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Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast

Jul 23, 2019

Chuck Runyon is the CEO of Self Esteem Brands, LLC, and Anytime Fitness, the world’s fastest growing gym brand. Since its founding in 2002 in a small town in Minnesota, Anytime Fitness has grown to over 4,500 locations serving 4 million members, and is currently on 6 continents. Chuck and his partner Dave Mortenson worked in the 1990s turning distressed clubs into profitable businesses, and realized that they could be streamlining their offerings to cater to the actual needs of their clients and using technology to provide 24/7 access to clients. Thus, Anytime Fitness was born, and today, Chuck is known as one of the industry's most inspiring influencers and heartfelt leaders.

Building a great gym brand is not about the hardware like treadmills and top notch equipment, but about the software of emotion, listening and caring. How has Chuck managed to maintain this culture of empathy across all of his franchise locations? He dives into the role of purpose, and why it’s so important to harness the power of technology to provide the best customer experience possible. Tune in to find out more about how Chuck has scaled culture, and what lies ahead for this incredible brand and its founder.


Key Takeaways:

[:54] Kelly introduces her guest for this episode — Chuck Runyon.

[2:26] Chuck gives a verbal tour of the campus.

[4:58] Where did Chuck start and how did he get to where he is today?

[6:52] By the end of 2019, Anytime Fitness will have franchises on all 7 continents.

[7:32] Chuck has made it his mission to cultivate and encourage emotional expression, which he talks about in his book, Love Work. He explains more about what that means.

[9:09] How does empathy play into the club experience?

[11:55] Where is Anytime Fitness today, and how does it fit into the broader fitness industry?

[13:21] How does Chuck scale culture?

[14:51] How does culture impact communication?

[16:21] Technology should be the delivery system of the experience, not the experience itself.

[17:28] What does the future look like for Anytime Fitness?

[18:34] For up and coming club owners or those who want to take their club to the next level, what are the elements to focus on?

[23:36] There's great power in purpose.

[25:29] What lies ahead for Chuck?


Mentioned in This Episode:

ABC Financial Services

Kelly Card

Chuck Runyon

Anytime Fitness

Self Esteem Brands, LLC

Love Work, by Chuck Runyon and David Mortensen