Fastest-Growing Franchises List Includes 2 Fitness Brands in Top 10

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closing health clubs for part of 2020, two fitness franchises ranked in the top 10 of Entrepreneur’s Fastest-Growing Franchises list, and another 10 fitness franchises also ranked on the list of 150 brands.

F45 Training ranked No. 8 and Anytime Fitness ranked No. 10.

Five of the 12 fitness franchises on the list are owned by Xponential Fitness (Row House, StretchLab, Pure Barre, CycleBar and YogaSix).

"Nothing can stop the smartest franchises from growing—not even a pandemic!” Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief, said in a media release. “We've been impressed with how innovative franchises have pivoted and adapted this past year and are happy to celebrate the ones who keep pushing forward and growing."

However, because the list is based on growth from July 2019 to July 2020, it is unknown how much of the growth came pre-pandemic and how much came after much of the fitness business was forced into temporary closures in March 2020.

Entrepreneur’s Fastest-Growing Franchises list, which is published in the March issue of Entrepreneur, identifies the franchises that had the greatest unit growth during the year prior based on the data they submitted for the 2021 Franchise 500 list, which was released in January with 19 fitness brands on that list.

The Fastest-Growing Franchises list is based on the net total new units (franchised and company owned) added worldwide from July 2019 to July 2020, according to Entrepreneur. This is the first year that Entrepreneur, in recognition of the increasingly global nature of franchising, is basing the list on global growth rather than just U.S. and Canadian unit growth.

The fitness franchises that made the list are:

No. 8: F45 Training (727 units added in three years: 127.3 percent increase)

No. 10: Anytime Fitness (1,088 added in three years: 29.8 percent increase)

No. 14: Planet Fitness (2,059 units added in three years: 45.9 percent increase)

No. 51: Row House (71 added in three years: 3,550 percent increase)

No. 55: The Exercise Coach (83 added in three years: 218.4 percent increase)

No. 59: StretchLab (79 added in three years: 2,633.3 percent increase)

No. 60: Burn Boot Camp (186 added in three years: 248 percent increase)

No. 66: Club Pilates Franchise (393 added in three years: 192.6 percent increase)

No. 76: Pure Barre (96 added in three years: 20.6 percent increase)

No. 78: CycleBar (97 added in three years: 87.4 percent increase)

No. 80: YogaSix (51 added in three years: 728.6 percent increase)

No. 142: Crunch Franchise (116 added in three years: 63 percent increase)

F45 Training had 267 U.S. franchises in July 2019 and grew that to 402 by July 2020. Internationally, F45 grew from 778 units to 896. It had no company-owned clubs as of July 2020.

Anytime Fitness’ U.S. franchise numbers dropped from 2,466 in 2019 to 2,412 in July 2020. Internationally, however, the company increased from 2,044 in July 2019 to 2,327 in July 2020. Its company-owned clubs dropped from 10 to four.

Planet Fitness grew its U.S. franchises from 1,740 to 1,904 in July 2020. Its international franchises increased from 39 to 56, and its company-owned clubs increased from 80 to 99.

Row House grew from 16 franchised U.S. locations to 66 and from three company-owned clubs to seven in 2020. It had no international franchised locations as of July 2020.  

The Exercise Coach, which offers 20-minute coaching twice per week in one-on-one, partner or small group training sessions, increased its U.S. franchise locations from 54 to 89, its international franchises from 13 to 30 and kept its company-owned units at two.  

StretchLab grew by 46 units from July 2019 to July 2020 taking its 36 U.S. franchised locations to 82. It had no international or company-owned locations as of July 2020.

Burn Boot Camp grew by 45 clubs, increasing its U.S. franchised units from 212 to 257. It had no international units as of July 2020 and kept its company-owned locations steady at four.

Club Pilates focused its growth on U.S. franchises, increasing its number of units from 546 to 584, but it also grew its international franchised units from seven to 10 and its company-owned units from one to three.

Pure Barre grew its U.S. franchises from 514 to 559, but its international units held steady at three and its company-owned units dropped from seven to one.

CycleBar increased its U.S. franchised units by 39, growing from 167 units to 206 while its international units dropped from three to two. It had no company-owned studios as if July 2020.

YogaSix grew from 21 U.S. franchised units to 53, and it grew its company-owned units from zero to five. It had no international franchised units as of July 2020.

Crunch’s U.S. franchised units increased from 208 to 229 while its international units decreased by two from 47 to 45 during this time period. Its company-owned clubs grew by one from 25 to 26.