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What This Former Massage Envy Franchisee Learned Before Becoming a Franchisor

After selling his six locations, former franchise owner Jason Markowicz applied his franchisee-friendly approach to a fitness brand with a low investment and streamlined operational model.

By Alex Lockie1851 Franchise Editor
Updated 5:17PM 05/16/21

Many franchisors can’t say they’ve walked a mile in the shoes of a franchisee. Jason Markowicz can. 

Markowicz’s experience in the industry runs the gamut from franchisee to consultant to franchisor. Long before becoming the CEO of Franchise Fit For You, a franchisee advisory consultancy that is also the multi-brand franchisor behind Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs and fitWAVE, the hustling entrepreneur had already experienced the ups and downs of all aspects of the franchise world.

Markowicz’s journey in franchising started when he was just 22 years old, when he got a job washing gym equipment at a regional fitness chain. At 32, after successfully navigating the storms of the early 2000s and 2008 economies, Markowicz had built up enough wealth to become a franchisee with Massage Envy and a partner with the fitness brand. 

As a part owner of Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, Markowicz drew from his experiences as a franchisee — both the good and bad — to franchise the brand. Then, at 39, he successfully exited Massage Envy and transitioned his focus to growing Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs. At 40, Markowicz bought into another franchise, Prose Nails, a membership-based nail salon. 

“Boy, when I look back at my path, it is completely non-traditional,” Markowicz said. “I built up wealth, lost it, pivoted, and did it again — not once, but multiple times. Sure, I may have a few bumps and bruises, but I am proud of how far we have come.”

Markowicz credits his team’s ability to create a franchisee-first mentality to his experience being a franchisee himself — twice.

“Becoming a franchisee with Massage Envy taught me a ton. I learned what I loved about the franchisor and the things I would do differently from a support standpoint,” he said. “Being a franchisee twice has helped me give my team the tools to make sure we are offering a best-in-franchising opportunity, where we can provide scaffolding to franchisees in areas that need the most support.”

Then, at 41, the pandemic hit.

Markowicz’s experience in nearly every corner of the industry, good and bad, was key to giving the burgeoning franchise leader a blueprint for survival when COVID shutdowns left him with multiple temporarily closed large box fitness locations. Markowicz pivoted.

“Whenever things didn’t work out and we had to take two steps backward, I still hunted for the opportunity in the chaos,” he said. “We were always confident about our growth prospects, but we started seeing a valuable new advantage as prime real estate became available, and we found a way to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs who shared my grit and hunger for success but may not have had the capital to open their own traditional fitness center.”

So, in 2020, Markowicz and his business partner Rick King partnered with industry veteran Josh Chrestman, a former D1 football player and high school wrestling champ, to create fitWAVE, a group-workout concept oriented around 16-week cycles that focus on mobility, core, balance and strength through a series of 60-minute workouts. 

fitWAVE, Markowicz says, was built for the next great franchisee.

“We believe the biggest opportunity in the fitness industry is in a lower-investment and more lifestyle-flexible concept,” he said. “Josh had the program, we had the franchising background, and we had an interested franchisee prospect, who didn’t have the capital to open something big, but could hustle and scale something smaller.

fitWAVE leverages Chrestman’s proven fitness system and Markowicz’s dedication to providing lucrative career opportunities and franchising support to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Chrestman designed the workout to put members through phases, or “waves,” that allow them to reach their peak potential. Markowicz designed the business to be friendly to first-time franchise owners.

fitWAVE offers a flexible footprint that can fit almost any retail space with a scalable concept that goes from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet. And unlike most fitness concepts, which rely on large, densely populated urban markets, fitWAVE was designed to succeed in towns as small as just 15,000, where the average income is $65,000, allowing franchisees to avoid the expensive real estate and demanding regulations that come with larger markets.

Those franchisee-oriented innovations allow fitWAVE to offer dramatically lower startup costs than its competitors: between $92,000 and $200,000, depending on real estate and additional amenities. 

“Our team did a great job of coming through the pandemic, and a lot of valuable new ideas were birthed from the crisis,” Markowicz said. “I’ve been on both sides of the franchisee/franchisor relationship. I have been in every situation that franchisees have been in. We were proud to create solutions for our franchisees during the pandemic, and we are excited to continue offering new solutions and opportunities for franchisees as we continue to grow.”


Franchise Fit For You is a franchisee-first franchisor and franchisee consultancy. It is the franchisor behind low-cost group-fitness franchise fitWAVE as well as Fitness Premier 24/7 Clubs, a larger-box fitness brand. As a franchisee consultancy, Fit For You offers guidance for future franchisees on finding the best fit for their personal and financial goals. Fit For You is run by Jason Markowicz, a former multi-unit franchise owner of Massage Envy and current developer of Prose Nails, a membership-based nail salon. For more information, visit