Spotlight: Body Fit Training Brings a New Group Dynamic to Strength Training

Group fitness classes are common in some niches. But strength training has traditionally been an individual exercise. That is, until now. Body Fit Training is an emerging franchise in the U.S. that aims to help more people realize the benefits of strength training. Read about the company and its new franchising plans in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers strength training classes.

President Lou DeFrancisco told Small Business Trends, “Body Fit Training is a boutique fitness company offering 50-minute group strength training classes led by highly accredited coaches in a welcoming environment. BFT taps into the popularity of functional and strength training and elevates these functionalities by combining elements of personal training with group exercise instruction, built to deliver results at every fitness level.”

Business Niche

Offering science-backed programming.

DeFrancisco says, “Our programming is periodized over 8 to 10 weeks, allowing members to workout five or six days a week and see results while limiting the risk of injury. If you go to a lot of our competitors five or six days a week, you will repeat the same workout or the workout won’t vary much. And your fitness results will plateau.

“BFT also uses proprietary heart rate monitors that give members a PxI score (performance x intensity score). So results are uniquely tailored to them, even in a communal setting. In each class, members are rewarded with a gold, silver, or bronze ranking based on their PxI score. So everybody feels a sense of pride and accomplishment after the workout. The combination of programming, heart rate training, and multiple coaches per workout create strong communities that keep people coming back.”

Business Origin Story

As an Australian brand.

Fitness industry veteran Cameron Falloon originally founded the company in Melbourne, Australia in 2017.

DeFrancisco explains, “Xponential Fitness is bringing the concept to the U.S. Xponential acquired BFT in 2021. And I became President of the brand after successfully helping grow StretchLab, our assisted-stretching brand within the Xponential family of brands, to over 200 locations. My BFT team is working hard alongside our many new franchise partners to bring the global success of our strength training concept to markets all over North America.”

Biggest Win

Growing the franchise program quickly in the U.S.

DeFrancisco adds, “Our biggest win so far is securing almost 200 franchise agreements for BFT in North America within its first year as part of the Xponential Fitness family. The world started to emerge from the worst of the pandemic in 2022. And entrepreneurs and consumers started placing an emphasis on fitness again, which we believe has helped BFT thrive in these initial stages of franchising.”

Biggest Risk

Acquiring an unproven brand in the U.S.

DeFrancisco explains, “We identified a gap in the market for strength training in the U.S. and saw a huge opportunity in acquiring a strength training brand like BFT. The risk was the founders only opened two locations in the US prior to our purchase. But we felt confident in applying the Xponential playbook to BFT for the North American market. And the launch of our early studios has exceeded our expectations so far.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Supporting franchisees.

DeFrancisco says, “While we are known for providing exceptional support for our franchise partners, I would always invest in more support if it helps their businesses and ultimately our brand. Perhaps that’s additional national marketing or advertising to drive studio leads or even more creative assets for franchise partners to leverage in their studio marketing. When our franchisees are succeeding, we are succeeding. So supporting them is always my top priority.”

Team Tradition

A convention with some big names.

DeFrancisco adds, “We just held our first ever BFT North America Convention, which was a part of XCON, the Xponential Fitness Annual Convention, in Las Vegas. We had over 50 franchise partners attend and we spent two full days teaching and motivating. It included a presentation by Gary Vee. And we wrapped it up with a party and private concert with Nelly!”

Favorite Quote

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

DeFrancisco says, “These words have been a through-line in my life, personally, professionally and spiritually.”

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Image: Body Fit Training

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.