Developing Post-COVID Training & Programming
Kooperman touched on why the fitness industry should be looking at a post-COVID training program to support individuals with long-term health struggles after battling the novel illness. Studies show long-lasting effects following COVID that can include lingering lung issues, shortness of breath and fatigue, and cardiac effects. As post-COVID training programs are developed, Kooperman added that it would be beneficial to add a doctor referral component for this type of program and gyms need to review the protocol and adhere to it.
Mental Health Support Is Critical
Darden encouraged everyone to be aware of those around you when it comes to mental health. Staggering statistics find that:
The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation is an organization that is focused on changing the way the world treats mental health by focusing on exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness.
“There’s opportunity for clubs to play a role in this going forward and to provide programs and make sure people are educated about the benefits of being physically active and how they are related to mental health,” said Darden.
‘The Next Normal’
McHaney dove into “the next normal,” which refers to terminology by McKinsey and Company. McHaney explained how this applies to the fitness industry and that clubs should not get hung up on long-term planning because things are changing quickly and change is evident. He goes on to add that the biggest pitfall for CEOs is to think their business will go back to the same way it was before.
Creating a Hospitality Environment
McBride discussed the importance of being prepared for hostile situations that may occur in health clubs, especially around COVID rules, mask-wearing, diversity, and overall sensitivity during the pandemic.
In a viral video shared by McBride, a gym member is pushing and provoking an employee, who shows restraint and patience as he worked to de-escalate the situation. McBride praised the employee and asked, “How do you train your staff to be sensitive and understand the perceptions that different members have about compliance?” By training team members to be sensitive to situations and to create a hospitality-focused environment, he added. “We need to protect our members and staff and your training and development programs should include this,” said McBride.