by Al Myers
When I was at Denny’s last month for the USAWA Presidential Cup I got to spend some more time in the Habecker’s Gym. I really enjoy private club gyms as they have character (unlike commercial gyms), and often have interesting pieces of equipment in them that are “part of the collection” of the owner. As I was nosing around in Denny’s stuff, I found just one of these neat collectable pieces! He had a York Adjustable Krusher. Most lifters would have no idea what that even is.
The York Krusher was a novelty piece of equipment that was intended to train the pectorals and the upper back. Unlike the York Hercules Cable Sets which worked by pulling against steel strands (springs), the Krusher worked by pushing the handles together against spring tension. The Krusher was made out of cast aluminum and had the capacity to add up to 5 springs for added tension. The handles were straight which allowed a lifter to push them together from several different angles – in front, to the side, or overhead.
I find it interesting that they named this device the Krusher (with a K) instead of Crusher. Adds a like uniqueness to it from a marketing standpoint. I gather it was first marketed in the early 60’s and thru the 70’s from the advertisements in York’s muscle magazines at the time. It was not advertised in their magazines prior to this. Also interesting is that the Krusher was never really “pushed” in any of their magazine stories (that I recall, I may be wrong here). It’s sole inclusion was the small ad in the back of the magazines with a short advertising pitch. I’ve heard a rumor (might be true) that John Grimek once suffered a bad eye injury when one of the springs in his Krusher came loose while he was using it and it snapped back into his eye ball!! That’s the kind of thing Bob Hoffman would want to keep quiet when the lead spokesman for his company had that happen to him with one of their products!!
The Krusher was never a big sell item for York, and this is the first one I had ever seen first hand. They can still be found selling on ebay – I seen one selling for close to $300 recently. I also don’t remember seeing the Krusher displayed in the York Museum. Most of their other past historical training items are, so this must never had been a popular item for them.
Next time I see Denny I’m going to ask him if he’ll consider putting his Krusher in his will to be willed to me! And to remind him to wear safety glasses when he trains on it!