During the coronavirus pandemic, fitness fans have had to be incredibly adaptive. Many people head to the gym to unwind and workout several times a week. All that changed overnight. With no classes, no gyms, and no group training, the way your members work out has changed significantly. While many people are chomping to get back to the gym, the lockdown has pivoted the fitness landscape.
With shifting consumer mindset and behavior, there will be new fitness habits set to stay after lockdown finishes. Online searches for fitness classes and digital fitness have skyrocketed as members try to find a new way to stay fit physically and mentally. In this article, we look at the fitness trends that will emerge after the coronavirus pandemic. Skip ahead to:
- Innovation in the Fitness Industry
- Virtual Fitness Has Become the “New Normal”
- 7 Fitness Trends to Look Out for After Lockdown
Innovation in the Fitness Industry
Both fitness fans and fitness brands have had to get creative during lockdown. The fitness industry’s resulting innovation has meant that fitness brands can continue to generate income despite closing their facilities. During the COVID-19 crisis, fitness has gone digital. People are turning to online workouts and digital fitness to stay fit and healthy.
Yoga classes have moved to Zoom, and fitness app downloads have increased massively. Daily downloads in apps like Strava, Peloton, and Nike Running Club have all seen a big uptick in growth. These types of businesses were in a particularly strong position to handle the problems that came from the pandemic. They already had the structure and technology in place to allow people to work out from home.
Although home fitness is not a recent revolution, many people are left with no other choice but to work out from home. This has led to a 500% increase in home fitness equipment interest, including connected equipment and free weights. There has clearly been a massive shift to digital fitness. The move to digital fitness had already begun well before the COVID-19 crisis. However, the pandemic has forced many people to adapt to digital fitness much faster than anticipated.
Consumers demand flexibility, now more than ever. Fitness brands need to innovate and meet consumer demand to remain successful in the fitness industry. Industry leader Emma Barry talks about the future of boutique fitness in a recent episode on The Fitness Founders Podcast. The author of Building a Badass Boutique explores pivoting to a digital offering and discusses a playbook for boutique studios re-opening.
Virtual Fitness Has Become the “New Normal”
COVID-19 has forced many of us to exercise indoors. This has led virtual fitness to become the “new normal” in many households. With gyms and studios closed, people are turning to digital fitness. While some members will be itching to get back to the gym, virtual fitness offers a level of convenience and flexibility some people may prefer.
With a combination of in-person and online offerings, you can cater to different price points and needs. From one-on-one virtual personal training and digital fitness classes to a quick 10-minute Instagram Live session, technology gives you the ability to reach a much larger audience. Digital fitness allows you to future-proof your business so that you can be much more prepared in the case of a second wave. It will enable you to continue to generate income and find new, creative ways to connect and motivate your members.
The Fitness Entrepreneur Podcast talks about the actionable steps you can do to recession-proof yourself and your business. Host Phil Graham explores the prospect of another recession and what’s to come in the fitness industry.
7 Fitness Trends to Look Out for After Lockdown
With the added stress of lockdown and financial uncertainty, many people are turning to fitness to maintain their health. Fitness brands have had to accelerate their exercise offerings that don’t include gyms, extensive equipment, or require leaving the house. From live streaming and on-demand workouts, fitness brands and business owners have been a leading light for many people in lockdown. As the country starts to re-open, some lockdown fitness trends could be here to stay.
Social Media Sessions
Trainers, studios, and fitness instructors moved quickly in the initial stages of lockdown. Fitness brands created daily live streaming schedules and workouts to make sure there was something for everyone. Yogis, PT’s, and studio owners lead the charge to help people at home establish a new workout routine they could stick to. From a full-body workout with Alice Liveing to Joe Wickes PE With Joe on YouTube, social media has re-established itself as a go-to fitness source.
Free online workouts on Instagram or Facebook are a great way to keep members motivated. It’s given brands the ability to get online quickly while working on their digital fitness platforms. You can help your members by offering short video tips on how to stay healthy while in lockdown, simple recipe ideas, and exercises to combat sitting all day. Social media workouts also give potential members a glimpse into your business and fitness community. To help you get started, we’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide to recording live streams. It covers the basics you need to get going and some tips to keep your audience engaged.
Virtual Fitness Classes
The demand for online fitness classes has skyrocketed. Virtual classes give members the chance to work out whenever and wherever they want. The majority of the time, you don’t need a lot or any equipment. This is very useful if you don’t have the space for home gym equipment.
Many fitness brands are emerging out of lockdown as a hybrid business; they look very different. Quarantine has reminded people that they can work out from anywhere. The combination of in-person and digital services may actually be the way forward. While it’s difficult to beat the feeling of being in a group fitness class or hitting the gym, digital fitness is an incredible supplement to a physical membership.
Some of the most popular digital fitness platforms and classes include:
- Obé – live sessions with New York-based instructors every day with a library of over 500 on-demand videos.
- NEOU – a boutique fitness studio that offers a live schedule and on-demand video content with lots of workout options, including HIIT, boxing, and dance.
- CorePower Yoga on Demand – large online library of 10, 20, 30, or 60-minute yoga sessions.
Members have been forced to ditch the gym. People have had to adapt to home fitness, which could have a lasting effect on the fitness industry. The home fitness trend continues to develop with smart home equipment, fitness apps, and digital fitness streaming platforms. Fitness businesses need to leverage technology to develop and create digital offerings.
One company that has shifted its business model during lockdown is FitnessAI. Initially, the fitness app was gym-only. During lockdown, the company saw the shift in workout trends and changed its offering to at-home fitness. Another example of brands adapting to home fitness is Samsung Health. Back in May, Samsung launched a comprehensive at-home fitness and wellness platform available on its 2020 Samsung Smart TVs. This is a prime example of businesses adapting to a new way of life that’s user-centric and offers complete convenience.
Virtual personal training gives users access to personalized training programs with the supervision of personal trainers. Many people require expert guidance and advice to hit their goals. But they are limited by location and time. Digital coaching gives people access to a wide variety of trainers that wouldn’t usually be available.
Digital coaching can help clients in all areas of their life, including exercise and nutrition. While some people find the motivation to go to the gym or workout from home, others need that extra push to get them going. Virtual personal training is a great way to hold members accountable while sticking to social distancing guidelines and fitting in around your clients’ diary.
There are a couple of resources that really explore the topic further when it comes to digital coaching. For more information, check out the following sources:
- Jack Thomas On Pricing and Packaging Your Online Offering – this episode talks about communicating positively with members while you’re not in-person, and how to ensure they maximize their membership with you.
- Mike Acre On Why You Need to Deliver Value More Than Ever Right Now – this episode talks about delivering value to your members online.
Yoga for Well-Being
According to a digital health survey from Withings, there’s been a global yoga craze during lockdown. YouTube’s Yoga With Adrienne channel has reported a surge in numbers more significant than New Year’s Day, typically the busiest day of the year. Living through a global pandemic has led people to find a way to manage anxiety and stress in a healthy way.
There are numerous benefits to cultivating a yoga practice. It can help to relieve anxiety and manage stress. At a time where stress levels are no doubt on the rise, yoga has stepped in as a way to support mental health. Yoga will continue to grow and expand as people try exciting new styles and find something that works for them.
Yoga classes have jumped online during the pandemic, with multiple yoga streaming platforms really taking off. Some of the most popular on-demand yoga platforms include Glo, YogiApproved, and MyYogaWorks.
Online and Offline Group Fitness
The lockdown has encouraged many people to lean on their fitness communities. The concept of community is more important than ever. Group fitness classes, both online and offline, help to nurture a sense of community. There will continue to be a demand for group fitness classes, digitally and in-person. When people may feel isolated and disconnected, group training is a great way to encourage member interaction and relationship-building.
Group training will continue to see a surge in popularity. The shift to digital fitness will still be prevalent as fitness studios host online group fitness classes. As you begin to re-open your gym, you may find that some members are more reluctant to come back or not be in the best health to attend a class. By offering digital fitness classes as well as in-person group training, you can cater to different audiences.
Gym-goers are enjoying more workouts outside. They are appreciating being outside. As more businesses begin to re-open, they are still limited by social distancing. This means that many gyms and studios are operating at a reduced capacity. Outdoor workouts allow you to stick to social distancing guidelines while providing a workout your members will love.
No one knows for sure when things will return to normal. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, and new information comes to light, health and safety guidelines may change. Outdoor areas with good airflow typically allow for more social distancing and could quickly become the norm.
Outdoor workouts or boot camps encourage community-building and help keep members motivated. You can stick to rigorous health and safety guidelines and support your members. If you’re thinking about running an outdoor bootcamp, we’ve pulled together a guide on everything you need to know. We cover the basics to get you started and some top tips to run a successful Bootcamp.
The fitness industry has taken massive strides to create digital offerings. The current situation has forced many brands to speed up their development to meet the ever-growing consumer demand for flexibility and convenience. As the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged individuals to take on new fitness regimes, some new habits could be here to stay. While some gyms are already open; some are following closely behind. It’s clear that the shift to digital fitness will have lasting effects on the fitness industry.