The popularity of fitness franchises has surged over the past decade, with many of the same names popping up in every city and town across the U.S.: Planet Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, Crunch Fitness, and more.
If you’re considering starting a business, then buying into a fitness franchise is likely to be less risky than starting your own business alone. As a fitness franchise owner, you can benefit from pre-existing brand recognition, successful business models, an immediate customer base, and dedicated franchisee support.
The fitness industry has a bright future too. Over the past five years, public health initiatives have bolstered the industry, resulting in a U.S. market size of $35bn and over 109,000 businesses. This means more franchise opportunities for interested parties and more gym memberships for the public.
We’ve selected 2022’s top fitness franchises based on growth performance, reputation, transparency, and how well they contribute to their communities.
2022’s Top Fitness Franchises
A Revolutionary Idea
HOTWORX is a fitness franchise that has been considered a revolution for the industry. Instead of going to a traditional gym, customers work out with virtual instructors in a patented infrared sauna (HOTWORX®).
The training (3D Training™) uses infrared heat that penetrates the body, accelerating detoxification. This idea is considered completely unique in the industry, which caught our eyes immediately!
Founded in 2016, HOTWORX has offered franchise locations since February 2017. Now, it has 210 franchised outlets, including several in Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. Franchisers operate 24-hour studios and benefit from multiple revenue streams.
Set for Explosive Growth
HOTWORX is set for explosive growth, with over 1000 location licenses issued. They’ve said another 300 units are on the verge of opening, which will allow HOTWORX to reach its goal of opening 500 locations by the end of 2022.
Credit for its success is largely thanks to its business model. A HOTWORX studio maximizes revenue potential with a workout schedule that allows for up to 554 small group training sessions per day, with ten 3-person infrared saunas operating around the clock.
This allows HOTWORX franchisees to run 1,570 individual sessions each day!
HOTWORX has also developed a mobile app for members, allowing them to record and track their calorie-burning across HOTWORX sessions. Franchisees are big fans of the app, with improved membership retention and a boost in new member sign-ups.
Long Term Players
The fitness franchise describes itself as an organization of “long term players that can build a powerful business momentum” and “not short term takers”. HOTWORX franchisees typically sign an initial contract of up to 10 years, with a renewal length of 5 years.
HOTWORX’s management team boasts years of experience in franchising and membership sales. There are also dedicated, skilled franchise executives that support the system.
HOTWORX has made charitable donations over the years, including the donation of their patented infrared saunas to non-profit retreat centers.
The franchise is considered low risk, with no lawsuits or bankruptcies against its name.
HOTWORX Franchise Summary
- A unique and patented concept, featuring infrared saunas and virtual instructors.
- According to Franchise Grade, HOTWORX’s initial franchise fee is $19,950, with a total investment of between $188,070 and $351,885.
- Their royalty fee is $550 per month, which may be positive or negative depending on how much profit you generate.
- Their franchise grade is B.
4. Anytime Fitness
An Industry Giant
Anytime Fitness is a goliath in the fitness industry, with a goal to “improve the self-esteem of the world”. As the world’s largest coed, 24-hour fitness franchise, it’s found on all seven continents. It has sold over 4,700 locations and has 4 million members worldwide. They even opened an outlet in Antarctica!
They pride themselves on upholding a positive, encouraging, and supportive environment for both members and employees. Alongside a standard gym fare, customers can enjoy a range of services from yoga and spin classes to personal training and Zumba.
Formed in February 2002, Anytime Fitness began offering franchises later that year and then ‘Anytime Fitness Express’ franchises in 2006. Since then, it’s exploded into a proven success across the board. 60% of existing franchisees own more than one club following initial success.
By offering 24/7 gyms, Anytime Fitness has seen ongoing, consistent growth. Its website claims to have one new member join its club every minute.
Anytime Fitness generally requires the industry average net wealth requirements of around $300,000 and a liquid capital requirement of $100,000.
Anytime Fitness franchises sign an initial term of six years (ten years in California) with a renewal term of five years. Royalty and advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of gross sales, but there are monthly flat rates that make expense management easier.
Like many franchises, Anytime Fitness also offers master franchisee purchases. This can gain you the exclusive rights to sub-franchise Anytime Fitness’ concept within their international geographic region (such as city, state or country). But this comes at a significantly higher cost.
Prospective franchisees can also feel reassured thanks to low royalty fees, reductions on equipment expenses, dedicated marketing support, and in-person training for 61 hours.
Anytime Fitness Reputation
Some people may be concerned about Anytime Fitness’ reputation in the industry following a lawsuit filed against the franchise for COVD-19 insurance coverage. However, this was dismissed by a federal judge.
Anytime Fitness has an official charitable giving program, called ‘HeartFirst Charitable Foundation®‘. This program aims to advance, promote, support and administer charitable projects. These include projects that help veterans and active duty service members to start their own Anytime Fitness clubs and projects that support the integration of disabilities in sports.
Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief said, “By maintaining steady, sustained growth over several years, these franchises have demonstrated that they have the systems in place to support their franchisees and help them become successful. They may see their growth slow, but that record of success could prove more important than ever.”
Anytime Fitness Franchise Summary
- Worldwide trusted brand for helping people get fit and into shape.
- Franchise Grade reports an initial franchise fee of between $25,000 and $42,500.
- $98,430 to $523,824 total initial investment.
- Royalty fees are calculated as a percentage of gross sales.
- Franchise Grade: A
3. Pure Barre
The Leading Bare Fitness Franchise
Pure Barre is the largest and most established ‘barre’ fitness franchise, with over 500 studios across North America. Worldwide it has over 555,000 clients and 760 studios, making it one of the fastest-growing fitness franchises. Pure Barre has recently started to branch out to Germany and Austria.
Formed in 2008, Pure Barre claims to be the oldest barre studio around and has been offering franchises since 2009. It generates revenue through signature classes, teacher training and premium workout clothes.
Pure Barre’s mission is to improve lives through affordable, studio-quality classes that promote education and community engagement. Its classes include strength, cardio and flexibility.
Barre is a type of exercise that incorporates movements derived from ballet. It has a history dating back to 1959. But in the past decade, it has seen a huge boom in popularity.
With a relatively low-cost entry, a recurring revenue model and applaudable EBITDA margins have led to continued growth since its formation.
Pure Barre’s franchise model is designed for complete scalability, so franchisees can determine success at their own rate.
Franchisees will also receive an initial training program of 194 hours, including 94 hours in the classroom and 100 hours on the job. They also provide comprehensive support, including in real estate, construction and design, sales, recruitment, and marketing.
Pure Barre seeks investors with more than $100,000 in liquid assets and a net worth of at least $500,000. There is also the master franchisee availability.
Pure Barre Reputation
Pure Barre has been ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 List consistently in recent years (222nd in 2022) and is considered the barre franchise in North America. It is also ranked 107th as the fastest-growing franchise worldwide by Entrepreneur.
Its franchises have also made charitable actions, such as donating over $175,000 to charities in a fundraising challenge and efforts to fight child hunger.
Pure Barre Franchise Summary
- Franchise Grade reports an initial franchise fee of $60,000.
- A total investment of $204,100 to $461,700.
- 7% royalty fee of gross sales and a marketing fee of 2% of gross sales.
- Franchise Grade: B
2. Yoga Six
Modern Approach to Yoga
Yoga Six is one of the most popular fitness franchises in the yoga niche. Which is an impressive achievement!
With a modern approach to wellness, it features teachers trained in the ‘YogaSix’ methodology to provide a consistent and customized route to improved wellness. YogaSix covers a range of classes including yoga, pilates and barre.
Yoga Six is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and is backed by the largest franchisor of boutique fitness brands, Xpotential Fitness.
Formed in 2018 in Delaware, Yoga Six has grown at lightning speeds despite the impacts of the pandemic. They have issued over 500 total franchise agreements and recently hit 100 different studio locations. It has also expanded overseas, including in Saudi Arabia.
Yoga Six fitness franchisees will enjoy comprehensive support following 96 hours of initial training. Training includes 60 classroom hours, 33 hours on the job and 13 hours online.
Franchise agreements are for an initial ten years, with five years renewal terms.
Yoga Six Reputation
Yoga Six has no pending serious lawsuits to its name and has yet to have a location close in the U.S.
It has its own fundraising, ‘Flow for a Cause’, which aims to partner with local organizations and charities. Funds are typically raised through donation-based classes and events. All event proceeds are donated.
Yoga Six Franchise Summary
- Franchise Grade reports an initial franchise fee of $60,000.
- A total investment of $288,620 to $498,720.
- 7% royalty fees and 2% ad fees.
- Franchise Grade: C
Modern, Top-Rate Golf Simulation
X-Golf is an indoor, virtual golf franchise that is pouncing on a rapidly growing industry. While golf facilities are launching across the U.S., X-Golf stands out with state-of-the-art simulators providing for a more immersive experience.
After 15 years of research, X-Golf’s simulators use high-speed cameras and laser optics to provide 98% accuracy in every swing. Customers can enjoy famous golf courses without travel and improve their game with instant performance analytics. PGA professionals provide lessons and tournament prizes include 6-figure winnings.
Customers report that the short game is unmatched in the virtual golf industry.
In the growing VR market, X-Golf is staking its claim on golf domination early. X-Golf launched the first-ever virtual golf tournament for professionals in Australia.
Comprehensive Franchisee Support
Franchisees will also enjoy revenue from food and drink served in sports bars. This is in addition to marketing support, real estate site selection, store fit-out, customer relations training, supplier relationships and discounts, IT training and implementation, and business development support.
X-Golf franchisees receive 41 hours of training, including 24 hours of classroom training and 17 on the job.
With an initial investment fee of $30,000, X-Golf could be considered on the more affordable side for anyone looking to invest in a franchise.
X-Golf is seeking golf fans with a net wealth requirement of $200,000 and liquid capital of $100,000. This is considered below the average for popular fitness franchises.
X-Golf has a clean reputation with no lawsuits against it and no history of bankruptcy. It was ranked 254th in Entrepreneur’s 2022 Top 500 Franchises.
X-Golf Franchise Summary
- Franchise Grade reports an initial investment fee of $30,000.
- A total investment of $547,200 – $900,000.
- 6% royalty fees and 1% ad fees.
- Franchise Grade: B
What about ______ Fitness Franchise?
Great question! These aren’t the only fitness franchises, just the ones that really stood out this year. If you don’t think the above franchises are right for you, here are some other franchise opportunities:
How to Finance a Fitness Franchise
All of the popular fitness franchises listed above are approved by the small business administration, allowing potential business owners to finance their dreams through SBA loans or other financing methods.
If any of these franchises have piqued your interest, contact Guidant Financial today! We can guide potential franchisees through the process of using SBA loans or even retirement funds (tax and penalty-free), to make your fitness franchise dream a reality!