World Gym International, Los Angeles, opened eight new gyms in the first quarter of 2016 and signed deals to open three more locations in the coming months.

"We started 2016 with strong franchised growth after a record breaking year of growth in 2015," Joyce J. Cammilleri, chair, World Gym International said in a statement.

The lone World Gym location to open in the United States between January and March was in Redwood, New York. International locations that opened in the first quarter were in Albury, Bayside and Malaga in Australia; North London and Windsor in Ontario, Canada; Cairo in Egypt; and Surgut in Russia. Franchise agreements were signed for additional gyms in Brampton and downtown Hamilton in Canada, and Heliopolis in Egypt.

In January, World Gym announced it signed deals to open more than 40 gyms in 2016. The growth is composed of a mix of new gyms and conversions from existing gyms.

In 2015, World Gym launched its first global advertising campaign for franchiseesa new website and a global social media search for its 2016 fitness ambassadors.

World Gym, which celebrated its 40th anniversary at IHRSA 2016 in March, said it has been "investing significantly" in its franchising efforts over the past several years through expansion across North America, Australia, Asia and the Middle East regions, according to a media release. The company previously announced it has targeted Europe for additional growth and expects to have more than 200 locations there by 2020.

World Gym was founded in 1976 by Gold's Gym founder Joe Gold. The company has more than 210 locations in 20 countries and territories.