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How FitWAVE’s Group Fitness Model Creates Explosive New-Store Openings

Within two months of opening, the fitness franchise’s newest location in Minooka, Ill. reached a couple hundred memberships, thanks largely to the brand’s group classes.

By Ben Warren1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 03/21/22

Just after Thanksgiving, Josh Biba opened a new FitWAVE franchise location in Minooka, Ill. The gym is Biba’s 2nd unit with the fitness brand’s parent franchisor, Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, so he knew the operation had strong potential for success. But even Biba was surprised at just how quickly FitWAVE caught on in his community, rapidly taking on new clients and reaching a couple hundred memberships within just two months of opening.

Biba attributes the size and speed of that membership growth largely to the brand’s group fitness classes, which encourage both referrals and retention.

“There are so many people in this community who prefer to exercise in groups, whether that’s just for the camaraderie or to hold each other accountable,” he said. “We have one group of women who have been doing group programs together for a decade, so when they learned a FitWAVE was opening in town, they signed up immediately. They were here on day one, and because they’re in it together, they keep coming back. It’s a packed class every week.” 

Biba says FitWAVE’s group classes have inspired a snowball of referrals, with each new member recruiting their own partners to join them.

“That’s really the beauty of this model,” Biba said. “One person brings a friend, or even five friends, and then each of them brings a friend the next week. We had a class a week ago with ten people, and this week it had 17. Beyond the referrals, that kind of validation is just incredible.”

But FitWAVE’s member retention isn’t due exclusively to its group glasses. Biba says the brand’s proprietary fitness trackers are a profound motivator to keep members coming back.

“Our trackers allow members to see how many calories they are burning in real-time, which is incredibly exciting, and it motivates people to keep coming back and compete with each other,” he said. 

Because FitWAVE’s programming is designed to accommodate every level of exerciser, Biba says his gym holds broad appeal in his community.

“Our model was designed to be effective for any fitness level, so we get 300-pound athletes who are looking to cut weight as well as slim people who have never lifted a barbell and are looking to dip their toe in the water, and they’re all able to find the results they are looking for,” he said.

Among the diverse demographics drawn to FitWAVE, the brand’s CEO, Jason Markowicz, says parents have become increasingly well represented. 

“We’ve been so excited to see more and more interest from young moms and dads between the ages of 25 and 50,” Markowicz said. “They are really into weight and strength conditioning — especially the dads. It’s fantastic because that is not a mix you tend to see at most gyms, but it has come very organically to FitWAVE, which reflects how well our gyms are attracting larger customer bases than the industry at large.”

On the heels of FitWAVE’s early success in Minooka, the brand is embarking on an ambitious growth plan to establish franchise locations in markets across the country, starting with Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, & Indiana.

“Josh’s success in Minooka is no outlier,” Markowicz said. “It’s entirely in line with how our model was built to quickly scale. We’ve seen this opportunity catch on in every market we’ve entered, and we’re ready to partner with talented, passionate franchisees like Josh in new territories that are absolutely ripe for success.”

To learn more about franchising with FitWAVE, visit

About Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs:

Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs is a fast-growing, 15-location, group-workout gym concept that creates a community with its staff and guests. Backed by franchise executive, Jason Markowicz and his franchisee-focused corporate team, Fitness Premier differentiates itself with great people, culture, and systems compounded by a growth focus in strategic yet smaller markets where some fitness brands would not think to grow. To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit