This ex-Navy officer took a piece of steel and turned it into a multi-million dollar business

Ausfit Torsion Bars/ Facebook

Australians love jumping on new fitness trends.

From Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides to the cult following of the F45 Challenge, if it’s new and promises results, Australians are likely to give it a go.

But the journey for Anthony Richardson, an ex-Australian Navy officer from the NSW country town of Yass is a little different.

Having joined the Navy straight out of high school and staying there for 11 years, even making the selection for the Australian Special Forces, Richardson found himself eager to take a break from his career and travel.

To earn some extra money to fund his “gap year”, he started a bootcamp which incorporated exercises and programs he had picked up through the Navy.

One piece of equipment unique to his training was the Torsion Bar: a long piece of steel fashioned from an M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

With no luck being able to buy them, in 2013 Richardson saw an opportunity to create and manufacture his own.

Ausfit Torsion Bars/ Facebook

By 2015, Richardson had created three prototypes which he used to trial on three Royal Australian Navy vessels.

Twelve months down the track and three deployments later, the bars were a success.

And in 2017 Richardson was conducting specialised Torsion Bar workouts at the Pentagon and Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk Virginia — the largest Navy base in the world.

Last year the company’s revenue fell just short of $400,000 but this year it is forecasting a whopping $9 million.

The AUSFIT Torsion Bar, which comes in weight options ranging from four kilos to 20kg and is less than a metre long, is now sold to individuals, government and corporations in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, China, and the US.

This year, Richardson aims to expand that to 12 more countries and is currently in the process of signing a major distribution deal.

Business Insider will have the details of the upcoming deal first. Stay tuned

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.