Nautilus Inc., parent fitness company to Bowflex, Schwinn, Nautilus, Universal and Octane Fitness, unveiled new equipment products, some of which break ground on new categories within the equipment space, at an exclusive showing in New York City this week.
The spotlight was on the Bowflex brand, although all divisions with exception to Universal brought new pieces. Bowflex is widely known for its selectorized dumbbells, but is eyeing the high intensity interval training (HIIT) trend with a Hybrid Velocity Training (HVT) rack that combines cardio with strength training and a smart interface that acts as a trainer, pictured below left.
“It’s the labor of a lot of research,” said Bruce Cazenave, CEO, Nautilus Inc., pictured below, right, on Octane equipment. “What our consumer insights team found was the Bowflex consumer is very different from the general exercise consumer. It’s associated with quick results.”
The idea for the machine, which was made for in-home use, was a collective effort of Nautilus Inc. product designers, engineers, developers, consumer insights and marketing teams. Tom Holland,Nautilus’ Strategic Consultant and Fitness Advisor, provided ongoing and valuable input throughout the process. Holland, who founded his own full-service health and wellness consulting company TeamHolland 18 years ago, has worked with clients including NordicTrack, Vega, PowerBar, Beachbody, Gatorade, Core Water, SmileTrain and even McDonalds.
In 2014, Holland was living in Connecticut and doing personal in-home training alongside running his company and worked with Nautilus on the HVT concept.
“I saw how expensive big equipment racks were and, more importantly, that 99 percent of people don’t know what to do on them. I put it all into one box and added a cardio component,” Holland told SGB at the preview. “And it’s a solution for everyone. The interface can guide a 23-year-old or a 60-year-old.”
Holland also shared that investors attending the NYC event were interested in the artificial intelligence of the product. The same rings true for the Bowflex selectorized dumbbells — investors say, “will it tell me to lift more next time?”
Nautilus Inc. also had more to show from its Octane Fitness brand, which was acquired in January of this year. However, its Zero Runner remained the jewel in its crown. Octane also brings to Nautilus a healthy and well-functioning commercial arm. Cazenave told SGB that Nautilus had left the commercial business back in 2009 or so, after experiencing headwinds from domestic factories and financing for gyms.
Nautilus Inc. re-entered commercial with its Octane acquisition, and foresees the brand paving the way in a new zero-impact category.
“I know for a fact that people have been trying to do this (zero-impact machine) for 20 years,” said Tim Porth, EVP of marketing and product development at Octane. “Will someone come after it? I’m sure they will. But there are a lot of patents in place.”
Octane is also shining a brighter spotlight on its in-line lateral version of the elliptical, LateralX. When used in conjuncture with other training, the machine can eliminate the risk of hip injury and stand as a valuable cross-training option for runners and sports athletes.
In its new machines, Octane will include technology that allows gym owners and managers to track which machines get the most use in their facility. This type of intuitive tracking can not only show when a machine is ready for maintenance, but which equipment doesn’t earn the value of its square footage.