In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn about Body20 from its Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Pena.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you tell us what inspired Body20 and how it got its start?
Chris Pena (CP): Our concept was founded by Bert Albertse, a South African native who was born into a life of poverty and inconsistency. He never knew where he, his sister and his mother, a single parent, would be sleeping or when his next meal might come. He spent his life searching for stability and while at Stellenbosch University, the self-proclaimed control freak knew that the only way he could achieve the success he hoped was to be his own boss. He sought out entrepreneurial endeavors eventually dropping out of University to open a supplements company.
Only breaking even, Bert knew he had to think bigger to support his now growing family as his girlfriend was pregnant with their first child. Then, in 2014, while in Dubai for a fitness conference, Bert was introduced to the state-of-the-art Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS) equipment. Amazed by its ability to deliver a whole week’s worth of strength training in only 20 minutes, Bert took a risk and spent his life savings, plus a loan from a friend, to buy a full body stimulation suit. From there, Body20 was born and within its first year, Bert recouped all startup capital.
Currently, we have 61 studios open worldwide and are growing through strategic franchise development across the United States. We recently began expanding to the United States in 2017 following the FDA approval of EMS training. Two years later, Body20 currently has seven studios open in Florida and South Carolina with four additional U.S. locations in the pipeline.
FC: What sets Body20 apart from other fitness concepts in the space?
CP: What makes Body20 different is our ability to meet the rapidly changing expectations of the consumer within the fitness space. They demand more than merely a space that has a treadmill and weights, but, rather, they expect results-driven workouts that are tailored to their unique situations and expectations. Body20 gives members a sense of status and exclusivity that others may not be able to tap into.
We also offer InBody Assessments, which is an express body assessment tool that is used to establish a baseline for each client’s body compositions. It includes results on the client’s body fat percentage and lean mass content amongst other valuable information. These evaluations enable our clients to accurately track results and monitor progress throughout their Body20 training regime. Alongside Body20 trainers, our clients can now monitor muscle imbalances and identify body fat areas.
Strategically targeting critical areas with Technology-Driven training to achieve maximum results makes it easier to fully understand the changes and progress your body is making over time through our workouts.
FC: Can you explain EMS training and the benefit it has on gym-goers?
CP: Electro Muscle Stimulation is a form of stimulating muscles using light, painless, electric impulses. Just as our central nervous system sends electrical impulses to control our muscle action, EMS replicates this natural process, sending electrical impulses to muscles for the purpose of strength training and fitness.
There are several benefits of EMS training – the biggest being 20 minutes of EMS training is equivalent to two hours of conventional strength training. This is due to every muscle group being activated at the exact same time every four seconds. You get 36,000 muscle contractions, which is 150 times more than conventional training.
EMS training is also easy on the joints, which prevents the risk of strain and injury. Since there is no weight load added, your stabilizer and mobilizer muscles are strengthened, ultimately supporting your skeletal structure and joints. It also corrects muscular imbalances as it trains antagonistic muscle groups and the core muscles simultaneously, all while doing function movements required for a dynamic and hard-hitting workout.
Something our clients really enjoy is the reduction of cellulite through our cardio program, which breaks down the collagen build-up that causes the lumpy-like appearance of cellulite. Meanwhile, the explosive EMS strength training offers a hypertrophic contraction to each muscle group, creating a leaner and stronger physique appearance.
Each person who walks through our doors is physically different and has different goals in mind. We take everything into consideration when creating a workout for a member. Each workout plan is tailored for each client. No person has the same body and the same goal as another, so the workouts shouldn’t be the same. Utilizing EMS technology and a customized workout allows for all of our clients to reach their health goals.
FC: What qualities does Body20 look for in a potential franchisee?
CP: A potential Body20 franchisee has to have the same passion we do for helping members reach their overall fitness and wellness goals. We also seek potential franchisees who are highly involved, have sales and marketing abilities, and hold a high standard for people in management, all while having an entrepreneurial, enthusiastic and overall positive attitude. They should also be passionate about business and fitness, sales and marketing, while having strong communication skills and the willingness to learn and acquire new skills.
While we are seeking both multi-unit and single-unit operators, we currently have a focus on multi-unit operators who have a service-oriented mindset and that act as an owner-operator.
FC: What’s next for Body20?
CP: Right now, Body20 is on track for expansion within North America, which already has seven U.S. locations with six currently in development in Florida, Chicago and Denver. As we have 61 gyms open worldwide, South Africa Body20 sells about four locations a month. We are excited to continue this growth throughout the United States to share the future of fitness!