F45 is shaping up for more European success

Fitness franchise, F45 Training has become one of the fastest growing fitness concepts in the world.

F45 is shaping up for more European success

Fitness franchise, F45 Training has become one of the fastest growing fitness concepts in the world. The first studio opened in Sydney, Australia, in 2013 before franchising in 2014. The idea was to create a concept that was like nothing on the market at the time. It was designed to bridge a gap between personal training and ordinary gym memberships, to offer people real results, innovation and a workout that was so effective and enjoyable that people from around the world would travel just to be a part of it. This, combined with a focus on community, laid the foundations to make F45 what it is today.

F45 stands for functional training in 45 minutes, meaning the workout is a mix of circuit and high-intensity interval training to be completed within the 45-minute mark.

In its infancy, F45 disrupted the usual model and focused on a small space with as little equipment as possible, completely different from the expansive 24-hour gym floors that were the standard at the time.

The focus on delivering a workout rather than just a workspace enabled the business to be lean and cost effective to set up.

While on holiday in Australia, Mike Dean, VP of F45 Sales in Europe, trained in one of the first open studios and became hooked. 

He explains: “As soon as the brand launched in the UK in 2017, I had to be a part of it and reached out to the team to get involved. I initially started just working in the UK, but since the brand has grown on a global scale, I now oversee the development of the European market as well.”

There are now 2,000 locations across 66 different countries. In Europe there are 106 locations in 19 countries and most major markets. 

The UK is the most developed market in Europe accounting for 60% of F45 locations.

“We are seeing considerable growth in markets such as Spain and have a focus to replicate the success we have seen in the UK across Europe,” says Dean.

 As with most franchises, members receive significant backing to get started and franchisees are looking at start-up costs from around £250k.

“F45 as a business solution is fully turnkey, we supply the franchisees with everything, from the app that their members use to book and pay for classes, the branding, the equipment, the CRM to managing the business and most importantly, the workouts. The costs for F45 are set, however, the overall project cost will vary depending on the location and the amount of work needed on the chosen site.


“Support and training are the top priority once a franchisee has joined the network. We have dedicated performance managers who spend time in each of our studios to assist studio owners, we run large-scale events for all franchisees under the same roof and learn from HQ and each other. As a brand, we offer big partnerships and run events dedicated to F45 members that our franchisees can benefit from.”

Although it is a business that requires a hands-on approach, and it’s certainly not a side-hustle or a work-from-home deal, a background in sport or fitness is not a requirement, explains Dean.

“Often it is existing members who reach out and want to set up their own studios because they have seen for themselves how truly great the brand is, and they are certainly the ones we want; they understand our community and make fantastic franchisees.

“The beauty of our model is that you do not NEED a specific background to be successful, but experience in fitness obviously goes a long way. We have a broad range of franchisees, from PTs who are first-time business owners, to large-scale investors who may never actually step foot on the training floor. With the support from F45, they are able to create successful studios.

“We have so many fantastic success stories of people who have left their previous careers to set up an F45 franchise because they have seen for themselves how great the brand is. All our franchisees have their own unique and individual stories which have helped to make their studios successful.

“They have brought their experience from before with them and have been able to apply it to the day-do-day running of their studios. Our studio owners came from being professional athletes, investment bankers, full-time parents, and with the help from F45, are now running their own studios. Existing franchisees have seen so much benefit, that they have gone on to open several other studios in various locations because of how successful the franchise has been for them. There is an appetite for F45 across the world and it just takes an ordinary person to see where the opportunity lies.”

The brand is now so globally established that it has moved beyond initial growth numbers and targets. Success now is in improving individual territories and establishing the brand right across Europe.

“Our goal is for everyone across Europe to have access to an F45 studio,” says Dean, “we are only just scratching the surface, markets such as Germany are ripe for growth, and we look forward to seeing them expand this year. 

“We have always grown organically, the success we are having in the UK has been down to our high-quality franchisees operating exceptional studios. By focusing our efforts on our franchisees to ensure they can deliver the best possible workouts on the market, the growth comes naturally.”

Ronnie Dungan
Ronnie Dungan