage along their entire length.
Things to look for that would indicate a need to replace a belt:
- peeling of the belt's skin
- waves or distortions in the belt
- narrowing of any portion of the belt in excess of 1/32" than the rest of the belt
- any crack or splits
- fraying of the belt or Kevlar strands hanging out


Replace all cables - at least - once a year.
Some machines use cables in addition to or instead of belts.
Inspect all cables for wear or damage and proper tension.
Inspect all cables for proper tension and any non-uniformity, wear or damage along their entire length – run your fingers on the cable, paying particular attention to bends in the cable and attachment points.
Replace worn or damaged cables IMMEDIATELY !
Things to look for that would indicate a need to replace a cable:
- any tears or cracks in the cables outer sheath that would expose the wire cable
- one or more kinks in the cable
- a curled cable outer sheath
- "necking" a distinct narrowing or stretching of the cable sheath


Inspect all labeling for readability, completeness and adhesion - this includes instructional placards, warning and caution decals.
Replace immediately if needed.