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VivaFit franchise model is working

Owners: Pedro and Constance Ruiz
Location: VivaFit is a franchise network with 80% market share in Portugal of 50 VivaFit’s, plus 6 Masters: 3 in India, 1 in Singapore, 1 in Uruguay, 1 in Cyprus.
Number of members: approximately 15,000 world-wide
Year opened: 2003 

VivaFit, express gyms for women, has found its niche in five countries and an 80% market share in Portugal. In five years owners Pedro and Constance Ruiz hope to be in as many new markets, if not more.

Focusing only on women with a 30-minute circuit workout, and with a nutritionist available to help members with their eating habits and to put them on a path to becoming healthier, VivaFit has a brand that has a strong foundation.

VivaFit was named one of the fitness leaders in Portugal, according to the IHRSA European Market report.

For more, read on.


Club vision/mission statement: Mission: To motivate women to lose weight and feel great by creating habits of exercise and healthy eating. Vision:  to be a social and disciplined company that succeeds through team spirit.

Classes: Circuit interval, Body Vive, Body Balance, Sh´bam and Pilates.

Offerings: circuit machines, Pilates material and Body Vive material

Innovative ideas at club?: We work with nutritionists who give eating plans and identify the lifestyle of our members based on eating behaviours and coping behaviours. A unique IT platform engages the member while on the eating plan and receiving the change exercises with computer generated nutrition education.

Where you hope the club will be in 5 years?: Our Master Franchisees have just begun their journey with the VivaFit brand, so we hope in 5 years to be well consolidated in 6 different market places as well as growing through more Master Franchise partnerships in the Asia, Middle East and South America.

Area in which you would be of assistance for networking?: Franchises.

Describe area/community club is in: a mix of work & residential areas – near shopping districts as well.
Do you have any community outreach programs: All franchisees work the pillar of community in their marketing efforts – to be involved with local town halls – we do lots of group fitness events in parks and at the beaches with the good weather. This year we contributed over 5 tons of food to two charity groups – which was the amount of weight loss our members had during November and December in 2012 – the food was delivered to Caritas Charity and Help the Baby charity in February. 

How long have you been a member of IHRSA and what IHRSA programs have you instituted and events have you attended?: In 1995 when I worked for Holmes Place, the club was a member and I was able to access the information and read CBI.  In 2003 we founded VivaFit and have been members ever since. We attend regularly the conventions. Some years we attend the European Congress, some years we attend the American convention. We also participated in the European MBA program in Spain in 2006.

Other pertinent information not asked?: We won the IHRSA European Leader award in 2008.  It was a real honor.

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