F45 Training CEO Rob Deutsch started life as an equities trader, but boredom and a love of fitness saw him starting F45 with Adam Gilchrist (an old rugby teammate). In the beginning, the company was just the two of them, and they looked to build a model that would not only deliver amazing results in terms of health and fitness, but also in business. Source: Entrepreneur
They created a product that requires minimal floor space and doesn’t rely on rows of treadmills or hordes of staff to run efficiently and profitably. In fact, F45’s uncluttered studios, community-focused team training and more personal approach are fueling factors for much of the brand’s growth.
However, both Deutsch and Gilchrist soon realized that any successful business, particularly a health and fitness company, needs more than just minimal start-up and running costs to ensure brand and franchise success. It soon became clear that people would become one of F45's most powerful assets—in particular, people who shared their drive to experiment and do things differently.
It’s a big part of F45 Training's culture, and it was this innovator’s mindset that led some F45 staff to wonder how they could use in-studio tech to do something more. While the screens and wearable technology in each studio guide members’ workouts and help them track their progress, could they also be used to create a bit of friendly competition between individual locations?
The idea was to use the studio screens and Lionheart monitors to calculate how hard a team was collectively training in one studio and then measure this against a different team performing the same workout on another studio floor. The concept was put forward at the company’s LA headquarters and has immediately gone into trial and testing.
“We’re always willing to change things. We’re always willing to hear ideas,” says Deutsch. It’s an approach that has created a vast pool of not just training and wellness knowledge, but valuable franchising and business insights, too. Deutsch continues: “We basically get people to put concepts together, present their concepts and then we put an execution team together to make the ideas happen.”
It’s an approach that doesn’t just encourage innovation and sharing but includes a commitment to execution. After all, no matter how good an idea is, if it isn’t brought to life, it has little value. Deutsch is committed to building an agile business that’s supported by this ethos of ideas and action, and it’s why Deutsch and Gilchrist still look to keep a “flat management” system. “It enables decision-making to be done super quickly and efficiently—and still gives people the ability to have some flair and give input,” states Deutsch.
The benefit for F45 Training franchisees is that they can be sure that their ideas will be heard, and also that they have a massive network of support when it comes to new ideas and business learnings. More importantly, it means that each member gets to reap the benefits of a fitness and franchising system that continues to evolve and go from strength to strength.