Gyms are reopening, and while they are under strict health protocols and safety measures, we can at least appreciate the fact that we’re seeing snippets of the fitness industry bouncing back and recovering from the worst parts of 2020. However, that isn’t to say that it came out of the previous year unscathed. In fact, the fitness industry as a whole was among the most badly affected by the pandemic because most of its revenue relied on gym members getting to come to a physical location and working out.
As a result, the fitness industry received many scars due to the pandemic, and some of them still prevailing and stinging until this day. And, despite the progress we’ve made in alleviating the issues caused by Covid-19, it won’t be anytime soon until we get to see gyms and fitness centers rise back to their former glory. So, today we’ll be going over a quick summary of what to expect from the fitness industry given the information we have today.
The Pandemic Cripppled Gyms & Fitness Centers
Firstly, we need to come to terms with the reality that many gyms and fitness centers across the world were financially crippled and suffered greatly due to the pandemic. And, while success stories do exist, these are the minority of companies that managed to get by, and, for the larger majority, things didn’t end as nicely.
- Bankruptcies And Accumulating Debt: Number one, gyms and fitness centers still had obligations for payroll and lease, and without any revenue coming into their pockets, had one of two choices. It was either to file for bankruptcy or remain afloat with the help of accumulating debt and a worsened financial position by 2021.
- Less Appeal Due To Health Concerns: Number two, the threat of Coivd-19 and its new strains are still at large, and there’s less appeal to go to physical branches due to the health and safety concerns. Many gyms have already adopted new mandates and guidelines, but these aren’t enough to convince the public otherwise.
Transition To Digital Fitness
Secondly, since people still require an outlet for their health & wellness, the pandemic has accelerated the transition to digital fitness. And, while it is by no means a new concept, more and more people are becoming open to the idea because it’s presented as the only way to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst staying safe from infection.
- Home Fitness Is Booming: To accompany the work-from-home lifestyle, a lot of people have adopted a home fitness regimen as opposed to going to physical gym branches. As a result, companies like Peloton that offer streaming workout services and other VR applications have seen a surge in users.
- Fitness Apps Are The Craze: Instead of personal trainers, people are now opting for fully-immersed fitness apps that can track almost everything about their body and progress. For example, Apple’s Fitness Plus integrated onto the Apple watch is seeing a lot of use after only being released for a couple of months. From the bast library of workouts and exercise tutorials, more people are now seeing the value in working out at home.
However, There’s Still Room For Opportunity And Recovery
Of course, despite the shift toward home fitness and digital fitness alternatives, it’s still too early to count gyms and fitness centers out of the game because there’s still room for opportunity and recovery in the coming months. As we’ve observed time and time again, all it takes is a bit of innovation and a change in the business framework to work through novel challenges.
- Increased Awareness On Health And Wellness: Reason number one, the global pandemic has brought about increased awareness on health and wellness. Therefore, more and more people will be inclined to look for a gym membership or personal trainer services to stay healthy. Yes, the same can be said for the home fitness trend, but we can’t deny the appeal of a gym that people will crave.
- Franchises Managed To Stay Afloat: Reason number two, among the companies that managed to stay afloat, gyms that utilized a franchising plan still see a steady revenue flow. Therefore, entrepreneurs will undoubtedly look into investments like yoga franchise opportunities or partnering with Planet Fitness before the fitness wave starts back up again.
Adapting To The New Normal
Overall, while the fitness industry is at a low-point from the perspective of physical locations, there are still too many variables to forecast anything concrete. What we do know is that people are now more aware of the importance of health & wellness, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. And, if the fitness industry can adapt to the new normal, we can expect it to recovery very soon.