OutFit Training is building a unique outdoor fitness community

OutFit Training is building a unique outdoor fitness community

Founded by Randy Hetrick, the outdoor group fitness franchise is quickly building a loyal and dedicated member base as people embrace training in the elements with like-minded individuals

OutFit Training knows the benefits of taking the road less traveled, figuratively and literally. By offering people affordable outdoor workout experiences rather than a crowded basement with bad WiFi, fluorescent lighting and that ubiquitous rubber smell, the brand’s world-class gyms on wheels are changing the way we conceptualize fitness.

With its fleet of custom fitness vans, OutFit arrives at lots, parks or even your front door with TRX equipment, expert trainers and energy-pumping music to offer a one-of-a-kind outdoor workout experience. Users connect to trainers and vans and are directed to training locations via the company’s mobile app. There, users can also book, pay and check-in for their chosen training experience with just a few clicks.

“As far as I know, nobody is doing what we’re doing outdoors,” said OutFit founder and CEO Randy Hetrick, who also founded TRX Training. “You’re out in the elements, the sun is on your face, the wind is in your hair. We train in scenic public spaces that are outdoors and inspiring.”

Building culture and community

With such a niche product, a close-knit community began around OutFit. United by common goals, Hetrick noticed a sense of camaraderie among the members. The endorphin rush that comes with being outside only makes the bond that much stronger.

“There’s something about being outdoors, in the elements and with your tribe,” Hetrick said. “We have a very strong community at OutFit. You meet outdoors with a bunch of people you know and like. You all have a common goal of taking care of yourselves there, and the elements certainly add something to that experience. It’s a bit cool. You all go out there and chase it.

Randy Hetrick (Credit: OutFit Training)

This sense of community continues after training. Members even take over organizing social events, further strengthening the OutFit community. While the OutFit workout session is what initially brings members together, the activities they do together aren’t built around workouts. Member gatherings also spring up around philanthropic causes and social events.

“Because members tend to live in hyperlocal areas near the parks and parking lots where we provide our services, you see many of the same friends at your regular workouts,” Hetrick said. “It’s funny that we had a lot of socials organized by members where they would get together and clean the beach or something fun. We have relationships with restaurants where we will go and do a class outside, then come inside and have food and drinks.

Serving those who serve us

The OutFit community is also strengthened by the inclusion of active community first responders and their immediate family members who receive free membership. OutFit also offers discounts for active duty service members and veterans of the armed forces.

“Police, fire, EMS, we take care of them,” Hetrick said. “It brings together first responders with members of the community they serve. It adds a cool element to what we do. It’s an opportunity to step up and take care of the people who care about us.”

These discounts also extend to OutFit’s franchise program, which is a new focus for the company in 2024. Spouses of active duty military members, military veterans and active duty or veteran first responders are offered a 25% discount on the initial franchise fee of the company.

As a former Navy SEAL, Hetrick understands how many people in these communities have the right attitude, talent and drive to be successful entrepreneurs, but may need help with the business side of things. OutFit provides this to its franchisees.

“You have these great, motivated, talented people who just don’t come into the business world with a lot of capital or experience,” Hetrick said. “They have great professional experience and leadership, but may lack formal business experience. It’s an argument for a franchise structure where you get a ‘business in a box’.”

“You also get a partner in the franchisor who can help you learn the ropes,” he added. “Many of the answers are already there. You just have to execute the game in a way that brings your own flavor and personality.

Why OutFit is for everyone

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OutFit’s community is poised to grow even more in the coming years given the company’s low cost of entry and flexible business model. OutFit’s mobile training vans allow for multiple revenue streams (ie large group classes, in-home personal training and corporate wellness services) and also allow for great flexibility in choosing locations rather than being tied to one physical location.

“Mobility offers you a lot of flexibility and also gives you the opportunity to make some mistakes that aren’t fatal,” Hetrick said. “If one location doesn’t work as well as you expected, you just drive down the road half a mile and go to another location. With bricks and mortar, that’s not an option.”

credit: OutFit Training

The vans also allow OutFit to branch out and attract new members by providing several different types of services in the community. Franchisees could host a large group fitness class early in the morning at the park, then drive to the elementary school parking lot to train a small private group of moms or dads after check-out before heading to the client’s house for an in-person meeting 1: 1 training session.

After lunch, you can head to a nearby high school to coach an athletic team and then hand the van over to another coach to return to the park for evening large group classes.

On the financial side of the equation, vans simply eliminate a large percentage of the upfront costs that come with starting a new business. And the low-overhead model also allows franchisees to see a profit much sooner than they likely would if leasing a traditional gym location. These savings are passed on to members at affordable membership rates.

“When you don’t have bricks and mortar, it reduces a whole layer of fixed costs,” Hetrick said. “In general, one of the challenges with a brick-and-mortar environment is that you personally guarantee a five- to seven-year lease. The beauty of the OutFit model is that it has such a low entry cost and operating costs are so low that a business can reach monthly profitability fairly quickly, with a small number of members.”

These top savings allow OutFit to offer what Hetrick believes is the most affordable boutique fitness membership on the market. Members get outdoor inspiration, expertly led classes, a sense of community, and convenient nearby locations, all for just $99 per month for unlimited classes.

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