Great Hope in the New Definition of Fitness

Wellness, We’re in this Together

The fitness industry has been hit hard by the CV-19 pandemic. With the mandated closure of fitness and health clubs complying with shelter-in-place orders, many have struggled to pay rent while pausing memberships. As clubs begin to reopen, efforts to retain and acquire new memberships need to focus around identifying not only smart ways to provide a safe environment for associates and customers, but ways to embrace and practice a new definition of fitness. To help identify some unique trends and opportunities concerning the fitness industry, we’ve teamed up with leading research firms Decision Analysts, Resonate and MRI/Simmons.

Research has 26% of respondents reporting they’re likely to cancel their gym memberships in the next 90 days as a result of the pandemic, with less than 2% expressing an interest in starting a new membership. The good news is fitness has taken on a broader meaning that transcends numbers on a scale and daily calorie counting. With wellness now embodying people’s mental, physical, social and financial health, customers are searching for an environment to connect and nurture all of the above — in all-new ways.

From an individualistic level, supporting and championing passion and commitment over failure and ideals of traditional success present huge opportunities for fitness properties. Encouraging people to focus less on what they look like and more on committing themselves to activities they’re passionate about is paramount. Clubs have an opportunity (and dare we say a responsibility) to help combat trodden aesthetic ideals, by celebrating effort and commitment over numbers, results and appearances.

The Assembly in San Francisco, CA exemplifies this embrace of a broader spectrum of interests, by offering everything from fitness classes, spa amenities, surfing and wine-tasting field trips, to arts and crafts rooms, meeting spaces and a kitchen. The opportunity for clubs to align with their members’ personalities and passions while leading in inspiring, real and meaningful ways to achieve goals is huge.

Along these lines of greater meaning also comes the opportunity for gyms to build a community of like-minded believers. The social and economic effects of the pandemic have inspired consumers to champion a newfound hope, optimism and sense of community. Gyms that can tie individual and group efforts and goals to something bigger and to the community, like donating to a homeless shelter, food banks or local schools, have the chance to motivate on new levels.

On a less altruistic note, customers place great value on the accountability a group provides. This group accountability has highlighted the importance of the ever-evolving mobile and location-based, remote-friendly world we connect through. Accordingly, customers are looking for the accountability of group workouts with the flexibility to do it wherever they are, through the hobbies they love. Social distancing has only amplified people’s interest in virtual classes and remote connectivity and accountability. Gyms that can learn to integrate the latest mobile tech stand to harness its potential vs combat its threat.

The impact of the global pandemic will have long-lasting effects on not only how people will live their lives, but how they’ll want to live their lives. The new thoughts and definitions around fitness present huge opportunities for the fitness industry to help people achieve the kind of health and wellness they desire, in dynamic and wonderful ways.

We’d love to help your business identify specific ways to seize the opportunities the future of fitness and wellness hold. From deep data analysis to dynamic strategic planning and communications, we’re ready to help you chart a new course.

Give us a call at 816-589-3333.