3 gym franchises bulking up business

By Nick Hall | 05 Sep 2019 View comments

From pilates, to yoga, to bodybuilding specialists, gym franchises have become a staple of the Australian fitness scene.

While all feature their own specific methods and models, the goal is universal across the board. To provide the tools for customers to live a healthier lifestyle and franchisees to prosper financially.

Over the last five years, the fitness industry has steadily grown, thanks to a consumer-driven push for specialisation.

Far from the big-box studios that previously dominated the landscape, boutique gym franchises are picking up business. The trend has allowed the industry to escape saturation, despite a prevalence of studios on every corner.

So, if you are inspired heath fanatic with an entrepreneurial streak, which of Australia’s many gym franchises is for you?

Some will require personal training certifications, others offer a more flexible entry, it all relies on the franchisor’s model. Take a look at these three innovative gym franchises and consider if a fitness future gets your blood pumping.


Founded by world champion kickboxer Shannon Hudson, 9Round has spent a decade building an impressive global network of franchise partners.

The US model incorporates elements of boxing, kick-boxing and functional training, all within a 30-minute window. The rolling circuit means there are no class times, so members can jump straight into a session when they arrive.

The innovative model has seen worldwide appeal. Since launching, the brand has grown to over 800 clubs across 13 countries, with Australia its latest venture.

Australian franchisees enjoy a low-cost start up option, backed by the brand’s experienced property and in-house marketing teams.

From on-boarding and throughout, 9Round offers extensive training and support, including weekly phone calls, monthly webinars and quarterly face-to-face education sessions. The model best suits an owner/operator, with all 9Round franchisees encouraged to be hands-on and passionate about developing a global brand.

EFM Health Clubs

With 60 clubs across five states, EFM Health Clubs is one of the country’s most successful gym franchises.

The key point of difference for EFM Health Clubs is in its offering. The chain provides a service somewhere between a personal trainer and a commercial gym, with an average member to fitness coach ratio of 15:1.

Franchisees receive a weeks’ intensive in-house training prior to opening, with ongoing IT and management support offered throughout the life of the franchise.

Additionally, EFM Health Clubs’ turnkey marketing program boosts local operators through a combination of multimedia, digital, social and print advertising.

An EFM Health Club requires a capital investment of between $50,000 and $250,000 depending on studio size and location, making it an ideal opportunity for the passionate local entrepreneur.


New kid on the franchise block, 20PerFit is an innovative model that brings a high-tech focus to the sector.

The brand utilises a revolution electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) system to provide time-effective training for all ages.

The EMS technology allows members to perform the equivalent of a 90-minute full-body workout in just 20 minutes.

While most gym franchises are locked into a retail lease, a 20PerFit opportunity also has an added mobile benefit. The flexible integration allows personal trainers who are without a studio or who perform outdoor sessions to still enjoy the perks of the innovative technology.

Franchisees are also backed by a low-cost initial investment, starting as low as $50,000, with all equipment provided and payments secured by head office.

The ideal operator will hold and Certificate III and IV in Fitness, however, additional education is provided through the 20PerFit Academy.

Gym franchises

Boutique fitness chains offer a specialised point of difference in a highly competitive market.

Consumers now are more likely than ever to sign up for more than one fitness membership, opening the opportunity for operators to provide a dedicated service. Because of this, gym franchises have traversed a difficult period for the franchising sector.

That being said however, does not negate the need for prospective franchisees to perform a detailed due diligence process. Always consult a franchise accountant and lawyer prior to any purchase and be sure to accurate review your ability and desire to run a business.

Ready to start your fitness franchising journey? Take a look at these great business opportunities.