World Gym Introduces Second New Gym Model

World Gym International, Los Angeles, is introducing its second new gym model this year: World Gym Signature, the company announced on Oct. 4.

In July, World Gym introduced World Gym Legacy as a strength-only model.

The first new World Gym Signature likely won't open until 2023 and will be a franchised location, according to the company. 

“We’ve completely re-imagined the typical ‘big box’ gym experience and redefined the category,” said Jarrod Saracco, COO of World Gym International. “We've been closely monitoring the shift in consumer behaviors and where the industry is going. Our new Signature gym model with Studio X is going to captivate a whole new generation of franchise owners and gym members.”

World Gym is going after the 18 to 45-year-old age group moving forward, according to Saracco. This new gym generation wants experiences and strength training.

“They want to train hard, look great and feel great and they want to share it with the world via social media,” Saracco told Club Industry. “We love our long-time loyal members and those who have been with us from the beginning. That generation knows the Incredible Hulk as World Gym icon Lou Ferrigno. This new generation knows the Incredible Hulk as Mark Ruffalo. There’s nothing wrong with either, but times change. The people change. And the way we deliver fitness experiences needs to change. This new gym generation could be the generation that finally helps our industry penetrate past the 20 percent mark. From a franchise owner perspective, these two new gym models offer savvy investors an opportunity to capitalize on our growing industry and be at the forefront of innovation while at the same time being able to strategically place gyms in different markets for better ROI.”

World Gym Signature will be a 25,000-square-foot model that will have one studio, Studio X, to house a combination of live in-studio instruction for both traditional group exercise formats and for the new specialty INCINER8 programming that World Gym is introducing. (INCINER8 is a 25-minute interval training workout rooted in heart rate-based programming.) In addition, Studio X is fully equipped to offer on-demand virtual instruction and live virtual instruction through the new World Gym+ system.

Because the World Gym Signature locations will have one studio instead of multiple studios, their build out costs, monthly upkeep costs and payroll costs will be lower, according to World Gym. The Studio X software system has the ability to control the programming, lighting, music and overall environment for a one-of-a-kind workout experience.

“We’re seeing a giant shift in consumer behavior,” Saracco said. “We’re also seeing a giant shift in workforce availability. Not too long ago, we built gyms to have multiple studios — a main group X studio for Les Mills and sculpting and cardio classes, a cycle studio, a mind/body studio — and now you see more and more adding HIIT or specialty workout studios. But, try finding instructors for all four of those studios right now during prime times. Or, check your attendance at your cycle classes now that more and more people invested in at-home cycling options. The drain on cleaning, maintaining, staffing and outfitting these studios is taking its toll on gym owners and classes.”

In addition, many markets are seeing declining numbers of users in these studios as people shift to the weight room, and the energy costs to maintain these rooms that can sit empty and unused for 60 percent to 70 percent of operating time are high, he said.

With Studio X, World Gym is transitioning back to an all-in-one studio solution that does everything that multiple studios do while driving participation and ancillary revenue, he said.

Existing franchisees have expressed interest in retrofitting their existing locations with Studio X, according to the company.

“We’ve just completely changed the game when it comes to the group fitness and specialty studio experience," said Tiffany Hamlin, national director of group fitness for World Gym. "There’s nothing like it – it’s an all-in-one total package studio solution designed to meet the needs of today’s members.”

World Gym Signature also will feature a large training floor with cardio that includes a “connected cardio” section, allowing members to use at-home technology to the gym.

It will feature Booty Boulevard, a line-up of specialized equipment focusing solely on the glutes; a Wellness and Recovery wing that offers diverse options of well-being and rejuvenation; and a reception area created to boost members’ in-gym experience with a Barbell Café and customized retail displays that maximize ancillary revenue and build additional profit streams. 

Both the World Gym Signature and World Gym Legacy models will be featured along with the unveiling of other innovations at the World Gym International 2022 Global Franchise Convention at L.A. Live in Los Angeles Oct. 13-16. Attendees will see a full-size replica of Studio X.

The company has no plans to introduce additional models. 

"With the release of our strength focused Legacy gym model and this new Signature gym model, we feel that we are best positioned for the current marketplace," Saracco said. "However, we do have other big announcements and initiatives being announced as well — so stay tuned."