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Fitness Industry Keeps World Moving During COVID-19 Pandemic

Health clubs and industry suppliers are coming together to help people stay active during the coronavirus crisis.

We are in the midst of a world-historical event, a global disruption that has affected nearly all aspects of daily life. Now, in a number of countries people under “shelter in place” orders, non-essential businesses are closed, and all regions are directing people to practice social distancing and self-isolation. This means the temporary closure of many businesses, including health clubs and fitness studios.

In the midst of the crisis, the health club industry has come together to help the public—and other businesses—cope with this unprecedented disruption. Exercise remains a central factor in healthy living, and regular physical activity has profound effects on the immune system, among other important health markers. In short, people need to stay active, and the industry is taking action to keep the public connected to their clubs and engaged in exercising at home.

Clubs Bringing Online Workouts to Homes

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Clubs have created their own in-house solutions for their members, with some offering fitness programming to the general public. Some fitness studios are offering live classes for free. Planet Fitness is hosting classes on Facebook; Blink Fitness is doing the same. Crunch is offering free access on their Crunch Live platform. And with all its corporate locations now closed, Gold’s Gym is directing members to access programming through their Amp app. Orangetheory has also migrated their classes to a digital platform. 24 Hour Fitness has followed suit with more than 1,500 on-demand workouts available online.

Another example is from the Newtown Athletic Club, who’s new mobile app allows their members to work out “wherever they are,” which, for the foreseeable future, is at home.

Gympass, the corporate wellness company, announced that they are expanding their access to their digital app with virtual workouts, nutrition plans, and other wellness lifestyle information.

Variis is streaming content from Equinox, SoulCycle, Pure Yoga, and other studios. Some apps are offering complimentary temporary memberships or increasing access to their library of classes. Barry’s Bootcamp is offering classes on IGTV, Instagram’s video platform.

Other clubs are ramping up. We’ll update this list as developments change.

Streaming Providers Offering Workout Solutions for Clubs

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Endorphinz, a digital fitness company, announced an initiative to bring together streaming providers to create workout solutions for clubs. Participating content providers include:

  • Fitness On Demand
  • Intelivideo
  • Pear Sports
  • Wexer
  • Wellbeats

“With the recent change in landscape we brought together about 80% of the platform groups who serve the current fitness streaming industry, and we are going to deploy our teams to help the brands develop and launch these solutions for as long as we can and eliminate all upfront fees to just help,” says Michael Hansen, managing partner of Endorphinz.

Wellness app Burnalong recently announced a partnership with health clubs and studios to help provide content so members can stay connected during the crisis. They’ve set up a “partners” page to help coordinate content delivery.

Les Mills opened its on-demand library of 102 workout options across eight categories to help clubs keep members moving. This platform is free to use and will not collect any data from users, according to a release.

Other IHRSA members are offering assistance during the pandemic. They can be found on the coronavirus resource page. If you’re an industry supplier willing to share materials to help people of all ages and abilities to be active as part of a World Health Organization initiative, please fill out this brief form.

More resources are on the way, so check back often and see if there’s a solution for your business during this difficult time.

Working Together as a United Industry

In an industry used to disruption, expect more creative problem-solving to emerge as we move forward. Let us know what your club or company is doing to keep club members engaged and active during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org