Bodycraft dabbles toes in cardio with shipment of first ellipticals

After five years of being known for its home gyms and strength-training equipment, Bodycraft has this month begun to ship its first cardiovascular equipment -- two opening-price ellipticals.

After five years of being known for its home gyms and strength-training equipment, Bodycraft has this month begun to ship its first cardiovascular equipment -- two opening-price ellipticals.

The two ellipticals -- with suggested retails of $1,000 and $1,300 -- have taken more than two years of development and planning, said Bodycraft's Alan Gore. Prototypes were shown at the Health & Fitness Business Show in August 2004, but they have changed significantly since then. Although delivery was hoped for by last December, improvements and fine-tuning details delayed shipping, Gore said.

"It was worth it," he said. "The product turned out beautiful."

The entrée into the cardio category for Bodycraft doesn't mean it's giving up its strength-training roots, nor that it plans to become a full-line supplier. At least not just yet.

"We're still going to be a strength line that has some cardio for at least the next five years," Gore said. "Plus, it's a way for us to get into a category that isn't as steel intensive."

He noted continually escalating steel prices that have hit home gym manufacturers hard, but pointed out continually dropping prices of electronics, such as those in most cardio equipment. In addition, dealers who like working with the small-shop nature of Bodycraft have asked for this kind of line extension, he said.

"The dealers would come to us and say, 'Why don't you do this? We're selling home gyms from you, and we like dealing with you,'" Gore explained.

"We're not going to go headlong into this," he said. "But it's an entry level. We'll learn and listen before we go compete at the higher price levels."

And that is what Gore and Bodycraft said may be next: More ellipticals, including into higher prices, plus perhaps a few bikes or even a rower. Right now, however, it's all wait-and-see.

The two ellipticals, which are on the company website (, will be exclusively a specialty item; Bodycraft is not going out to court any big boxes, Gore said.

The addition of cardio starts a year that is bound to show jumps in revenues and sales if 2004 was any indication. Sales of the popular Xpress home gym were slightly more than doubled, year over year, and company revenues went up 40 percent, 2004 over 2003.

SNEWS® View:
For a small company with four guys in the office that relies mostly on word-of-mouth, the Ohio company has come pretty far in the five years that it's manufactured its own equipment under the Bodycraft name. We're not sure that the investment it would take for a full push into cardiovascular equipment will be the direction it will or should go, but adding a few pieces to keep current dealers happy and selling may be what the doctor ordered.



BodyCraft continues to expand, with new cardio and strategic partners

Fitness equipment manufacturer BodyCraft is well-known for its home gyms and free-weight machines. Quality, innovation and good customer service from its 11-person staff in Sunbury, Ohio, have gained the company respect from retailers and customers alike for more than a decade. more

Time to grow: Bodycraft plans bigger steps into cardio, new multi-weight dumbbells

On the heels last year of introducing several ellipticals and a rower, Bodycraft has taken the big plunge into cardio and has told SNEWS® it plans to have a line of treadmills ready to show this summer, not to mention new gym designs and a new multi-weight dumbbell system. Yes, more


"Marketing" emails (a.k.a. spam) use Bodycraft gym as come-on

Imagine our surprise last week when we received an email, which our system boldly labeled as SPAM, with the subject line: "Get fit this year with a FREE Galena Bodycraft Home Gym!" Finger poised over the delete button as we did the spam-delete-quick-step, we hesitated a moment more


Companies seek to steal spotlight from elliptical with new cardio offerings at IHRSA

Though group exercise companies Zumba and Kangoo Jumps tried to steal the show with the loud, Latin-infused rhythms and pulsating club beats blaring from their booths, SNEWS found the real stars at IHRSA — revamped and brand-new cardio equipment. As soon as one walked into the more


SNEWS 2009 Fitness Retailer Survey, part 4: Treadmills, bike, ellipticals, A-trainers and overall best-selling cardio

With so much to present from our annual SNEWS® Fitness Retailer Survey, we broke up the results for 2009 into four parts, three of which have been posted to our site over the last few weeks. All of the news and votes make for interesting reading, and we don’t want any one more

Spirit adds elliptical to its treadmill line

Looking to capture some of the still-growing elliptical market, Spirit Fitness has taken its first step away from its treadmill line and added an elliptical trainer. The MX Series trainer is, like its treadmill counterparts, made in the company's Arkansas facility, and the first more


SNEWS 2011 Fitness Retailer Survey - Part 2: 'best' cardio equipment brands by category

As always, there is a ton of information to digest in our annual SNEWS® Fitness Retailer Survey. To help you not miss a beat, we’ve broken it into four parts. Click here to access the first part on the “best” and “most difficult” suppliers, plus some sales trends, which ran Aug. more

H&F Biz Show '05: Some innovative steps forward in cardio

Wow. What else can we say? Cardio equipment often dominates the Health & Fitness Business Show simply because there is more of it, but this year it got a lot of attention since there were a few pieces that showed a fine glimmer of innovation. These are pieces we think retailers more


Health & Fitness Business ’10: Simple cardio innovations add spark

The economy has not been kind to big purchases. Think treadmills and ellipticals that may ding the pocketbook for $1,000, $2,000 … or more. That just means that innovation, when it comes to cardio machines, has gotten smaller, simpler and cheaper to help keep customers more