Inside Franchise Business - - Contents - MAY/JUNE 2018 | 40 | WWW.FRANCHISEB­USINESS.COM.AU

The lat­est gym con­cept has the Fern­wood Fitness stamp of ap­proval.

A Fern­wood Fitness fran­chisee comes up with a fresh con­cept, which the women’s gym chain founder will help her bring to the Aus­tralian mar­ket –

and maybe fur­ther afield

Join­ing forces, a Fern­wood Fitness fran­chisee and the gym chain’s founder are bring­ing a new con­cept to the fitness arena in Australia, with a shared hope of even­tu­ally tak­ing it to the world. Adala Bolto came up with the idea of Zadi Train­ing af­ter years of work­ing as a fran­chisee in the fe­male-only full-ser­vice gym brand.

Based on her in­sights into the get-fit world, Bolto has a dif­fer­ent au­di­ence in mind with her bou­tique of­fer. As the grande dame of Aus­tralian fe­male fitness, Fern­wood is back­ing its young pro­tegee with her con­cept of a fresh ap­proach, a branded stu­dio.

“While there’s an ob­vi­ous syn­ergy be­tween the two mod­els, the de­mo­graph­ics are quite dif­fer­ent,” says Bolto. While Fern­wood ap­peals to women of all ages and has such ser­vices as child­care, Zadi Train­ing is fo­cused on mil­len­nial women who want to be in a like-minded com­mu­nity and are not in­ter­ested in the ex­tras pro­vided by a full-ser­vice gym.

Fern­wood Fitness founder/CEO Diana Wil­liams says she is ex­cited about the new sub-brand and is fully com­mit­ted to build­ing it into a strong, re­li­able brand.

“Fern­wood has been in busi­ness for al­most 30 years, and while we have al­ways changed to adapt to the ever-chang­ing mar­ket and evolv­ing de­mands of women, there is also an­other woman not catered for by Fern­wood. The Zadi woman is in­de­pen­dent, com­mit­ted to hard­core ex­er­cise and wants to be part of a new move­ment reshaping the fu­ture of fitness for women.”


Women are driv­ing a change in the fitness in­dus­try, says Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Fitness train­ing mae­stro Nar­dia Nor­man.

“We will see fe­male-spe­cific pro­grams be­com­ing main­stream. There is a rise of in­flu­en­tial fe­male body-pos­i­tive pro­fes­sion­als tak­ing on weight loss and parts of the fitness in­dus­try that cap­i­talise on women’s body in­se­cu­ri­ties. To­gether with more fe­male-spe­cific re­search and an em­pow­ered fe­male con­sumer, we will see more pro­grams ded­i­cated to women’s train­ing and health.”

Zadi has part­nered with Tech­noGym to of­fer be­spoke tech­nol­ogy not yet seen in Australia, such as built-in fe­male-tar­geted weight op­tions, tai­lored video dis­play as well as per­son­alised ex­pe­ri­ences for in­di­vid­ual mem­bers, cater­ing for all fitness lev­els. Flex­i­ble mem­ber­ship op­tions will even in­clude pay-as-you-go for classes.

Classes are the heart of the pro­gram. It is based on ex­er­cise sci­ence, and the founders en­gaged fitness guru Damian Kelly to cre­ate a struc­tured pro­gram that will work specif­i­cally for women.

While the strat­egy is sim­i­lar to the

F45 trainer/class-based model, there is a pre­mium price tag for cus­tomers. Class ra­tios are tightly con­trolled, the re­sult of feed­back in the re­search stage that over­sub­scribed classes were a pain point for many women. In Zadi Train­ing, a stu­dio space of up to 150sqm caters for a max­i­mum of 16 par­tic­i­pants, with a so­phis­ti­cated fitout aimed to ap­peal to young pro­fes­sional women.


Bolto says the niche na­ture of the model al­lows for ef­fi­cien­cies across the busi­ness. “It’s seam­less, there is a lot of pa­per­less func­tion­al­ity and stream­lined tech­nol­ogy.”

While pas­sion­ate train­ers are ideal fran­chisees, in­vestors with the right ap­proach, a pas­sion for fitness and well­ness but per­haps lack­ing fitness qual­i­fi­ca­tions, can be signed up as well, and em­ploy train­ers to run the ses­sions. Kelly will train the train­ers, so there is con­sis­tency across the net­work.

The fo­cus will be on safety and ef­fec­tive­ness, of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent in­ten­sity lev­els and en­sur­ing train­ers can ex­plain to cus­tomers which level to take. “It’s not a fad. It is based on on­go­ing fitness prin­ci­ples, but we’ll keep up with de­vel­op­ments,” says Bolto.

Fran­chise buy­ers can ex­pect to pay be­tween $200,000 and $250,000 for a be­spoke stu­dio. In the pre-launch phase the com­pany is run­ning a teaser cam­paign on Face­book and In­sta­gram be­fore open­ing the first two bou­tique stu­dios, in Neu­tral Bay and Surry Hills in Syd­ney. The brand will then roll out across New South Wales and other states through­out this year.

With­out re­veal­ing the five-year plan, Bolto says the fo­cus for the first 12 months is to get the first fran­chises up and run­ning suc­cess­fully. But the goals are am­bi­tious and the brand can be global, she says.

Wil­liams says she will be in­volved in the roll­out and devel­op­ment of Zadi, with the day-to-day busi­ness be­ing man­aged by Bolto.

So why Zadi? “We like the sound of it. It sounds like a fash­ion brand or night­club,” says Bolto. In Urdu, she says, the word ex­presses in­ner strength.

Per­fect for a fe­male fitness brand.

Adala Bolto

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