How to predict the winning horse | IC Episode 25 with Justin McDonnel

You are currently viewing How to predict the winning horse | IC Episode 25 with Justin McDonnel

In this episode of Industry Change I chat with Justin McDonnel, Co-Founder & Chair of Collective Wellness Group which includes Anytime Fitness, Orange Theory and Xtend Barre. 


Justin had grown up around Fitness with his dad being a professional footballer and was always around his dad’s gym. That fitness background combined with a franchise background caused Justin in 2008 to see a gap in the marketplace in Australia for the 24/7 fitness model. And eventually lead to them opening Anytime Fitness.

Their goal was to have 200-300 locations around Australia. Now they are sitting at over 500 locations and still growing with Sydney locations sold out.

So, where does Justin see the fitness industry heading?

As surprising as it is, the 24/7 model is still growing and there is still a significant amount of people still signing up to gyms every year. But people are looking for relationships rather than just a membership. Larger gyms and 24/7’s can achieve this even on a larger scale, but have to focus on the manager and coaches building relationships with members.

And there is a definite opportunity for the studio model and boutique fitness model to grow and expand, especially considering it is much easier for boutiques to build that relational style of training.

Like many business owners, Justin was the one doing the sales, looking at real estate, opening clubs and everything else operationally that you have to do when you start a new business. In order to grow they knew they needed to hire people who were better at things than they were. So they set themself goals in order to hire people. When they reach a certain amount of clubs, they would hire someone. 

It can be hard as a business owner to get out of that day to day being in the business, but Justin recommends trying to take half a day or a day out of your business to really focus on business growth, handing over small things to your team, and being disciplined with reporting to so you can respond, rather than react to the dynamics in the business.

To find out more about Justin, connect with him on LinkedIn