Franchise Training Fitness: it's Crunch time
By Meredith Kay


Very few of us enjoy working out. We will come up with any number of excuses to avoid it, and then just complain, because we aren’t where we would like to be with our fitness goals. It’s a vicious cycle that is very hard to break. However, there is one fitness franchise that is striving to put the fun back into fitness for everyone.



Crunch Fitness is one of the largest fitness clubs in the world. They have over 160 locations worldwide, with many more clubs set to open in the near future. Craig Pepin-Donat, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President for Crunch Fitness says that Crunch Fitness is best known for its group fitness classes and small group training programs, and that “Crunch has been the trend setter in group fitness for over 25 years. We adhere to the low price value model, so we make fitness affordable and fun.”

All of the fitness classes at Crunch Fitness are proprietary, and many of them are quite unusual and downright entertaining. From retro aerobics, hip-hop rhythm dance classes and even fitness classes that simulate surfing, Crunch Fitness has an exercise program to combat the excuses of even the laziest, exercise-averse couch potato.

With corporate offices in New York and New Hampshire Crunch Fitness has been franchising their fitness club concept for only 6 years. Pepin-Donat and the executive team have created an extensive training platform for new franchise owners and employees, and they are set to expand rapidly over the next few years. “I have been in the fitness industry of 34 years, and have developed training programs for some of the top fitness brands in the world. What we have been able to achieve with our curriculum at Crunch far exceeds any educational platform I have seen in the industry.” Onboarding for new franchisees includes over 170 hours of training, including existing franchise club visits, classroom training, extensive online training through their state-of-the-art “Crunch U” e-learning program, as well as in club training with specialty trainers.

At the heart of their training program, the “Crunch U” platform offers a world class e-learning program for franchise partners and their employees. In fact, every single employee that comes on board with Crunch Fitness, whether it is a fitness instructor, sales representative or maintenance person, must take the online training courses developed for their particular position. When a new employee logs onto the system, the curriculum is auto populated with learning tracks specific to his or her job. New employees will be exposed to the Crunch Fitness philosophy, as well as the company history, and brand management goals and standards.

In fact, the training modules are so specialized that all group fitness instructors and personal trainers must earn certification for each and every proprietary Crunch Fitness class that they are hired to teach. All classes are also accredited through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and/or AFPA (American Fitness Professional & Associates), which also allows the instructors to earn continuing education credits from these top fitness organizations.

With such an intense training program for new franchise partners, Crunch Fitness has achieved an incredible zero failure rate among franchisees. Pepin-Donat states that “When we train our franchisees, we are training them to do two things. We want them to learn how to own and operate their own clubs, but we also want them to learn how to build and train a successful team. We want every employee to learn what it takes to be successful in their position.”

Every new franchise owner begins their onboarding process with several hours of orientation training via webinar followed by an intense 2 day class room course called "Foundations Training" where they learn every aspect of how to find locations, build the clubs as well as club operations. This is followed by the intensive e-learning program, and finally in-club training, as the new Crunch fitness franchise goes into pre-sale and opens to the public. Pepin-Donat goes on to state that, “We are 100% committed to being there for our franchisees, with support from the day they sign on as a Franchise partner all the way through lease signing, club buildout, pre-sale and once their club is fully operational. We literally dispatch the entire training and development team to help a club owner become successful.”

The franchise program for new Crunch Fitness franchise owners is truly turnkey. This allows the new franchise owner to focus on running a smooth operation, instead of dealing with issues that most new business owners must face. Pepin-Donat and his team train their new partners to, “Execute the path as directed, so that they don’t have to waste any time trying to reinvent the wheel." Franchisors are only successful long term when their franchisees are successful,” and the training program at Crunch Fitness is designed to ensure that each new franchise owner has all of the tools needed, in order to put together a cohesive and well-trained team that knows the company proposition value inside and out. “Crunch U” is meant to educate and prepare each employee on how to create an exciting and fun environment for every club member. Exercise is hard work, but at Crunch Fitness, the small group and specialty exercise classes not only get you moving, they offer entertainment value as well.

About Crunch Fitness
Crunch is one of the hottest fitness clubs, in one of the best industries there is. It's led by a world class team of fitness professionals that have identified a sweet spot in the market that will give franchisees a competitive advantage. Crunch’s begins rather inauspiciously: in a basement level aerobics studio in New York City’s East Village circa 1989.

About Franchise Training Series
With staying true to our goal of making you more successful at your job, The Franchise Training series encompasses a wide variety of franchise topics designed to help franchisors and potential franchisees gain knowledge of business practices.

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