Before Kayla Itsines dominated the fitness world and Instagram influencers and trainers used their knowledge of the online space, delivering curated programs and streaming workouts to people all over the world, there was only one gym that everyone apparently knew: F45. If you were passionate about health and fitness this is the place to be. Almost overnight it seemed like you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing a branch positioned at every corner, with many sweaty bodies training at different stations inside. It was a community atmosphere, a place where you were not only pushed to your limits, but supported in your health goals.
So it’s hard to believe that all of his success stems from a courageous decision by F45 Fitness founder and CEO Adam Gilchrist (not to be confused with the cricketer of the same name). Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch founded the company in 2013, not believing that their decision to open a single gym in Paddington would lead to such a lucrative and world-renowned business. Today, there are more than 1,500 studios, with approximately 2,800 franchises in 63 countries around the world.
Clearly, the move paid off and after listing his company on the New York Stock Exchange, Gilchrist made $ 500 million overnight. Today, F45 is valued at US $ 1.4 billion (approximately AU $ 1.9 billion) after being listed for US $ 325 million when it was floated on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares are soaring to $ 17.75 million from the previous $ 17 million. With Gilchrist owning 28.9 million shares of the company, what he did in one day was astounding.
As it continues to gain popularity overseas, even international celebrities are looking to claim a piece of F45. Mark Wahlberg became interested in the company in 2018 after completing his first course, and has since successfully acquired a minority stake in the company. To celebrate the company’s launch on the Stock Exchange, Wahlberg stood on the ground floor of the New York Stock Exchange building alongside Gilchrit and spoke about the company.
Speaking to local media, Wahlberg explained, “Hardcore fitness enthusiasts who don’t have the schedule, have to do it in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, don’t want to get on a bike. It is very good. But eventually it gets stagnant and boring. You want to be there with the energy of the people who work with you, by your side, inspire you, push you and support you.
He added: “The energy (at F45) is absolutely amazing.”