Jennifer Maanavi is the CEO and co-founder of Physique 57, which has 13 studios in six countries, supported by 130 U.S.-based employees and 80 teammates abroad. Physique 57 is a rapidly growing on-demand business and a newly launched U.S. franchise program. In addition to running the company’s studio business, Maanavi’s also executive producer of the company’s video products and co-author of The Physique 57 Solution, a highly regarded fitness how-to book. Prior to co-founding Physique 57, she built a career on Wall Street at organizations including Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.
Maanavi’s fitness odyssey began when she opted out of back surgery related to dance injuries and set out to find a safe, fun and effective back- and core-strengthening exercise method. She stumbled upon barre fitness in 2000 and became addicted immediately. When the time was right, she left her finance career to co-found Physique 57.
Launched in 2006, Physique 57 introduced New Yorkers to a fresh approach to group fitness: classes designed with women’s bodies in mind. Physique 57 devotees soon discovered astonishing results with the magic formula of ballet-inspired movement, cardio and strength training. More than just an exercise destination, Maanavi and her team created and now cultivate a community of encouragement and achievement that changes people’s bodies and lives.
Maanavi holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston University and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. As a respected thought leader in her field, she’s a frequent speaker on business and entrepreneurship and has been featured on media outlets including Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, The New York Times and Inc. Magazine. In addition, she’s a guest lecturer at Columbia Business School. In recognition of her professional successes, she was awarded the 2013 Columbia Women in Business Distinguished Alumna Award.
It was 2005 and Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi, an Ivy League Wall Street professional, was walking home on a familiar Manhattan street, when she discovered her second calling. She would reinvent the fitness industry. It was on that day that Jennifer’s favorite fitness studio announced that it was closing. It was The Lotte Berk Method, the highly lauded fitness studio named for its venerable ballet dancer creator. The Lotte Berk studio was closing its doors, leaving Jennifer and legions of passionate Lotte Berk followers in its empty wake. To Jennifer, the need for a replacement studio was an opportunity. One that she wasted no time pursuing. She immediately joined forces with Tanya Becker, one of the leading Lotte Berk instructors in the country, and together, they created Physique 57. An innovative and modern take on the best of The Lotte Berk Method. The demand was there. And so was the business! In February 2006, Physique 57 debuted at 24 W. 57th Street in New York City to ecstatic clients and long waitlists. From there, it was global expansion and a flourishing on-demand platform.