Hi, my name is Gary and I’m the founder & owner of VARIA FITNESS.
I founded this company because fitness, design, and invention have all been big parts of my life for a long time. I was able to combine those skills and solve a problem that would help other people using fitness to stay healthy.
I found that medicine balls (and kettlebells) were excellent pieces of exercise equipment to use because of their versatility in building: explosive strength, rotational strength and stability, and endurance. The only problem was you needed several different weights of each product to match to the specific exercise you wanted to do. (For more details see what weight medicine ball should I use?)
This meant it was going to be expensive to buy multiple single-weight medicine balls, take up lots of storage space I didn’t have, etc. This lead to the "Ah-ha" moment:
“How can I make a medicine ball (or kettlebell) like a barbell: add exercise weights to a base product?”
The answer to that question took 3 years to answer!
Our first product is the VARIABALL®, a patented variable weight medicine ball, providing 5 weights in a single medicine ball. The 14" diameter ball unzips, allowing up to four 2lb. weights to be added for a total increase of 8 lb. from the base weight. Two base weights are available: 8 lb. or 14 lb. This results in a weight range of:
8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 lb.
Since the VARIABALL® allows you to quickly and easily change the medicine ball weight, you can optimize each exercise in your medicine ball workout. For example, medicine ball ab workouts can be difficult to do with a single weight medicine ball because each exercise can have a different degree of difficulty.
This business is truly a garage shop startup! The foam used in the interior of the VARIABALL is bought in Denver in rectangular blocks. Proprietary foam shaping tools to cut the foam into a spherical shape have been designed by myself and former industrial colleagues and former students from the University of Colorado Department of Mechanical Engineering where I taught product design for 11 years. The outer fabric shells are manufactured overseas. Final manufacturing and assembly are completed in my garage. Next step is to implement a more cost effective next generation "ready-to-go" foam manufacturing process.