What a difference a year makes. In May 2020, we celebrated National Physical Fitness and Sports Month under the mandate of strict lockdowns and zero in-person workouts. Now, in May 2021, the global fitness club scene is rebounding — but not without a dramatic shift.
Today, fitness club owners and operators are focused on meeting people where they are most comfortable exercising, whether that is in gyms, backyards or living rooms. The pandemic opened the door to a new reality called hybridization — the combination of in-club experiences and digital fitness offerings. As we look to define the future of fitness, we know that consumers will keep demanding hybrid offerings, even in a post-pandemic world.
Wellness, Workouts and Self Care
The pandemic taught us that we can be creative when it comes to wellness and workouts. Self-care stole the spotlight with people across the nation realizing the importance of taking time for themselves and understanding the health and wellness benefits of exercise and movement.
With stay-at-home mandates as the norm, a new kind of opportunity emerged: virtual workouts and on-demand fitness content, which is what Intelivideo specializes in. Because we focus on bringing tech to the fitness world, we got a front-row seat to watching the transformation of the global, multi-billion-dollar fitness industry.
During the last 15 months, it seemed like everyone was taking a fitness class in their living room or going Peloton crazy in their bedroom. Consumers wanted variety and the chance to try new things. Virtual and on-demand fitness content provided ways to jump into these new experiences, inviting anyone with a computer and Internet connection to join a class, gym or camp. Consumers loved the flexibility and choice. As a result, virtual and on-demand fitness content is now a staple of our reality.
As of this spring, more and more states are allowing gyms to operate at 100 percent capacity with six feet of space between members, once again giving people the ability to work out within sweating distance. But this doesn’t mean virtual offerings will fade away. In the world of fitness, there is room for both in-club and on-demand experiences, opening a bountiful mix of options. With hybridization, fitness club owners and operators can deliver a customer-first approach to people by offering opportunities to exercise when, where and how they prefer to sweat. A digital fitness platform enhances the in-person experience and vice versa.
Fitness for All
The inherent flexibility of hybridization provides a path for those who were too shy or too reluctant to exercise in public to now exercise on their terms. Fitness enthusiasts will always prioritize exercise, but with more ways to train and move, so will everyone else. Digital fitness isn’t making gym workouts obsolete; rather, it’s helping to highlight just how ubiquitous fitness offerings can be.
Transformation is the shift from the status quo because of an innovative new way of doing things. Digital capabilities are offering new opportunities to people around the world, transforming the way they use fitness to transform their bodies and minds.
Adam Zeitsiff is the president and CEO of Broomfield-based Intelivideo and an advisory council member of the National Health and Fitness Alliance within the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). He previously served as the global president and CEO of Gold’s Gym and draws upon his more than 15 years of fitness industry technology and club-operating experience to guide Intelivideo as a trusted partner to gyms and health clubs worldwide.