Knox company's fitness equipment supplies pro teams, military

Knoxville company's fitness equipment supplies pro teams, military

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"We're a heavy duty commercial product. We're not so much about how pretty it looks. We're more about how functional it is. It's very strong and very sturdy," Pierre Steenekamp explained. "We're a heavy duty commercial product. We're not so much about how pretty it looks. We're more about how functional it is. It's very strong and very sturdy," Pierre Steenekamp explained.
The employees are often asked to work overtime to keep up with orders. The employees are often asked to work overtime to keep up with orders.
Each piece gets a special powder coated finish. Each piece gets a special powder coated finish.
Legend's equipment can be found at several local facilities like D1 Sports. Legend's equipment can be found at several local facilities like D1 Sports.

By KRISTIN FARLEY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - What do the Cleveland Browns, the Nashville Predators and the U.S. military all have in common? They use fitness equipment made in Knoxville.

Legend Fitness, at 5901 Middlebrook Pike, makes commercial grade equipment that's not just in the best fitness facilities in Tennessee and across the U.S. It's around the world.

Pierre Steenekamp is the president of Legend Fitness and part of the business group that bought out Legend three years ago.

At the time the company was in Maynardville, but this spring it moved to Knoxville after some tremendous growth.

Legend Fitness

The company has grown from a handful of employees to more than 60 who are often asked to work overtime to keep up with orders. While they help in the design phase, their main focus is manufacturing the strength equipment.

It's all done at one location, from cutting and welding each element to giving each piece a special powder coated finish. After curing in a giant oven-like room, a shiny, durable piece is the result.

"We're a heavy duty commercial product. We're not so much about how pretty it looks. We're more about how functional it is. It's very strong and very sturdy," Steenekamp explained.

However, Legend also offers custom colors, logos, even upholstery. All of that is very important when you look at the client list.

"We shipped products in to the Redskins and the 49'ers. We do a fair amount of equipment for the Tennessee Titans, obviously," Steenekamp said.

As he showed us around, he explained that only 10 percent of their business is community fitness centers. Their main concentration is football and that includes going after the hometown favorite.

"We do some work for UT on the rec sports side, not the football side as of yet, but we are working on that," Steenekamp said.

Currently, Legend's equipment can be found at several local facilities like D1 Sports and a new state of the art facility in Bearden High School.

Steenekamp has a history in auto manufacturing, but you might say this new endeavor is a real score.

"On an athletic background, I've been a rugby player for almost 35 years now, along with a number of other sports. I have a very active lifestyle. My wife is a professional athlete so it was a natural fit, it made perfect sense to bring my manufacturing background to produce a product that I had been using for the better part of my lifetime."

Steenekamp says he offers direct input on designing the equipment, but his company also seeks feedback from clients to make sure they continue to offer the best and most modern workout experience possible.

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