Home indoor-Outdoor Work Out vs Gyms & Classes

More and more people are having to adapt their personal exercise regime and are exercising for the first time from inside or outside the home. It will be interesting to see how a change of habits and routine, impacts consumer preference post lock-down and therefore an industry model…..

Historically, many may have been used to a regular commute into an office with a morning, lunch or evening gym session. Or taken part in the many exercise classes some chains offer. Traditionally, it could mean more regimented schedules regarding those training sessions and how it all knits together (work – rest -play).

However, lock-down has seen an exponential increase in the number of people following a Joe Wicks’ work-out in the living room, a virtual boot camp in the garden (as I witnessed over a Partner’s shoulder this am during a conference call), virtual cycling (Zwift et al) or the more traditional methods of just going for a run and exercising in a park. And for good reason, as it’s not just good for body, it’s great for mental health, which is critical during this challenging period.

Interestingly, I’m told the lead time on popular indoor cycle trainers is now well over a month.

But what happens post-lock down?……in a recession consumers will usually do a spring clean and rationalise their household expenditure (Direct Debits). Within that scope might be the £30 – £100 a month gym membership competing against a £12 a month Zwift membership or a £24 a month Virtual Boot Camp, or you could just run and cycle outdoors for free. The regimented classes/sessions….. or the flexibility to do it from your own home or outdoors when you want to.

As I say, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of the traditional leisure industry model, especially if those ‘new’ to working from home (‘WFH’ or Shed – ‘WFS’), change their previous Gym/Class regime for something more local to home, in greater numbers.  Like most businesses, gym owners are looking to get back to normal as soon as possible – but what will that “new normal” look like? – Increased regulation (social distancing, cleaning etc), lower numbers as previous users adopt the train from home/online model – or potentially some recovery over time as people have been missing the extra social interaction? 

If you would like to talk about your business model, whether or not in the leisure industry, cycling (*we always have plenty of time to talk about cycling, sailing and skiing too), we’re here to help and would be delighted to hear from you.

…..people have found new ways of working out, from online classes to outdoor workouts………

Huw Edwards, the chief executive of UK Active (a company which represents thousands of gyms and leisure centres) has revealed he is cautiously optimistic the industry could be back in action by summer.

By Anusheh Khan on 28/05/2020