global franchise newsletter sign up graphic

Stay in the know and receive the latest international franchising news, insight and investment opportunities

close catfish

What is the future of group exercise after lockdown?

What is the future of group exercise after lockdown?

Before the pandemic, one in every seven people in the U.K. was a member of a gym or group exercise facility, but how many of these people will return to their normal fitness regimes whilst COVID-19 still remains a genuine risk?

Keep up to date with the latest Global Franchise News sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

With gyms and fitness facilities closed worldwide and social distancing rules firmly in place for the coming months or at least until a vaccination has been developed, many are asking what the future holds for gyms and group exercise facilities once lockdown laws are eased.

Before the COVID pandemic struck, one in every seven people in the U.K. was a member of a gym or group exercise facility, but how many of these people will return to their normal fitness regimes whilst COVID-19 still remains a genuine risk?

For many people, the gym is the communal space they miss the most, however, with social distancing rules in place, some may feel anxious to return, and as such the normal group exercise and gym offering will need to be transformed considerably. The head office team at F45 Training, the global industry leader in group exercise training, shares their insights on the future of group exercise after lockdown, and how gyms and studios will need to pivot their pre-COVID business models and adapt to this ‘new norm’.

Gyms will continue operating online

Prior to lockdown, gyms were sought-after anchor tenants by landlords in commercial complexes, because over the last three to five years people have increasingly been paying for health and fitness as it is being seen as a necessity rather than a luxury. Lockdown has compounded this view as people are recalibrating their views on what is important.

“We are seeing more gyms turn to online classes via Instagram and Zoom in a bid to help their members stay fit and healthy, as well as maintain a revenue stream. F45 studios across the world have digitally developed new methods for people to enjoy their infamous 45-minute HIIT workouts, which follow the exact same format that members already know and love,” says Cassie Georgouras, co-owner of F45 Shepherds Bush. “People are embracing online training out of necessity. Our members are still as committed to their fitness, however, they are moderating their expectations of what they can achieve and regularly express immense gratitude for our online program, as it is something distinctly and clearly positive in a world of uncertainty.”

In addition to studio-specific daily Instagram Live workouts, F45 has evolved its F45 Challenge app to include at-home, on-demand workouts, with or without equipment, as well as nutrition advice and recipe suggestions, which is available for non-members as well as those signed up to a specific studio worldwide. It has also developed a range of home fitness equipment kits: The LIIT Kit and LIIT Pro for people to use alongside their favorite F45 workouts to help vary their workouts and enhance results.

Now that businesses are learning to operate from home and will be worried that nervous gym-goers may not return as soon as lockdown is lifted, gyms are more than likely to keep the online element for good or at least for the foreseeable future, which they can run alongside their studio offering. “Many businesses will also be tempted to forego expensive rent on office space, meaning landlords will be under a huge amount of pressure to secure key tenants such as gyms in their schemes,” adds Cassie.

Fitness communities will remain united

Fitness facilities that have heavily invested in fostering their communities over the years are benefiting right now, and many businesses will find that their members do not want to freeze or cancel their memberships, despite the financial stresses they are experiencing.

“Prior to lockdown, people were seeking more than just physical outcomes in the way that they chose their mode of fitness. They looked for a community where people knew them by their name, where they shared similar goals and values and where they could build their choice of fitness into their lifestyle through participating in social and fitness activities with their fellow members. Lockdown has made us aware of how much we need each other, and how much fulfillment being part of a tribe gives us.

“We have learned that our members thrive on community, both inside and outside the confines of our studio space, and they still want to be a part of our community. Gym goers are going to choose somewhere they know and trust; where they see their gym as more than just a business, and gyms will be more responsive and communicative with the needs of their members, both in terms of service delivery and in terms of what makes them feel safe,” explains Cassie.

We will see a rise in outdoor bootcamps

In some parts of the world such as Australia and Hong Kong, outdoor activities such as bootcamps and non-contact sports where social distancing can be maintained are now permissible. Some F45 studios in Hong Kong and Australia that are not able to open their studios yet are currently running outdoor bootcamps, which have a maximum of 20 people per session. To help keep in line with government guidelines and ensure that optimal social distancing measures are in place, the bootcamps will see each person have a 2m x 2m workout area marked out by 4 cones, and a station marker placed in front of each person’s area. There will also be a 50cm gap in between each person’s workout area. Members will not move from their workout area for the entire workout, and any equipment used will be their own to avoid contamination.

Increased hygiene measures

Before lockdown, gyms all over the world increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning. F45 studios sent numerous emails out to their members, reassuring them that they were taking the threat of the virus very seriously and outlining the actions that they would be taking. Many studios cleaned their equipment with the appropriate alcohol wipes so that members could see that they were practicing what they preached.

In Hong Kong, using hand sanitizer and taking members temperatures was required upon entry, and members were encouraged to use the sanitizer in between sets and in the rest breaks. In addition, anyone who was coming back from overseas went on a seven-day mandatory suspension. But as the number of cases of the virus across the world increased, they often made the call to suspend people for 14 days.

For the U.K., it is difficult to predict what ‘open’ will look like, whenever that will be, however, we imagine we will follow in the same footsteps as Hong Kong by increasing hygiene measures dramatically, but this will depend greatly on government guidelines. We will also start to introduce a new F45 workout solution for members, to ensure no equipment is shared for in-studio workouts and to comply with the strict reopening guidelines. This programing will use the majority of equipment packs, but members will be assigned to a fixed station for the entire workout to help maintain social distancing guidelines and eliminate person-to-person contact and sharing of equipment.

you may be interested in

franchise directory

  • TaxAssist Accountants

    Business & Professional Services, Financial Services, <100K, Featured

  • Cafe2U

    Food & Catering, Coffee, Take-away, <100K, Featured

  • 800 Pizza

    Food & Catering, Fastfood, Pizza, Take-away, Featured

view more
Connect with Linkedin Logo
Global White Logo Click Here
Close button

WHAT DO WE USE YOUR INFORMATION FOR?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways: To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs) To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you) To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs) To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature To send periodic emails The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order. Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

HOW DO WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

DO WE USE COOKIES?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart, understand and save your preferences for future visits, keep track of advertisements and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

DO WE DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO OUTSIDE PARTIES?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

THIRD PARTY LINKS

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

CHILDRENS ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT COMPLIANCE

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

ONLINE PRIVACY POLICY ONLY

This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at globalfranchisemagazine.com/terms-conditions

YOUR CONSENT

By using our site, you consent to our online privacy policy.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page

CONTACTING US

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below. All correspondence relating to the Website should be sent to: Global Franchise 21/23 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road Colchester Essex CO2 8JY Email: subscriptions@aceville.co.uk