BFT Franchisees Build Community Through Group Strength & Conditioning

BFT is quickly striking a chord with North Americans for its science-based workouts and ability to foster connections among members, instructors and franchisees

Word-of-mouth and local reputation are the lifeblood of any small business. This is especially true in the competitive world of boutique fitness, where brands are only as strong as their members.

Body Fit Training (BFT), a strength and conditioning concept born in Australia and acquired by Xponential Fitness in 2021, is quickly striking a chord with North Americans not only for its science-based workouts but for its ability to foster connections among members, instructors, and franchisees.

BFT classes feature 50 minutes of strength and conditioning movements performed in groups of up to 36 people. Classes include compound weightlifting exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, and kettlebell swings, along with bodyweight movements and cardio work. Members can expect to use strength equipment including barbells, dumbbells, trap bars, power racks, kettlebells, rowers, SkiErgs and more

As the benefits of strength training continue to gain mainstream acceptance, fitness enthusiasts from all walks of life are becoming drawn to BFT’s blend of group camaraderie and effective, progressive eight-week programming. 

Under Xponential’s guidance, BFT has already sold nearly 300 licenses in North America, with more than 30 studios already opened. 

Athletech News spoke with some of the first BFT franchise owners in North America to get their thoughts on why they entered the fitness business, what their experience has been like with BFT so far, and how they’re building powerful communities of dedicated members. 

California Couple Finds Their Franchise Fit

Arjun and Rakhi Jagadish, a married couple from Yorba Linda, California, decided to go the franchising route in hopes of transitioning out of their corporate jobs. The couple wanted to start a franchise that would not only be financially viable, but would have a positive impact on their community and could turn into a family business they could one day pass on to their children. 

After meeting with a franchise broker, Arjun and Rakhi chose BFT due to their shared passion for fitness, and because their friends had a positive experience as franchisees of another Xponential brand, YogaSix

The Jagadishes celebrated the grand opening of their first BFT studio in Brea, California, in October 2023. While the pre-sale process wasn’t without its challenges, the couple says they’ve been blown away by how receptive the Brea community has been to BFT’s strength and conditioning workouts. They’ve quickly attracted members of all ages and fitness levels. 

“We have people in their 60s, we have people with disabilities, and they’re doing the workouts next to bodybuilders and college soccer players,” Rakhi says. “We have a lot of couples, too.”

“You’ll see a 20-year-old guy taking a class next to a sixty-year-old, and they’re both getting their butts kicked,” Arjun adds.

Arjun and Rakhi Jagadish (credit: BFT Brea/Xponential Fitness)

People also use BFT workouts to get through challenging periods in their lives, finding community along the way. One of the members at BFT Brea has used group fitness to help him overcome an alcohol problem, for example.

“He’s told us how BFT and being consistent in working out has completely changed his life,” Arjun says. “He looked so much happier and healthier in just a month.”

Arjun and Rakhi Jagadish with their children (credit: BFT Brea/Xponential Fitness)

Other BFT Brea members use group fitness as a way to get strong for important life events, such as motherhood. 

“One of the members that we’re most proud of is one who joined us when she was eight months pregnant,” Arjun recalls. “She worked out until the day her water broke, which broke when she was walking back to her car after class.” 

Everything went smoothly during the delivery, and Mom was eager to get back into class.

From Healthcare Exec to Fitness Owner

Kevin Boesen, a successful entrepreneur in the healthcare space, felt the itch to get back into business ownership after selling his company to a larger firm. After identifying fitness as a promising sector, Boesen chose BFT due to Xponential’s track record in scaling other brands and because the BFT workout aligns with his own fitness interests as well as industry trends toward strength training. 

Boesen signed a deal to bring three BFT franchises to Tucson, Arizona. He opened his first studio in October 2023, with another in Pre-Sale and a third in the works. 

At his first location, Boesen’s experience has been similar to that of the Jagadishes: people of all ages, genders and fitness levels are attracted to BFT and love the workouts. 

“The biggest surprise is how much the membership loves it,” Boesen says. “I think it fits a niche, and it’s a good opportunity to pick up some (instructor-led) training in a group setting, which helps with accountability and effort. The group setting also offers a more attractive price point than personal training does.” 

Kevin Boesen (l) with his BFT team (credit: BFT Tucson)

BFT’s emphasis on strength training helps the brand stand out in the crowded boutique fitness market, Boesen believes. While strength training has traditionally attracted mostly men, many of BFT Tucson’s members are women; there are plenty of hardcore male athletes as well. 

“There really isn’t another group model where guys can come in and push each other on squats and bench press,” Boesen says. 

It’s not just powerlifters and bodybuilders, though. 

“We’ve got a huge range, from high school athletes to seventy-year-olds who are in it because they know the importance of bone health and cardiovascular health,” Boesen says of his clientele.

The Keys to Franchising Success

The positive experiences of the Jagadishes and Boesen shouldn’t be taken to mean that running a successful BFT is easy. The franchisees have credited much of their early success to hands-on involvement in running their studios, including during the Pre-Sale process. This then allowed them to ramp up effectively and step back into managing their team, who in turn manage the ongoing studio operations.

The Jagadishes, for example, held weekend workouts for two months before they officially opened. This helped members and instructors get to know each other and encouraged word-of-mouth to spread. 

“During the time between our soft opening to our grand opening, we had a lot of members who were referring to their friends and family, saying, ‘Hey, try it out with me,’” Arjun recalls. “It’s grown into what you would really want a boutique fitness gym to be about, the members, the family and the community that we’re building here.”

For Boesen, being aggressive in his marketing approach has helped spread the word in Tucson. This is especially important since BFT is still a relatively new concept in the States.

Boesen leaned into marketing resources provided by Xponential while at the same time hiring a social media manager to run campaigns on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. He’s also embraced the friendly competition aspect of BFT, launching a contest at the beginning of 2024 to encourage his members to set ambitious fitness goals for the new year.

“Over 100 of our members did it,” Boesen reports. “Some have posted super aggressive goals like reducing body fat percentage, some people want to lose 30 to 40 pounds. Others have pretty aggressive squat goals or bench press goals.” 

Both Boesen and the Jagadishes have an important message for potential franchisees: owning a BFT can be highly rewarding, but you only get out what you put in. 

“I would tell other people to remember your purpose and goal. If you’re just looking for fast money, play the lottery,” Arjun says. “But I think if you put in the work, if you persevere and you’re consistent, the rewards will be there for you.” 

The post BFT Franchisees Build Community Through Group Strength & Conditioning appeared first on Athletech News.


您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注