Hoffman starting creating barbells in 1929, the same year he began to host meets in the oil burning factory. During the 1932, Los Angeles Olympics, Hoffman noticed how the teams from other countries looked down upon the America weightlifting team. The same year Hoffman opened the York Barbell Company and began promoting weightlifting. Hoffman reached out to ostracized minorities of the time to train and compete at York Barbell. During the Second World War, York Barbell supplied barbells to the United States military. When the war ended, the demand for barbells increased due to the military personnel returning home who had been exposed to weightlifting during the war.
From the decades of the 1930s through the 1970s, York Barbell sponsored over 40 national championships and numerous Olympic gold medalists, a few of whom are featured in one of the murals of York, Pennsylvania. Today, the corporate office of York Barbell Company houses the official Weightlifting Hall of Fame and Museum in York, Pennsylvania, and continues to host a variety of powerlifting and bodybuilding competitions.