It’s certainly becoming a crowded space for London’s studio offerings. We spoke to Rob Deutsch, the founder of Australian fitness brand, F45 Training, on trainer education and how they are embracing technology in the future.
FitPro: What did you consider before setting up F45 – what research did you carry out in order to understand the demand for your concept?
Rob Deutsch: I identified two early-stage movements that I knew would become much bigger trends: functional training and group fitness. It’s high-intensity training for the everyday guy and girl who wants to look and feel great, but finds conventional gyms boring.
So, initially, I had looked around at other fitness concepts, such as CrossFit and Barry’s Bootcamp, but I realised that there was a gap in the market for a concept that combined the intensity of a personal training workout but in a larger group. I wanted to create a concept that was fun, yet functional, and suitable for anyone, regardless of age and fitness level.
FitPro: What is your advice for a budding fitness entrepreneur who is looking to develop a franchise concept?
RD: Have a point of difference, design your product such that it can be delivered at scale, plus back yourself and employ the best people you can find.
FitPro: What training and education do you offer your trainers, can you tell me a bit about this process?
RD: Every trainer, regardless of their experience, goes through an intensive week-long induction where they’re introduced to the various training programmes and technologies that support them. At F45 it’s not enough to know how to do the movement, we’re also looking for charisma, high energy and a service mindset.
We also ensure they do both a written and physical test, which is videoed and sent to HQ. If this meets our requirements, they then go along to the studios and have a comprehensive induction where they are taught how to use the 27 different training systems.
FitPro: What are the requirements for opening a franchise? Who do you accept as your business partners? Are they able to devise their own price points?
RD: An ideal candidate would be someone who is entrepreneurial and is committed to learning both the business aspect of an F45 franchise, as well as the health and fitness side. People that want to change other people’s lives through fitness are the people we look for. Franchisees can invest between £120K to £250K, however, we have found that the more they put into it the more success the franchise will have. We want them to be proactive in growing their business by attracting new customers as well as servicing existing ones.
FitPro: What are the benefits of incorporating the battle ropes in a circuit training session?
RD: We aim to burn up to 750 calories in a single 45-minute session. We do this by using big, compound movements that draw on many different muscle groups, rather than a lot of conventional exercises that isolate just one muscle. Battle rope exercises are a staple of F45 as they train not just your arms, but also work the muscles in your abs, back and glutes. We also incorporate movements such as jumps, lunges and squats, which also work your lower body.
FitPro: Can you share with us five movements our readers can do by using the battle ropes.
- Battle ropes BOSU – single battle ropes while squatting on a BOSU
- Battle ropes with lunge – single battle ropes with reverse lunges
- Battle rope with star jumps – holding battle ropes and performing a star jump
- Battle ropes with burpee – double battle rope slams with burpees
- Battle rope v-sit – single battle ropes while in a v-sit position
FitPro: How is F45 embracing the future of technology and virtual reality?
RD: Inside every F45 studio, our patented F45 TV monitors support members and trainers by providing a constant visual reference throughout the workout. By integrating the interval timer and room layout with a video demonstration of each exercise, our members are guided through their workout, and our trainers are given control and consistency when it comes to workout delivery. Real-time heart-rate monitoring and gamification software ensure members get the most from their training session. Plus, smartphone apps and our F45 Challenge online nutrition portal give members easy self-service, while our back-end infrastructure handles straight-through payment processing.
The end result is a highly automated operating environment that frees up franchisees so they can grow their business and enjoy a life away from work, rather than being consumed by endless hours of manual admin and paperwork.
We currently have our own F45 LionHeart heart-rate technology and are also developing new avatar technology for the studios. Community is key for F45; the camaraderie helps you achieve results unlike if you were working out alone, so virtual reality probably wouldn’t be incorporated into F45.
FitPro: Do you think the London boutique studio scene is a crowded one? In your opinion, which concepts won’t last the next two years?
RD: Competition is intense, but for good reason. Londoners are becoming much more informed about the benefits of exercise. We don’t believe the scene is too crowded and have high hopes for F45 in the next 12 months, with a target of 50 open sites well within reach.
For more information, visit: https://f45training.com/
In our next industry insider, we will be speaking to a BOOM cycle instructor and hearing their top tips. Keep checking back on the blog and share your views and opinions over on social media: @fitpro_online