Although many product details are still under wraps, it is no secret that former Parabody owner Jerry Dettinger has reunited much of his former team there to start a new strength equipment company called Torque Fitness.
Dettinger told SNEWS® that the company and its products will officially launch sometime this year, perhaps by mid-year, and will focus on equipment for the home. He promised some patented ideas but, above all, he said Torque will have "new stuff that nobody has done."
"We're very excited with what we're working on," Dettinger said from the company's headquarters in Minnesota. "We believe there are opportunities in strength."
Sales will be run by Pete Brask, while the engineering and product development team includes John Cassidy, Tom Baumler and Mike Novak, all former Parabody team members.
"We tried to say, 'who are the best,' and we pulled them together," Dettinger said.
In the last few years, Dettinger has been less than visible in the fitness industry, but nonetheless has been a part of it -- first and foremost as an investor and board member at Octane Fitness since it was begun by former Life Fitness executives Dennis Lee and Tim Porth, whom he knew there after Parabody was acquired by Life Fitness.
Torque, which was formed in Andover, Minn., in April 2005, according to state business records, has been analyzing market needs, tastes and demographics to design products that will stand out, he said.
"Success in this business," he said, "comes down to the best products."
The company will also be involved as a sponsor in the Augie's Quest fund-raising event (www.augiesquest.org) on March 22 at the IHRSA show in Las Vegas. Dettinger said the company will not be doing commercial equipment but still wants to support the event because they are all long-time friends of Augie Nieto, former president of Life Fitness. Nieto left Life Fitness in 2000 and was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's disease) about a year ago. (Click here to read an Aug. 19, 2005 SNEWS® story, "Augie Nieto discusses life as he cruises toward Life Time Achievement Award.")
SNEWS® View: One could easily say that there just isn't room for another company making home gyms. But one doesn't dare say that without seeing what Dettinger and gang are up to. With a history of the type of product Parabody was known for, we expect they will come up with something that will pique interest -- and find room for itself in the fitness retail market.