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The Great Franchisee: Steve Champagne, GYMGUYZ, Chattanooga, TN

The former hospital worker is channeling his passion for health and wellness into business ownership with the fast-growing fitness franchise.

By Matt Puttin1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 9:09AM 04/09/21

When Steve Champagne decided to take a step back from health care, the industry he’d built an 18-year career in, he knew he wanted to continue dedicated himself to keeping people healthy, but he didn’t expect to open up his own business. That changed when he discovered GYMGUYZ, the 250-plus-unit fitness franchise that has been growing rapidly across the U.S, U.K., and Canada. Now, Champagne is one of the newest franchisees with the fast-growing franchise, and he’s preparing to open his territory in Chattanooga, Tennessee later this year.

1851 Franchise: Tell us your story – what did you do before franchising?

Steve Champagne: In January 2020, I had been working in the health care industry for 18 years, and I decided to take a step back. Although I loved my company, it was time for me to move on to something new. While working in hospitals, I spoke with patients who were in the hospital for different reasons. I often heard patients say they wished they had taken better care of themselves and that they were afraid of not having support at home after physical therapy.  These statements really drove me. I knew I wanted my next career to revolve around keeping people healthy.

1851: How did you initially find out about franchising, and what was your perception of franchising before becoming a franchise owner?

Champagne: Before leaving my job in healthcare, I did not have a strong knowledge of franchising. At that point in my life, I wasn’t completely sure what my next career move would be, so I  connected with a career coach to help me understand the different directions I could move in. Prior to speaking to the career coach, I thought franchising would be way too expensive, but once I learned it was possible, I stopped looking at other business options.

1851: How did you decide you wanted to be a franchisee?

Champagne: After speaking with my career coach, and realizing that franchising was a way to own a business while also having corporate support, I researched several franchise options.  I chose the best fit that would help me realize my passion for helping people with their health needs. 

1851: How did you perform your research?

Champagne: The career coach I used gave me three different franchise opportunities based on my wants and needs. I met with the franchise development team, corporate members and other franchisees for all three companies. It was a multifaceted approach that allowed me to get a good idea of accessibility and support.

1851: Why did you pick GYMGUYZ? What excited you most about the brand’s potential?

Champagne: After speaking with all of the GYMGUYZ team members, it was immediately clear that the quality of the team at the franchise exceeded my expectations. I was excited to have the freedom of owning a business, but also have a fully knowledgeable corporate team for support.

1851: What are your dreams with the business? What does the future look like?

Champagne: After getting my footing as an owner and operator, I hope to move to an executive model where I have a developed territory. My short-term goal is to build up brand awareness and hire approximately 10 employees, but in the long run, I would like to develop the territory and possibly expand into another territory.

1851: What advice would you have for others looking at buying a franchise?

Champagne: It is important to never stop learning and to never lose sight of the possibilities. There was a time where I definitely did not think franchising could be something I could afford, but now, after educating myself on the possibilities, I am about to open my own franchise.

1851: What do you do in your personal time?

Champagne: One of the reasons I was most excited to move to Chattanooga was the amazing weather because I love to be outdoors as much as possible, fishing, mountain biking, white water rafting, and going for walks with my wife and three big dogs. 



GYMGUYZ is No. 1 in Personal Training, providing convenient, customized, and creative workouts at home or wherever you are. Headquartered in Plainview, N.Y., and founded in 2008 by fitness specialist Josh York, the mobile brand utilizes a fleet of signature red vans to bring the certified personal trainer, equipment, and workout to customers’ doors. In 2019, the brand was recognized as No. 5 on Inc. Mag's 10 Hottest Franchise Businesses in America which highlighted their growth of more than 801% over the last three years. GYMGUYZ also scored the second-place spot on Franchise Gator’s annual list of the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Franchises and received recognition as a top Franchise in Entrepreneur's Highly Competitive 41st Annual Franchise 500. Now with over 250 locations internationally, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, GYMGUYZ is one of the fastest-growing fitness concepts in the U.S. with plans to open another 100+ locations globally in the coming year. For more information on GYMGUYZ and franchising opportunities, visit