Each week, IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: Industry to ‘Return Stronger Than Ever’ [VIDEO]

IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden talks about recent data that shows how eager people are to return to the gym, announces a new partnership, and more in this week’s Take 5.

  • May 12, 2021

It’s been a tough year for the fitness industry. But through all the challenges, the industry learned to adapt and modify its services to continue to be available for its members.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent shares data from a new report by Daxko that reassures us the fitness industry is coming back strong.

He also shares some positive news coming out of Colorado, discusses the latest Industry Partner Town Hall meeting, and asks for your input on IHRSA 2022.

Brent also announces a new strategic partnership that aims to expand the business, leadership, and management skillsets of business owners and managers.

Watch the full video for all of the latest news. You can also read the transcript below.

  • 0:30​ - Club Check-ins Pre- vs. Post-COVID
  • 1:56 - Social Distancing & Masks
  • 2:50 - State of Colorado Fitness Proclamation
  • 3:41 - Industry Partner Town Hall
  • 4:41 - SCW Fitness Education & IHRSA

Full Transcript

Over the course of the last year, the fitness industry has shown great resilience and I'm really confident that this year the rebound and the recovery will not only be significant but rapid. This week, we have more data showing people are excited to return to their health clubs after over a year of uncertainty, some updates on new IHRSA partnerships, and a few other interesting and positive news items I'd like to share.

Thanks for joining me for another IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

Club Check-ins Pre- vs. Post-COVID

2020 was a hard year for everyone. But through it all, the fitness industry showed resolve and adapted to ever-changing regulations to continue to promote good health and serve its members through the pandemic. Now, as people return to their gyms, new data continues to reassure us all that the fitness industry will indeed come back stronger than ever.

Daxko’s 2020 Nonprofit Wellness Industry Report compared industry data from 2019 to data from 2021. What they found was that active members are 60% back to normal, revenue is about 80% back to normal, and check-ins are almost 55% back to normal as of March 2021. Of course, geography always plays a huge role related to these numbers. Depending on where you are in the world, your numbers may be much worse, or noticeably better. I know for areas where clubs have been open for quite some time, they're seeing really great results on membership revenues, new sales, and return of members. This is all great news for the fitness industry because it shows people are eager to get back into the gym and get back to their health habits and routines.

Social Distancing & Masks

Even with the CDC's new mask guidelines, in which vaccinated Americans can participate in outdoor activities without a mask, at the state level, mask mandates still vary depending on where you live. 25 U.S. states have statewide indoor mask mandates and 19 states require that you wear a mask while exercising indoors still. Right now, 26 states no longer have operational capacity restrictions, and of the 24 states that do have capacity restrictions, the average is around 53.6%. There's still about seven states that are tied to various regional metrics.

The IHRSA team continues to track all these guidelines, and update charts that are available to IHRSA members, which we will link to in the description of this video.

State of Colorado Fitness Proclamation

To all our viewers in the great state of Colorado, happy Colorado Fitness Month, and congratulations to our friends at the Colorado Fitness Coalition on their success in getting Colorado Governor Jared Polis to sign a proclamation declaring May 2021 as Colorado Fitness Month. This confirms the state's belief that exercise indeed is essential. Just in time for Mental Health Month and Physical Fitness Month, the CFC encourages everyone to prioritize their mental and physical health. We hope that this is the start of a bigger movement, and that other state alliances, perhaps, will be inspired to do something similar in their states. Awesome job Colorado Fitness Coalition, keep up the great work.

Industry Partner Town Hall

Nearly 100 industry partners joined us at the last Industry Partner Town Hall meeting last week [May 6]. And I'm happy to say that everyone's excited about IHRSA 2021 in Dallas. And we just wanted to remind all of our industry partners that you have until June 15 to decide if you will be exhibiting at the event.

Also, we're currently in final negotiations for a new location for IHRSA 2022, so more on that to come very, very soon. But before details are finalized on this year's big event, we want to hear from all of you as well. We're looking for input from our industry partners and anyone in the industry, and we'd like you to share comments, suggestions or ideas with us at IHRSA or with any of the Council members. I really believe we're on a great path and we're enjoying a stronger relationship and an enhanced collaboration at a higher level than we've ever had with our industry partners and we're really grateful for that.

SCW Fitness Education & IHRSA

I'm happy to officially announce IHRSA's strategic partnership for 2021 with SCW Fitness, a leading provider of continuing education for fitness professionals. Through this partnership, SCW Fitness aims to expand the business, leadership, and management skill sets of business owners and managers that are going through their educational offerings during the Health and Fitness Business Summits, which are of course, part of the upcoming 2021 fitness conventions that SCW puts on.

IHRSA and SCW Fitness have been working together for the past year in many different ways to help the fitness industry navigate challenges through the pandemic. And this agreement is only going to build on the strong relationship that we've developed and it will also enable IHRSA to educate the SCW community about the many benefits of IHRSA memberships, particularly in the studio and professional segments.

Sara Kooperman, the CEO of SCW Fitness, and her team have just been really invaluable partners for IHRSA over the last many, many months participating on headlight teams and contributing their manpower and their talent to help us achieve some of the things that we've set our sights on at IHRSA so thanks so much to SCW and their team for that.

Well, that's it for this week's Take 5. Thank you for joining me again, and I'll see you all next week.

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Ofelia Martinez

Ofelia Martinez is a contributor to IHRSA.org.