Thursday, May 8, 2008

Personal Training Co. Expanding, Newton Firm Sells Franchises

“Hiring a personal trainer used to be considered a luxury afforded only by the rich and famous.
But one-on-one training has become more mainstream in the last decade, and it’s a $4 billion-plus industry that the owners of One2One BodyScapes hope to eventually ride across the country. The Newton company is making a franchise push to expand the number of its private personal training studios outside Massachusetts. Plans call for selling up to 150 locations within five years. Co-owner Rob Shapiro attributes the growing popularity of personal training to a desire to fit effective workouts into busy lifestyles as the importance of exercise is constantly preached to a nation plagued by obesity. A typical One2One studio employs six to 10 trainers that serve 100 to 120 clients who pay $72 to $90 an hour. The company has grown to eight studios in Massachusetts, including five owned by franchisees, since opening its first in Newton in 1997. “We really tried to get out of the health club environment, where clients could just train with a trainer and they didn’t have to worry about the crowds at the facility and waiting in line for equipment,” co-owner Alan Smith said. More than 6.3 million U.S. consumers annually pay for personal training services, according to the Boston-based International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.”

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