So, you have finally concluded that you are ready to open your own gym. And you want to invest in a gym franchise.
But what franchise should you invest in? And what criteria should you consider when buying into a franchise group?
We take a look at everything you need to know about fitness franchises. This will help you to make an informed decision about your investment in your gym.
Table of Contents
Market Growth for Gym Franchises
The last ten years have seen an impressive growth for fitness clubs and gyms across the globe.
In the US alone, gyms have experienced more than 25% growth in membership. With more than forty thousand clubs across the country, the industry in the USA grew with almost 7% over the last decade.
Almost 25% of the gyms and fitness clubs belong to the franchise market. Even with the Covid-19 pandemic causing disruptions, this industry is standing steady and ready to grow even more.
Gym Franchises Post the Pandemic
The entire world felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and fitness industry was not spared.
Fitness studios and gyms were among the first businesses ordered shut down. Mainly because of the social distancing complications. But also because gyms are hubs for social interaction. Two of the key drivers for shut down during the global lock down period.
Gyms and health clubs across the world sat in silence for months. There were no certain answers on when they were to open their doors to business again. Members could not use their memberships or extra perks. Classes got cancelled, and trainers sat at home. And month after month, industry revenues diminished.
Post COVID-19, classes resumed, but at limited capacity due to social distancing. Gyms had to declare some of their equipment off bounds. To create physical distance between members, gyms had to close off every second machine.
And only a specified number of members were allowed inside the gyms at any given moment. On top of that the maintenance and cleaning expense lines saw a drastic increase in cost.
On the upside, the adjustments to regulations allowed gyms to open their doors again. At first, returns of loyal members were slow, but after a couple of days,there was a steady influx of keen members. Popular classes had full waiting lists, proving that the industry did not suffer that much. Or at least, not as much as most of the other industries.
Today, we look back on some very difficult and trying times. And it is evident that fitness clubs and gyms made it through better than anticipated. Industry revenues have dipped with almost 14%. Whilst gym franchises only experienced a decline of around 11%. Almost 3% lower than the rest of the health and fitness industry.
Home exercising might have experienced a boom during the pandemic. But post the pandemic, there is a higher demand for gyms and fitness studios than before. It is evident by the amount of people returning to their favorite place of workout. Not only for a good sweat, but also for social interaction.
Figure 1: Covid and the Gym Franchise Future (Image SRC: Bloomberg)
The Future of Fitness Franchises
Studies show that more than 89% of fitness consumers get bored fairly quickly. One of the big attractions of franchise gyms is the large range of workouts and equipment on offer.
There is something for everyone. From CrossFit, to spinning, yoga, personal training and many more. Everyone can find one or more interesting ways to work up a sweat in a gym.
The beauty of the franchise gym industry is that it offers a wide range of low-cost options as well. If you have customers who would like to just settle for a quick, old-school workout, then your gym will be able to accommodate them.
The franchise gym industry appeals to a great variety of tastes and preferences. Unlike niche gyms, they offer a vast variety of fitness regimes and workout methods. This is key to what has made the franchise gym industry such a success. And is also the reason why this industry managed to pull through the tough pandemic times.
Budget to Buy a Gym Franchise
The gym franchise industry offers a wide range of options on initial investment and capital outlay. You can either pay very little, or you will be investing well into the millions, to launch your business. No matter your tastes or budget, there is a gym franchise available to suit every type of investor’s budget.
Investing in a gym franchise appears to be more expensive than starting your own gym . But owning a franchise gym holds countless benefits. Franchisees enjoy start-up and gym set up support. Another great perk is the ongoing operational support. All your marketing, risk management and strategic growth planning is also covered.
Investing in a franchise gym will include initial set-up costs like franchise licensing fees. Some also include marketing affiliated costs and permit costs. But fear not, your franchisor has you covered with business support all the way. They want to see you succeed. And to ensure that you do, they hold your hand every step of the way.
Your gym is set up to resemble the brand you are buying into. From the color of the walls and floors to the premium gym equipment. So, when your new gym members walk in, they will feel right at home.
Figure 2: Best Gym Franchise 2021 (Image SRC: Franchise Chatter)
Fantastic Franchising – the Top 20 Gym and Fitness Franchises
This gym franchise group has made it their mission to become the number one fitness franchise in the industry. Planet Fitness is well known for their excellent reputation as a low-cost gym. A great place to work out with the guy next door and his buddies.
They cater for regular members. And has the lowest monthly membership fees in the industry.
They took their marketing level a step further by introducing delicious member perks. You have to love the Pizza Mondays. And i f that does not grab you, try bagel Tuesdays. But they did not stop there.
The next phase of their strategy included partnering with reputable brands like Reebok. Another partnership guaranteed to add member value.
Planet Fitness was founded in 1992 and started franchising in 2003. They are the largest gym franchise group in the US and boast with close to 2000 franchises across the globe.
Anytime fitness is booming. The franchise has more than 4700 gyms across the globe. Their popularity increased daily because they now offer their members 24/7 access. And this includes all their locations around the world.
On top of their all day, all year access, they also offer prospective members a one-week free tryout pass to view and try out their facilities.
New customers undergo a fitness assessment. With that you receive a detailed fitness starter plan. This plan is available on your Anytime fitness app. Just another way to ensure they support their loyal members in reaching their fitness goals.
This well known brand is the little brother of parent company Self Esteem Brands. The brand also owns several other franchise groups like PumpOne and Basecamp Fitness. It was founded in 2001 and has been franchising since 2002.
Don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home? No problem! These guys have you covered. GymGuyz offers a wide range of training and workout services, and the best is, they bring it straight to you.
This franchise has their personal trainers show up at your front door. Geared with vehicles filled with all the necessary fitness equipment. And they deliver almost any workout you can think of. As an added member benefit, they also offer extra perks.
Would you like some massage therapy, or nutritional plans? No problem, they have got you covered.
The rapid growth of this franchise group, proves that there is definitely a growing demand for this kind of training. GymGuyz was founded in 2008 and started their franchising journey in 2013. They currently boast more than 240 franchises globally.
If you are looking for a franchise with little overhead costs and high profits, then this gym franchise might just be for you!
Figure 3: GymGuys Franchise (Image SRC: GymGuys)
This energy driven franchise group recently celebrated 50 years in the fitness industry. Founded in 1969, Jazzercise started franchising in 1982. And is currently housing members in more than 8600 locations around the world.
When a fitness franchise has been around this long, you might think their methods are old and outdated. But you will be mistaken. With their rapid growth and evolution, Jazzercise offers several dance-like workouts. Each designed to help you burn as much as 800 calories in one session.
They offer workouts packed with strength and cardio. Add to that a little yoga, Pilates, hip-hop or kickboxing, and your members will be shedding those calories in no time. Jazzercise has a huge following of loyal members.
With the average membership lasting more than 6 years. What more could a franchisee ask for?
This fitness franchise’s claim to fame is their hour long HIIT workout. Claiming to have you burning calories up to 36 hours after the workout.
Orangetheory Fitness offers a no-contract monthly membership fee. Workouts take place at fix times. And are led by experienced trainers. Your monthly membership can secure several sessions of this magical workout.
This franchise was founded and franchised in 2010 and has more than 1300 locations globally.
Home to the Badass Bootcamp. Crunch Fitness is the franchise to invest in if you are looking for something completely different.
They offer workouts in aerobics, electro-stretch, hip-hop, co-ed wrestling and yoga cycling. Their workouts are fun filled and they keep upping their game.
Founded and franchised since 2010, this group now has more than 300 locations across the globe.
Figure 4: Crunch Fitness Franchise (Image SRC: Crunch Fitness)
Workout Anytime 24/7
This Gym Franchise group was founded in 1999 and has been franchising since early 2005. They have a total of 169 locations, all in the USA.
Workout Anytime 24/7 has shown rapid growth and their model is known to be a favorite among franchisees.
The gym franchise offers the same concept as other low-cost fitness groups. They allow their members access to the workout facilities 24/7. Premium equipment and great workout facilities is included in the low membership fee. This is why they are so successful.
F45 Training opened their doors in 2011 in Australia. Since then it has been franchising more than 1300 branches globally since 2013.
CEO, Rob Deutch says that they want to create a fitness group that offers the ultimate fitness approach, with a personal touch.
He explained the concept behind the name F45 Training. The “F” represents “functional” and the “45” represents the time each workout session lasts – 45 minutes. This fitness chain offers 27 unique, high intensity, circuit workouts . All combined they represent more than 3000 exercises
Burn Boot Camp
The Burn Boot Camp Franchise was started by married couple Devan and Morgan Kline in 2012. They started franchising in 2015 and now have 216 fitness locations across the USA.
This unique franchise offers a woman-only workout and weight-loss concept. It also offers special perks for moms, like free childcare and nutritional meal plans. They are in touch with their members in real time through YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. And they offer on the go health advice and fitness tips.
Figure 6: Burn Boot Camp Franchise (Image SRC: Club Industry)
The Snap Fitness franchise group offers the signature workout MYFIT. This is a hit among their members in more than 1270 locations globally.
Snap fitness is a low-cost monthly membership gym. And their monthly fees include the my-zone fitness belt. This belt tracks calories burnt, heart rate and mileage in real-time. The chain’s signature workout is led by on-screen instructors. And is available for free to all their members. Not a member? Don’t sweat it! You can get access with a monthly non-member pass.
The franchise was founded in 2003 and started franchising a year later, in 2004. More than half of their franchises are located outside the US.
This Franchise offers fighting style workouts. Interested members can sign up for real fighting competitions. And they have certified trainers to train you up.
The UFC Gym prides themself with a strong focus on kids, youth, and families. Something you don’t always find in other clubs. They offer workouts in many disciplines. Some of the favorites are Muay Thai, boxing, Judo, and kickboxing.
There are a long list of other mixed disciplines. Each gym also offers standard fitness equipment like weights, treadmills, and bikes.
The Franchise was founded in 1992 and started franchising in 2004. They currently have 141 active franchise locations globally.
Retro Fitness is also a low-cost, high-value gym. And they offer their members 24/7 access. Their gym equipment features LCD television screens. They also offer 3 kinds of circuit training equipment, and free weights. All this along their movie theater, screening retro movies and music.
The group was founded in 2002 and started franchising in 2006. They currently have 140 locations in the USA.
Figure 6: Retro Fitness Franchise (Image SRC: Retro Fitness)
This gym franchise group runs signature circuit sessions every 30 minutes. So members do not have to worry about missing a set class.
Members train in the art of basic kickboxing for a full body workout. All classes are led by qualified trainers. The 9Round group also offers online meal planning, nutritional advice and health tips. The franchise chain has had huge successes with member weight loss programmes.
They were founded in 2007 and started franchising in 2009. The number of active locations is currently sitting at 797 globally.
Founded in 1965 the Gold’s Gym group is one of the only gym’s who can brag with a movie spot. This legacy group featured in the ’75 Schwarzenegger movie “pumping Iron”.
This gym group offers all the bells and whistles. From full circuit training equipment to personal training and group sessions. They also have their own kid’s club and well known pro shop. Their classes cover every type of workout you can think of. And all their training tips are available online or on their app.
They have been franchising since 1980, and have 730 active locations across the world.
This fitness chain was founded in 2007 and started franchising in 2012. They currently have close to 600 clubs globally.
Club Pilates offer premium workouts. And all classes are led by certified instructors with countless hours of training behind them. The group offers four different membership options. Each option is based on the number of classes their members want to enjoy monthly.
Pure Barre offers total body workouts using the art and skills of ballet. Classes are led by qualified instructors. And all workouts make use of the ballet barre to movements that sculpt muscles into perfection.
This franchise group went out of their way to craft a unique customer experience. Members are loyal to the brand and resemble a lifestyle community. They support and encourage each other to be better and become their very best.
The group was started in 2001 and only started franchising in 2009. With a steady growth rate, they are currently boasting 563 active locations around the world.
Fit Body Boot Camp
This franchise group is fairly young. They started in 2009 and started franchising in 2011. With a steady growth rate they are currently bragging with 355 franchises across the globe.
Fit Body Boot Camp offers 30-minute, fun, workout sessions. It is great for fat loss and is very affordable. People love it!Workouts are focussed on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Active Rest Training. This method gets your body to burn up to twice the fat than normal exercises. And it’s done in half the time.
The chain runs highly effective social media campaigns . And stay in touch with their members on a real-time live feed platform.
Figure 7: Fit Body Boot Camp Franchise (Image SRC: Franchise Opportunities
This franchise offers high-energy and adrenaline-pumping workouts. They offer support from a fitness community who keep each other accountable to reach fitness goals. Their workouts are designed to fit any age and fitness level. Anyone can do it.
The group was founded in 2009 and started franchising in 2012. They have 264 locations across the world.
If you are a cycle fanatic, then this one’s for you. CycleBar is brand new to the franchising group. Founded in 2014, and only started franchising in 2015. And they already have more than 200 franchises globally.
CycleBar is an indoor cycling fitness group with professional instructors. They build their brand on three key CycleBar elements. CycleBeats – the great cycle playlist. CycleStats – the matrix of your six performance areas. And CycleStars – their super great instructors.
TITLE Boxing Club
This franchise chain offers a signature Power Hour workout. The workout uses boxing basics to achieve fitness and weight loss goals The brand strives to empower their members. And slogans like “Find Your Fierce” have been very successful in doing so.
Qualified trainers lead members in HIIT workouts. Workouts offered, vary in length. You can have 30-minute, 45-minute, 60-minute, or 75-minute sessions.
They were founded in 2008 and started franchising in 2009. They now have a total of 183 locations around the world.
Opening a franchise gym has never been easier. With the right team and the right franchise, you are bound to succeed. And with the industry growing at a rapid pace, the time to get in on the action is now!