World Gym International, Los Angeles, has introduced a strength-only gym model that it calls World Gym Legacy, the company announced on July 27.
It is the first of two new gym models being released by World Gym in the coming weeks.
The first World Gym Legacy clubs could open as soon as first quarter 2023 and likely in Colorado and Texas, World Gym COO Jarrod Saracco told Club Industry.
The three or four deals in the works are all franchised locations since the company’s focus is on growing and supporting its franchise network domestically and abroad. However, a new corporate-owned facility is in the works for the future, Saracco said.
The World Gym Legacy format is designed to meet the growing needs of today’s consumer, while also providing new and existing franchisees with a smaller-sized footprint, ranging from 7,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet. It is designed to fit into markets where larger real estate and/or population demographics wouldn’t support a more traditional World Gym.
In addition, the smaller footprint eliminates wasted space and resources, thus maximizing the training floor experience and reducing the overall operational costs and initial investment for franchise owners.
The model allows for greater operational efficiency and drives profitability faster, allowing new franchisees to enter the fitness industry at a lower level of financial commitment, and giving existing franchisees an additional opportunity to expand into different markets, Saracco said.
Since Saracco came on board two years ago, he has been working to merge World Gym’s heritage with the emerging trends that will move the brand forward, he said.
The idea for this brand stemmed from trends Saracco and his team saw as on social media, in the fitness industry and with consumers.
“There has been an explosion of interest and focus on strength training,” he said. “Not too long ago, having Olympic lifting platforms in a facility would have you labeled as a ‘meat-head gym. And now, everyone — literally everyone, young and old — is hitting the platform and getting after it.”
People have also found new, at-home or outdoor cardio or sports-based activities, and they want a place to do serious strength training, he said.
The company also took note of how many member of boutique studios have additional memberships at other gyms just so they get a free-weight workout in.
“It’s a whole new world out there, and we felt as though it was time to reinvent the way we do things and meet the demands of the people,” he said.
He said that the new strength-focused gym model is a game changer with a lasting competitive advantage.
The target demographic is anyone who is serious about getting results, Saracco said.
“It’s a serious gym for people who want to get serious results,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that it’s aggressive or intimidating by any means. World Gym is the place for people serious about changing the way they look, feel and perform in a cool, comfortable environment that is edgy and fun, tolerant and accepting and loaded with the best fitness brands on the globe.”
World Gym Legacy locations not only will feature free weights, racks and platforms, plate loaded machines, cables, selectorized machines, but also a large turf area plus a few pieces of self-powered cardio for warming up and cooling down. Also included will be individual changing and shower rooms instead of full-size locker rooms, a few private recovery rooms, a modified Barbell Café and a selfie room.
World Gym, which has 230 franchise locations on six continents, is pursuing an aggressive expansion plan in North America and abroad, with several new gyms currently in development, the company said. The total investment for a World Gym Legacy ranges from $461,000 to $1,250,000, depending on gym model, location and square footage.