For the past year, headlines have proclaimed that the COVID-19 pandemic set back peoples’ health and fitness goals by miles. As fears about the obesity epidemic ballooning, the “quarantine 15” (and more) became a punchline to the pandemic.
But for many who had a higher risk of getting the virus, the pandemic was a tipping point toward health. Some were so scared of getting the virus that COVID-19 changed their perspective, priorities, and lifestyle. Americans who were pre-diabetic or edging into heart problems before the pandemic spent quarantine watching fitness, wellness, and healthy cooking videos online and on their smartphones. In fact, some Americans who saw the pandemic as a sign to get healthy lost upwards of 130 pounds, according to an NBC News article.
But as vaccines have become readily available — and people are feeling safer and more positive about what comes next — those who got fit and healthy during the pandemic may be losing sight of their goals or motivation. Now is the time for gyms like yours to help people get back on track and reach their goals.
Why People Opt for At-Home Workouts
The stay-at-home economy drove Americans to purchase high-end devices like Peloton bikes and Mirror devices and to spend millions on fitness equipment from dumbbells to yoga mats. From March to October 2020, health and fitness equipment revenue more than doubled to reach $2.3 billion, treadmill sales grew by 135%, and stationary bike sales nearly tripled, according to retail data from The NPD Group. Additionally, global health and fitness app downloads increased by 46%!
There are plenty of reasons people opt for at-home workouts. During the pandemic, it was the only option for many people. But in addition to being convenient, there are other reasons why people choose to workout at home:
- Cheaper monthly app or subscription fees
- Flexibility to pay only for preferred equipment
- Eliminates time spent commuting to and from the gym
- Easier to stay safe and healthy (no sharing equipment)
- No waiting to use your favorite equipment
- Avoid feeling like others are being judgmental
But for most people, finding motivation to workout at home usually becomes challenging over time. In fact, 52% of gym members who haven’t returned to their gym since it reopened are having a harder time getting motivated to work out, according to IHRSA. And 59% miss the gym more than they miss bars (51%) and restaurants or going to the movies (46%).
How to Sell Your Gym to People Who Exercise
Now is the time for gyms to encourage people who became at-home fitness buffs during the pandemic to join a gym. Gyms like yours can also help people refine and build upon the fitness techniques and habits they learned at home during the pandemic — and to keep up the momentum.
Considering that 42% of club members miss being at the gym and 36% miss the sense of community that comes with belonging to a gym, according to an IHRSA report, chances are high that people who’ve grown accustomed to working out at home could benefit from in-person workouts.
For example, let’s say at the start of the pandemic Susan Bennett was pre-diabetic and on heart medication. She realized she needed to lose 50 pounds to lower her risk of getting the virus and suffering the worst of the side effects. Susan managed to drop 25 pounds watching free YouTube workouts and using MyFitnessPal, but once she was vaccinated she started going out to eat with friends again and found every excuse not to workout at home.
Just imagine how your gym could help Susan hit that final goal by talking up personal training sessions, complementary group classes, nutrition tracking on your mobile app, and more! It’s important to help people who have reservations about going to a gym overcome their fears and concerns by speaking to their pain points and piquing their interests.
When crafting marketing and sales campaigns for people who prefer home workouts, here’s what to focus on:
- Get professional guidance on your form, which will ensure you don’t get injured during a workout.
- Access a wide variety of gym equipment without having to purchase or find space to store equipment at home.
- Get motivated by getting out of the house and into an active environment filled with like-minded people.
- Be more social and engaged as part of an energetic community of fitness-minded people.
- Gain access to group fitness classes, merchandise and amenities, personal training, and more.
- Get a personalized health plan based on a full health assessment and body composition analysis.
- Focus solely on your workout — not the dishes, laundry, and all of the other distractions you have at home.
Research has shown that people gravitate toward the exercise behaviors of those around them, so if someone is working out solo at home, it’s harder to stick to a fitness plan. So lean into the Köhler Effect, which is a phenomenon where people work harder as a member of a group than when working alone. Although getting fit and healthy at home made sense during shelter-in-place orders, it’s likely not the answer to long-term fitness success for most people.
Help Home-Fitness Buffs Achieve Their Goals
If prospective club members are hesitant about leaving their mobile apps and online workouts behind, make sure your club meets them where they are with what they need. With an all-in-one mobile app, you can empower, motivate, and engage members to achieve and surpass their health and fitness goals at your club. Want to know how ClubWise can help you bring more home-fitness buffs into your gym? Let’s talk.