After repeated waves of pandemic lockdowns and disruptions to daily living, the fitness training and coaching industries are emerging with a new outlook. For the fitness professional, it is one of bravado; within the coaching field it is more one of hope and opportunity.
The fitness industry was gutted during the COVID pandemic. Most of us can agree that it was also significantly altered, maybe permanently.
And in some more extreme cases, this led to some fitness clubs defying state orders to stay open, closing down entirely, or just waiting for something to break. This is not a great vision of hope.
Most fitness centers opened at differing intervals. In Southern California, gyms were limited to a certain capacity while people lined up out front for someone to leave and take their spot. You could feel the tension while people kept outside watched exercisers on machines.
The Gamble: your fitness club’s got this!
For one fitness chain in particular, staying open during the pandemic meant paying daily fines to the state. They didn’t need to worry about this, they had a massive influx of people who were willing to not only pay dues, but to work out during the pandemic, and do so without a mask. So workouts became political. You could almost sense some hate and disgust among members who disagreed on the use or non-use of a mask. For myself, I wore two. I knew the risk I was getting into, right or wrong – I felt confident.
But during this time, gyms were willing to hustle or wheel and deal. You could offer to buy a year in advance for a deal. You could get in at the lowest price in town – but even more expensive clubs could easily get new members during this time. People who worked out regularly prior to the pandemic seem to have a different mindset of less fear and being more proactive. Our health is our own responsibility. In other words, eating well, sleeping well, and staying active are all better for our body than isolation and no activity. We pretty much all can agree on that, correct?
But things changed when gyms were allowed to reopen for round 1 versus round 2. For round 1 reopening, it was just a sense of relief that we can get back to where we were. After another lockdown and reopening number 2, things were different. Some members had decided that this new way was not for them, they may not have known what they wanted to do but they did not stay. People do not like to wait to get into their gym, a lot like waiting for gas at the pump. And trainers took another hit.
Now that we are open – and hopefully for good, gyms are less willing to wheel and deal. Their rates have gone up. You can’t say “Well the gym down the street is five dollars less“, anymore. Because the truth is, they probably jacked up their price too! [Read more…]