The fitness industry is growing fast – 54 million Americans are working out and the average number of visits per club is at an all-time high. With continued focus on health, fitness and wellness in America, more franchise concepts are being created to help Americans reach their goals and help solve the issue of widespread obesity rates.
Mark de Gorter, WORKOUT ANYTIME Chief Operating Officer, explains, “Industry stats will tell you that right now 1 in 5 Americans are heading to the gym and paying for a membership. What we’re seeing right now is a proliferation of our segment. On one side you have studios and boutiques with a singular focus, and on the other there is more of a value model.”
While every American may have a different goal in mind, everyone is recognizing the value of fitness and more people are looking to work out than ever before. De Gorter identified a new trend hitting the industry, noting, “18 percent of fitness members now have more than one membership. Americans are starting to customize what they want their fitness routine to be. They may join WORKOUT ANYTIME as well as a Pilates studio due to the low price point at a gym like WORKOUT ANYTIME.”
While fitness trends and fads certainly come and go, the overall industry continues to grow. Here are the top 25 brands helping that growth continue and diversify.
Investment Range: $351,000 - $836,500
WORKOUT ANYTIME is seeing tremendous growth this year at an 85 percent increase and reached its 100th location opening. By the end of 2017, the brand hopes to have 175 clubs open. More than 60 percent of clubs are owned by franchisees that own multiple locations, but all WORKOUT ANYTIME locations are locally owned and operated so that owners can connect with their local communities and the members that they serve. With a low membership cost and 24/7 access, the brand is offering fitness at a value model to combat the top two issues people claim keep them from working out—cost and convenience. In December, the brand plans to test out a small group training program, which is one of the fastest growing trends in the industry.
Snap Fitness 24/7
Investment Range: $118,805-$294,565
The 24-hour fitness center franchise has added 27 units this year. The brand began franchising in 2004 and is expanding globally with CEO, Peter Taunton, with a 30-club development deal for England signed earlier this year as well as a large presence in India. The brand aims to be an affordable and convenient place to work out at any time of the day for customers and currently has over 1,400 clubs.
Investment Range: $424,500 - $980,800
In October of this year, the fast-growing fitness franchise opened its 500th open studio, seeing a 69 percent increase in studio openings in 2016 compared to the same time last year. The brand has studios across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico. The innovative franchise concept includes a 60-minute interval training class to help customers lose weight and meet fitness goals in a short amount of time.
Investment Range: $80,020 - $409,100
In the last year alone, the 24-hour fitness club franchise has opened 307 units. The company is expanding globally and hopes to help customers “become the person they’ve always wanted to be” and be a convenient place to exercise with access to the club even while unstaffed. The company’s quick growth could be due to the fact that more than half of franchisees own more than one location and continue to expand.
Investment Range: $2,218,250 - $5,000,500
Gold’s Gym is known for creating the fitness category in franchising in Venice, California, with bodybuilders as the first customers, later breaking out as a star in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie, “Pumping Iron.” As one of the longest-lasting fitness brands in the industry, Gold’s Gym has 50 years of history and 36 years of franchising experience under its belt. The brand currently has more than 700 gyms and this year announced its plan to grow further in Australia, with 50 gyms opening in the next ten years.
Investment Range: $706,057 - $1,465,507
UFC Gym aims for a new approach to fitness, combining a specialty boutique fitness studio and a wider range of offerings that larger cubs provide. Group fitness classes, private training and MMA-style youth programs can be found at franchise locations. Currently the brand has more than 300 locations under commitment with 140 open in five countries.
Investment Range: $853,390 - $3,669,150
Planet Fitness appeals to the first time gym user or occasional user—you won’t see any meatheads around these gyms. The brand definitely stands out in the fitness industry with monthly pizza nights, bagel mornings and readily available Tootsie Rolls. Along with the clientele it attracts, the franchise brand looks for owners that do not necessarily have a fitness background. With 96 new units this year and 37 new stores opened in the third quarter, the brand is seeing increased revenue and same store sales.
9Round-30 min Kickbox Fitness
Investment Range: $66,600 - $102,700
9Round gyms provide a 30-minute circuit-training format that uses boxing and kickboxing fitness training methods. Unlike many gyms with group training, there are no class times. Show up when you can and train through the workout on your own or with a trainer. A mix of workout, trainer assistance and a nutritional program will provide you with the results you want to feel your best. The brand has been franchising for seven years after professional kickboxer Shannon Hudson founded the company in 2007, and now has 433 locations worldwide.
Investment Range: $72,725 - $92,450
The in-home personal training franchise focuses on one-on-one training, corporate fitness and group fitness. The brand’s fleet of vans travels to local areas with equipment for workouts including bodybuilding, kickboxing, weight training, senior fitness and more. The company has been franchising for two years and has added 24 units in the past year. Looking ahead, GYMGUYZ has announced it will open 100 territories. The “never quit” attitude set by the brand’s leadership extends to its growth strategy with a goal of covering 100 territories by the end of 2016.
Investment Range: $84,600 - $292,900
EnVie Fitness falls into the boutique fitness studio category that focuses on the emerging trend of group fitness. EnVie focuses on training for women who may prefer the security and comfort of a gym environment that is only for females. The brand is quickly becoming a leader in the women’s fitness segment, with 10 locations and plenty of room to grow.
Investment Range: $577,708 - $1,201,802
The affordable memberships and comfortable workout environment are what set Charter Fitness apart from the rest. While making an impact in the fitness industry, the brand also focuses on making a positive effect in each local community it serves.
Investment Range: $941,350 - $1,622,250
By 2020, this fitness franchise plans to grow beyond 700 locations. Currently, the brand has more than 140 locations with 25 new units opened in 2016 so far. Retro Fitness Gyms include circuit training equipment, cardio equipment, a movie theater, group fitness, tanning, and personal training. The Retro Blends smoothie bar offers post-workout supplements and chiropractic services as well.
Investment Range: $93,200 - $199,300
With yoga studios popping up left and right across the U.S., there’s no doubt that the market is exploding, but how can a studio stand out from the rest? YogaFit Studios is a 24-hour yoga franchise that includes virtual and on-demand yoga classes aimed at people who are busy and need yoga to fit into their schedules. Parent company, Lift Brands, also owns Snap Fitness and Steele Fitness, among other fitness brands. To open a location, franchisees need as little as $94,000, which the company claims is much cheaper than other studio opening costs. Snap Fitness owner Peter Taunton plans to have 1,000 YogaFit Studios locations open in the next few years.
Investment Range: $36,750 - $249,700
This children’s fitness franchise aims to help improve the lives of children by developing strength, balance, coordination and flexibility in a fun environment for kids. With child obesity rates rising, My Gym sees the need for more children’s gyms to increase physical fitness opportunities for youth at younger ages. In 2016, the brand has more franchise units outside the U.S. with 264, and 161 across the country. My Gym promotes the satisfaction franchisees feel from running a business that promotes the wellbeing—both physical and mental—of children, the world’s most precious resource.
Brickhouse Cardio Club
Investment Range: $4,850 - $29,250
Brickhouse Cardio Club offers a fitness alternative to the typical weight-lifting treadmill-stacked club. The workout studio is combining dance and aerobics to help customers burn calories and stress by enjoying their workouts. Classes run consistently throughout the day in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere. The fitness industry continues to grow and without expensive equipment to buy, Brickhouse Cardio Club reports that franchisees can open a location in some cases for less than $5,000.
TITLE Boxing Club
Investment Range: $165,350 - $394,827
TITLE Boxing Club is building a franchise system for the oldest sport in the world. Founded by a former professional boxer, the first Title Boxing Club was opened in 2008 and offers group boxing and kickboxing classes designed to help customers burn up to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes. With 151 franchise units sold across the U.S., the brand is looking to expand globally and seeks franchisees that want to get involved with a premium opportunity instead of a settling for a gym franchise. The brand wants franchisees to inspire their members by creating a motivating atmosphere in each and every location.
Investment Range: $185,260 - $396,312
Koko FitClub has reimagined fitness entirely. With the power of digital technology, the brand developed the Koko Smartrainer that emphasizes strength training with computer instruction. Once developed, founder Mike Lannon was ready to sell it to gyms across the country. The only problem was that the fitness industry is so risk-adverse that no one wanted to try the new technology. Instead, Mike and his wife Mary had to start their own fitness brand to start the revolution. Completely different from the typical gym experience boasting loud TVs and bodybuilders, the brand’s studios are quiet and light-filled to give members a quick and efficient workout.
The Exercise Coach
Investment Range: $106,700 - $246,010
The Exercise Coach has created the Smart 20 Method to provide the smartest workout in the world based on revolutionary fitness science and a fitness data platform. With a 20-minute data-driven workout once a week, customers can transform their bodies exactly the way they want in personal training sessions or a small group class. The brand began franchising in 2016 and has close to 40 locations currently.
Investment Range: $304,500 - $2,129,500
The Crunch Fitness brand started small in a New York City East Village basement level studio in 1989 with no locker room. Although small, the mighty gym was on a mission to make exercise fun without judgment and without a certain type of member. With unique offerings like Hip-Hop aerobics and Co-Ed Action Wrestling, Crunch Fitness’s approach was like no other gym in New York. The brand began franchising in 2010 and has sold more than 600 locations in six years. On top of that, the brand announced in October the sale of its 100th unit sold in 2016.
Gymboree Play & Music
Investment Range: $120,392 - $277,455
Gymboree Play & Music has more than 700 franchises in over 40 countries. By combining play and music for interactive children’s play, music, and art development programs, the brand unique approach to fitness has built a loyal following. The company was founded by Joan Barnes in 1976 after realizing the few options available for classes for both infants and parents. With various levels of classes, parents can bring their kids from newborn to 4 years old to participate.
Investment Range: $108,347 - $363,947
Developed in 1997 and franchised in 2007, the CKO Kickboxing concept was designed to include training elements for a total body workout. The franchise aims to target women and men of all ages and fitness levels and members work out by punching and kicking a hanging heavy bag at their own pace without any contact or fighting. Locations include childcare centers and classes for children, which appeals to women, who make up 70 percent of the membership. This year the franchise celebrated its 19th anniversary and opened its 75th location.
Investment Range: $255,650 - $599,300
Brother and sister duo Bill Pryor and Alex Klemmer decided to open a cycling studio in their Boston neighborhood in 2004. With the three key ingredients of a cycling studio--great music, great environment and great instructors—the two knew they had a winning combination. Now the company is franchising with close to 100 units across the U.S. Studios are described as “part sanctuary, part rock concert” with lighting technology for a multisensory experience each ride.
Investment Range: $154,500 - $282,000
Pure Barre’s low-impact exercise program combines elements of Pilates, ballet conditioning and yoga and claims to be the most effective way to change your body. In July of this year, the brand celebrated the opening of the 400th studio, which is three times the number of studios the next largest barre concept in the nation has, with 43 opened in 2016.
Investment Range: $3,530 - $75,750
Jazzercise founder and now CEO Judi Sheppard was teaching jazz dance classes when she decided to create one just for exercise and aerobics in 1969. In 1977 after she had moved to Southern California, she started the Jazzercise program after training other instructors. The company then began franchising six years later. In 2016 the brand reported having 8,000 franchise locations, only counting those in the U.S. Over the years the franchise has grown to offer additional formats to keep customers motivated, including Pilates, yoga, resistance training, kickboxing and modern dance.
Investment Range: $158,252 - $221,657
Like the name suggest, Club Pilates is focused on bringing Pilates and its benefits to everyone in order to have a healthier, richer and fuller life by increasing functional strength and flexibility during classes. It is the largest network of premium Pilates studios in the world with more than 300 locations sold across 27 states. The brand’s turnkey executive model is what helps franchisees create a scalable business. With a limited number of employees needed, a semi-absentee ownership model is possible.
Read 2018 Update - Top Fitness Franchise