Do you want to return to the commercial gym or workout at home?
I recently did a video about returning to commercial gyms. During isolation and the subsequent months of uncertainty and change, the landscape of large commercial gyms was forced into change or closure.
After having to close, for however long depending on where you lived, people had to find ways to get their exercise in. Many turned to home gyms. But that wasn’t an easy thing to do either with fitness supplies drying up and equipment being very hard to obtain, so many had to learn to do more with much less. This forced so many people to learn great ways to train without machines and amenities. Did this spell the death of commercial gyms for good?
Of course not, people were eager and quick to head back to large commercial gyms once permitted, but…there certainly wasn’t as many. When 90% of the gyms reopened only 60% of the members returned. Between temporary closures and smaller returns upon reopening, nearly 15% of gyms had closed permanently by September of 2020. The industry lost more than 15 billion and almost 500,000 jobs. Marquee names in the industry such as Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness filed for bankruptcy, and many others had to downsize and restructure. As of spring of 2021 some gyms are reporting being back up to 70% to 80% of their previous pre-covid volume.
Fitness is of such great importance to our overall well-being that the industry will never come to an end as a whole… but it can change significantly. Case in point, The industry saw a strong spike in January of 2021 as it usually does, but some businesses has reported that 50% of their memberships remain online as people still wish to train virtually from home.
Was this the case for all gyms overall, large and small? Not exactly.
Group fitness locations that survived isolation saw and uptick and many members were happy to return to those strong communities that they loved and missed so much. You see with group fitness it’s a little less about the facility and amenities and more about the community.
Members find support and passion within these communities and that provides a deeper relationship with fitness as a whole as opposed to just going into a globo gym and meandering around trying to piece together a strong workout session and stay motivated when you’re ultimately alone while doing so, and…if you’re the type that like the peace and isolation of training alone and putting your own routines together, than you’re the type that would love training in your own space…at home.
Me personally, I turned my back on commercial gyms years ago. It took me a while to let go and realize that I truly didn’t need the things I thought I did when it came to producing the best results for myself. Especially when it came to my preferences and style of training with regards to my strength and conditioning and overall fitness. I’m train to be strong and athletic. I am a huge proponent for functional fitness. I love using my body and basic strength training equipment. No machines, is pretty much my motto with the exception of a cardio machine here and there. I want an open space where I can move myself and anything I’m swinging around or lifting, freely. I just couldn’t do the workouts I wanted to in commercial gyms, not without prying eyes, or lack of space or even lack of the necessary equipment. Remember, at big gyms you have to share your toys.
What really hit home was when my wife decided to make a life change and get in shape and improve her overall health. Once I started training her, we discovered that all the years I tried to help her get in shape by giving her workouts and paying for gym memberships for her didn’t work because she just didn’t enjoy the atmosphere. Once I started training her in our own gym with my functional training methods, she became obsessed and passionate about her training and has lost 80lbs and maintained it. She is also stronger and more athletic than she’s ever been in her life in her 40’s. She discovered a method of training she would’ve never round in a large commercial gym. She could have found such training in a Crossfit box, group training gym or some sort, but she is one of those people that likes to train alone or with a couple of close friends she’s comfortable training with.
So what is your take? What have you decided? What kind of training have you adopted since Isolation? Were you eager to get back into your commercial gym and are you active there now? Did you create a great home or garage gym that you love and train in regularly and have no intention on going back to a Globo gym anytime soon? Are you part of a group training community and are you back and active at that location? I’d love to hear from you. Please be sure to share in the comments below.
Whatever your decision, I hope you have chosen to remain active and healthy no matter what.
I am Rad Durousseau, the owner and head instructor of Rad Muay Thai Fitness Center in Aurora Colorado. I love to share whatever I can to help whomever I can to grow through training in what I call Martial Athletics. I use functional strength training and conditioning to strengthen my martial arts and I use martial arts to compliment my S&C training in an effort to create a complete Martial Athlete and next level human being.