At-home personal training isn’t a new concept, but franchising it is.
Personal training franchise GymGuyz opened its 24th New Jersey location Memorial Day weekend, servicing north Essex and lower Passaic counties. The Long Island, N.Y. based company has grown to over 200 locations in 30 states and three countries since it started franchising five years ago.
With five additional locations slated to open by the end of 2019, New Jersey is poised to be the first state the disrupter maxes out: expected locations in Sussex, Camden, and Burlington counties bring total territories in the state to 29 (Burlington and Camden each have two) in a population that allows for 40.
“Our main product is really convenience. Some of our clients are commuting back and forth to New York. People are in the car. In 2019 they want to live longer, lose the weight, and be active, they just have less time,” said Ray Reichard, vice president of franchise development. “They want to do it in a setting of their choice.”
GymGuyz trainers can show up anytime between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. with a special van chock full of mobile fitness equipment, and some of the 365 pieces the van carries are suitable for pool exercise or outdoors.
According to Leroy Huggins, franchisee of the north Essex and lower Passaic territory, they welcome a venue change.
“If you have a beautiful day and GymGuyz has an appointment with you, we can go enjoy the sun and you can have a different and creative session than what you did last time. The house one day, your basement, the backyard, your office,” Huggins said. “It’s all invited.”
Before becoming a franchisee, Huggins worked in the corporate world, driving across the bridge to New York each day. What he felt would resonate well with New Jerseyans, he said, was GymGuyz’s opportunity for “fitness to come to you.”
That’s what resonated with franchisee Phil Brojan, owner of the Morris County territory launched in January, with at-home personal training. Before he was ever introduced to GymGuyz, he tried at-home personal training from a small local outfit when his health was, as he called it, “out of hand.”
“Being kind of a busy executive and traveling extensively, before I knew it I was 250 pounds,” he said. “I told myself ‘I can’t go to the gym after work because by then I’ll miss my kids altogether, and I can’t start earlier than I was, so someone has to come to the house to train me after my boys go to sleep.’ Before I knew it I lost 60 pounds.”
When the trainer comes to you, he said, there’s no excuses for weather or traffic.
“It’s a different workout accountability model altogether,” Brojan said.
When Brojan was introduced to the GymGuyz concept at the International Franchise Expo in New York, his own experience with in-home training inspired him to purchase a franchise.
His Morris County territory took off. With his first five months behind him, his location is already the number four performing location in the whole GymGuyz network. It’s the number one franchise under two years of age for year-to-date sales, and had the fastest ramp-up in GymGuyz franchise history.
The company’s growth, explained Brojan, has a lot to do with the bond that’s created with a trainer you let into your home.
“They see you in your home, they meet your family, they see pictures on the wall. There’s a different relationship there, and when you’re struggling to get into shape, it’s more than just getting that. There’s emotional support,” Brojan said.
In one year, GymGuyz jumped a couple hundred spots—from 470 to 231—on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list.