It’s 2020, the Year of the Cerberus, and we’re living in a pandemic.
The novel coronavirus is here to stay for at least another year, but it’s also possible we experience something like this again. If you aren’t scared of viruses, you should read more about them.
In this article, we’ll hypothesize how the fitness market will change.
The fitness response
The fitness industry as a whole has not been quick to adapt.
Business owners understand the need to change; they have income and expenses that FORCE them to understand. If they have to close their doors, then they’ll just find another way to do what they do.
Clients, however, have been slower to change.
I’ve heard stories of clients crippled by indoor depression. I’ve heard clients say, “Eh, I’ll just take a few months off of the gym.” Even people who LOVE lifting weights. Training at home is just… not the same.
These clients intend to stay active. They start on a new health regimen. They do good for a week or two, then they falter off. ‘Tis the human way. Maybe work gets crazy. Maybe they get hurt during yoga. Maybe they just get bored.
Quarantine has been long enough now that even these clients are realizing they have to find a new solution for their health and wellness.
What stories have you heard from clients? What are their hesitations? Where do those hesitations originate?
What people want
It’s important to remind ourselves what people are searching for when they get a gym membership. They are NOT looking for a gym membership. They are looking for the subsequent emotional states that follow a gym membership.
- They want to look awesome
- They want big arms
- They want a sense of internal strength and security
- They want to not die young
- They want to fit in their old clothes
- They want to find a mate
- They want to operate in peak physical condition
And if we’re being honest, it all boils down to (a) building your ego, (b) finding a mate, or (c) squashing your fears of death and inadequacy.
How can you deliver these features to someone’s life without the aid of a gym? Has your training style changed at all since we’ve been social distancing?
The future of fitness
In the best case scenario for those hoping to “just get back to normal”, things return to mostly normal in about a year or so. The market, however, will be forever changed. People now think differently about video calls. They consider contagiousness and the health of those they love.
Some people will definitely see the value in finding a physical gym with fancy equipment. They will like seeing actual people.
Many people, however, will see the value of working out at home. They will find it convenient. They will appreciate the safety of staying at home and not touching other people’s disgusting germs. They realize they can stay fit and healthy without the assistance of a gym membership. They will realize exercise equipment isn’t as expensive as it appears. They will love not having to commute during high traffic times. They will find new ways to get exercise variety.
Would you prefer for things to go back to normal? Are you prepared to alter your business plan at all?
What to do
If you are a fitness professional without a website, you should have one going forward. It’s your hub, a way to disseminate information for your clients. And more importantly, it makes it easier for them to pitch their friends to become your next new client. Build out a really thoughtful, helpful page for them to send their friends. Train them as a group and everybody wins.
I have been helping a few fellow trainers build their websites during quarantine and I think the piece of it they find most beneficial is the planning. It forces you to sit down and organize what your business is and what you stand for. This is always a good practice, but now it’s more important than ever. Your livelihood might actually depend on it.
At the time of writing — July 23rd, 2020 — my bandwidth is running low, but I can take on one new client. Fill out my application if you want to make moves.