It's Like Peloton but for Pilates. Frame Fitness Reinvents the Reformer

Michaella Huck

Michaella Huck is an editorial intern at dot.LA. She's a senior at California State University, Northridge, where she majors in broadcast journalism and minors in Africana studies. Over the course of her college career, she has found a love for student media; she currently works as the editor at the Daily Sundial, a magazine highlighting the issues affecting students.

Frame Fitness reinvents the Pilates reformer for at-home fitness.

Frame Fitness co-founder Melissa Bentivoglio discovered reformer Pilates through her doctor while struggling to recover from a broken pelvic bone in 2006. Immediately, she fell in love with the low-impact form of exercise.

Just a few years later, the longtime fitness instructor is launching a suite of at-home fitness equipment and software aimed at Pilates enthusiasts. Bentivoglio and her husband, Lee Belzberg, said their Los Angeles company, Frame Fitness, will focus on 'reformer' Pilates — a type of Pilates performed with equipment, rather than mats.


"The Pilates world is very steep in foundation, but often it lacks innovation, I had the idea to create my own reformer," Bentivogolio said.

The at-home fitness industry has surged during the pandemic. Stationary-bike-maker Peloton's stock jumped more than 400% in 2020, according to Barron's. Gyms, on the other hand, took a hit. Gold's Gym and 24 Hour Fitness both filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020. (Notably, the founder and former CEO of 24 Hour Fitness, Mark Mastrov has invested in Frame Fitness just last week in a seed funding round.)

At-home fitness grew exponentially during the pandemic, as gyms shuttered and their members looked to other ways to get in shape. The couple is betting their equipment will appeal to Pilates enthusiasts, a segment within the fitness industry that -- unlike running or cycling -- isn't the focus of most at-home workout stations.

Frame Fitness reformer in use.Frame Fitness prides itself on being an asset to all levels from beginners to experts.

Reformer Pilates is often recommended for beginners because it allows them to control the amount of resistance and movement.

Frame Fitness's home reformer includes a 24.5 inch, sweat-resistant touchscreen and a wheeled frame that allows users to fold it up and stash it under their bed or in a closet. The company also offers other related accessories, including a weighted bar, a Pilates ball, a Pilates ring, and hand weights.

Investors funded the company even though Frame fitness products are not yet on the market. Bentivoglio said her experience as an instructor who has already designed a Pilates reformer -- the unique equipment used for the discipline -- provided them some comfort.

Bentivoglio previously teamed up with an industrial designer to create all 16 of the commercial Pilates equipment in her Ontario, Canada-based brick-and-mortar studio.

Frame plans to take orders for its reformer, which retails at $2,999 later this month. It's set to roll out in early 2022.

In addition to the retail price, there is also a $45 monthly cost for the class subscription or a $500 annual membership. Bentivoglio said that consumers can expect on-demand workouts that range from classical instruction to cardio infused Pilates, high-intensity boot camp classes and even yoga and prenatal stretches. Frame Fitness prides itself on being an asset to all levels from beginners to experts.

The $5 million seed round, which was announced last week, was led by Mastrov, Crunch Fitness Worldwide CEO Jim Rowley, Core Health and Fitness CEO Michael Bruno and Ernie Moody, founder of Action Gaming. It closed in March 2020.

Bentivoglio said she's found investors are extremely interested in backing at-home fitness ventures.

"There's the substantiation of appetite, there's a large investment appetite for connective at-home fitness," she said.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated when Frame Fitness will be taking preorders for its new products and the date the seed round was closed.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Meet the Mastermind Behind Jennifer Lopez’s Skincare Brand

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Meet the Mastermind Behind Jennifer Lopez’s Skincare Brand
Lisa Sequino

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, JLo Beauty Co-founder and CEO Lisa Sequino discusses how she transitioned from her corporate career to a more entrepreneurial path.

Read moreShow less

EXCLUSIVE: Fisker CEO Isn't Worried About Tesla Competition

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

A Fisker electric vehicle.​
Courtesy of Fisker

Last week in the dot.LA newsletter I wrote about Tesla’s decision to slash prices by as much as 20% on their vehicles and how the decision might impact Southern California’s EV startups. I called the price cuts a “tough pill to swallow” for Fisker in particular since they would make many of Tesla’s price points more competitive with Fisker’s first production model, The Ocean.

The Ocean is currently undergoing homologation, but Henrik Fisker, the company’s CEO, confirmed to dot.LA that the company hopes the process to be completed at the end of February. From there, it could take several weeks to ship the SUVs from Austria to the United States.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending