Panatta Gym Equipment Review
Written by: David Mason // Co-founder Barbell’s Abroad
TLDR: If you’re planning on kitting out your own gym, commercial or home, you don’t want to buy wrong – especially when it can be an expensive shopping exercise. This Panatta gym equipment review, should help you know if buying this Italian marque is the right move for you. Summary >>
- Panatta is popular in bodybuilding gyms.
- Panatta is Italian designed and manufactured
- Panatta was founded by Italian bodybuilding champion and IFBB President Rudy Panatta.
Quick Panatta Ratings
Who are Panatta the gym brand?
While perhaps not as well known as gym equipment brands such as Technogym, or Life Fitness, Panatta is a staple in many more higher end or higher intensity level gyms. Operating out of Italy, the Panatta gym brand has a focus on both cardio and resistance training, with their range covering anything from skill-mills, plate loaded hack squats to pin selected machines.
What are the origins of Panatta?
Founded over 60 years ago in Le Marche, Italy, by Rudy Panatta the italian bodybuilding champion and patron of the IFBB, the brand has barely moved away from it’s first HQ. Now under the guidance of a new CEO and paired with decades of experience, the early focus on hand crafted design and high quality equipment appears to have remained their hallmark today.
Where is Panatta gym equipment made?
All of Panatta’s gym equipment is designed and manufactured in Italy. In the last few years, they have upscaled their manufacturing plant to enable them to display to visitors, hundreds of pieces of gym equipment and offer a vast array of bespoke services when ordering Panatta gym equipment. From powder coating in up to 2000 colourways, pre-delivery training checks and even adding your own branding.
Where will you find Panatta
Like Watson or Nautilus, Panatta tends to be a little more niche in where it’s seen. This may be down to how quick they produce their kit or their sales team reach. To put things in context, Technogym have a sales team focused on supplying and selling to hotel gyms. This is why you tend to see their brand in a lot of the big chains and may explain why some of the more niche names not so much.
That being said, at least two of our favourite bodybuilding gyms in the UK, Majestic in Bournemouth and Stackhouse in Essex, both carry Panatta. Stackhouse holds plate loaded and pin selected. In fact it has the Panatta pin selected glute machine which has to be the most comfortable hip thrust machine I’ve ever used and I trashed my legs using their plate loaded super hack squat machine a few days before writing this.
You don’t tend to see Panatta in mass market fitness centres, but it’s rare to visit a premium bodybuilding gym and not see at least one of their name plates attached to the sea of steel on the gym floor.
Is Panatta gym equipment expensive or cheap?
- Panatta has a higher price point than many mid range peers.
Panatta has the perception of being a brand that focuses on premium products. With their Panatta World Cup IFBB tie up and partnership with Bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman, their price tags carry a little extra on top.
As an example on like for like. The Exigo vertical leg press, can be found new at £3,500/$4500, while Panatta’s own VLP fetches around £6000/$8000.
Now, not every brand produces the same quality machines, so there is obviously nuance here. Their equipment is fabricated from shipbuilding grade steel, the leather padding sections are domestically sourced and stitched and the company aims to produce products that can last a lifetime. They push for a low carbon footprint, are ISO approved and invest in aftercare.
Pros: What does Panatta do well?
- Good product range
- Well built gym equipment
- Rarely see Panatta padding sections perish
- Desirable brand
- Hold credibility with the bodybuilding industry
Cons: What does Panatta do less well?
- Delivery times from new can take longer than mass market names
- Out of the gate price comes in heavier than others
- Purchase from new is not off the peg fast ordering
To some up the cons, Panatta does bespoke gym equipment, so if you like the look of their autospot benches or incline flight machine, you can’t just add it to your basket and check out. It means going a little old school and exchanging requests for quotes. This may be by design, they care about their output over sheer volume, but it can mean you’ve got to be patient.
Panatta vs the rest?
Panatta gym equipment sits alongside names like Nautilus, Watson, Eleiko. Their product range is incomparable to more home gym and small scale focused labels like BlkBox or Mirafit, so expect to pay more and get a lot more out of their kit.
While Panatta vs Technogym seems to be a common comparison question, there isn’t much to separate the two names on price. I think from classic bodybuilding fandom point of view, you’d opt for Panatta over Technogym if you felt nostalgic, but they’ve both got a place in a commercial gym.
Ultimately, it comes down to the right product for the job. Full disclosure, I don’t love their ‘Super Hack Squat’ – I don’t hate it, but I prefer the Nautilus version as it’s got a lower gradient. Meanwhile I think their hip drive beats the granny out of these plate loaded version with the seat belts which I can feel digging into my lower intestines.
So do as the best gyms do and don’t be afraid to opt for an assortment of gym names when needed.
So, is Panatta considered a good gym brand?
We could have told you this right from the off, yes Panatta is a good gym brand. You see Panatta in a gym and you know the owners care about the finer details. I’m yet to see a fully Panatta’d out fitness centre, but what I do see is selected items incorporated. This tells us and you, that real recognises real and they do some things very well.
Reliability, quality, and resale value is what wins here. Yes sure, you can buy cheaper up front, but if you need to bounce and sell your gym or gym equipment then resale value is important to.
You can buy a leg press for 4k now from a lesser brand, and resell it for 1k in a bad situation, or buy a Panatta leg press for 5-6k and get back 4, 4 and a half. They hold their value as their equipment holds their use. Think of them as the Porsche of workout machines.