Antonio Compton Of Rumble Boxing: Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

You can’t always run a successful business from only a P&L Statement and Balance sheet.

The world of franchising offers a unique blend of entrepreneurship and established business models. However, navigating the franchise landscape can be daunting, especially for those embarking on this journey for the first time. There are lessons to be learned, pitfalls to avoid, and success stories to be inspired by. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Antonio Compton.

With 13+ years of Boutique fitness franchise experience, Antonio Compton has always had a passion for the Health and fitness Industry. His desire was to provide and curate an experience for his members that far exceeded the expectation that was set in the fitness landscape. Growing up with a morbidly obese mother shaped his heart and gave him a drive to help breathe life into those that needed a safe space to feel heard and seen on their fitness journey. After seven successful years of owning and operating a high end group fitness franchise, Antonio was presented with an opportunity to exit with a corporate buyout, and quickly then decided to look for a new franchise to invest in. We heard about Rumble being acquired by Xponential Fitness ( brands, which is what led us to buy the Nashville & Franklin TN market. Since opening our first studio in downtown Nashville (Gulch) 19 months ago we have since opened and acquired 3 other studios in Evansville IN (10/2023) Franklin TN (12/2023) and most recently (1/1/25) acquired the Signature studio in Chicago Gold Coast.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about succession, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I grew up in the urban area of Evansville with a mother who constantly battled her weight; trying to find balance in her life. Unfortunately, there were not many opportunities or resources to get into fitness, and it would have been easy to give into an unhealthy lifestyle. As I grew up, I wanted to change that narrative and bring about a safe space and opportunity for people to work on their health. I started with myself, getting into fitness and trying different workouts. Then I had the opportunity to franchise with a fitness brand, and now it’s Rumble Boxing. As we continue opening more Rumble Boxing studios, we are very intentional about what we want our community to look like. We are always seeking out diverse trainers and staff — different colors, sizes, genders, etc. — because we want our studios to accurately represent the communities we serve. Since there can be a stigma that boutique fitness is for white, upper-class women, we work really hard to dig into and connect to all communities, especially having a presence in the Black community. That includes hiring, marketing, events and more, and we’re hopeful to continue that with our second studio in Evansville, IN. Julien, one of our incredible Black trainers at Rumble Boxing Gulch in Nashville, is now our top trainer, showing that boxing is truly for everybody, and especially the Black community.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I’ve really had the fortunate opportunity to connect with local celebrities and have them grace our studio and one of my clients that was on Survivor approached me and thought I would be a great fit for the show, considering I was a huge fan, and flew to LA to participate in the final selection of the show (in which I didnt get selected)

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

The motto that has led my life over the past 20 years is, “If it doesn’t challenge you it will not change you”. Most of my life growing up I faced a lot of challenges and obstacles that to some could have crushed them but for some reason I always turned my pain into my power and my struggles I used as my strength.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

If Rumble Boxing is done well there is no other concept that can even come close to the experience we provide. Not only is the workout incredible but the intentional journey and the magical moments that we curate within those 4 walls have the ability to inspire and push our members unlike any other group fitness class.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. What factors did you consider when selecting your franchise, and how did you determine it was the right fit for you?

Economics and the Brand

Can you share a significant challenge you faced while establishing your franchise? How did you overcome this obstacle, and what did this experience teach you about running a successful franchise?

Its interesting because as I have opened and acquired these 4 studios each one has presented such a different and unique challenge specific to that location. What I am continuing learning everyday is that each studio we have to step back and look through a broader lens and view the business differently than the others but always allow the past experiences to help guide me as we figure out these new and unique communities.

Looking back to when you first started your franchise, what was one aspect that completely took you by surprise? This could be related to the franchising process, customer interactions, or day-to-day management that you hadn’t anticipated.

The energy it took to get my team fully bought in to the brand and the experience and getting them 100% invested.

In hindsight, what advice would you give to potential franchisees about selecting a franchise that aligns with their personal and professional goals?

Find something that allows your “Why” to be fully exposed so that it then can inspire you and give you the drive to make it fun and adventurous for you as the owner. If the passion isnt there I’m not sure or how sustainable the career is when it starts to get rough as an entrepreneur.

How do you balance adhering to the established systems of your franchise with the need to innovate and adapt to your local market? Can you provide an example of a successful adaptation or innovation you implemented in your franchise?

Every market I’m in is completely different and has different experiences and expectations. Some need more holding hands situations and some want to stay at a far away and as disconnected as possible and we have to be ok and open to each unique situation.

What are your “Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise”?

  1. You have to Manage your staff according to their needs.
  2. You can’t always run a successful business from only a P&L Statement and Balance sheet.
  3. Be Vulnerable and open. People leave gyms all the time but have a harder time exiting relationships.
  4. Delegate often and find a leadership team you allow to take ownership and have an independent voice.
  5. Whatever you expect to happen when opening your business throw it out of the window and learn to adapt quickly.

As your franchise has grown, what have been the key drivers of its success? Looking forward, what strategies do you plan to implement to ensure continued growth and sustainability in an ever-evolving market?

Building community and give your team and members something they have never experienced before that creates success.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

My employees and how do we execute top level.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Have the ability to offer the resources mentally,physically and emotionally that could release all the pain that cripples us and holds us back from living our greatest life that has the power to impact each other just from all of our individual life lessons we have traveled on this never ending journey called life.

How can our readers further follow you online?


Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.