The announcement that gyms will be reopening soon means that the fitness and leisure industry could be about to wake up from its Covid hibernation.
With this in mind, we’ve been having a think about what the world might look like. Will the gyms bounce right back, and members pick up where they left off? Will there be some nervousness around going into gyms, even though the data shows that we as an industry are pretty safe and have taken every measure possible to protect staff and members?
The answer is that we don’t really know for certain. Nobody does! What we can do is prepare, adapt and make some predictions as to how the landscape might shift and how trends might develop…
The Great (British) Outdoors
I have a feeling that timing will be important as we navigate the next few months. Gyms will reopen as the weather warms up. We will be well into Spring and I’m pretty sure we’ll all want to get out and enjoy some air. We, not only a nation, but as a global population, have been locked up for quite some time. Too much screen time, too much homeschooling and way too much time indoors.
Gyms will inevitably bounce back but this may take a little while. My view is that owners and trainers will be looking outside the box and mitigating the worries and concerns of their members and clients by taking them outdoors. Not entirely, as the physical gym space will still be important, but in some format or another. Especially whilst social distancing is still a thing. Gyms that used to hold 100 users will be down to around half maybe. Operators do not want and should not want to just give up on the other 50%. So, what can they do? Let us use outdoor spaces if we are fortunate enough to have them. Unused car parks, patches of grassland, gravel beds and AstroTurf areas. Any areas that are open, full of fresh air and safe.
And before we hear cries of, ‘What about the Rain?’ or ‘But it’s way too cold in the UK!’ There are ways around this. The situation Just needs a bit more thought and a little more money. We love to find excuses not to do things. Let’s be proactive and come up with solutions!
Flexible fitness solutions
Our partnerships give us access to a vast number of very clever pieces of kit that can be used outdoors. Some requiring significant investment and some not so much.
This sounds crazy coming from someone whose business survives on selling fitness equipment, but the best piece of kit you can invest in for outdoor use is a pair of trainers, nobody can deny that! In fact, for any type of health and weight loss benefit, just get your kit on and get moving. Ultimately, that’s what we want for our customers.
This mantra of getting people moving is exactly why we need to, ‘go outdoors’. Common sense tells us that there will be less access to gym spaces in the early stages of restrictions lifting. We need to encourage our industry to grow outside and rally the population to come with us. Safely, of course!
Here are a few equipment ideas for the commercial and home user to get outdoors:
Container Gym solutions
A solid, stable and semi-permanent solution that is configurable in a number of ways. Multiple containers can create a great training space – two or more containers with a cover spanning the void create an outdoor/indoor gym, whilst modified containers allow you to train inside or outside them. The options are endless.
Our partner Beaverfit has recently brought the ‘Shred Shed’ to the market. A small, compact solution that requires very little space and is incredibly versatile. It’s effectively a gym in a box with an incredible amount of functionality and storage to boot. Use it in your garden, outside your club or in your school or university. It’s also relatively low-cost for such a clever unit.
Outdoor functional training rigs
Most of us have a rig indoors in our gym now. But we don’t see too many outdoor rigs. Is it the British weather? Maybe, but we have seen a big growth in outdoor rigs in Germany with one of our partners. The weather’s not too different there, is it?
This Summer may be the time to invest in an outdoor rig. These things last for years and are amazing for small and large group PT sessions. Structured classes are easy to run on rigs and again you can fashion any design that comes into your head. Less expensive standard options ae available alongside totally bespoke projects to fit your requirements. They also cost less than you might think. Definitely worth researching.
All of our training racks are suitable for outdoor use. Most people don’t have a big enough garage or house to fit a fully commercial rack, so why not get an outdoor solution? It could be temporary for the Summer or a permanent addition. If you have a small, flat area outside in your garden you could incorporate a canopy to create a small weights area that could fit an outdoor rack perfectly. Our racks range from folding racks to garage racks and basic outdoor half racks, to fully commercial Elite Racks. We’ve got something for all budgets and needs.
Original Beaverfit TGB
The Tactical Gym Box was designed for the military and is heavily used by the military, with both indoor and outdoor functionality. Storage, heave bar, rack, step box – It’s all there. Compact and easy to build and dismantle, It’s a great product that has stood the test of time with the forces worldwide. Now it’s yours to have in the commercial and home-use gym market. And very affordable too.
Whatever the world decides for us this year, we as an industry need to be ready. We need to adapt, stay safe and work around the problems we face. I for one don’t want to see another lock down!
Let’s focus on solutions and drive our industry, and society, forward together.