With more than 20 years experience managing, consulting, and owning health clubs, Chuck Runyon has distinguished himself as a leading authority in the field of fitness. Nearly a decade ago, Runyon revolutionized the fitness industry when he and Dave Mortensen co-founded Anytime Fitness – an alternative to over-sized, over-priced gyms which typically feature expensive “frills” that few members actually use or need. In contrast, Runyon and Mortensen designed smaller, neighborhood clubs featuring the things members want most: convenience, affordability, quality equipment and a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere.
The first Anytime Fitness club opened its doors in Cambridge, MN in May of 2002. In the 10 years since then, Anytime Fitness has quickly become the largest and fastest-growing co-ed fitness club in the world – an international powerhouse with over 2,000 clubs open in 49 states and more than a dozen countries, serving nearly 1.5 million members.
For his “unprecedented and unique contributions to the fitness industry,” Runyon was honored as the John McCarthy Industry Visionary of the Year (2009) by the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). Runyon currently serves on the board of directors for IHRSA.
An advocate of fitness incentive programs, a proponent of the “Exercise IS Medicine” campaign, and an innovative developer of employee wellness programs, Runyon is one of the nation’s most effective promoters of healthy lifestyles. Chief amongst his skills is the ability to bring together influential decision-makers from divergent fields with the common goal of improving the health and well-being of all Americans.
In January 2012, Runyon challenged the national discourse on obesity with a bold new message conveyed in the title of his first book “Working Out Sucks!” His “get real” approach to getting healthy struck a nerve with his industry peers and the public at large. Recognized as an expert on eliminating the barriers to healthy lifestyles, Runyon is frequently asked to speak or comment on issues related to why people claim that their health is a top priority, while typically spending less than 1% of their time exercising.
Under Runyon’s leadership, Anytime Fitness has earned numerous industry accolades, including “Top Global Franchise” and “Fastest-Growing Fitness Club.” But as a believer in ROEI – Return on Emotional Investment – Runyon says he is proudest of the fact that Anytime Fitness has been named a “Best Place to Work” by a variety of media outlets.