The new celeb fit­ness craze!

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

I t’s the fit­ness phe­nom­e­non that has in­spired celebri­ties, changed the way many Aus­tralians work out and launched a busi­ness em­pire.

For­mer eq­ui­ties trader Rob Deutsch co-founded F45 gyms in 2011, build­ing the busi­ness on a high­paced, in­clu­sive team work­out strat­egy. Now there are 315 out­lets across the coun­try, with a fur­ther 191 fran­chises sold and due to open in com­ing months.

“The phi­los­o­phy al­ways has been ‘team train­ing, life chang­ing’,” Deutsch tells BW Mag­a­zine.

“It is very dif­fer­ent to a nor­mal gym where you turn up and there’s a rack of dumb­bells and you have your head­phones on and you’re at your own ac­cord try­ing to de­sign work­outs.

“F45 stu­dios are very much com­mu­nity based, you train with 26 other peo­ple in your team. And the beau­ti­ful thing is, ev­ery­thing is laid out for you so it is ba­si­cally like a personal train­ing ses­sion but ... in a team en­vi­ron­ment.”

It wasn’t planned but celebri­ties have be­come a ma­jor part of the busi­ness’s suc­cess..

Among the brand’s am­bas­sadors or out­let own­ers are for­mer Test crick­eter Brett Lee, ra­dio and TV per­son­al­ity Maz Comp­ton, rugby union stars Adam Ash­ley Cooper and Nathan Sharpe, and NRL stars Nate Myles and Roy Aso­tasi.

“We have had huge am­bas­sador/celebrity en­dorse­ment vir­tu­ally by virtue of the fact that 40 of these peo­ple have ac­tu­ally bought fran­chises,” he said.

“We are talk­ing cricket play­ers, rugby union play­ers, rugby league play­ers and ath­letes who have paid us to buy fran­chises. It has been a pretty unique propo­si­tion com­pared to most brands who pay these guys to just take pho­tos in front of their lo­gos.”

TV pre­sen­ter and ra­dio host Maz Comp­ton bought into the F45 phe­nom­e­non after a free trial at one of the gyms.

“It just worked for me,” Comp­ton says. “And then I got my part­ner to come along and he loved it and we started work­ing out to­gether, which was re­ally cool.”

The pair made con­tact with Deutsch’s team to explore open­ing a fran­chise be­fore set­ting up the Avalon F45 on Sydney’s north­ern beaches. They have since opened an­other F45 in Charmhaven on the Cen­tral Coast.

“I love the fact any­one can do it and that it is in­clu­sive. It is for every per­son, no mat­ter where they are at and that ap­peals to me.”

Deutsch says the sys­tem’s va­ri­ety has been key to its suc­cess.

“Every sin­gle day you turn up ... it is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent sys­tem and a com­pletely dif­fer­ent work­out,” he says. “That makes it fun and in­no­va­tive and peo­ple get phe­nom­e­nal re­sults, which is why we have such a sticky mem­ber­ship base.”

The sys­tem uses time as the train­ing vari­able, not rep­e­ti­tions. So if some­one is do­ing push-ups, they have 45 sec­onds to do as many push-ups as they are able.

“An 80-year-old may do two whereas a 20year-old may do 42,” he says. “You lit­er­ally go at your own ac­cord and you do as many reps as you can in that time pe­riod.” A n F45 fran­chise sells for a fee of $US50,000 ($63,000) plus an ad­di­tional $US100,000 for a world pack that in­cludes all equip­ment and fitout and a monthly roy­alty fee. Deutsch ex­pects the Australian F45 mar­ket to “tap out” at about 540 fran­chises.

The big push now is over­seas, with fran­chises al­ready es­tab­lished in 27 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Thai­land, the UK, France, South Africa, Mex­ico and New Zealand.

They’re track­ing to reg­is­ter 1150 stu­dios in­ter­na­tion­ally by the end of the year.

Deutsch says the com­pany hopes to have 350 US fran­chises by year’s end but ex­pects that mar­ket to pro­vide mas­sive growth — pos­si­bly up to 8000 out­lets. A ma­jor area of growth will be in Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties, with 14 fran­chise deals signed at sites such as Stan­ford and the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

“The model was al­ways de­signed to be very scal­able and for it to be picked up and used by any­one in any coun­try and that is why we’ve got so much tech­nol­ogy be­hind what we build,” Deutsch says. “Every stu­dio has nine plasma screens where all the work­outs play up ... it tells you when to rest and when to warm up. Be­cause we’ve got that in­cred­i­ble tech­nol­ogy ... that en­ables us to roll this out very quickly to any coun­try around the world.”

I love the fact any­one can do it

Maz Comp­ton at the Avalon F45 gym; and (left) I’m a Celebrity stars Dane Swan and Ash Pol­lard ready to work out. Main pic­ture: Jonathan Ng

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