Leicester studio latest opening for world’s fastest growing Pilates-inspired, cardio infused training concept
LONDON, UK: STRONG Pilates – the innovative Pilates-inspired, cardio-infused fitness franchise born out of Australia – has announced network sales of £10.8 million as London-based UK managing director and former Australian cricketer John Hastings, 37, targets eleven new UK fitness studios by March. The long-term ambition is to bring over 100 studios to the UK.
The news comes as STRONG Pilates opens its second UK studio in Leicester, with plans for Fulham, Putney, Wimbledon, Market Harborough, Exeter, Brighton, Dublin, Belfast, West Bridgford and Mayfair to follow, and in excess of 20 locations reserved as Hastings expects to see STRONG Pilates UK replicate impressive YoY growth of 350% seen for the franchise in its native Australia.
Founded as recently as 2019, STRONG Pilates has already garnered over 8,000 members globally including some 200+ at its recently opened UK-first Islington studio, but with over 12 million people practising Pilates in the UK, and with HIIT training also experiencing a boom, Hastings recognises STRONG Pilates’ huge UK growth potential.
Hastings, who was one of the first to own a STRONG Pilates franchise in Australia, explains: “The concept is the first-of-its-kind, and uses a patented ‘Rowformer’ machine – part Pilates reformer, part rowing machine, to provide a full-body workout that combines high-intensity with low-impact, controlled strength training – which the UK market has been crying out for.”
Hastings adds: “It’s incredibly exciting to be opening our second UK studio in Leicester, and I’ve always been a big advocate for reformer, particularly while I was playing international cricket. You see the toll it takes with Ben Stokes a perfect example of that, and I personally, always turned to Pilates as both an injury prevention and recovery tool.”
While STRONG Pilates now has in excess of 50 studios open across Australasia, also having recently introduced a ‘ride’, bike element across studios, the concept was founded by Australian duo Michael Ramsey and Mark Armstrong, previously successful F45 franchise owners, who acknowledged a different fitness method driving the evolution of the fitness sector.
STRONG Pilates co-founder, Michael Ramsey explains: “The industry has shifted away from 8-week challenges, dropping 10% body fat and before and after photos. Our users are telling us it’s all about the holistic health piece.”
Michael adds: “That’s what STRONG Pilates offers – it’s cardio, flexibility, mobility, strength, HIIT training, injury prevention, mental fitness and more. As a full body workout, you save on needing multiple memberships and our members see incredible results.”
With first-hand experience as a STRONG Pilates franchisee in Australia, now with the UK Master Franchise License enabling him to roll the concept out rapidly across the UK, Hastings is keen to point out the opportunity for franchisees too.
He explains: “Some studios are achieving in excess of £500,000 in revenue annually in Australia, and if anything, the biggest challenge for us here in the UK has been finding suitable studio locations given the unique specifications required.”
He continues: “We pride ourselves, however, on the level of support we provide franchisees with from start to finish, both onboarding and through their journeys, with over £250,000 having been invested into programming. That translates into what we think is unrivalled support as compared to other franchisors on the market – from finding locations, to fit outs, technology, our STRONG Academy for instructors and more.”
It is expected that STRONG Pilates will create some 1200+ jobs in the UK in-line with its 100-studio+ UK ambition, as the franchise goes from strength to strength globally – beyond Australasia and the UK, the brand has already committed to 70 locations in Canada, and a further 11 across Singapore.