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COVID-19 & Gym Ownership: Taking Fitness Online in 2021

By Harry Morgan

How about a different Monday? You get out of bed, put on your workout clothes, grab a cup of coffee at your favorite spot, and start a fitness session for your gym customers, online!


During the COVID-19 pandemic,
the almost $100 billion fitness industry has quickly shifted into a virtual world. The market is already quite saturated, and new online fitness businesses will face a lot of competition. However, not implementing a digital strategy at all is equal to a death sentence.

For the consumer, fitness at this time is more important than ever. Even during a lockdown, one cannot give up on their fitness.

It is obviously hard for fitness businesses to bring back all the members to the gym, resulting in a massive shift toward offering online fitness sessions. Alo Moves of Alo Yoga has seen an increase of over 40% in views and up to 50% in watch time on their YouTube channel where they host free classes for the community at large. According to Les Mills, 70% of online fitness enthusiasts are drawn to virtual classes due to their flexibility.

If you are a gym / fitness club owner looking to go digital in 2021, keep reading.

The benefits of going online

  • Flexibility and freedom

As a digital gym owner, you can conduct classes from anywhere and set sessions for your clients whenever they require.

  • Increased client base (not limited to a specific region or location)

Due to the nature of online fitness sessions, people from all around the world can join and be a paid member of your gym.

  • No overheads

You don’t need to acquire physical space, pay rent and bills, etc.

  • Flexibility in length of session

Your members can join instantly and stay for as long as they want since there is no travelling involved.

  • Customized digital solutions

You can start a CMS portal or online platform for recorded and live sessions. Virtual classes integrated with the portal can be accessed by clients using their accounts through which, they can also book them.

Man Working Out At Home

Maintaining a relationship with your customers during the pandemic

It is important for gym owners to communicate with members to let them know what is being done to bring fitness sessions back. You need to design online gym classes with certified instructors for all the members or prioritize each member individually to keep them motivated. Giving value at the right time by providing group and 1 on 1 fitness sessions for your members is essential. Amid all this chaos, one thing has stayed the same, keeping up to the fitness level.

Start selling equipment to your customers

Selling to your members creates a sense of belonging. Gyms normally act as authorities for members who trust and rely on their gym’s preferences and offerings. As a result, selling creates delight for customers and leads to increased revenue. According to marketing metrics, your customers can easily be convinced to buy from you through upselling. So now is the high time to provide additional value to your customers by selling them equipment.

During the Covid-19 period, spotlight has come down on at-home equipment. Enthusiasts across the world have rushed to fitness equipment manufacturers and suppliers like RDX Sports. In fact, the high volume of orders has even contributed to making home workout equipment one of the few areas of business to thrive in the current economic climate.

Nina Zheng, a member of Keepland in Beijing, told CGTN that, "to do fitness at home, you have to at least prepare a place, get some necessary equipment such as a yoga mat and some stuff to serve as weights.” Some of your members may not have access to the gym equipment they need right now, to effectively work out at home. Selling boxing, MMA, fitness, yoga equipment or renting it out for a small fee to members is a great way to serve your members and earn an alternate revenue for your gyms.

Kids Workout At Home

Fitness activities to host online

  • Live streaming classes

Live streams are a great way for gym owners to engage members and conduct fitness classes. You can use live streams for one on one interactions as well as group sessions. Trainers can take instant updates on clients’ progress and provide feedback.

  • On-demand workouts for clients to watch (and re-watch).

If a client wants a specific fitness routine, gym trainers can pre-record workouts so that the client can watch them whenever they want.

  • Workouts just for kids

As schools are shut down, parents are looking for healthy activities for their kids to do at home. Whether you stream live, record or get print outs, anything designed especially for kids will please the clients.

  • At-home challenges

Challenges keep people engaged, divert their minds and create a sense of accomplishment. You should design different challenges for different fitness levels and reward participation with perks. Trends such as the plank challenge are already popular and easy to incorporate in online sessions.

  • Online workshop or workshop series

You can also host online workshops for paying members. This will create additional value for them and keep them subscribed. Workshop series on health topics like diet and nutrition will let your clients share their knowledge and promote a sense of community.

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Tags: Gyms & Clubs

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