REP Inventor Series: Meet David Pépin

REP with David Pepin

Note: REP is proud of our brilliant, in–house weightlifting engineering team – but sometimes we run across another inventor doing incredible things for the fitness industry, too.  

These are our people. We want to support them.  

That’s why we created the Inventor Series: an exclusive line of products invented by small, outstanding inventors from around the world. We collaborate with the best of the best and then work closely alongside them to optimize their ideas, using our knowledge of the home gym market and our vast web of resources. The goal is to simultaneously lift up other gym equipment inventors, while making their amazing products more accessible to more people. It’s a win-win-win for all.  

Here’s a closer look at David Pépin, our featured inventor of the REP x PÉPIN FAST Series Adjustable Dumbbell 

David Pepin with his adjustable dumbbell

What is your background in the fitness world? 

I started working out at age 17. I’m now 34, so for almost 17 years. I worked out mostly in the commercial gym. However, during the pandemic, I started to work out at home. That’s where everything starts.  

During Covid, if you were traveling, you had to stay home for two weeks. I was stuck at home after coming back from Cuba, thinking about buying some adjustable dumbbells. I was looking at options and decided to create something to reuse my own weights -- to create something for myself.  

All other adjustable dumbbells were either too long or too weak. It looked like the people designing adjustable dumbbells were not even working out. They just thought about the fast mechanism to change weight but didn’t create something that was compact and sturdy. That’s what I decided to create. 

Were you an engineer before?  

No, I worked as a mechanic, as a master tech for Ford. I had no background in engineering. Everything was new to me. I’ve done a lot of things but nothing directly related to creating something from nothing.  

The REP x Pepin Adjustable Dumbbells

What do you think is the most essential professional skill as an inventor?

The first thing is you must know the market you are working in. And to never give up when you have something in mind. When you know it's a good thing, just don’t give up. Never give up. I could have stopped many times during the process. At first it wasn’t working at all. We had a lot of issues in the first months. Then I found the solutions, and we are where we are now.  

How did your adjustable dumbbell start?  

It started with my Pro Series in late 2019. Then in 2021, the sales were not going very well due to commercial gyms re-opening. So I decided to create the FAST Series, a totally different product.  

What makes this product different from anything else on the market? 

The first thing is how compact they are for their weight. Then, how sturdy they are compared to others on the market. And how fast they are to change.  

Garage Gym Reviews looking at the Pepin Dumbbell with the inventor

What was the most difficult part of designing this? 

It’s always the fine tuning. The idea came up pretty quickly but getting it to work perfectly took me a lot of time. It was that part that was the art: making it work perfectly every single time you want to change the plates.  

Also, the mechanisms. The magnetic pop-pin, one of the features of the product, that makes it perfect. It just feels right.  

Close-up view of the laser engraved weight markings on a  REP x PÉPIN FAST Series Adjustable Dumbbell.

What do you hope people get from this product?  

I wanted to offer them something that wasn’t offered on the market. There are no other adjustables that go up to 125lbs and are quick and compact, made in Canada, and all made out of steel. No other product on the market can check all those features. 

What legacy do you want to leave on Earth once you’re gone?  

It’s important that people realize that I wasn't just doing this for money. It wasn’t even something I had in mind. I just wanted to offer people another solution -- something that would be strong and sturdy and durable. I wasn’t thinking about the price that I would have to sell it for, but just about creating something different. Not only different, but better than what else was on the market.  

What is your definition of success? 

When I have a customer sending me an email saying that he’s completely surprised in a good way. When someone takes the time to write me an email to tell me how much they love the dumbbells and never tried something that good in their own gym – that's why I do what I do.  

What is a misconception people have about you? 

There's so many people who think there are maybe 200 employees working with me, but there's nobody else. I don't know if people know I'm in my shop alone all day long doing my thing. 

The REP x Pepin adjustable dumbbell

What has been your experience partnering with REP?  

When I first came to Colorado, I was surprised to see how big the team is but how close you are to each other. That’s one of the things that makes me feel confident in working with REP.  

If you could buy just five pieces of equipment for your home gym, what would they be? 

An adjustable dumbbell, a functional trainer, a good bench, the Safety Squat Bar, and a multi-grip bar. 

Safety Squat Bar

What else are you passionate about? 

I love to share with people – meeting new people in a new culture. That’s something I love. When I travel, I always want to meet someone new and make some connection with them. That’s life. For me, that’s the most important part.