Lightweight, compact and easy to travel with: that was the goal of Rigby native Ethan Abbott’s exercise equipment invention that has exploded on Kickstarter.

Being newlyweds going to college at Brigham Young University, Abbott and his wife, Kinsee, sought a way to work out without having to pay expensive gym membership fees. This issue led to Abbott’s ambition to develop his own piece of equipment that gives the user a complete upper-body workout without taking up a lot of space.

From pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups, Abbott’s CrossGrips by Jayflex provides an extensive upper-body workout and can can fold up smaller than a book and be taken on the go. 

Although there are similar products on the market, Abbott said the big difference is its size — but CrossGrips can also lock onto one’s door frame whereas other products merely sit on the trim on one side.

“There is an internal spring clamp,” Abbott said in an interview in August. “If you bump it or swing off, it grabs onto the molding, preventing it from falling off.”

After developing a multitude of prototypes of the product with copper pipes and various wood scraps collected from the hardware store, Abbott finally developed a concept he thought could work. 

“There were a lot of iterations,” he said. 

He eventually took is prototypes to HadCAD Product Development in Provo, Utah, where his design was finally optimized.

On July 31, Abbott said he put his product on Kickstarter with a goal of $20,000 — a goal that was reached in less than two days. By the Sept. 7 deadline, 1,505 backers pledged $178,583 to help bring Abbott’s project to life. 

A manufacturer in China has been working with Abbott to produce the CrossGrips, which are expected to hit the market later this year on retail websites such as Amazon and on the CrossGrips website. 

Abbott said he doesn’t know what the future of his product will hold, but if it goes well, he said he would consider licensing the product or selling it to a larger company. This, however, doesn’t mean his time developing exercise equipment would end.

“Eventually I’d like to develop a line of fitness products along a similar line,” he said. “Such as more compact products that make it easier to work out from home and on the road.”

Abbott is a 2008 graduate of Rigby High School. He currently lives in Orem, Utah, with his wife Kinsee and their baby daughter, Kamryn.

“We’re really blessed,” Abbott said. “It’s been an awesome journey.”