What a year it was.
As we turn the corner into 2021, the lingering question on every gym owner’s mind is: what happens next?
Will virtual workouts rule the world?
Or are gym goers aching to get back into their in-person gym routine?
We’re here to share the good news: the fitness industry is getting ready to boom.
The Data Agrees: Gyms Will Boom
Don’t worry – we’re not just telling you this because we’re your accountants. Many experts agree.
The large majority of at-home gym goers are dreaming of packed gyms, big group classes, getting fit, and lifting heavy things again.
In November’s COVID-19 Fitness Consumer Report, ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they would return to their health club in some capacity.
Of those surveyed, 85 percent said the shutdown of their gym caused their fitness routine to change. Over 50 percent said their new workout routine was less and/or it was less consistent than their routine prior to the shutdowns.
People still crave and need social interaction, as well as a kick in the bum when workouts get tough.
You know you’re not sweating the same amount at home by yourself – don’t lie to us!
It’s much harder to keep the same intensity at home by yourself, or the same consistency for that matter, without a routine and the presence of peers.
Not to mention the limitation of equipment.
While we’ve made do with resistance bands and 10-pound dumbbells, there is no substitute for heavy barbells, enthusiastic instructors, or squat machines.
Fitness at home just isn’t the same, and it seems most people agree.
Past president of the American College of Sports Medicine and lead author of its Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2021, Walter Thompson stated, “Gyms are going to be overwhelmed with business. I’m incredibly optimistic about what’s going to happen to the fitness industry in 2021.”
“People are going to want to get back into the gym — not just for exercise, but to meet people, to socialize just like they did prior to COVID.”
“There will be a huge rebound effect for health clubs by the third quarter of next year.”
Peloton or Spin Class?
While the majority of data and expert opinion points to a fitness boom, there will still be a slice of the population who will opt for a combination of the gym and home.
According to the survey, 46% of gym goers said they did not necessarily miss the routine of going to their health club during temporary shutdowns.
It will be important for gym owners going forward to continue offering virtual workouts in order to capture the largest share of the market.
In some capacity, the hybrid model is likely here to stay.
A Brighter Path Ahead
While the beginning of 2021 still looks an awful lot like 2020, the future looks bright for fitness businesses in the 2nd half of 2021.
We can cautiously hold out hope that change is around the corner, but realistically need to understand the first 3-6 months of 2021 may not be the change you are looking for.
As always, gym owners who choose to remain nimble and flexible in their business model will prove successful post COVID-19.
If you need help planning or doing projections for 2021, you can schedule a chat with one of our accountants any time.
In the meantime, you may enjoy our COVID-19 Resource Guide to give you ideas of what we’ve seen successful gyms do throughout COVID-19 to add profit to their bottom line.
Until next time!