The Fitness Company Whose Priority Isn't Actually Fitness

    • Bala Fitness focuses on style over fitness.
    • The company uses weight equipment concepts from the ’80s.

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When it comes to fitness equipment, Bala Fitness is banking on consumers judging a book by its cover.

Bala Fitness focuses on style over fitness, an approach that has led to an uptick in sales since the pandemic started.

“We believe beautiful, functional fitness accessories will change the way people move,” its website reads.

Launched in 2018, the company gives weight equipment concepts popularized in the 1980s, like wrist and ankle weights, a modern design twist. Instead of being heavyweight-focused, the company targets small weights for everyday movement.

Founders Natalie Holloway and Maximilian Kislevitz used $10,000 of their own savings and raised $40,000 more on funding platform Kickstarter to start Bala. An appearance on “Shark Tank” in February 2020 brought the married couple another $900,000. 

The home gym market rose by 84% year-over-year in 2020, and sales of weights grew by 78%. Bala capitalized. Originally called Bala Bangles — “Bangles” was dropped from the name as the company plans to expand its offerings and launch another 10 products this year.

Bala is headed toward $40 million in sales in 2021, a significant jump from the $20 million it saw in 2020, and $2 million in sales in 2019. The brand is in 500 retailers across the U.S.

“Bala is the antidote to the ultra-serious world of fitness,” said Holloway.