Today, with the removal of the stay-at-home mandate, people are enthusiastically returning to the gym. Now, it’s not just about working – it’s about feeling connected. However, despite the relaxation of social distance commands, many businesses have chosen to stick to remote work settings, which has left many of us far more isolated than we were before the epidemic. So, how has this changed the way we try to get out of our gym and fitness – and what are they offering?
An increase in appearance
Thanks to vaccines and boosters, COVID-19 infections have decreased and flow continues, but many people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of re-entering communal spaces – especially gyms. Accordingly New York TimesPlanet Fitness added 1.7 million new members and opened 132 new locations in 2021, and U.S. membership at Crunch increased 34 percent from pre-Covid levels.
But classic open concept gyms aren’t the only fitness establishments that are seeing an increase in attendance. Boutique fitness class bookings are also on the rise, based on data recently collected by the Mindbody portfolio, which now includes ClassPass. This March, Mindbody’s bookings were up 10 percent from March, a brand representative told Well + Good. February 2022 also saw the highest number of reservations since February 2020.
“Our numbers have been steadily rising since last summer – some ebbs and flows resembling epidemics – but we are currently working above our pre-COVID performance,” he says. [solidcore] CEO and Chairman Brian Myers. “Our clients are ready to return to the studio, working with their community.”
Noah Neiman, co-founder of Rumble Boxing in New York City, says all Rumble studios have also seen a steady increase in customer bookings from loyal and newcomers. “[They’re] Coming back with a higher frequency than before, “he says.” The energy we get from the studios, emails, and DMs we’ve received can only tell that people are excited to return to routines that resonate with their social sensibilities. “
“People are excited to get back into a routine that resonates with their social sensibilities.” -Noa Neiman, Rumble Boxing
And with the flood of customers, many companies have made executive decisions to open more studios.
Barry has opened six new studios across the United States since January 2021, as well as five new international locations, said Joey Gonzalez, Barry’s global CEO. “We’re also opening new studios in Austin on the Portland and Tampa horizons.” Meanwhile, [solidcore] The epidemic has opened 15 more studios since its inception, including its first West Coast location in LA. [solidcore] To communities across the country, “says Myers.
Draw of group fitness
Point blank: People everywhere are looking for opportunities to reconnect after two years of relative isolation and social distance.
“After the epidemic, we noticed that our members valued the community side of our studio more than ever,” says Lauren McAllister, a nutritionist and co-owner of McAllister Training in San Luis Obispo, California. The reason? With the increasingly inaccessible workforce, many people meet regularly with their roommates or family members where they live, so being able to go to the gym and create reunions with fellow members is great. “As a studio, we see this as an opportunity to make a bigger impact. People need to connect as much as they need movement – in a fitness class, you get both,” McAllister adds.
“People need a connection as much as they need movement – in a fitness class, you get both.” – Lauren McAllister
Neiman is dubbing this trend “The Great Return”: “People are coming back to experimental products and services,” he says. “Concerts, clubs, meals, gyms … anything that makes you feel something, especially as part of a group, is bouncing bigger than ever. ‘The Great Return’ is upon us!”
He sees this new interest in fitness as more than just health. “We are a community-based species, and during the lockout we were deprived of that primary desire to experience life together,” he says. “Now that a lot of the rules have been removed, and the public fear has subsided, we’re itching to go back.”
But going to the gym is not just another group’s experience. Science shows that walking in unity has a unique ability to build social bonds and improve our sense of well-being — something we can all use today. And that social connection can boost exercise performance.
In addition to providing a healthy place to create and nurture personal connections, working together can help increase motivation to commit to a regular exercise routine. As it turns out, it is more social when we exercise to find more inner satisfaction. Competing with our peers can be a big draw.
According to the ClassPass 2021 Fitness and Beauty Trends report:
- If they take classes with a classmate in their first month at ClassPass, people are 45 percent more likely to continue the new workout routine.
- Those who exercise regularly with peers are more likely to stick with it: those who pass an exercise class with peers are 63 percent more likely to have a routine of 12 months or more.
- Two-thirds say in-studio classes make it easier to maintain a routine.
A study published in 2021 Social sciences and medicine It has also been found that joining a sports or exercise group can help prevent depression, possibly by helping us to stick to the rules of exercise — and feel less lonely while doing so.
Connecting outside the studio
Knowing that clients are returning to the studio for both fitness and social connectivity, many gyms are expanding their efforts to help clients get the most out of their membership.
“These days, we’re hosting as many episodes as there are epidemics, once a month,” says McAlister, who is also a senior marketing specialist at Mindbody. Whether it’s an outdoor Easter egg workout, a Halloween kickball, or a happy hour with members, McAlister says it’s all about bringing people together. “Our members come from all walks of life but love to be together and be able to bond in a common interest,” she says. “People are honestly looking for a connection and we’re glad to have a place to find it.”
At Barry, Gonzalez says the studio is constantly looking for ways to connect clients both inside and outside the studio. “Whether it’s class challenges like ‘Face Yourself’ with an emphasis on mental health, or ‘United We Sprint’ to celebrate and give back to the LGBTQIA + community in June, we’re always creating ways for our community to show ourselves, and each other,” he said. .
This sense of connection is creating another reason to watch our workout. “Group fitness provides a unique sense of community that many of us have lost over the past two years,” says Gonzalez. “It allows us to show ourselves when we are in the company of others, sharing the same goal of becoming physically and mentally stronger every day.”
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