What Does it Take to Run a Fitness Franchise?

Brian Cygan is the founder of Lake Zurich, Ill.-based fitness chain The Exercise Coach.

Brian Cygan is the founder of Lake Zurich, Ill.-based fitness chain The Exercise Coach.

Fitness franchises are nothing new: from big-box gyms to smaller niche studios, it seems like there’s something for every kind of client. But running a fitness franchise requires more expertise – you need to be a health nut to run a gym, right?

Not true, at least according to Brian Cygan, founder of up and coming fitness company The Exercise Coach. He’s looking for franchise owners that fit the same demographic as his preferred clients: people frustrated with conventional exercise norms who don’t have the time or ability to spend an hour doing high-impact gym workouts every day.

The idea is that the people who do best as Exercise Coach franchisees are the ones who would get the most out of it themselves – to Brian, a sense of entrepreneurship and a desire to give back to the community and do something meaningful are more important than fitness expertise.

And so far, targeting that demographic has paid off – The Exercise Coach, based in Illinois, started franchising in 2010 and has already expanded to 16 locations across the country. Brian hopes to have 250-300 locations in the next five years.

You can read more about Brian and his plans for the franchise at The Daily Herald and the Lake Zurich Courier