The Business of Fitness | 7 Fitness Brands To Watch

It could just be me, but sometimes I see a brand, seemingly “smashing it” and I wonder, are they really doing okay or is it all smoke and mirrors? Well, I just walked out of an Entrepreneurship & Innovation lecture where we were discussing business growth and specifically looking at the Fast Track 100 research conducted (sponsored) by Barclays and I was surprised to a see a plethora of brand names I recognise up in there, and even more surprised that so many of them were from the health and fitness sector. So, surely you wanna know who they are right?!

Let me start with a few facts to help frame the conversation…

The companies on this list have as I said, been smashing it; on average, they have seen a 65% increase in sales per year over the past 3 years. These 100 companies have achieved sales of £3.9 BILLION pounds but they’ve also been crucial in job creation by adding 14,000 jobs into the economy.

So in a very particular order (lol), from highest on the list, to lowest…

Fitness Brand Gymshark Birmingham Pop up
Photo Credit: Gymshark


Described as an online sports retailer in the league table, I was surprised, but yet not surprised to see them place as top of the fitness brands in the league table. But in 2016, they sat in position number 1 of the entire league table. Gymshark have become synonymous with asset enhancing leggings (lol, again) and sponsorship of high profile influencers. As quoted in the league table “[they have] over 3m social media followers in more than 150 countries”. Oh and their sales growth? 112.3% over the 3 years with £40.7m worth of sales in 2017 compared to £4.3 in 2014.

Heck! Food

…makers of our favourite chicken sausages and so much more these days, right? They’re in at position number 21 for 2017, having dropped from position 4 in 2016. Apparently their new “Sausage World” factory makes more than 700 sausages per minute! …that should be just enough to keep me in sausages at the rate I eat them. They always turn up at the fitness festivals and honestly, their presence and a decent deal on some sausages make Be:Fit London worthwhile.

BULK Powders

…are next on the list at number 34. Now I don’t know much about them but I do know that they specialise in whey protein. The league table tells me that Olympic diver Tom Daley uses their protein so it must be okay right?!


…Sports Nutrition Developer. They mean the people that make the protein bars?? Apparently they’ve sold enough protein bars to go around the M25 five times. FIVE TIMES, people! They have actually climbed the league table from position 74 in 2016 up to number 67 for 2017.

Leon Restaurants - Top Fitness Brands
Photo Credit: Leon Restaurants

Leon Restaurants

I know they’re not technically health and fitness but I am a fan. You might’ve remembered that they featured in my student discount guide for places to eat healthy food! They have 52 outlets across the UK and Holland – it kinda feels like 49 of them are in London, huh? This is their first time on the list  (position 71) as far as I can tell; or at least they weren’t on there for 2016, so well done Leon. Maybe we can increase the student discount, no?!

Net World Sports

…are another online sports goods retailer who I am not familiar with but that may be because they’re a lot about football as they sell 100,000 football goals a year around the world. They’ve dropped down to 85 having previously sat at position 45 in 2016.


Your budget gym operator is on here. At number 94 having been at position 25 in 2016. PureGym have grown mostly due to acquisition of other brands like LA Fitness which they bought for £74m back in 2015.


If you want to know more you can check out the entire The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table to see what other brands made it on there!

Were these the brands you expected to see listed?!





  1. June 4, 2018 / 20:19

    Looks awesome! I’m excited to see what’s made their way across the pond, but also think I just need to come visit in the UK… 😉

  2. MarielleBurch
    May 25, 2018 / 19:51

    So interesting, I actually hadn’t heard of any of these brands! Thanks for the roundup!

    • Elle
      May 28, 2018 / 14:16

      I’m gonna assume you are US based then? Most of these brands have made names for themselves in the U.K but I’m certain some of them are trying to crack ‘merica as we speak 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
How To Survive Exam Season (& 3 hour exams)

I can’t think of a time in my life where I haven’t been learning something. However, it’s been over ten...