Gyms will come out of the Covid-19 crisis stronger than ever. But only if they adapt now.
At a time when scrolling through the news is a sad and daunting prospect, we believe there’s reason for hope in our industry. Gym owners face an uncertain future, but, even with the doors closed, there are things they can do to weather the storm and, once we get back to a sense of normality, emerge stronger than ever.
Most gym-goers have realized two things during the global lockdowns:
They miss working out with their gym buddies.
Home training is actually pretty convenient.
The second realization makes some gym owners uneasy. They fear that at-home fitness services and virtual gyms will gobble up large market shares during and after this crisis, as people have no other choice but to work out from home. In reality, this may not be the case. In fact, with a bit of adjustment, physical gyms will continue to be the best option for most. The reason is simple: we miss our friends.
Bringing group fitness to your living room
The social aspect of going to a physical gym is what inspires most of us to stick to a regular fitness routine. And it’s this aspect that at-home services can’t always provide. So, the responsibility is now on gym operators to provide home training that somehow maintains that social element. And not just recorded content but live classes directly from the gym. If you can’t make it to the gym one day, but you can join a livestream workout with your regular group, that’s convenient and social. The best of both worlds. Easy, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated. For a real social experience, you need something extra.
Let’s look at a successful example: Peloton. They’re fantastic at connecting workout participants and instructors and providing them with things like data and leaderboards. And these are the things that transform a regular livestream into a connected group fitness workout. You can’t just be a passive spectator sitting on the bench or watching on from the sidelines. Instead, you’re pushed to connect with the group, to actively contribute, to play games, to compete and interact. It’s the next best thing to being physically in the same room.
If you, as a gym operator, can create this kind of experience for your members, then you basically have your own Peloton-style system. And that’s in addition to your physical gym. For many members, this would be the perfect subscription model. They wouldn’t have to choose between the two or buy them separately. This is the hybrid gym of the future. It offers members the greatest amount of convenience and flexibility. And the best part: it takes very little investment.
A long-term solution
With things as they are, if you can launch this type of service in addition to your livestream, then you have the perfect solution for the upcoming months. Once the current situation is over, there’s going to be a transition period. Most members will go back to their regular classes, while others will prefer to continue working out at home. So the service will work for the transition phase, too, and, moving forward, you’ll be much better prepared to entice members back into the gym. While still providing something for the members who continue training at home and might otherwise stray to an exclusively at-home service.
At Motosumo, we recently launched HomeTeam, a solution for any operator looking to stream connected group classes. HomeTeam is the traditional Motosumo group fitness class – with data tracking, connectivity, games, and instructor tools – but made accessible to any member working out at home. It’s the group fitness experience, right in your living room.
We think Motosumo is currently the only platform facilitating this kind of experience for gyms. Plus, it’s hardware free – it’s just an app – and you can use it for indoor cycling, HIIT, or your own concept.
While we’re obviously fans of our work, we strongly believe that HomeTeam addresses something important. This crisis has made everything feel precarious. And it’s forcing our industry to analyse itself and adapt. Or else. The way we live is changing. In order to change with the times, it’s worth adopting the mentality that just because the doors are shut, it doesn’t mean your gym is closed.
Click here to find out how Motosumo HomeTeam can help your gym stay open and keep your members engaged, even when the doors are shut!