Anytime Fitness Owner Launches International HIIT Franchise


With functional fitness brands battling it out, hyper-condensed classes are the latest hook.

What’s happening: Anytime Fitness parent Self Esteem Brands (SEB) will launch SUMHIIT Fitness, a HIIT studio franchise, in Australia this autumn.

Part of a wider strategy to accelerate its global footprint, the company plans to operate locations across every continent, utilising Anytime Fitness’ franchising network as a shortcut to growth.

Digging deeper: SUMHIIT claims to deliver the same results as functional fitness competitors’ 45- and 50-minute sessions in a shorter amount of time. Its hyper-condensed, 35-minute format rotates between 60-second bursts of cardio on an air bike and strength training exercises.

Of note, SUMHIIT is a 1:1 twin of US concept Basecamp Fitness (acquired by SEB in 2018), but with the trade name unavailable on the global stage (for now), the company side-stepped in order to pursue its broad ambitions.

Bold move… Launching in Australia, the birthplace of functional fitness concepts F45, BFT, and Fitstop, could be seen as a direct call-out to competitors. While Australian fitness concepts experience global growth, piggybacking off their popularity (with a “superior” offering) is one way to generate consumer interest… and create new rivalries.

Less is More

With lack of time being one of the main barriers to exercise, ultra-efficient workout concepts getting members in and out of the studio in under 40 minutes are a valuable commodity.

Credible research showing shorter workouts can be just as beneficial — if not more so — as longer sessions is also driving a shift towards condensed classes.

  • EMS training concept Bodystreet, which utilises low-frequency electrical impulses to increase strength and muscle mass in just 20 minutes, franchises 300+ studios in seven countries.
  • Dutch data-driven strength concept fit20, known for its weekly 20-minute training sessions, has 140 studios in nine countries, including the UK, US, Sweden, and Morocco.
  • Digital fitness platform Fiit and Assault Fitness recently extended their partnership on AssaultBike-centered HIIT workouts designed for shorter, ultra-efficient workouts.

Yet… The level of fitness required to achieve the maximum benefits of shorter workouts won’t work for everyone – particularly the more sedentary. More so, the idea of “pushing your body to its limits” falls in contrast to mainstream trends in mindful exercise and longevity.

Looking ahead: In an increasingly crowded market, preaching brand superiority to the already converted fitness consumer is becoming more tricky. But SEB’s existing size and scale, combined with Basecamp’s proven model in the US, provides a pretty solid starting point.

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