APRIL 15, 2020



When you lay claim to the title of the oldest family-owned company in the fitness industry, you have quite a reputation to live up to year after year. With it comes a responsibility to represent not only your company and employees, but the entire industry as well.

No problem, says TRUE Fitness, which confidently and proudly honors that responsibility.

That’s because the challenge has been embraced for almost 40 years by TRUE Fitness founder and CEO Frank Trulaske, who, since establishing the company in 1981, has adhered to two core guiding principles: Build the highest quality products and support them with superior service.

TRUE Fitness has been built on those principles because its executive team – headed by chief operating officer Ward Petito, VP-sales Mike Kelly, international sales director Michael Jeffrey, director of product management David Trulaske and CFO Matt Hacker – has always sought to position the company as a partner to its customers, not just as a supplier.

“Providing not only premium fitness equipment, but solutions and support before, during and after the sale,” remains the TRUE Fitness mantra.

Responding to the COVID-19

That dedication and connection to its customers – commercial and residential alike – has allowed TRUE Fitness to play a significant role in the overall fitness industry’s ability to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. With most gyms and health clubs shuttered, but home fitness equipment booming, TRUE Fitness sees its role evolving.

“As the crisis continues to evolve, TRUE is exploring several avenues in which we can provide support to our customers and partners,” the company tells FIBO Focus. “We want to work with customers, both individuals and clubs, to keep their business going.”

As part of its response, TRUE Fitness recently rolled out At-Home Workouts for health club owners to share with their customers, as well as helpful blog articles to assist facilities with the next steps in dealing with an unprecedented business environment.

It is also looking to provide ways to make this downtime useful to health clubs whose doors have been locked for weeks now, with educational programs via the TRUE Learning Collective and resources to keep themselves and their businesses healthy during this uncertain time in the fitness industry.

In addition, clubs and facilities can use TRUE’s in-house facility planning service if they want to use this time to utilize their space differently. Customers know they can count on TRUE to support them in their current needs.

Like most equipment manufacturers, TRUE Fitness has also seen a significant increase in residential home equipment sales as individuals need to have access to home equipment during the crisis. That works out well for the company since it provides commercial quality, club-inspired residential treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and strength equipment that are easy to maintain.

“We’re happy that we provide a great quality workout to people in the comfort of their own home,” a company spokesperson says. “We also continue to offer and have increased At-Home Workouts for both our residential equipment and with no equipment required to ensure customers are supported in their home gym needs.”

 The TRUE Line-up

For almost four decades TRUE Fitness has serviced all of the major fitness markets — athletic, corporate, health clubs, YMCA/JCC, government and military, hospitality, medical, multi-housing, student recreation and parks and recreation. Also in its product collection is a line-up of residential equipment that offers commercial quality in a home setting.

TRUE Fitness products are categorized by the three pillars of fitness — cardio, strength and flexibility. Its major product lines include the Palladium Strength Series, the Composite Strength Series and the 900 cardio series.

TRUE’s rich history is highlighted by a number of key innovations and accomplishments that have changed the face of the fitness business along the way, including:

  • Introducing the first removable safety key on a treadmill in 1987.
  • Unveiling in 1992 the patented Soft System that transfers the shock of impact that’s usually    absorbed by the walker/runner’s body, into the treadmill itself.
  • Introducing an orthopedic belt in 1994 and the HRC Heart Rate Control in 1996.
  • In 1998, developing TRUE’s Patented Soft Select, while the company began international distribution. 

The turn of the century brought about a number of other innovations, including the 2002 introduction of flexibility products with TRUE Stretch and in 2007 the patented HRC Cruise Control.

More recently, in 2015 TRUE acquired Paramount Fitness and expanded its commercial strength portfolio in addition to introducing the Spectrum Adjustable Stride Elliptical. In 2016 it unveiled the Alpine Runner Incline Trainer and 2020 has been highlighted so far by the introduction of the Palladium Strength Series.

This year, TRUE Fitness will also be launching technology offerings and releasing its highly anticipated slat treadmill, the Stryker.

TRUE executives stress that the company stands out from the competition because of its long-time dedication to putting the customer first. “We are the oldest family-owned company in the industry because we focus on building equipment and relationships with integrity,” a company spokesperson says. “By purchasing TRUE equipment, facilities become a member of the TRUE family.”

Part of its enduring success is that TRUE ensures that owning and maintaining its equipment is a seamless and easy experience. The company goes to great lengths to provide a solid customer experience, including facility planning, installation and service, marketing and support. TRUE can support owners in whatever stage they may be and offers its industry expertise to provide the best experience for members.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly dealt a blow to the fitness business, but TRUE Fitness executives have confidence in the market’s ability to rebound and come out stronger than ever when the “new normal” eventually – and inevitably – returns.

“The fitness industry is one of the most dedicated and resilient industries, with a passion for uplifting and supporting one another. We believe every fitness company is working hard to support the needs of club and facility owners as they face uncharted territory in light of COVID-19.”

In the meantime, TRUE continues to stay committed to building and providing equipment to meet the changing needs of the industry — both institutional and at-home. It promises several exciting technology and product additions that will be announced in more detail later this year, including the Palladium Strength Selectorized Series and a slat treadmill, plus new console and technology offerings.