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The best gym franchises of 2024

September 15th, 2023 By Emily Norwood

The fitness industry is booming, and gym franchises seem to be cropping up everywhere. It’s little wonder, since they have strong brand recognition and loyal customer bases. Plus, the subscription-based model of many gyms makes for easier profits and lower maintenance than other business models.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What makes a great gym franchise
  • Reasons to invest in a gym franchise
  • Our picks of the best gym franchise investment opportunities of 2024

Let’s start with understanding what makes these franchises successful.

What makes a great gym franchise?

Gym franchises are appealing for many reasons, with reliable recurring revenue at the top of the list. And since much of this income is passive, it’s not something you need to spend much time worrying about. 

Strong margins

Gym franchises are well known for their strong margins. This makes perfect sense when you consider that the bulk of the cost of setting up a gym franchise is at the front end: purchasing weights and machines, securing the land, and constructing the interior. Ongoing maintenance costs are relatively low; unlike, for example, a restaurant or retail outlet, a gym’s inventory does not need to be continuously restocked. So, a comparably higher portion of monthly recurring revenue is pure profit.

Proven systems

Gyms know how to set up successful franchises, which is evident in their staying power. New locations often inherit their parent company’s vendor relationships, POS and back-end systems, and employee management practices. With a franchise, these systems are already well-established and have been tested through the franchise partner’s proof of concept and existing gyms. These features reduce the time to profitability and eliminate the frustrations associated with establishing a new business.

Network availability (domestic and international)

One of the biggest draws of gym franchises is their availability. Members often choose gyms with many locations so they can work out in their preferred environment while traveling. Many gyms have visitor passes or even national or international memberships, so members can use their pass even when outside their home location.

Demonstrated growth

Gyms have enjoyed massive growth in the past decade. Even after taking a devastating hit during the pandemic, gyms throughout the country are growing at double-digit rates. According to a report by location data company, visits to gyms and health clubs were up 30.3 percent year-over-year in January 2023. 

The rise of remote work is a strong contributing factor in gym franchise growth. Many employees who now work from home have a more sedentary lifestyle than they were formerly used to, and a gym membership helps them stay physically active.

As gyms have many unique offerings like classes, personal training, and/or nutritional services, you can easily expand and diversify your franchise location compared to what already exists in your community.

Why invest in gyms?

At this point, a logical question would be why you’d choose to invest in a gym franchise over the stock market or other types of asset classes. So, here are a few reasons:

1. Low barriers to entry: You don’t need much specialized knowledge to invest in a gym franchise. In fact, pretty much all you need is the cash – a good gym franchise will have systems in place to teach you what you need to know.

2. Good work-life balance: Peak times for gym client traffic typically fall outside the standard 9–5 as clients get their workouts in either before or after work. Necessary upkeep and maintenance tasks can be performed during this daytime window, which gives owners and managers the ability to keep reasonable hours and balance their own work and personal life.

3. Established business model: Gyms are profitable for the same reason most subscription-based businesses are: they produce recurring revenue with relatively low maintenance costs. You can easily plug into your community’s health and wellness industry, partner with local influencers, and implement a creative marketing campaign, to diversify and retain your customer base.

Benefits of gym franchises

Here are some of the biggest reasons to invest in a gym franchise:

1. Multiple sources of revenue: A large percentage of revenue comes from membership fees, but gyms can increase their ceiling by offering classes, nutritional or personal coaching, and merchandise. So the average value you can expect to earn from each customer is higher than it first appears.

2. Low seasonality means consistent earnings over the year: Yes, it’s true that New Year’s Resolutions often involve fitness commitments, but that’s a predictable spike in a stable landscape. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a trend, and when people find a gym they like, they tend to stick with it.

3. Proven business model in a growing industry: Gyms know how to franchise and how to turn a profit. They’re also a key component of the $5 billion health and wellness industry that’s only projected to grow.

The Best Gym Franchises of 2024

Orangetheory Fitness

With incredible brand recognition and locations in 24 countries, Boca Raton-based fitness franchise Orangetheory is known for its science-backed, unique class structure of two groups – one on treadmills and one working weights or rowers. 

Fast facts

  • Locations: 1,302
  • Founded: 2010
  • Franchised: 2010
  • Startup cost: $613K–$1.6M
  • Franchise fee: $232K–$311K

Burn Boot Camp

Burn Boot Camp is a family-founded business that quickly grew from its flagship Huntersville, North Carolina location into a franchise with gyms in over 38 states. Burn Boot Camp’s group of certified personal trainers lead athletes through 45-minute classes (called “camps”) where no two sessions are ever the same.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 232
  • Founded: 2012
  • Franchised: 2015
  • Startup cost: $284K–$715K
  • Franchise fee: $113K–$146K 


StretchLab, which is headquartered in Irvine, California, is a unique approach to fitness. Its Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) method is a core component of 1-1 and group sessions, all of which are led by a Flexologist with 60 to 70+ hours of training. StretchLab is owned by Xponential Fitness.

Fast facts

  • Locations: 248
  • Founded: 2015
  • Franchised: 2017
  • Startup cost: $100K–$203K
  • Franchise fee: $22K–$84K

Workout Anytime

Headquartered in Atlanta, Workout Anytime has locations throughout the United States and is known for its Active Aging Programs. Workout Anytime offers personal training, cardio and strength equipment, free weights, and group training. 

Fast facts

Locations: 179

Founded: 1999

Franchised: 2005

Startup cost:  $785K–$2M

Franchise fee: $185K–$510K

Row House

If you guessed that Row House is focused on indoor rowing classes, you’d be correct. Founded by a husband-wife team in search of a workout that two individuals with varying fitness levels could do together, Row House has grown from its flagship location in New York City to nearly 100 locations across the United States. 

Fast facts

  • Locations: 96
  • Founded: 2014
  • Franchised: 2017
  • Startup cost:  $143K–$271K
  • Franchise fee: $19K–$79K


Combining SPin, strENgth, and yoGA, SPENGA breaks hour-long classes into three 20-minute sessions of spin, strength training and yoga, in that order. Headquartered in Homer Glen, Illinois, SPENGA is a fast-growing franchise with more than 300 locations throughout the United States. 

Fast facts

  • Locations: 300+
  • Founded: 2014
  • Franchised: 2015
  • Startup cost: $287K–$861K
  • Franchise fee:  $53.5K–$56K

Passive franchise investing with FranShares

If you’re an alternative investor who’d like to diversify by adding franchises to your portfolio, consider passive fractional franchise investing with FranShares. Our approach offers high earning potential and diversification in a completely passive investment model. We give both retail and accredited investors access to all the benefits of franchising with low initial capital outlay and zero fees.

To learn more about FranShares and this unique opportunity, sign up for our platform on our home page.

Explore More Profitable Franchise Opportunities

If you’re considering expanding your business horizons, read on to learn about the most profitable franchise opportunities in each industry. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran in the franchise world, our curated selection will guide you toward making an informed decision. 

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