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Description: The IM=X® Pilates Studio franchise is a turnkey fitness and back care business for entrepreneurs, fitness enthusiasts, personal trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and sports medicine doctors. Opportunities: Single and multi-unit franchises available throughout the United States. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $50,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, from the company. Training Provided: Yes. SBA-Approved: Yes.


IM=X® Pilates and Fitness Franchise Video

IM=X® Pilates and Fitness Franchise Video

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Qualified applicants can receive equipment financing from our affiliate.

Interview with Lauren Humm Fakete, President of IM=X Pilates and Fitness


For years, IM=X Pilates and Fitness has been an innovator in the pilates and fitness industry, creating a new generation of pilates, cycling, yoga, ballet bar and cardio inspired workouts. Founded by Elyse McNergney in 1994 to meet the demand for pilates-style fitness in the mainstream fitness industry, IM=X Pilates has been raved about in publications such as Self, Shape, Entrepreneur, and The New York Times, to name a few. 

In this Success Story Interview, IM=X Pilates and Fitness President Lauren Humm Fakete tells us about this exciting franchise opportunity. Read on to find out about the state of the fitness franchise industry, the benefits of the investment, and more!

Can you tell us a little about the history of IM=X Pilates and Fitness and the part you play in the franchise?

I am the President of the company, and began working with IM=X Pilates and Fitness in 2010. As a former professional dancer, marathon runner and triathlete, I was looking for something that I had passion for and could believe in from a Scientific level. I was impressed with IM=X Pilates and the Founder, Elyse McNergney, for creating patented equipment and certifications that have been used in the industry for over 20 years.

Elyse started IM=X Pilates and Fitness to meet the growing demand for pilates-style fitness geared towards a mainstream clientele. Elyse was certified in traditional pilates, and also has an M.A. in Movement Science from NYU and an M.Ed in Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, and authored the book “Pilates for Men.” So she was the perfect person to innovate and update pilates to allow us to work with larger groups, clients of all ages and abilities, and the rehabilitation market.

Why should prospective franchisees be excited about an IM=X Pilates franchise?

IM=X Pilates and Fitness provides all the tools and training needed to become an industry leader in the fitness field. From instructor certifications to business and marketing training, we provide support above and beyond the competitors. Some of our most successful franchisees entered our system without a fitness background or business ownership experience. Our franchisees have an edge in the marketplace because of our innovative proprietary programming which has been proven powerful for a wide range of users above and beyond traditional Pilates programs. We offer our franchisees unlimited education included in the franchise relationship, which results in the highest quality instruction and private training services. So your services are consistent, superior, and unique in your marketplace.

IM=X Pilates and Fitness Franchise

How would you describe the fitness franchise market right now?

The biggest trends we have seen in the fitness market include: boutique fitness concepts, personal and small group training, physical therapy and rehabilitation components. IM=X Pilates and Fitness addresses all of these areas as well as Pilates-style training which has emerged as a mainstay in the field of fitness. The IM=X formula is truly exercise as medicine – it is why we can be proud to work with everyone from professional NFL athletes, to the back wellness community.

What are some trends to keep an eye out for within your industry segment?

The trend that we seek to address is keeping the consumer constantly engaged with new and exciting hybrid workouts. For example, a workout that combines Pilates reformer sequencing with indoor cycling, or a ballet barre programming that also incorporates a wall tower, or a boot camp that combines a variety of equipment in a circuit-training style. IM=X has been an innovator for many years in hybrid fitness formats, taking a page from prolific researchers who have created the foundation of Science which gives credence to this style of exercise as a permanent feature in the field of physical medicine. We are truly pulling from a broad range of sources to supply the consumer with fun, creative, and substantial workouts that make a difference - hence the name Integrated Movement Exercise, or IM=X. Our franchisees get to work with a team of fitness industry professionals, not just MBAs. As an IM=X Pilates and Fitness owner, you’re able to reach consumers who are interested mostly in Pilates but also Cycling, Yoga, Ballet Barre, Rehabilitation and more.

What does the training look like for an IM=X Pilates franchisee?

A new IM=X Pilates and Fitness studio owner will complete Business Training (eight modules completed by phone and online), as well as the IM=X Pilates certification courses. We recommend that new studio owners complete our Basic, Advanced and Tower certifications prior to opening. From there, you and your team will have access to ten certification courses to continually update your class offerings at your studio. Our Master Trainers will come on-site to your studio location so you receive a hands-on, comprehensive learning experience for you and your team. As your business continues to grow, our continuing education training can be completed either on-site or remotely via Skype, at your discretion. And the best part is – our continuing education is free in the franchise relationship!

IM=X Pilates and Fitness Franchise

What are the most important traits IM=X Pilates looks for in prospective franchisees?

We look for motivated, organized professionals who have a passion for fitness and helping others!

What makes the investment cost worth it? Is there risk?

The initial franchise fee includes your equipment, business training and support as well as unlimited certifications for yourself and staff for the life of your business! This alone makes up the value of the franchise fee; in addition, you receive the training and support of an established business model so that you can excel against the competition in your marketplace.

There is risk involved in opening any new business, but there is less risk when you join the IM=X Pilates and Fitness system, as you become part of a program which is proven successful over time and backed by Science. The franchisor has taken the time to create extensive support tools so that you have a solid foundation to capitalize on.

What’s the biggest mistake you see from your incoming franchisees? How can it be avoided?

We find that following our Marketing Workbook is the key to a successful new business. Skimping on marketing is probably the biggest mistake a new franchisee can make. Another mistake would be not using the free continuing education for your staff since we provide a wealth of formats and knowledge to continue to grow your studio business.

What advice would you give first time franchisees?

Rely on the support and years of experience of the IM=X Pilates and Fitness team. When you join our franchise system, there is no need to “go at it alone” or re-invent the wheel. Most of the groundwork has already been laid for you; just follow the steps outlined in the Operations Manual and Marketing Workbook, and you will be successful!

IM=X Pilates and Fitness Franchise

Why is the fitness franchise industry a good industry for a prospective franchisee?

The fitness franchise industry has withstood the test of time. We consistently see Health and Wellness industries ranked as among the most profitable. Fitness boutiques make up most of the industry’s growth. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association, 42% of the 54 million members of health and fitness facilities in the U.S. use fitness boutiques.

What’s next for IM=X Pilates and Fitness in terms of expansion?

IM=X Pilates and Fitness will never lose its roots in providing a solid exercise science education. However; we have an aggressive growth strategy, are expanding our key management team and actively pursuing new markets, while promising to also continue to offer the best support for the longevity of the brand. Everyone can expect to see a lot of growth at IM=X Pilates and Fitness, which might not make us the largest, but we will always maintain our position of the most supportive Pilates franchise.


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