Anytime Fitness has steadily climbed the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list during the past six years. This year, the Hastings, MN-based company finds itself ahead of all other fitness club companies.

On the outskirts of a top 10 field that includes Hampton Hotels, Subway and McDonald’s, Anytime Fitness is ranked No. 11 on the Franchise 500 list, which was announced last month. Anytime vaulted ahead of another perennial Franchise 500 fitness business, Jazzercise Inc., which is No. 13 this year.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be ranked No. 1 in the Fitness Businesses category of Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500 list—and No. 11 overall,” says Mark Daly, national media director for Anytime Fitness. “Considering the reputation and status of the other franchises ranked in the top 10, including Subway, McDonald’s and Hampton Hotels, this is a huge honor for Anytime Fitness, and it speaks to the financial strength and stability and the grow rate of our franchise.”

Anytime Fitness ranked No. 10 on Entrepreneur’s global franchises list and its fastest-growing franchises list. Anytime reported 1,468 franchised clubs in the United States, 34 in Canada, 123 in the rest of the world and 10 company-owned clubs in 2011.

“We’re especially pleased for our franchisees who have worked so hard to build their own businesses and improve the lives of nearly 1.5 million members worldwide,” Daly adds, “and we’re looking forward to muscling our way into the Franchise 500 top 10 next year.”

Jazzercise also appears on multiple lists. The Carlsbad, CA-based company is No. 3 on the low-cost franchises and top home-based franchises lists, No. 12 on the top global franchises list and No. 14 on the fastest-growing franchises list.

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Snap Fitness, Chanhassen, MN, is No. 36 on the Franchise 500 list, No. 33 on the top global franchises list and No. 40 on the fastest-growing franchises list. Snap reported 1,013 clubs in the United States, 66 in Canada, 72 in the rest of the world and 39 company-owned clubs in 2011.

“We’re proud to once again be listed amongst the leading franchise organizations in this year’s Entrepreneur Franchise 500,” says Patrick Strait, communications manager for Snap Fitness. “It’s because of the hard work of our franchise owners and corporate staff that we are able to continue to lead the way in the 24/7 compact fitness sector, and we look forward to growing our brand while providing our members with the best value for their money in 2012 and beyond.”

The remainder of the fitness clubs on the Franchise 500 list are: Planet Fitness, Newington, NH (No. 76); Gold’s Gym International, Irving, TX (No. 192); RetroFitness, Colts Neck, NJ (No. 217); Get in Shape for Women, Needham, MA (No. 248); Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International, Pensacola, FL (No. 293); The Little Gym, Scottsdale, AZ (No. 326); CKO Kickboxing, Hoboken, NJ (No. 360); My Gym Children’s Fitness Center, Sherman Oaks, CA (No. 372); and Koko FitClub LLC, Rockland, MA (No. 399).

Only franchise companies that sent full Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) or Canadian Disclosure Documents and whose information was verified by Entrepreneur could receive a listing in the magazine. To be eligible for the list, a franchise company must have a minimum of 10 units with at least one based in the United States, must be seeking new franchisees in the United States and cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled.

All companies are judged by objective measures of a franchise operation, regardless of size, according to Entrepreneur. Financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system are the most important factors that the magazine takes into consideration. Other criteria include start-up costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing.

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The following fitness club companies appear on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list and sub-categories this year:

2012 Franchise 500 rank
11. Anytime Fitness
13. Jazzercise Inc.
36. Snap Fitness
76. Planet Fitness
192. Gold’s Gym International
217. RetroFitness
248. Get in Shape for Women
293. Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International
326. The Little Gym
360. CKO Kickboxing
372. My Gym Children’s Fitness Center
399. Koko FitClub LLC

Fastest-Growing Franchises
10. Anytime Fitness
14. Jazzercise Inc.
21. Planet Fitness
40. Snap Fitness
68. Get in Shape for Women
101. Koko FitClub LLC

America’s Top Global Franchises
10. Anytime Fitness
12. Jazzercise Inc.
33. Snap Fitness
68. Planet Fitness
150. Gold’s Gym International

Top New Ranking
7. Get in Shape for Women
13. Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International
35. CKO Kickboxing
38. Koko FitClub LLC

Low-Cost Franchises
3. Jazzercise Inc.
56. Tiger-Rock Martial Arts International
79. My Gym Children’s Fitness Center

Top Home-based Franchises
3. Jazzercise Inc.