Zero-Staff, Low-Priced Gym Iron 24 to Open 15 Locations, Begin Franchising

Iron 24, Houston, plans to break into the fitness and health industry with a technology-enabled gym experience that lowers barriers to gym membership and gym ownership, the fitness and recovery franchise announced on July 6.

Launched by FranchiCzar, a developer of software and services designed to help franchise brands scale their growth, Iron 24 is backed by a team of more than 40 individuals who collectively have spent decades in fitness franchising, technology, operations, sales and marketing, according to the media release. Many of them came from Anytime Fitness. FranchiCzar recently launched esports concept Valhallan, which has seen growth within the first few months of franchising.

Iron 24 is slated to open 15 locations across markets in Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Colorado with the first opening slated for early fall in Pearland, Texas. It also is pursuing franchise development nationwide. 

Iron 24 offers a 24/7 gym model with memberships starting at $24 per month with no contracts.

The only staff will be contracted cleaning crews. To ensure security, members will gain access to the club through the Iron 24 app. Cameras, combined with AI, will notify club owners if a non-member enters the club. Each club will be equipped with an AED and panic buttons that immediately call the police in cases of emergencies.

In addition to using a technology-centered approach to entry of the facility, the app will also allow people to join the gym, offer feedback and hire trainers that are on a list of verified coaches that have worked through Iron 24’s proprietary coaching certification process, according to the company. Customers will be able to rate each interaction with a coach. Coaches can apply to join the system via the app and will pay franchisees a special coach membership pricing on a monthly basis. Although coaches can set up a combination of virtual and in-person sessions at their discretion, Iron 24 is recommending at least one virtual and one in-person session per week.

For the franchise owner, the Iron 24 model combines technology and zero staff with greater flexibility to customize the space and keep overhead low, according to the company.

“We’ve created a better path to gym ownership and membership by applying the latest technology and decades of industry experience,” said Marty Flanagan, Iron 24 brand president and vice president of franchising for FranchiCzar and formerly with Anytime Fitness. “We’re removing common frustrations like high costs and lack of flexibility that prevent people from reaching their goals, whether in terms of their fitness or their dreams of business ownership.”

The Iron 24 facilities provide a classic gym experience that includes traditional strength equipment, recovery rooms (infrared sauna, cryotherapy, massage beds, red light therapy), functional space, cardio equipment, high-intensity interval training space (HIIT), mobility and flexibility space, personal training and virtual coaching. 

Iron 24’s market research found that the fitness and health industry, which is valued at more than $14 billion and serves nearly 40 million members in the United States, is projected to grow memberships by 25 percent this year to reach more than 50 million people.

“Iron 24 is coming online at one of the most opportune times in the history of the fitness industry,” Flanagan said. “Pent-up demand for in-person workout experiences is expected to reach an all-time high in the coming year. Across the nation, our locations will provide members with a fully digital gym experience that makes it easier to take your fitness to the next level.” 

Members of the executive team in addition to Flanagan include other former Anytime Fitness franchisees: David Graham, CEO of FranchiCzar, who who rebuilt the global infrastructure for one of the largest franchise gyms in the world; Mason Crain, director of Franchise Development; Andy Giefer, director of marketing; and Barry Ouellette, area manager, who was a former Anytime Fitness club manager. Also members of the team are Shauna Garner, president of FranchiCzar, who led the growth of one of the largest and fastest growing STEM franchises, and Nick Brittain, CTO, who helped rebuild the global infrastructure for one of the largest franchise gyms in the world, according to the company.

The initial investment for an Iron 24 franchise is approximately $91,950 to $288,850 in the United States.