This gym owner generated $33M in revenue


Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

He built one of the most profitable gyms in the country…

If you get a dildo thrown at your head, that’s just another normal day in the office at Mark Fisher Fitness (MFF).

I met Mark Fisher back in 2015 after hosting a dinner in NYC for gym owners. When I was putting together a list of some of the most successful operators in the fitness industry, that’s when I came across Mark’s website:

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GQ Magazine calls him, “the man behind NYC’s craziest gym,” and they’re right — his gym is anything but what you would consider to be sane.

MFF is a cult-like experience in “NYC’s only Enchanted Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams” where members are called ninjas, coaches are ex-professional actors, and everyone who steps into this madness are encouraged to wear costumes.

I knew I had to meet him & get his story.

Since then, Mark has become a great personal friend. And today, I am going share how Mark built one of the most profitable gyms in the country, on a per-square-foot basis:

Becoming the purple cow.

purple cow is a marketing term coined by author Seth Godin. This LinkedIn article does a good job of putting the concept into perspective: if you saw a purple cow in the field, 1. wtf, & 2. it’d be worth talking about, right? You’d NEED to tell people about it.

MFF is the purple cow.

Mark was a Broadway actor himself who didn’t vibe with traditional gym culture. It’s what caused him to see an opportunity to cater to an underserved niche — i.e., actors & many queer-identifying individuals — in a unique way that would allow them to be their most authentic selves.

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It’s all unicorns & rainbows when you step foot into MFF. It’s nothing like the typical space for gym rats — instead, you’re faced with tutus, inflatable pool décor, or hints of BDSM accessories. That being said, the gym is trying to cool things down a bit.

Everyone in the space also uses their own lingo, which is already common knowledge amongst the community beyond the gym doors. Their vocab includes:

  • “Snatched” → ripped
  • “Health & hotness” → fitness
  • “A gym for people that hate the gym” → inclusive
  • “Snatched in 6-weeks” → the 6-week challenge
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The gym promotes “serious fitness for ridiculous humans.”

It’s serious because Mark delivers classes that get clients results. He does this by using evidence-based strategies, which are composed of good training, good coaching, and good program design.

The combination of providing expertise, proven effectiveness & personal accountability are a few reasons why Mark is respected by some of the most important influential exercise scientists in the world. This includes Eric CresseyMike Boyle, and Bret Contreras.

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But it’s also ridiculous — during my first visit to MFF, I saw a trainer dressed as Captain America teaching someone in a chicken costume how to deadlift. In the next room, a man was doing happy baby in spandex biker shorts.

When he saw us, he flashed his testicles and threw a dildo at Mark’s head.

I talked about it for weeks.

We live in a noisy world. If a service isn’t unique or remarkable or stands out — like a purple cow — it will not sell.

Keeping a brand promise.

Creating and maintaining a brand promise is extremely valuable because “winning brands make and keep promises,” which is exactly what MFF does.

“A brand is a promise. By identifying and authenticating a product or service, it delivers a pledge of satisfaction and quality.”
Walter Landor

Mark’s brand promise is to entertain. From the very beginning he recognized that many in the acting community (and beyond) hated going to the gym.

So what did he do to conquer that challenge?

He hired staff that are current or former Broadway actors AND experts in the fitness industry. Not only can they connect with members in a memorable way, but they can also get jobs at any top-tier training facility because they’re THAT good.

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It makes the overall experience interesting, which is why people want to be at Mark’s gym. It’s no surprise then that many major media publications have written about it.

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Their website is filled with articles they’ve been featured in.

Doing what works with a personal twist.

“Snatched in Six Weeks” is Mark’s version of the 6-week challenge, which runs similar to most gyms. The difference is it’s branded incredibly well.

It only runs 5-sessions per year, and the program is designed like a curriculum. The in-gym part of the program includes three bodyweight & kettlebell classes/wk.

Outside of the gym, participants receive daily emails with a ton of value. His goal is to teach clients what they need to know to be their own “health & hotness guru.”

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Snatched in Six Weeks is a $1,200 product. Not cheap. But what gym is going to give you a similar experience? People who do Snatched probably aren’t shopping around.

On a good run, it’ll generate over $120,000 in front-end revenue per session. Mark estimates that he’s made over $5M in revenue selling this program.

Snatched is another data point that proves 6-week challenges just work.

Being the most knowledgable & helpful person in the room.

Mark is a voracious learner — I’ve rarely mentioned a book that Mark hasn’t read. He also listens to every fitness business podcast each week (granted it’s at 2x speed like a psycho).

Mark also spends considerable coin on training his team. Last year MFF spent $63,000 on continuing education.

What gym owners can takeaway from MFF

Many people will look at Mark Fisher Fitness and say,

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While it’s true that a unicorn-themed gym with dildos probably won’t work in the Bible Belt, the underlying principles will.

Eric Cressey & Pete Dupuis of Cressey Sports Performance have implemented both branding and business tips from Mark, and primarily work with high-level baseball players.

So if you’re a gym owner and want to replicate Mark’s success, do this:

  1. Be hyper-specific about who you serve — the narrower you go, the better it is for you to be #1 in that niche.
  2. Have the service be SO good that the price is irrelevant — People won’t look twice when you offer a premium experience.
  3. Be remarkable and let others do the marketing for you — I told everyone I knew about my visit to MFF. I guarantee it drove 100+ new visitors to his site.
  4. Deliver real results — It’s what every prospect looks for.

Want to know more?

Mateo Lopez sat down with Mark on Gym World to discuss everything behind his extremely successful fit biz. If you want to hear from the legend himself, watch the full episode here.

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