Virtual Personal Training

Goals

To provide insight into the current shift to virtual training or workouts as a result of COVID-19 including whether they intend to continue with the virtual workouts or return to the gym, the type of home workouts people are doing, and any available demographics.

Early Findings

Training and Working Out During COVID-19

  • Across the US, gyms have been closed as a result of COVID-19. Concerns have been raised that the closure of gyms will make people more susceptible to COVID-10, as their first line of defense, a healthy immune system fueled by regular exercise, as they can no longer attend their gym. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of gyms offering virtual workouts for their customers to complete online.
  • The three most common options for virtual workouts are virtual personal training, a two-way interactive option with customized workouts to be completed in the home, virtual fitness classes, a live, interactive class with other members completed in the home (also available on-demand), and home workout plans. The cost of each of these options varies from gym to gym, with the most expensive generally being the customized sessions and the least expensive the workout plan.
  • Some gym owners and instructors have expressed skepticism when asked whether the virtual workouts will continue once the imminent threat from COVID-19 has passed. ClassPass CEO, Fritz Laumann said when asked, "It’s not the same, right? That ambiance, that immersiveness you can’t replicate digitally. But we like to think it is the next best thing."
  • Pelton, a supplier of home fitness equipment, has experienced unprecedented demand stretching the normal 2-3 week delivery to up to 7 weeks in some areas.
  • Companies that already operated in the virtual fitness realm have experienced increased demand for their services, Obe, a digital gym subscription service, founder Mark Mullett said there had been a considerable increase in demand for their services since COVID-19 started impacting the fitness industry.
  • With some consumers investing heavily in home fitness equipment, it begs the question whether consumers will return to the gyms when they reopen. On that point, the fitness industry is split.
  • The fitness industry has received praise for the speed at which it was able to adapt in response to the COVID-19 induced gym closures to the extent many are questioning whether the virtual offerings will become the new norm.
  • Many governments have contributed to the increased industry in fitness that consumers are currently exhibiting. One common exception to lock down rules allows the public to go outside to exercise. Many argue that this was an implied statement about the importance of the role fitness plays in the population´s lives. Those in the fitness industry hope that it continues post-lockdown.

Summary

  • There are currently arguments from both sides of the equation as to whether the current move to virtual workouts will be permanent. A considerable amount of information is available discussing the response of the fitness industry to COVID-19, the permanency of the changes, and the future of the fitness industry.

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