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Marine Corps Veteran Looks Forward to Making his Workout Anytime Gym Family-Friendly

When Byers wanted a family-friendly gym but couldn’t find one, he dove headfirst into franchising with Workout Anytime to create the atmosphere he craved for his children.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 05/18/24

Joe Byers leapt into the world of franchising within the span of 45 minutes and hasn’t looked back. Byers spent six years serving in the Marine Corps before taking on a vending route and working for Publix in the civilian world. He wasn’t necessarily looking for a business venture when he stumbled upon the opportunity to own a Workout Anytime gym. 

His children are involved in wrestling and martial arts, and he has worked out all his life. He had been looking for a family-friendly workout facility in his area but had no luck for years. When he came across an online ad listing a Workout Anytime location for sale in his area, he jumped at the opportunity.

He feels as though many gyms have lost their community feel and hopes to bring a more sociable approach to working out with his new facility. 

“Some gyms used to be this way, but now a lot of gyms have everyone off in their own little corner,” said Byers. “I like the family-friendly atmosphere where people are excited to go and interact. When I was younger, we would go to the gym just to see our friends.”

He has already sponsored his son’s wrestling team and invited instructors, parents and kids from within his family’s martial arts community to join as members at his Workout Anytime location in Fort Pierce, Florida.

1851 Franchise spoke with Byers about his journey into franchising and his plans for the future.


1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Byers: Initially I was in the Marine Corps for six years. Then, I had a vending route. I sold Cape Cod chips and things like that, and before that I worked for Publix.

My kids are really interested in martial arts and I couldn’t find a good place for them to work out. I wanted a family-friendly atmosphere, and I came across an ad online for someone selling their Workout Anytime location. I immediately jumped in the car and drove to that location. The owner said he was about to take the ad down just before I walked in, because he wasn’t sure whether he should go forward with selling or not, but I got there just at the right time. My mind was made up in 45 minutes.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Byers: I knew nothing about it. I honestly still know very little about it. Nothing has been very surprising; I’m only about a month in so far. I’ve had the corporate meeting in Atlanta; it has been very quick. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Byers: This is something new for me. I hadn’t heard of this brand before, and I didn’t know this gym was here, and I’ve been in this area for years. 

I’ve worked out all my life. There are so many new gyms out there. This provided a new opportunity for me that I’m really looking forward to. It’s a good gym; Workout Anytime is small as a brand but it’s growing quickly. Everyone seems really excited about the concept.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Byers: I want to expand this location first, but I’ve also been looking into buying other locations. I am really invested in the sports world. I have brought a lot of sports people here already; I sponsored my son’s wrestling team and reached out to the martial arts instructors that teach my kids, as well as other parents and their kids from our martial arts community. There is a lot of functional strength training and speed training happening in our gym now.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Byers: I am trying to make this a family atmosphere. Some gyms used to be this way, but now a lot of gyms have everyone off in their own little corner. I like the family-friendly atmosphere where people are excited to go and interact. When I was younger, we would go to the gym just to see our friends. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Byers: The biggest thing is to make sure you’re prepared for the financial aspects. Do a lot of research on this. You get a lot more support than you would if you were just opening your own business independently, but this does come with a few added costs. It’s a good trade-off to have all that extra help; you have a whole team behind you. Someone is there to help you with the gym equipment, the software, the architectural plans and everything else. 

Unless you’ve done this multiple times before, the franchise route is the easier way to go.


Atlanta-based Workout Anytime is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fitness concept with 190 units across the U.S. Founded by fitness veterans John Quattrocchi and Steve Strickland, the company was formed to provide members with first-class fitness facilities at the lowest cost possible while delivering a profitable and affordable business model to franchisees. Built on the founders’ motto of “think big, keep it simple and do it with integrity,” Workout Anytime is preparing for significant expansion into new territories across the U.S. and Central America by providing opportunities to business-minded entrepreneurs. Franchise opportunities are available, and more information can be found on

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.