Before Kayla Itsines came to dominate the world of fitness and the likes of Intagram influencers and trainers took their knowledge to the online space, delivering curated programs and streaming workouts to people around the world, there was only one gym everybody seemingly knew: F45. If you were passionate at all about health and fitness, this was the place to be. Almost overnight, it seemed you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing a branch positioned on every corner, with numerous sweating bodies working out at various stations inside. This was a community atmosphere, a place where you were not only pushed to your limits but supported in your health goals.
It’s hard to believe then, that all of its success stemmed from one brave decision from F45 fitness founder and CEO, Adam Gilchrist (not to be confused with the cricket player of the same name). Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch founded the company in 2013, never believing that their decision to open a single gym in Paddington would lead to such a lucrative and universally renowned enterprise. Now, there are more than 1,500 studios, with roughly 2,800 franchises in 63 counties around the world.
Clearly, the decision paid off and after floating his company on the New York Stock Exchange, Gilchrist made $500 million overnight. Now, F45 is valued at $US1.4 billion (approx. $1.9 billion AUD) after it was put up for $US325 million in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares skyrocket to $17.75 million USD up from the previous $17 million. With Gilchrist holding 28.9 million shares in the company, what he made in one day was staggering.
As it continues to gain popularity overseas, even international celebrities are looking to claim a piece of F45. Mark Wahlberg took an interest in the company in 2018 after taking his first class, and has since successfully acquired a minority stake in the company. In celebration of the company’s launch on the Stock Exchange, Wahlberg stood on the ground floor of the NY Stock Exchange building alongside Gilchrit and talked about the company.
Speaking to local media outlets, Wahlberg explained, “Die-hard fitness enthusiasts who don’t have the schedule, got to do it in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, don’t want to get on a bike. That’s fine. But eventually that becomes, stagnant and boring. You want to be in there with the energy of people working out with you, alongside you, inspiring you, pushing you and supporting you.”
He added, “The energy (at F45) is absolutely incredible.”