FIBO USAFOCUS: GYMGUYZ
GYMGUYZ is disrupting the fitness industry with its fast-growing franchise concept.
December 15, 2019
Food delivery has Uber Eats, Doordash and Grubhub. Washio picks up and delivers your dry cleaning. Shopify? Well, it shops for you. And now the fitness industry has GYMGUYZ, a disruptive company that is changing the way many Americans work out.
Taking the traditional in-home personal trainer concept a few steps further along the road to fitness, GYMGUYZ – all caps, please, because it is an acronym for Get You Motivated Genuine Unique You can do it Zero excuses – bills itself as the first in-home mobile personal training and fitness franchise company. It is looking to redefine the fitness business by bringing the gym workout to the customer’s home or setting of their choice with trained and certified coaches taught in the GYMGUYZ methodology. They even bring their own equipment and customize every workout.
It all adds up, according to founder Josh York, to one of the fastest growing franchises in America and arguably THE fastest growing fitness franchise. With 250 current locations in 31 states and three countries – the U.S., Canada and the U.K., with talks in place in Switzerland and Dubai for 2020 – it is indeed having an impact on how people exercise.
“It’s all about accountability,” York says. Indeed, the mobile unit that pulls up to a home or office for a training session is called the “accountability van.” Unlike other in-home exercise products, there’s no avoiding your workout when it shows up at your doorstep.
“Peloton and Mirror are interesting concepts, but they end up being clothing racks or just a mirror. People need to be held accountable for their workouts and that’s what we provide,” he says. GYMGUYZ personal trainers knock on the front door and bring with them customized one-on-one or group workouts in the privacy of a home, backyard or anywhere.
Research has constantly shown that people who work out with a personal trainer are 50 percent more likely to reach their fitness goals. That’s how the personal training business has grown, but now GYMGUYZ is taking that a step further with its regimented, franchise concept that delivers a consistent product using its own well-researched and proven methodologies. The key is that consistency that gives customers confidence in the training they will receive.
Look at it this way: A McDonald’s hamburger is a McDonald’s hamburger anywhere in the world. The same with a GYMGUYZ style workout, which uses the company’s methodology to customize a workout for every individual.
“GYMGUYZ certified trainers aren’t just experts in fitness, we’re committed to getting results,” York says. “We’ll develop a customized program and we’ll help hold you accountable every squat, jump and step of the way.”
Part of the GYMGUYZ methodology focuses on what York calls the Three Cs — Convenient, Customized and Creative workouts. It adds up to his claim that GYMGUYZ is the first in-home personal training company that can bring the workout to the customer anywhere they want it. In turn he is looking to change the way that segment of the fitness industry does business.
“We are definitely disruptors,” York says. “We live in an Amazon world where business is done differently and people want immediate service. If your business is not Amazon proof, you are going to die.”
A former personal trainer himself, York went to work in the corporate world for a time before returning to doing what he does best and loves the most – “help people get healthy” – and that’s when he saw a niche that was being grossly underserved.
“One of my clients said she would love for me to come to her house for her workout, but she didn’t have any equipment,” York recalls. That set his mind spinning and the concept of GYMGUYZ was born in 2008 at his parents’ dining room table in Long Island (the company is still based on Long Island).
Playing into the GYMGUYZ strength is the time challenge most people face, with so many things getting in the way of any personal commitment to working out. In a world where you can get your groceries delivered to your front door and you can do all of your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your living room couch, York understood that there was an opportunity in fitness to follow the same model.
“People don’t realize how valuable their time is,” he points out. “They get their food delivered to their door and now their workout is delivered to their door as well.”
The typical GYMGUYZ client is 35-60 years old. However, they service children as young as seven and seniors as old as 103. “We customize the workout for everyone,” York says.
But even with the growth of the concept keeping people in their homes for their workouts, York maintains it is not hurting the traditional health club. “People still need to go to a club on the days when they aren’t doing a GYMGUYZ workout,” he explains. “They still need to get out and enjoy what a health club offers on days they don’t see us.” (By the way, the cost of a regular GYMGUYZ workout averages between $70-$90 depending on the package.)
Plus, GYMGUYZ franchisees buy a lot of exercise equipment, with each van carrying 365 pieces of equipment – “one for each day of the year,” York says – to make sure workouts remain challenging and interesting. That certainly keeps equipment vendors on the side of the disruptor.
At the end of the day, it is all about the accountability on which York has built his business.
“The convenience factor of a home workout with a personal trainer is something that we will continue to build on, but people have to be held accountable,” he explains. “We hold our clients accountable and we tell them their health is their wealth.”
The GYMGUYZ Franchise Model
GYMGUYZ is unique because it brings the franchise concept to the previously independent job of personal trainer. Like Jersey Mike’s or Burger King, it provides its franchisees with the corporate support they need while maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit they demand.
A typical buy-in for a territory-protected franchise in 2019 is $70,000 and owner Josh York expects to add another 150 locations in 2020. The typical franchise owner is either a trainer looking to grow his business or a mid-level businessman or woman wanting to get out of the corporate world and into a job that brings both financial and mental rewards.
GYMGUYZ was named the fifth fastest growing franchise in America this year by Inc. magazine, so the concept is obviously appealing to both franchisees and their customers. York attributes that success to what GYMGUYZ brings to the table for these typical franchise owners.
“Being a trainer is not scalable,” he says. “There is only so much a person can do and a trainer without clients is unemployed.
“We teach our franchisees to work on the business, not in the business,” he adds, explaining that they become much, much more than just personal trainers — they become executives running a business.
York says he looks for driven, motivated, high-energy individuals who want to help people while making some money for themselves. “We want people with a passion to help people because we change people’s lives,” he says.
Part of the franchise support is the intensive GYMGUYZ University in Long island for new franchisees, a week-long indoctrination into the GYMGUYZ way. Monthly conditioning calls sharpen their skills and keep them on top of the latest exercise trends. Marketing and social media support complete the package.
“We are one of the fastest growing fitness franchises in America according to Inc. magazine because of our concept,” York explains. “We are not brick-and-mortar, we have low overhead, it is very easy to scale and a franchise can be up and running in six weeks. That’s an attractive formula for success for our franchisees.”