Jez Whitling, 25 year veteran of the UK fitness industry and former Precor sales director, and Graham Bertrand, of Physique Sports equipment services for 30 years, are introducing the Intenza range of fitness machines to the UK fitness industry.
Intenza is an impressive selection of eco-friendly cardio equipment manufactured by HealthStream in Taiwan. The brand has been built on producing high quality, energy efficient equipment in an eco-friendly way, and is already in more than 35 international markets since its launch in 2012. The range is also being distributed by Gym80 in Germany and Exceed Performance in Sweden, part of the Eleiko Group.
Bertrand and Whitling met with Mark Chang, CEO of HealthStream, at the Intenza factory in Taiwan, to find out more about the range and the distribution opportunities. Bertrand says: “As soon as we saw the incredibly high quality standard of the Intenza range and the impressive manufacturing set-up, we both agreed this opportunity was too good not to look at seriously.”
Whitling says: “We were hugely impressed with the high quality of the cardio ranges and within an hour of walking into the state-of-the-art facility my mind was made up.”
He adds: “I’ve seen a number of fitness equipment manufacturing plants over the years, but nothing on this scale. It was clean and efficient, attention to detail was very high and it has almost zero carbon emissions, with most of the energy used to drive the facility coming from rows and rows of solar panels on the roof. The factory actually delivers excess energy back into the grid.”
Smart energy savings
The machines themselves combine a sleek aluminium design built on high performing engineering and technology. Engineers took 18 months to develop this high level range, which includes treadmills, upright and recumbent bikes and ellipticals in two series.
The Intenza Interactive Series (i Series) commercial cardio line features a simple to use, single dial control – Intenza’s Uni-Dial Navigation Control. All workout programmes and varieties can be accessed by turning the dial and pressing the dial.
The Entertainment Series (e Series) delivers television, movies and music on 15” touchscreen monitors that have been built to last.
An internal diagnostics system, InCare, has been built into the machines which automatically alert Intenza if and when an issue arises with the equipment and what the issue is.
The range has been developed with some clever energy saving devices to help the gym facility save power and money. For instance, when the exercise console is not in use it goes into a power-saving mode, reducing its energy consumption to .4 watts on the treadmills and 0.25 watts on the ellipticals and bikes. The e-series elliptical and bike consoles are activated by the exerciser’s effort, at 40 strides per minute or 40 revs per minute.
Whitling and Bertrand are now drawing on their combined 55 years of experience of the fitness industry to grow the Intenza brand in the UK.
Bertrand says: “We’ve both developed strong industry reputations from looking after our loyal customers and ensuring we go about business the right way. In fact, this was the main driver in us wanting to work together.”
“We both understand that if we can keep customers happy, then it serves to build a sustainable, profitable business.”
The duo are supported by a full UK logistics and service team as well as an international marketing team. And the response from the UK fitness community to the pair’s news about Intenza? “Overwhelming!” says Whitling. “That is most definitely the word that best describes the response from industry leaders that we’ve spoken to so far, both in terms of how excited they are that Graham and I are working together and also on how exciting the Intenza brand and equipment looks.”
Their first UK order came from Mark Anthony, chief executive of expanding low-cost gym chain Rush Fitness - even before the new company had been announced - based on the strength of the equipment and Anthony’s trust and belief in them.
The installation took place at Anthony’s Rush Fitness in Aylesbury this summer and he is planning to roll the equipment out to other new sites this year. Anthony says: “I’m very excited about the new Rush Fitness Aylesbury club being kitted out with new Intenza cardio equipment.”
“As soon as I first saw the range at FIBO, I could see the superior build quality and sleek, contemporary design of the products.”
“And knowing that Intenza in the
UK was being led by Graham and Jez, with their vast industry experience, I knew the support they would provide would be world class.”
“Knowing our club will be the first in the UK to take delivery of the Intenza range also gives us an added benefit when pre-selling memberships.”