Former Powertec designer Domzalski back plotting new leverage machines

Nearly a year after parting ways with Powertec Fitness, Ken Domzalski said he is back doing what he does best -- designing strength-training equipment using his plate-loaded leverage technology. What happened at Powertec and what is Domzalski working on now? SNEWS checks in.

Nearly a year after parting ways with Powertec Fitness, Ken Domzalski said he is back doing what he does best -- building scale wood models of his brainchildren, a.k.a. strength-training equipment using his plate-loaded leverage technology.

“Actually, I never stopped with product,” Domzalski told SNEWS®. “It’s always new. It’s like music. It never stops. I never skipped a beat.”

The plate-loaded technology is something he pioneered three decades ago for the commercial gym market, he says, taking the concept later into the retail fitness market, spawning the product niche of plate-loaded equipment.

His 30-plus-year-old company, Exertec Design, has been working on equipment for another brand this year and more is to come: “I have a new line of equipment slated for full release in early 2011 in the retail fitness market,” he said.

“I’m basically taking my work,” he said, “and moving it to the next level.”

Current Powertec management told SNEWS in late summer 2010 that there was a change in company leadership and that meant closing the Pennsylvania office where Domzalski managed the company as president with his wife, Kate. (Click here to see that Aug. 18, 2010, story.) According to President Wayne Lee, the company was consolidated into the headquarters of National Ventures Inc. in Southern California to be more efficient. National Ventures is a vertically integrated company with its own manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, which also does OEM for other brands in other areas of sporting goods and recreation, he said.

Domzalski said, however, that wasn’t entirely the case.

“We were ambushed without notice,” he said of their departure in December 2009 from the 13-year-old company he said he co-founded with his former manufacturing partner. “We were released by the company. We did not depart at will.”

The transition was tough for them both, he said, since “we put our hearts and souls into building the business into a well-established brand.” And never having had the chance to express their thanks to the industry, Domzalski told SNEWS he and Kate wanted to say just that to all their past dealers and customers.

Now that he’s had time to ponder the changes in the last year, though, Domzalski is back in his workshop and the creativity is flowing.

“I am really excited to be able to direct the majority of my focus and passion back toward what I enjoy the most,” he explained. “And that is setting new standards in the design of innovative high quality strength-training equipment for the fitness industry.”

The bottom line for him is that designing is where it’s at. Turns out he really missed spending all his time thinking about creating equipment when he was busy running a company, too.

“I love designing, that’s what it comes down to,” he said. “Now that I’m not traveling a lot, I can just work in my design shop.

“Being back in pure design,” he said, “is great.”

Domzalski can be reached at

--Therese Iknoian