Pro-Basketball Player and Wife Look Forward to ‘Building a New Kind of Family’ with Workout Anytime


After a career centered around athletics and fitness, Phil and Clare Gephart plan to bring the right equipment, the right mentality and a family feel to this fitness franchise.


If there are three things that Phil Gephart is passionate about, it is family, faith and fitness. Now, as he starts to run his Camden, South Carolina location of Workout Anytime, the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week fitness franchise with nearly 200 units open across the U.S., alongside his wife Clare Gephart, he can combine all three. 

Previously, his career took him all over the world, playing basketball professionally overseas for five years, before he returned to the U.S. to become a personal trainer and open his own gym. 

In his privately owned gym, he put his personal training certifications to good use, offering appointment-only training sessions with a focus on strength training. After five years, he decided to sell his business, and now he looks forward to taking on a bigger venture with his wife as his business partner.

“It seemed like the next step for me after being a personal trainer. I could go all the way from renting space from other gyms to owning my own small operation to now finally owning a much bigger member-based facility with Workout Anytime,” he said.

From what the couple has seen so far, they are impressed by the family values in their new community in Camden, South Carolina. He and his wife created their own family through adoption, and now they look forward to creating a new kind of family with the members of their Workout Anytime facility.

“We are big on family, and we love the families in our community. We want people to know that and to understand we are building a family culture in our facility which will be the premier fitness destination in the area,” Gephart said.

1851 Franchise spoke with Gephart about his journey into franchising and his plans for the future.


1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Phil: After playing two sports in college, I went on to have a professional basketball career, playing on five continents and taking me all over the world. However, at 27 I thought it was time to start figuring out what a career beyond playing basketball might look like for me. 

I thought that my next stage would be becoming a basketball coach and college educator, so I went back to college and got my master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration. I started doing personal training to work my way through school, but I quickly realized that just because I played basketball didn’t mean I knew how to work out. That led me to pursuing some certifications so I could become a personal trainer, and from there, I started my own business.

Shortly after that in 2014 I met my wife, and a little while later, I opened a gym called the Strength Warehouse in Austin, Texas, which I owned and operated for five years. During our time in Austin, we got married, adopted two daughters and ran the business, which offered private appointment-only personal training.

Looking for a change of pace, my family and I decided to move to Rock Hill, South Carolina, but I kept the gym for a few more years. That ended up working out well because my wife, after a successful career working for a New York Times bestselling author, lost her job when the company went under. At that point, I started a second career in finance, but I missed fitness. 

I sold my gym at the end of 2022 yet missed the fitness space immediately. I learned about Workout Anytime in 2023 and presented the idea of owning one of their franchises to my wife. It seemed like the next step for me after being a personal trainer. I could go all the way from renting space from other gyms to owning my own small operation to now finally owning a much bigger member-based facility with Workout Anytime.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Phil: I liked the idea and thought it was a good opportunity because a lot of things are already answered for you. You don’t have to think of a logo, slogans, mottos and color schemes, because they already exist.

One thing I have learned is that it’s a lot easier to get in with a “used” franchise, just like a “used” car, because the expenses are lower and a lot of things are in place, ready to go. That’s really what we’re doing here. We’re not opening a new gym. A brand new franchise location requires a certain liquidity level, and that’s not necessarily the case with a used franchise or a transfer.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Phil: I am a lifter, specifically a strength coach and holistic health coach by trade. Most of my career was helping people lift weights to get stronger. Planet Fitness doesn’t have barbells or trap bars and their dumbbells only go up to 75 pounds. Workout Anytime has more equipment aimed towards strength training. We also have premium amenities that other local gyms don’t offer, like a 3D body scanner and infrared sauna.

Anytime Fitness also has these things, but they’re only available on the 2,000 or so square foot level. Workout Anytime is right between the two, which is exactly what I wanted.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Phil: I definitely have plans for growth. This gym, at one point, had seven personal trainers, along with four or five front desk workers and a manager. Now, it’s just me, my wife and a couple of employees. 

We first want to figure out why this business that had seven personal trainers and all these staff, along with 2,300 members, now has minimal staff and 1,100 members. We definitely have some great ideas for growth and a vision to make this the premier training gym for our community.

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Phil: It’s a franchise, but it is a locally owned and family operated place. We love the family culture we are creating. We have been so impressed with the community here so far and the kind people we have met. 

When Clare and I couldn’t grow our family the traditional way, we turned to adoption to grow our family, and now we are on our fourth adoption. We are big on family, and we love the families in our community. We want people to know that and to understand that we are building a family culture in our facility. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Phil: Do your due diligence, and do your homework. There are a lot of unexpected things that come up and a lot to learn. 


Atlanta-based Workout Anytime is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fitness concept with 190 units across the U.S. Founded by fitness veterans John Quattrocchi and Steve Strickland, the company was formed to provide members with first-class fitness facilities at the lowest cost possible while delivering a profitable and affordable business model to franchisees. Built on the founders’ motto of “think big, keep it simple and do it with integrity,” Workout Anytime is preparing for significant expansion into new territories across the U.S. and Central America by providing opportunities to business-minded entrepreneurs. Franchise opportunities are available, and more information can be found on http://workoutanytimefranchise.com/.

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