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Entries in Anytime Fitness (48)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: IHRSA Global 25 Profiles Fastest Growing Companies

The IHRSA Global 25 Profiles Fitness Industry Leaders
IHRSA released The IHRSA Global 25, outlining the top 25 health club companies worldwide. The annually compiled list recognizes top players in terms of revenue, number of memberships, and number of facilities according to Club Business International magazine. “Continued robust performance and innovation from leading club companies attests to the industry’s strength and potential for growth,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products in a press release. As a whole, the industry’s worldwide revenues increased to $83.1 billion in 2016. Top leaders in the list highlighted include LA Fitness International, which grew to 689 owned locations. Planet Fitness led in overall revenue at $1.9 billion and led with 8.9 million members, and franchise leader Anytime Fitness climbed to 3,443 locations worldwide, topping the charts in both 5-year revenue and 5-year unit growth metrics. Learn more about the IHRSA Global Report.

First Chinese Fitness Franchise License Granted to Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness has become the first U.S. fitness franchise granted license in China, according to a release. Dave Mortensen, the company’s president and cofounder, will join master franchisee Maurice Levine in Shanghai June 27-28 to align efforts with suppliers and local supporters on expansion. Anytime Fitness has seven locations already open in China with twenty new agreements signed and anticipates 300-500 gyms in China by 2020. “We’re in the business of building communities and helping people achieve their goals, something that transcends across borders,” Mortensen said in a press release. Levine also owns the franchise rights for Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. In less that three years he has grown the franchise across six countries in Asia and 150 territories, becoming the number one gym operator by number of outlets in Asia. According to the release, more than 99% of the Chinese population does not have a gym membership and Anytime Fitness’s plan is to curb the culture to a more fitness oriented one.

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: 700 Anytime Fitness Gyms to Host Free Outdoor Workouts

700 Anytime Fitness Gyms to Host Free Outdoor Workouts
Hundreds of Anytime Fitness gyms will host free outdoor exercise events nationwide, according to a release. The “May Free Workouts” began in 2015 as a grassroots effort by a few Anytime Fitness gyms, and has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical activity. About 700 facilities are expected to participate, hosting activites such as yoga in the park, Zumba classes, kickboxing lessons, and tug-of-war competitions. “We believe a healthy lifestyle is achievable for anyone,” said Chuck Runyon, co-founder & CEO of Anytime Fitness. “May Free Workouts are designed to encourage community members to get up and move in an active, motivating atmosphere. Because when fitness is enjoyable and done in an encouraging, fun environment, it becomes easy to reach your goals.”

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Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, GoodLife Fitness: Perennial Leaders of IHRSA's Global 25

Any company that can maintain a leadership position within an industry for five or more years must have success embedded in its DNA. But just as DNA strands differ, no two companies share the same road map to long-term viability.

Every business leader can point to certain attributes that have helped to set their company apart—its clearly stated mission and commitment to it; its highly knowledgeable and experienced management team; its well-trained, customer-focused staff—or its business model, which solves a problem for consumers, or serves their needs better than anyone else.

CBI spoke with three such organizations, Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and GoodLife Fitness, about the story behind their rise to prominence, and their ability to maintain their front-runner status—year after year, on the IHRSA Global 25 lists—in an increasingly competitive‚Ä® club environment.

Anytime Fitness: It’s About Flexibility 

Anytime Fitness, Singapore

Compared to privately—or even publicly—owned brands, franchisors face a particular challenge. They need to maintain quality and uniformity in their offerings, yet there’s only so much they can dictate to franchisees—who tend to be entrepreneurial by nature—before they begin to rebel.

What sets Anytime Fitness apart, noted Chuck Runyon, the cofounder and president of the 3,200-unit franchisor, based in Chanhassen, MN, is its ability to leverage that desire for independence and flexibility to its distinct advantage, helping to keep the company in the IHRSA Global 25 for well over a decade.

“We’ve intentionally designed elasticity into the model, and our gym operators have the space and autonomy they need and want to offer small-group, functional, virtual, and traditional personal training to our members,” he said. “This approach harnesses the varying expertise and passion of our diverse ownership group, and they appreciate the nimbleness this methodology affords.”

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24 Hour Fitness: Transformative People, Transformative Message 

24 Hour Fitness, Kew Gardens, NY

24 Hour Fitness has been an IHRSA Global 25 stalwart since CBI began tracking the leading international players nearly 20 years ago. While the well-run San Ramon, CA–based organization can point to a wide range of factors that can account for its stellar decade-over-decade success, company CEO Mark Smith puts its management team squarely atop the list—dating back to the days of founder Mark Mastrov, now the principal in New Evolution Ventures (NeV), a private equity firm.

“24 Hour Fitness has been a successful business for over 30 years because we’ve built it with a talented team of executives, and field and club leadership with great expertise,” Smith said. “In fact, the company already had a strong, established executive group when Frank Napolitano and I came on board in 2014, and, because of that, our goal was to make as few changes as possible.“

The individuals that have been added to the leadership team are helping to enhance and strengthen the strategy already in place, and they’ve already had a positive impact on the business.

“For example, Lashaun Dale, our vice president of content and programming, has brought innovation and unique studio-style programs to group exercise. Richard Boyd, who joined us as senior vice president of fitness and strategic initiatives, has been spearheading our new group training programs. And we were fortunate to be able to bring on industry veteran Bobby Cappuccio as director of training,” he said.

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GoodLife Fitness: Moving with the Market

GoodLife Fitness, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada

Very few companies have managed to accomplish what GoodLife Fitness has. Based in London, Ontario, Canada, the company has been thriving for more than 35 years with the same owner in place.

CEO David “Patch” Patchell-Evans, a five-time Canadian rowing champion, marathoner, and avid heli-skier, has been at the helm since he founded GoodLife in 1979.

Patchell-Evans encapsulates the chain’s strategy in one word: growth—particularly as it relates to ensuring that GoodLife has locations wherever members want to work out.

“We’ve always had a key focus on growth,” he said. “We know that one of the biggest factors in ensuring that people continue to work out on a regular basis is having convenient locations close to their work or home. Because of our size and breadth, Canadians can work out almost anywhere in Canada, and in much of the U.S., through our reciprocal agreement with 24 Hour Fitness.”

Continue reading "GoodLife Fitness: Moving with the Market."


New Anytime Fitness App Brings Fitness Into the Sharing Economy

AyrGym will allow people to rent their home fitness equipment by the hour

Hastings, MN (April 1, 2016) – In a move designed to help Baby Boomers and GenXers meet the growing digital expectations of millennials, Anytime Fitness today announced that it is developing an app called “AyrGym” that will match the owners of home fitness equipment with people who need a workout but lack a gym membership.

“It’s time for ‘Netflix and Chill’ to meet ‘AyrGym and Sweat,’” said Anytime Fitness CEO and co-founder Chuck Runyon. “The fact is, most home fitness equipment ends up being used as coat racks, dust magnets, and cat litter platforms. We’re telling people: Hey, you’re already monetizing your car with Uber and your home with Airbnb. Why not your treadmill with AyrGym?” 

Using advanced geolocation technology and user-driven ratings and reviews, AyrGym will allow users to find nearby residences that have exactly the equipment they need—from treadmills, elliptical machines, and weights to stationary bikes, stair steppers, yoga mats, stability balls, resistance bands, and thigh-toners formerly endorsed by ‘70s TV celebrities.  Equipment owners, or “Workout Enablers,” will set rates based on market conditions. “Workout Seekers” will then be empowered to exercise wherever they want.

“AyrGym is an impactful, game-changing paradigm shift delivering a visionary value-add for homepreneurs and Digital Native fitness-hacking binge-exercisers,” said Anytime Fitness President and Co-founder Dave Mortensen.

“I think what Dave means is that we’re helping people turn their bench presses into Benjamins,” clarified Runyon.  “But for those who want something more than AyrGym—like convenient, affordable, 24/7 access to top-notch fitness equipment coupled with classes and coaching in a safe and supportive environment—another option is to join the world’s 3 million Anytime Fitness members.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: New Anytime Fitness HQ To Feature Luxe Amenities 

New Anytime Fitness Headquarters Will Include a Zip Line and Tattoo Parlor
Anytime Fitness’ new corporate campus will feature high-end amenities, including a rock climbing wall, a zip line, an obstacle course, biking and hiking trails, and a smoothie bar that becomes a cocktail bar by night, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports. Staff will have access to all of these facilities when the new space opens in Hastings, MN, this spring. “Anytime Fitness owners and east metro creative entrepreneurs Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen decided to lay down the gauntlet and up the ante by adding an on-site tattoo parlor at the new corporate campus,” the Pioneer Press reports. “Why? Members and franchisees of the world’s fastest-growing fitness club chain are so passionate about the brand that more than 3,000 of them have tattooed themselves with the company’s Running Man logo.” 

Study: Millennials Are Serious About Running
Millennials make up nearly half of all runners in the U.S. and are seriousi about the sport, according to a study sponsored by RacePartner, Running USA, and Achieve, reports. The study surveyed more than 15,000 runners born between 1980 and 2000 and found that upwards of 80% are frequent or serious runners. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said they ran some sort of event last year and 76% said they run all year long. “They haven’t always been runners, though. About half of respondents have been running less than five years, and about one-third have been running for six to 10 years,” the article states. “Basically, they’re responsible for the creation and success of bouncy-house 5Ks, mud runs, dine-and-dash races, and every other wacky running opportunity you've heard of in the last few years.”

Adidas Partners with Yoga Lifestyle Event Company
Adidas announced it forged a multi-year partnership with Wanderlust, a yoga lifestyle event company geared toward elevating millennial fitness engagement, Adidas said in a release. The goal of the partnership is to pair Wanderlust events with Adidas products. Highlights for the partnership in the coming year include Adidas being a presenting partner of Wanderlust’s U.S.-based events and Adidas presenting the largest yoga venue, running, and hiking programs for Wanderlust’s four multi-day summer festivals. “The landscape of sport is changing and it is the female versatile athlete who is leading this shift. She is dedicated to maintaining an active lifestyle and yoga plays a key role in her fitness routine,” Nicole Vollebregt, Adidas’ head of women’s, said in the statement. “The partnership with Wanderlust allows us to reach these women in a new and exciting way as they participate and bond together in a broad range of sports at events across the US.”

High-Impact Exercise Helps Men Strengthen Bones, Prevent Osteoporosis
Men who engage in high-impact exercises and resistance training as teenagers and young adults are likely to have greater bone density by middle age, according to a study published in the American Journal of Men's Health. The study’s researchers, who analyzed data compiled from 203 men aged 30 to 65, said the resulting higher bone density may prevent osteoporosis. "While osteoporosis is commonly associated with only postmenopausal women, it is, in fact, a serious issue for men as well," said the study’s lead author. "Indeed, research has shown that the consequences of osteoporosis can be much worse for men, as they are less likely to be diagnosed and are at a greater mortality risk from fractures that occur as a result of a fall."

Incorporating Exercise into Children’s Lessons May Enhance Learning
A new study suggests that lessons that integrate exercise into learning may help children get better grades—particularly when it comes to memorization. Reuters reports that the small Dutch study, which focused on 500 students in second and third grade, found the group that received instruction supplemented with physical activity had significantly higher scores in math and spelling than their peers who received traditional lessons. "Previous research showed effects of recess and physical activity breaks," the study’s lead author said. "However, we think that the integration of physical activity into academic lessons will result in bigger effects on academic achievement.”


This Week in the Fitness Industry: 3 Leading Health Club Chain CEOs Talk to CNN Money

3 Leading Health Club Chain CEOs Discuss Profitability, Strategy
CEOs from several leading health club chains, including Equinox, Planet Fitness, and Anytime Fitness, discussed their profitability and strategies with CNN Money. The article examines the differences in the companies’ business models and target demographics, noting that their diverse methods have led each of them to earning about $1 billion in annual sales. "It's Darwinism, survival of the fittest," Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon told CNN. "It makes every single club owner have to perform better, invest back in their business."

Study: Upping Exercise May Not Translate to More Calories Burned
Increasing exercise does not necessarily increase calories burned, according to a study by researchers at City University of New York. The study found that, while upping physical activity to expend more calories works to a point, the body ultimately adjusts to keep energy use stable. For the study, researchers examined energy expenditure in 332 adults, age 25 to 45, from populations in Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica, and the U.S. They found that energy expenditure increased alongside increases in physical activity for less active people—but at higher levels of activity, calorie burn plateaued. “I think this paper adds to what we’ve known for a while now, (that) diet is a more effective tool for weight loss than exercise,” the study’s lead author told Reuters. “You still need to exercise, I’m not saying it can’t help with weight loss, exercise is super important for your health.”

Virgin Active, Planet Fitness Find Success in Africa
Virgin Active’s 120 health clubs in South Africa are thriving, and its success has the global brand considering expanding throughout Africa, The Economist reports. In addition to South Africa, the company runs two gyms in Namibia, one in Botswana, and is planning to open a location in Kenya later this year. Virgin is also thinking of opening sites in Ghana and Zambia. “While Virgin Active runs swanky health clubs with fluffy towels and shoeshine services, its popular Jabulani gym is a no-frills branch with lower fees,” The Economist said. “A rival chain, Planet Fitness, has found success with a similar lower-cost model. In places such as Dakar, where gyms are few and expensive, residents take to the beach for group workout sessions.”

Millennials’ ‘Social Fitness’ is Changing the Sports Industry
The millennial generation’s social approach to fitness has changed the sports industry, said a Forbes contributor. Unlike baby-boomers, who are prone to purchasing fitness equipment to get in shape, millennials pursue a healthy lifestyle through experiences with friends. “Millennials, unlike boomers, do not want to be defined by their activities. They would be more inclined than the older generation to say, ‘I run, but I’m not a runner.’ Millennials do not want to be classified based on a particular fitness activity. Instead, they want to try lots of different activities and share these experiences with friends, making fitness activities social ones.”

Fitbit Hopes New Fitness Tracker Will Invigorate Brand
Fitbit’s latest wearable tracker, the Alta, is expected to start shipping in North America in March and become available worldwide in April, TechCrunch reports. The tracker comes with a $130 price tag and the potential to breathe new life into Fitbit’s product line; the company’s stock price fell after it announced the Blaze smart fitness watch at CES 2016. “This is the company’s first mainstream product launch since January 2015 when the company started shipping the Charge HR — which itself was just a follow-up to a previous Fitbit product,” TechCrunch said. “Fitbit is likely counting on the Alta to keep the company at the forefront of the fitness tracker scene.”


Anytime Fitness Celebrates 3,000th Gym

Not many health clubs can say they expanded more quickly than famous brands, such as McDonalds, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts—but IHRSA member Anytime Fitness can.

The world’s largest co-ed health club chain will open its 3,000th gym in Stroud, England, later this month and has announced agreements to open new clubs in Sweden and Italy. While Anytime Fitness expanded to that many locations in only 13 years, it took McDonalds, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts 20, 22, and 37 years, respectively.

The Cambridge, MN-based health club chain will soon open its 100th gym in Japan, adding to its nearly 1,000 locations outside of the U.S., in 21 countries as diverse as China, India, and Qatar.

“A very small percentage of U.S.-based franchises can say that nearly one-third of their units are located outside the United States,” Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, said in a release. “It’s proof that our business model is attractive to potential franchisees and consumers worldwide.  In fact, 2015 will likely be the first year that we open more gyms internationally than in the U.S.”

Runyon will celebrate the 3,000th club opening in England on November 24. He and the club founders attribute the rapid growth of the franchise to a focus on convenience, affordability, and a friendly, non-intimidating club atmosphere. As a result, Anytime Fitness ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500 list.

“We’ll be offering new programs and classes, that’s for sure,” Runyon said of the health club’s plans for the future.  “But we also want our members to be able to rely on our trainers and staff for nutritional and fitness information during the 165 hours each week that they’re not in the gym—not merely the two or three hours each week that they typically exercise in our facilities.”


Keeping Your Members and Their Belongings Safe

You spend a lot of time and money keeping your club clean, polished, and full of the latest amenities and fitness equipment in hopes of attracting new members and retaining the ones you have.

All that effort is worth it to keep your club successful.

But there’s something of a downside: The more attractive your club is to honest consumers, the more appealing it may be to thieves and other lawbreakers.

Your members, who are likely to be fairly affluent individuals who come and go on a regular basis, are the perfect targets for crimes of various sorts.

The bad guys may be eyeing everything from the cars your members drive, to the expensive, high-tech devices they bring with them when they work out, to their credit card numbers and other information related to their identity.

When it comes to crime, pretending that potential problems don’t exist doesn’t make any sense. Better, instead, to rely on the latest technology, as well as some old-school, time-tested methods to safeguard your club, your members—and your reputation.


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Parisi Speed Schools Tops Best Gyms List

The Active Times recently announced its 2015 America's Best Gyms list and Parisi Speed Schools came out on top.

Plenty of other IHRSA members were on the list of 31, including Anytime Fitness, Nike World Headquarters, Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning and 24 Hour Fitness.

The results were from Active Times asking readers to vote for the clubs of their choice. Readers were also asked to list important factors in a good club. Among them were cleanliness, community and cost.

Check out the entire list at The Active Times.


Report: Americans Have Time to Exercise, But Don't

Perfectly timed with President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, Anytime Fitness has announced key points in its Weight of the Union report.

The report, now in its fifth edition, uses in-depth information of the health and fitness habits of Americans. This year's big findings are that those in the U.S. have difficulties meeting weight and fitness goals. The report shows that Americans feel they have the time to work out and exercise more, but just don't.

The Weight of the Union also includes tips and suggestions to get past the hurdles.

“Making weight loss goals too big can make getting started feel daunting,” said Shannon Fable, director of Exercise Programming at Anytime Fitness, in a press release. “The key is to come up with one manageable goal that you can begin acting on immediately. Then, once you’ve made progress there, continue making changes to keep on your path to self-improvement. It can be as simple as making sure you get your 8 glasses of water a day or walking half an hour more each week than you do right now.”

Other findings include:

  • 88% of adults at some point have not been happy with their weight or physical shape.
  • 33% can pinpoint the time they first were dissatisfied under the age of 18.
  • 40% people admit they could use  help getting started on a fitness program.

For more on the Weight of the Union, visit the Anytime Fitness website.