NEW YORK -- Crunch Fitness has promoted Keith Worts from chief operating officer to president.

Worts will oversee the New York-based company’s 21 U.S. clubs. He will focus on developing new corporate and franchise clubs and continue to grow the profitability of existing clubs, according to the company.

“I couldn’t be happier to continue working alongside the knowledgeable and innovative team here at Crunch,” Worts said in a statement. “I intend to take Crunch to the next level by 2012.”

Before joining Crunch, Worts started his career at The Fitness Co. as a general manager before becoming its Northeast regional vice president, overseeing 14 fitness centers in five states with revenues of more than $19 million. Worts then moved to Spa Capital in 2002, serving as vice president of operations. There, he managed retail, service and training departments for 21 day spas in 13 states. Worts then joined Crunch in 2006, directing all aspects of operations, including sales, personal training and brand development.

“Keith’s extensive background with the brand makes him the perfect fit, as he brings an understanding of what sets Crunch apart from other health club chains,” Crunch CEO Jim Rowley said in a statement. “Keith is a dynamic leader, and I am confident he is the perfect person to lead Crunch in this exciting new period of growth and success.”

Crunch is operated by Lafayette, CA-based New Evolution Ventures (NEV), formerly known as New Evolution Fitness Co., co-founded by Rowley and Mark Mastrov.

Mastrov says NEV will not fill the COO position. He also says the company is grooming Worts to one day take over Rowley’s role as Crunch CEO.

“He’s a very sharp kid, good operator, a lot of experience, and we’ve enjoyed our working relationship with him since we acquired the business,” Mastrov says of Worts. “Jim will stay on as CEO and continue to mentor Keith. They’ve been a good dynamic duo there working at Crunch.”