Ellen Says: Fitness First is the largest privately owned health club group in the world with over 540 Fitness First clubs worldwide reaching over 1.4 million members in 19 countries. In the UK alone there are 161 Fitness First clubs with over 425,000 members.
In 2005 the company was acquired by BC Partners, a European private equity group.
In Australia, Fitness First took over a number of Living Well Lady locations owned by the Hilton Group. Also they bought the 11-gym Healthland chain from an administrator, and now own over 80 gyms across Australia.
In late 2006, Fitness First reached the milestone of 500 clubs worldwide, marked by the opening of the fourth club in Sydney, Australia.
It is behind the worldwide International Fitness Week campaign to encourage more people to find out what fitness regime works for them. The campaign uses former Spice Girl Mel B as the face of International Fitness Week
Gbex says: Fitness First has a range of different products and services including BodyFirst, group exercise classes, cardio machines, and operates annual New You Achievement Awards to recognise the progress of members. Fitness First is also the company behind International Fitness Week which takes place each February. Initiatives in 2009 have included the launch of Strictly Fit in conjunction with BBC Worldwide - a low impact aerobics group class open to members and non-members. Fitness First also announced that former Spice Girl Mel B will be the face of International Fitness Week in 2010.
The Asian arm of fitness first (with 71 clubs covering Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) in addition to offering the above products has recently developed their 'Lose Big Program' which was developed for the Biggest Loser Asia - Fitness First being anchor sponsors and the employer of the head trainers. The Lose Big Program is a 13 week weight management program designed for those with substantial weight loss needs.
Lawrence says: Because Fitness First operates in so many different countries it has many different membership options around the world.
Fitness First (Australia) offers a number of membership plans on different terms. Some membership contracts have a minimum term of one year and incur a cancellation fee on exit.
Others are billed on a fortnightly basis and can be cancelled with 4 week notice. On the "home" plan, members can access one Fitness First location. Other plans allow members access to any standard Fitness First gym within Australia. Limitations apply on access to international Fitness First gyms. Fees range from around $40 to $110 per month.