Workout Anytime opens bigger gym in Hixson as fitness clubs bounce back from pandemic

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Jerry Pugh poses for a photo. Workout Anytime in Hixson celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Jerry Pugh poses for a photo. Workout Anytime in Hixson celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.

This story was updated on March 28 to correct the spelling of Workout Anytime and update the fifth paragraph with more information.

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Four years after buying into the Chattanooga market, the biggest franchisee for Workout Anytime has opened a new club in Hixson that is nearly three times the size of the community's former location.

"This is located where people live and where more housing is being added, so we hope with the expanded facilities and services at this new location, we will attract more members," Jerry Pugh, one of the co-owners of the new 12,000-square-foot gym, said during a grand opening Monday.

Pugh and EJ Williams, a former Crossville police officer, opened their first Workout Anytime gym in Cookeville, Tennessee, in 2017 and have since grown their business to include 21 clubs in six states.

"I was first a member of the club in Cookeville and fell in love with the concept and the brand and knew immediately I wanted to try to open up one of these clubs," Pugh said.

The first Workout Anytime store opened in 2017 in Homestead, Florida as an outgrowth of the exercise equipment business that founding partners Steve Strickland and John Quattrocchi also operated. The company has grown to 188 franchise locations in 20 states, including gyms in East Ridge and North Shore owned by John Gregg and a club in Ooltewah owned by Scott Shepherd. 


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By the end of 2023, Strickland said he hopes to have 210 or more locations as the company takes advantage of the growing interest in working out and fitness coming out of the pandemic when gym membership plunged during pandemic closures.

"To build a successful franchise, you have to have something that is unique, that is duplicable and has a proven track record, and we have that with this business," Strickland said in an interview Monday. "We continue to grow into new markets."

Each of the clubs is open anytime for members with key card access, and the new Hixson club is staffed from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., offering workout classes, hydromassages, indoor tanning, red light therapy beds, Theraguns and, if desired, certified personal coaching. The new club is located in the Valleybrook shopping center at 6210 Hixson Pike and is only the third Workout Anytime facility to include a classroom for workout classes and instruction.

To use the new facility, consumers have three membership options. For $9.99 a month, they can buy a membership to use the equipment in the local club where they join and for $19.99 they can exercise at any Workout Anytime gym. A premium membership, which Pugh said he is hopeful of expanding at the new facility, costs $29.99 a month and includes access to premium amenities, plus the chance to bring a guest each month.

Personalized training, massages or classroom instruction is also available for additional fees.

The former Hixson Workout Anytime gym at 5922 Hixson Pike had about 1,600 members, but Pugh said he hopes the expanded gym will have more than 2,500 members. The new gym will be headed by general manager Emily Tompkins, who said Monday she is excited by the new and bigger location and hopes to grow community support in North Hamilton County.

Workout Anytime is one of two new exercise locations opening this spring in Hixson. Crunch Fitness, another national chain with more than 400 fitness clubs, is expanding into the Chattanooga market with a new gym opening soon on Highway 153 next to the Memorial North Park hospital.

Although U.S. spending on fitness and health clubs is not yet back to its nearly $45 billion annual total in 2019 before the pandemic, IBISWorld estimates the industry will generate $30.8 billion in revenues in 2023.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.