2020 dawned on most of us like any other year. There were the usual resolutions, the typical aspirations for your personal and your business life, and of course the annual sense of limitless possibility for the 365 days still to come. It was no different, of course, in the fitness industry. As we bid farewell to 2019, we set our eyes on a new year and toward the limitless potential for growth in our ever-changing industry.
I’ll spare you the blood-and-guts of what happened next. One global pandemic later and most of the fitness industry was diverted from growth mode to an existence of survival. It’s made me proud, in all honesty, to watch what’s happened over the last six months—the way the fitness industry banded together in creativity and tenacity to ensure that we survived the ‘shutdown’. There was almost a sense of guerrilla warfare to it all; bootcamp classes in empty parking lots, home workouts uploaded to YouTube featuring nothing but tools and equipment you could find around the house. While many club chains and fitness equipment companies might usually be considered rivals, there was a sense of fellowship to it all; an idea that we were in it together.
Fast forward to late September, and it seems we’re on the high road to many clubs around the country and the globe opening up again (if they haven’t already). Sure, a lot of people are finding out that running on the treadmill is tougher while wearing a surgical mask, but we’re one step closer to normalcy and the ESSENTIAL human right to physical fitness is well on its way to a big comeback.
In a lot of our discussions with fitness clubs around the world, there’s been a consistent desire to not only reopen safely for members, but to give them a club that’s even better off than when the doors were locked. While most clubs have seen their annual budget stripped down since the beginning of the year, many of our customers have committed to providing their gym members with new, exciting equipment in order to welcome them back. “People have really enjoyed seeing new equipment,” said Jim Lozier of Snap Fitness’s Ashland and Mansfield locations in Ohio, “especially knowing the difficult times we all faced.” It gives members a sense that fitness clubs didn’t simply sit and collect dust during the shutdown, but rather that club owners poured everything they had into improving the gyms in preparation for reopening.
When presented across social media platforms and websites, the addition of new equipment might also help to pull back some members who might’ve been hesitant to return. Six months is a long time, and many gym members who might’ve been on the fence about their fitness routine could be hesitant to come back at all. “To some of our clients who were hesitant to get out of their houses, the enticement of new and cool equipment was enough to draw them out,” said Michael Campanella of PEX Health and Fitness in Needham, Massachusetts.
Michael isn’t alone. Over the last six months, we’ve been honored to help clubs across the planet to outfit their facilities with innovative, safe, and effective equipment guaranteed to give returning members even more than they expected. Just imagine a loyal customer’s surprise when they come back in to find the grotty old battle ropes replaced with a brand new Battle Rope ST®. Better yet, we’ve all met the gym member desperate for your facility to add a tire flip. Imagine their eyes lighting up when they return to the club to find a spanking new TireFlip 180® waiting for them.
New equipment doesn’t just have to serve the purpose of exciting new and existing customers; it can also provide a practical and safe means of working out more effectively. Training Zones provide your members with a means for working out that is time efficient, easy to clean, and allows them to maintain proper social distancing. For more information on The Abs Company’s HIIT Zone™ and Ab Zone, feel free to check out this blog post from our CEO, Sean Gagnon.
Just yesterday I found myself lucky enough to escape for an hour to workout at my local Retro Fitness. The staff there is always friendly, but I was struck especially by their sense of joy at being able to do what they love again. I got to talking with the gym’s Fitness Director and I asked him what kind of a turnout they’d been getting every day. “Oh, it’s not as many people as usual,” he said, glancing around the gym with a smile. “But it’s getting better and better every day.”
America and the world are ready to return to their fitness clubs. With diligence, team work, and commitment, we’ll be back to normal before we know it. When you open those doors to your loyal customers, will you be giving them a better facility than the one they left?
For more information on how The Abs Company can help, email Ryan Healey at Ryan@TheAbsCompany.com.