Australian gym operator F45 Training is embarking on an ambitious programme to open 50 studios across the country in the next year, Property Week can reveal.

Hugh Jackman

Where’s the site Mr Wolf?: F45 fan Hugh Jackman - Source: Shutterstock/Everett Collection

The franchise, which currently operates just one UK branch at London Bridge, has appointed Savills to secure at least 50 new sites in the UK following the success of its debut venue.

Agents are seeking single-level units of between 1,650 sq ft and 3,300 sq ft in high-footfall locations close to retail and residential areas as well as transport hubs in Greater London and other large cities.

F45, which has become a fitness craze Down Under, offers 45-minute high-intensity fitness classes, featuring 45 seconds of intense workout with 15-second rest periods in between. The company was co-founded by celebrity trainer Luke Istomin, and fans of the regime include Hugh Jackman and Nicole Richie.

“Given the rapid growth we’ve experienced around the world, we expect the franchise to perform exceptionally well in the UK too,” said Luke Armstrong, global franchise director at F45.

“People are time-poor, but they still want to have a great workout with support and encouragement from a fitness professional. This is F45 Training’s point of difference.

“The opportunity F45 offers franchisees is also extremely enticing, with a low-cost operating model that uses process-driven systems and extensive in-house technology to scale the business efficiently and profitably.”

The operator was founded in Bondi in 2013 and has since opened more than 500 venues across the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, North America and Europe.

In addition to offering instructors, its gyms display workout directions on TV screens and continually change workouts so participants never repeat the same class twice.

Untapped market

David Bell, head of UK leisure at Savills, said: “F45’s global growth over the past three years has been incredible and we are extremely pleased to be supporting its ambitious expansion into the UK, which to date has been an almost completely untapped market for the operator.”

A surge in enthusiasm for fitness in the UK in recent years has meant gym operators have been dominant players in the leisure property market, with gym membership hitting an all-time high last year at 13.7% of the population.

This week, British chain The Gym Group revealed membership numbers had soared 19.4% to 424,000 in the six months to June and that it had increased its number of branches from 63 to 80 over the period.