Is F45’s reign over or just beginning? Pictured Mark Wahlberg and F45 CEO Rob Deutsch.
Is F45’s reign over or just beginning? Pictured Mark Wahlberg and F45 CEO Rob Deutsch.

F45’s fiercest competitors close in

The Australian fitness industry is now worth $2.4 billion - and a big chunk of that is because of our fastest growing fitness chain, F45.

The cult-like franchise revealed to news.com.au that, as of last year, it had made a whopping $620 million in revenue based on a formula that has even attracted US actor Mark Wahlberg.

The self-described "fitness enthusiast" took a minority stake in the franchise, which naturally helped boost the brands profile.

He had reached out to Aussie F45 CEO Rob Deutsch after "falling in love with the concept" in November last year when he took his first class.

Mark Wahlberg with F45 owner Rob Deutsch. Wahlberg a minority stake into the business.
Mark Wahlberg with F45 owner Rob Deutsch. Wahlberg a minority stake into the business.

And now F45's sights are set on further global domination.

"Our core focus is to continue global expansion and break into new markets, particularly in the US where he hopes to hit 10,000 studios," Deutsch told news.com.au.

April saw F45 launch its newest model, Prodigy - a specially designed high interval training (HIT) program for kids between 11-17 years of age.

Deutsch confirmed that they're currently selling around fifty F45 franchises a month globally.

He said this is expected to grow to 70 to 80 a month by end of this year, taking it to more than 2,000 franchises globally.

It's safe to say F45's reign isn't over just yet, but with plenty of fierce contenders disrupting the industry - anything is possible.

F45 makes a whopping $620 million in revenue. It hopes to hit 10,000 studios in the US but has some fierce competition with other Aussie gyms also hoping to dominate the industry.
F45 makes a whopping $620 million in revenue. It hopes to hit 10,000 studios in the US but has some fierce competition with other Aussie gyms also hoping to dominate the industry.

AUSSIE GYMS ON THE RISE

ZADI

Zadi is one of Australia's newest boutique female-only gyms and despite having only been open for 11 months, its expected to turnover apprimately $600,000 by the end of the year.

It was launched by Fernwood personal trainer and mum-of-two Adala Bolto, whose unique idea is now backed by her former employer.

Zadi Training, which bills itself as "a movement of badass babes who get s**t done" is a mix between CrossFit and a nightclub - without the champagne.

She wanted a gym that targeted millennial women and high-quality training but that was also fun and funky.

 

ZADI fitness founder Adala Bolto. Supplied
ZADI fitness founder Adala Bolto. Supplied

In 2017, she pitched the concept to Fernwood chief executive Diana Williams, who agreed to back her. The pair co-founded Zadi in June last year with a studio in Sydney's Surry Hills, followed by Neutral Bay in November.

Neutral Bay is estimated to be at capacity by the end of this month, and both locations have been growing on 20 per cent average month on month

They are receiving inquiries every week from people interested in franchising with an estimated 95 per cent of members who are attending, achieving fast results.

Zadi is set up as a female only "nightclub" with all workouts developed by Exercise Scientist Damien Kelly. They have also partnered with TechnoGym to create bespoke technology to help franchisees roll out the programs easily, and clients track their results.

 

 

FLOW ATHELTIC

Former NRL player turned personal trainer Ben Lucas launched Flow Athletic with yogi Kate Kendall back in 2013.

Prior to getting into the fitness industry, Ben was a professional rugby player for the Cronulla Sharks. After finishing his stint with the NRL, he went on to own three personal training studios and during that time he also turned to Ultra Endurance running.

Ben has since gone on to launch Flow Training Centre for their personal training clients, Flow Revive and the Flow After Dark yoga series, which have a combined turnover of $3.5 million annually.

 

Flow Athletic founder and former rugby player Ben Lucas.
Flow Athletic founder and former rugby player Ben Lucas.

The Paddington-based business has doubled in growth despite the competitive fitness industry, attracting more than 1000 active members.

Lucas came up with Flow After Dark silent yoga disco concept in 2016, which has now held nine sold-out events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

He has also created the Nightclub Spin, Sofa 2 Surf and 30 Days Clean concepts.

In the space of five years, Lucas ran 35 marathons and five ultra marathons all over the world. He then went on to train more than one hundred non-runners for their first marathon.

 

 

 

RE: UNION

Luke Istomin is the brainchild and co-founder of F45, but he recently decided to part ways with the fastest-growing fitness franchise to focus on his own project - a new boutique gym.

Istomin, who works with a slew of A-list celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, told news.com.au a new opportunity presented itself that he couldn't turn down, and has since turned his expertise towards another fitness venture, Re: Union, which he kicked off last October in Potts Point, Sydney.

 

Former F45 co-founder Luke Istomin recently launched his new boutique gym, Re: Union
Former F45 co-founder Luke Istomin recently launched his new boutique gym, Re: Union

Re: Union is more about strength training and conditioning, with less cardio and high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts.

The studio, which has already attracted offers for franchising, has a program designed around overall movement "to ensure people put on lean muscle mass, lose body fat but, most importantly, move injury free".

Istomin believes Re: Union has the ability to perform just as well as F45 - although he insists he's currently just focusing on perfecting their system.

 

 

 

12RND

12RND Fitness is one of the fastest growing boxing and strength training providers in the world. More than 80 franchises have been sold since 2016, 60 are currently in operation and a new club opens every fortnight.

The 12 Round Group was founded in Australia and will soon be expanding overseas to the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and New Zealand.

The gym's average turnover is $20 million, with four-time world champion pro boxer Danny Green an integral part of its success.

He developed the concept alongside a number of high profile athletes including female boxers Taylah Robertson, Mai Soloman and Abbie Slavin.

 

Pro boxer Danny Green has been an integral part of 12 Round Group’s success.
Pro boxer Danny Green has been an integral part of 12 Round Group’s success.

AFL players Taylor Adams, Levi Greenwood and Jessy Keefe and Brisbane Bandits star Logan Wade are often seen training there.

Workouts replicate the physical demands of a 12-round championship bout, with 12 x 3-minute rounds and 30 seconds rest in between.

Each workout includes both boxing and the strength training required to condition athletes to their peak "fighting shape".

Workouts last for just under 45 minutes with a new round starting every three minutes, meaning arrival times are flexible and work to your schedule.

In 2018, the 12 Round Group saw significant growth, doubling in size, with a network turnover approaching $20 million across both existing and newly opened clubs.

 

 

 

FITSTOP

Fitstop recently opened studios in Victoria and will expand to 60 more locations within the next 12 months, with their sights firmly set on targeting F45.

At the helm of the functional fitness franchise founded by Peter Hull and Richard Bell is former CEO of restaurant chain Zambrero, Stuart Cook.

Mainly target to fitness professionals, their formula is based on three workout types - Fit, Fast and Functional - which are incorporated into their 45-minute workout session.

The model is based on three workout types — Fit, Fast and Functional.
The model is based on three workout types — Fit, Fast and Functional.

 

It plans to open 60 more locations throughout Australia. It’s currently got 18 in Queensland.
It plans to open 60 more locations throughout Australia. It’s currently got 18 in Queensland.

Hull said people are no longer satisfied with a stock-standard gym.

"They want to feel like pioneers of their own training and results, and are happy to pay for it," Hull said.

Cook said the brand, which turns over $500,000 annually, has a firm stance on not selling franchises to pure investors, which has already paid dividends for them.

"We believe that our long-term sustainability in the fitness industry hinges on creating community in every studio, and you can't do that if you aren't present with your members every day," Cook said.

The franchise model stipulates that each locations' Head Trainer must have at least 30 per cent ownership stake in the franchise.

The brand already has 18 studios in Queensland and plans for a total of 60 franchises in Australia by the end of the year.

 

 

COACHING ZONE

It may be one of Australia's newest group personal training gyms, but Coaching Zone already has more than 30 locations countrywide.

The growing franchise combines 45-minute group personal training sessions with nutrition programs and support.

It initially started as a trial product within Genesis Health and Fitness clubs but after its rapid growth, Genesis decided to franchise the gym in 2018 as a stand-alone product.

 

Coaching Zone Five Dock (Sydney) owner Todd Liubinskas training his client. More than 100 new studios are expected to open across Australia over the next five years.
Coaching Zone Five Dock (Sydney) owner Todd Liubinskas training his client. More than 100 new studios are expected to open across Australia over the next five years.

There's 20 new locations set to open every year, over the next five years.

Despite its early entry into the market, it boasts an annual turnover of $6 million.

The gym, which is mainly targeted to females aged 25-44 years, also uses MyZone (heart rate technology) to help monitor and improve individual member performance.

CEO Ian Jensen-Muir told news.com.au Coaching Zone was developed to create healthy, active communities through a quality results-based program.

"It is a product people can turn to, to achieve that healthier, fitter, happier lifestyle we all desire."

 

 

 

 

It’s a female-only gym that’s a mix between CrossFit and a nightclub — without the champagne.
It’s a female-only gym that’s a mix between CrossFit and a nightclub — without the champagne.
He launched it with yogi Kate Kendall back in 2013.
He launched it with yogi Kate Kendall back in 2013.
It focuses on strength training and conditioning.
It focuses on strength training and conditioning.
Aussie boxer Tayla Robertson also trains at the studio, which will expand to the US, UK, Singapore and NZ this year.
Aussie boxer Tayla Robertson also trains at the studio, which will expand to the US, UK, Singapore and NZ this year.