In Brief:

      • In 2017, health club industry revenue rose 7.8% from $30 billion to $32.3 billion.
      • In the U.S. alone, more than 62 million people have or have had a gym membership in the past year. This figure represents a massive customer base.
      • Gym franchises are some of the most lucrative franchises on the market because customers typically must pay an ongoing membership fee.

Increasing fitness and health awareness have led to gym franchises and fitness clubs sprouting everywhere. According to an IHRSA report, the global industry has seen an upward trend every year since 2008 and last year it had revenues totaling a whopping $94 billion

In the United States alone, the health club industry revenue increased by 7.8%, going from $30 billion in 2017 to $32.3 billion in 2018. It’s safe to say that the upward trend of customers investing in health club and gym memberships is likely to continue. 

For those of you planning to open a gym or health club, there are two choices – start an independently owned gym or open a gym franchise. Starting an independent gym can be risky and may require a lot of work, as opposed to opting for a gym franchise that already has an established business model and brand. 

Here we focus specifically on gym franchises and fitness centers, but there are tons of other opportunities for franchising in the fitness industry. To view other opportunities, like recreation centers, yoga studios, or massage parlors, visit our fitness franchise opportunities page. 

What are Gym Franchises?

A gym franchise is a license that authorizes a party (franchisee) to sell the gym’s products and services under the gym’s (franchisor’s) name. In addition it allows the franchisee access to the business knowledge and information – processes, proprietary knowledge, and trademarks – required to run the franchise.

Basically, franchising a gym allows you to start with a solid foundation, rather from building from the ground up. By utilizing the brand name, systems, and processes of a gym franchise, it can be much easier to establish a successful business quickly.

Why Should I Consider Gym Franchise Opportunities?

Besides tapping into the lucrative business potential offered by the rising fitness trend, owning a gym franchise is beneficial for several other compelling reasons. 

Owning a gym franchise offers franchisees several advantages over owning an independent gym. First and foremost, franchise owners have a greater chance of finding success as they can take advantage of a proven business model and well-established fitness brand to attract clientele. Furthermore they stand to benefit from the expert advice provided by the gym franchisor as well as fellow gym franchisees. The franchising model ensures that all stakeholders in the franchise business – franchisors and fellow franchisees – benefit from each other’s success and positive brand reinforcement.

The franchisor also provides ongoing and additional support in terms of marketing, equipment, and training. For maximizing financial returns, it’s best to opt for a gym franchise with a well-recognized fitness brand and one that enjoys a good reputation and patronage. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’d be best to speak with fellow franchisees about potential challenges and also read the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) carefully.

Typically gyms operate on a membership system in which they receive monthly membership fees by automatic credit card payments or bank transfers. In financial respects, a gym franchise is lucrative as franchise owners earn a consistent income even if members don’t show up. For instance, more than 62 million health club members use a health club or studio for an average of only 104 days a year whereas 9 million non-member users attend a club or studio for an average of 24 days a year.

Fitness Franchise Opportunities |

Trends for Gym Franchises and Fitness Centers

Given the increasing fitness awareness coupled with the rising importance of having an aesthetic physique in the social-media dominated world, more and more people will continue to sign up for gym memberships. It’s predicted that health clubs will reach 230 million members by 2030

Fitness and toned body appeal aside, many of us are always looking for new exercise and dance forms to learn like pilates, yoga, Zumba, cross fit, and others. Gyms and health clubs offer these myriad exercise forms and much more in the form of additional amenities like babysitting, juice bars, and tanning salons, making it convenient and rewarding for people to make a trip.

If you’re exploring gym franchise opportunities, there’s a wide range of health clubs, gyms, fitness clubs, and specialized studios offering new and interesting dance and exercise forms to choose from. 

Some of the Best Gym Franchises

planet fitness featured image To help you get started with your research, here’s a pick of some of the best gym franchises:

GymGuyz Franchise

GymGuyz utilizes a unique, mobile business model that brings the gym to the customers. GymGuyz is a perfect franchise opportunity for anyone with gym or personal training experience, but who doesn’t want to run a full team of employees in a large gym. Because the “gym” only required a van and equipment, the initial investment to start a GymGuyz franchise is minimal compared to other gym franchise opportunities.  

The GymGuyz franchise offers entrepreneurs who are passionate about fitness an investor-friendly business model, a fun day-to-day schedule, and a unique and rewarding business experience.

Get in Shape for Women Franchise

The Get in Shape for Women is a unique fitness program focused on empowering women through exercise and increased strength. It helps them transform their bodies through a combination of nutrition and strength, cardio, and HIIT training. A few things that clients enjoy are arranged organic meals, low to high intensity workouts, and specialized equipment and weights for muscle building.

Get in Shape for Women franchise is available to entrepreneurs who have a passion for fitness, believe in positivity and the core values of the brand, treat customers like family, have a willingness to keep learning, and love what they do.

Club Pilates Franchise

Club Pilates offers classes to customers at all fitness levels including foundation, progression, evolution, and mastery. They also offer a wide range of sessions like introduction classes, cardio pilates, interval training, stretching, and classes for teens. In addition the franchise also offers personalized training sessions and different membership packages for the price-conscious customer as well as the travel executive who needs access to different Club Pilates locations.

The Club Pilates franchise is most suitable for entrepreneurs who believe that Pilates is a revolution – going much beyond a sub-category of exercise forms. If you believe workouts are a way of life, this is just the right franchise opportunity for you.

9Round Franchise

9Round has a different approach towards exercising, with members guided through an intense, circuit-style kickboxing session of 30 minutes. 9Round, as the name suggests, provides 9 unique stations that each contribute towards a full body workout and maximum calorie burn. For convenience sake, members do not have to adhere to regimented class times and can work themselves into the workout when they show up. 

The 9Round franchise is best for entrepreneurs with a passion for exercise and healthy living and it’s an added plus if you have experience in martial arts and the fitness industry.

To take the first step towards owning and operating a fitness club, explore gym and fitness franchise opportunities


Improve your Franchising Knowledge and Skills With Franchise Basics aims to be your resource for everything you need to start and manage a successful franchise. From choosing the right franchise opportunity to the ins and outs of running your own franchise business, we are always willing to share what we know and lead you to success!

To get more information about your specific questions, check out the topics in our Franchise Basics Guide, or feel free to take a look at the categories in our franchise blog.

amf ad revised 2
Callens Capital