- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Anytime Fitness: A Healthy Fit for Entrepreneurial Vets

by Sarah Whitman, Contributing Writer

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Article Sponsored by: JDog

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Anytime Fitness has a simple mission: “To help entrepreneurs realize their dreams of owning their own businesses, while contributing positively to their communities, and to help our gym members get to a healthier place.”

Founded in 2002, Anytime Fitness now has more than 3,000 gyms operating in all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries. And it’s added an average of 300 gyms a year each year for the past eight years. Furthermore, approximately 10 percent of the Anytime Fitness gyms in the United States are owned by military veterans - and the company would like to see that percentage rise.

That’s great news for health-minded veterans who are hoping to transition into a fitness-related career or aspire to own a franchise. At Anytime, veterans hold positions as franchisees, managers and personal trainers. The company also participates in VetFran (, offering veterans a 20 percent discount on its franchise fee) and has partnered with Tee It Up for the Troops on “Operation HeartFirst” (, a grant designed to help military veterans open their own gyms and provide additional employment opportunities for fellow veterans.

Mark Daly, National Media Director of Anytime Fitness, says veterans’ military skill sets serve them well in fitness-related positions. “They typically are uniquely qualified to simultaneously lead, follow directions and work well as part of a team,” he says. “They also work well under pressure and demonstrate resourcefulness in rapidly evolving situations.”

Today’s fitness consumers are demanding more than simply “a space to exercise” these days, Daly adds. “Among other things, consumers want tracking devices and measurement tools, quantifiable results; virtual coaching, support and information from trainers; nutritional guidance and personalized ‘get started’ plans.”

Sgt Aaron Spears is the owner of an Anytime Fitness franchise in Webster Groves, MO. He served as a Scout Sniper in the United States Marine Corps Reserves from 2003-2009. “My wife and I became interested in buying a franchise in 2012 after talking to a colleague who owned an Anytime Fitness in San Antonio, TX. Our friend spoke so highly about the company and gave us an insight to how we would run our future gym. The military discount and low monthly franchise fee is one of the main things that appealed to us at first, along with the flexibility of owning and operating a franchise that has a proven success record with limited staff.”

If you are interested in a fitness-related career, many of Anytime’s 2,200 U.S. locations are currently hiring managers and personal trainers. To find contact information for the nearest gym, visit

Sarah Whitman is a freelance writer and editor specializing in design, creativity and career advice. You can find her portfolio online and connect with her via LinkedIn and on Twitter @SarahMWhitman.

Return to September/October 2016 Issue