All Crunch and No Judgment
Every once in a while I like to give a shout-out to a company that’s doing their own thing in the fitness industry and being rewarded for it with success. Crunch Fitness and their franchisees are a great example of exactly that. They have a business model that is unique and creative. I’m not suggesting that you should run out and get a Crunch Fitness franchise; I’m writing this out of interest and passion for the industry. I have no affiliation with Crunch Fitness or their franchisees.
The last review that I posted was for Planet Fitness and this is similar. Both gym companies fill a low cost big-box market space with a lean but friendly culture and philosophy. Crunch is the smaller of the two but they have a solid hold on their market sectors in the locations that they serve. Crunch Fitness has a mixed model of Owned and Franchise Gym locations. They have more than 200,000 members and counting, through locations in the United States and Australia.
If You Can Explain Yourself There You Can Do It Anywhere
People accuse New Yorkers of being jaded and hard to please. I have never found that to be the case. Yes, they do have certain expectations and they’re very quick on the uptake. The New York attitude is is smart and always looking for something new and creative. That’s the perfect environment to nurture innovative and unexpected new ways to do just about everything. That includes fitness.
New Yorkers want to be able to grasp a concept or business model fast. If you can’t explain it in a few words then they tend to lose interest. This is the home of the elevator pitch that you give the VP you just "happened" to meet in the lobby, on the way up to the forty-fifth floor. Crunch Fitness is kind-of like that and they have been coming up with catchy group activities since they planted their first roots in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan in 1989.
Fitness Fun And Judgment-Free Juxtapositions
I think those Big Apple roots explain the Crunch Fitness attitude to using creative combinations of activities that make a fusion of fitness with that which is intense and fun. If you stop to think that something is a bad idea before you try it then you won’t get anywhere and that is the source of the Crunch ethos of fun with no judgment. By being a bit quirky and innovative Crunch have created a niche for themselves that is both unexpected and repeatable.
Crunch Fitness invented classes such as Hip-Hop Aerobics and Co-Ed Wrestling that fuse fit and fun in unexpected ways. Some of the class names sound quirky. That is the reason they work. They’re creative, simple to grasp in a self-explanatory kind of way, and they make you do a double take when you hear them. You get the full range of equipment that you’d expect at a big-box gym, plus the obligatory classes, such as spinning, yoga and dance-based workouts. But with the twist of innovative recombinations and mixes of workout concepts.
Business Model Fusion
Fast forward from the start into the company’s third decade and you have an outfit that has changed ownership a few times but it’s settling in to a niche in the market. The prices are kept competitive and there are always lots of classes to choose from. From what I’ve seen there is high demand and a happy membership across most branches. They are still expanding and have a mix of company owned and franchised gyms. The culture and values promote a friendly non judgmental atmosphere. The also strive to provide a clean fitness space, which is easy to do and most appreciated by membership.
When I say that Crunch Fitness are all crunch and no judgment I do mean it in the best possible way. Their gyms are friendly and inexpensive places to workout. They are meeting places for classes that are fun and positive. A clean environment that where you can connect and get on track to make positive strides in fitness. What more could you want?