F45’s Pilates Concept Goes Global


Low-impact training is fueling high-intensity growth. 

The news: F45 Training is taking its Pilates-inspired studio FS8 global, signing franchise agreements in South Korea, the UK, and Europe.

Master franchisees Embrace and Club Sports Group will open flagships in Seoul’s Seongsu neighborhood and London’s Oxford Circus, respectively, before debuting additional sites in their territories. 

Of note, FS8 is also scaling up stateside, with studios in Texas, Florida, Michigan, and Massachusetts. 

Take two. Billed as a new undertaking, FS8’s expansion is years in the making. 

F45 initially introduced the reformer-based toning brand in 2021, intending to hit 500 global studios. Doubling down, it acquired Australian Pilates concept Vive Active that same year. 

But, F45 was forced to pause growth and lay off staff in 2022 amid operational mismanagement. After delisting from the NYSE and hiring a new CEO, the company is expanding once again. 

Easy does it. Riding the Pilates boom, F45 debuted athletic-based reformer studio VAURA in NYC this year. Not alone, Club Pilates, [solidcore], JetSet, and STRONG Pilates are capitalizing on the trend. 

Punchline: Appearing on the Fitt Insider Podcast, F45 CEO Tom Dowd said he was focused on stabilizing the business before returning to growth mode. Signaling what’s to come, Dowd mentioned Pilates and recovery are priorities, meaning the latter may be in the works as well. 

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