In the American fitness industry, Orangetheory Fitness is known for its intense training program that combines cardio with strength and endurance exercises. More than 500 new studios and 100 thousand new clients – the result of a fitness franchise in over a year. The company leads the Women President’s Organization, a list of America’s 50 fastest growing businesses run by women. Orangetheory’s annual revenue is more than $40 million. More than 1.3 thousand licenses for new studios have been sold. Orangetheory founder Ellen Latham discussed why science is important in fitness and how to attract new customers with existing ones.
A single mother of a 9-year-old son, Ellen Latham lost her job. According to a successful businesswoman, it was the most terrible time in her life, but her father, a football coach, always urged to concentrate not on what you do not have, but on what you have. Ellen Latham was certified as a Pilates teacher – and she came up with a fitness program. She gave lessons at home, and a year later she thought about hery own studio, and Orangetheory Fitness grew out of it.
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The training program that became the basis of the franchise Orangetheory Fitness did not frighten untrained people. Ellen Latham designed it for everyone, not just the 10% of clients who can attend group classes. “Metabolic and cycling don’t work scientifically”, says Latham.
Orangetheory instructors are able to energize the participants, support them and come up with interesting challenges.
Regular fitness centers offer stationary bike or circuit workouts. Orangetheory monitors each client’s heart rate and activity level throughout the session, and the results are visible on a dedicated monitor. At the end of each hour, points are awarded for maintaining the desired heart rate – a key metric for achieving fitness results.
Each lesson alternates between running, cycling, rowing and lifting weights in an hour. Changing exercises helps to overcome deficiencies. An excellent runner who lacks physical strength will easily endure running time, but when lifting weights, he/she will understand that there is something to work on. This will make the client come back.
A team of like-minded people and social networks
From the beginning, the co-founders (Ellen Latham, Jerome Kern, and Dave Long) chose people to join the team who shared their values. They made it their mission to change the fitness industry in the country.
The main promotion tools are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are many bloggers among the visitors to their centers, whose posts also help to attract new customers.