World Gym is evolving beyond its Muscle Beach image, announcing two experience-driven formats for the next generation of exercisers.
New World, New Gym
The iconic brand made popular by Arnold Schwarzenegger is launching two new franchise models: a strength-only concept called Legacy and a reimagined big-box experience called Signature.
New legacy. World Gym Legacy is a streamlined strength-only club featuring racks and weights with only a few modern amenities like recovery areas, a cafe, and private “selfie rooms.”
Boutique-in-a-box. World Gym Signature is a 25K-square-foot health club featuring a tech-enabled classroom called Studio X, where members can take new HIIT programming with an instructor or access on-demand classes through interactive monitors.
Modernizing its classic club, Signature will also introduce a “connected cardio” section, recovery and wellness rooms, and a not-so-subtle area for glute workouts only.
Between the lines: While gyms like Life Time pack more into their athletic country clubs, World Gym sees specialization—especially with younger generations—as the way forward.
According to World Gym International COO Jarrod Saracco emphasized the brand’s aggressive targeting of new audiences:
“We’ve been closely monitoring the shift in consumer behaviors and where the industry is going. Our [new model] is going to captivate a whole new generation of franchise owners and gym members.”
Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger
Two key trends are driving the next era of gyms: 1.) boutique fitness, particularly HIIT, is still booming, and 2.) wellness-obsessed younger generations are engaging in strength training far more than boomers.
In response, fitness operators are riffing on the traditional health club model:
- UFC GYM is scaling MMA-focused big-boxes, premium health clubs, and boutique studio franchises.
- Xponential Fitness inked a deal to open a minimum of 350 boutique studios inside LA Fitness and City Sports Club locations over the next five years.
- Silofit, operator of on-demand, private gyms the size of a small office, opened its first four US locations in Miami this summer.
Takeaway: Gyms are catering to all price points. With HVLP clubs like Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness lowering rates and brands like Life Time and Equinox targeting the top, gyms in the middle are getting creative to compete.