With Covid-19 disrupting the sport and leisure landscape in Singapore, fitness studios had to implement alternative business models to stay afloat.
Fitness and boxing studio Boom Singapore has launched online workouts with free sessions on Instagram Live. Haus Athletics also capitalized on Instagram as a platform to post free 15-minute bodyweight workouts.
The two studios also offer paid virtual training sessions on Zoom to speed things up.
However, after being limited to home workouts and races in the neighborhood park during the breaker period, fitness junkies were eager to sweat instead in their favorite studios.
Fortunately, when Singapore entered its second reopening phase, the fitness studios were allowed to resume classes. Studios like the popular High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) F45 have reopened with great fanfare and excitement on social media.
That said, what is the new standard for fitness studios? Has the storm passed or are they facing a whole new set of problems as they adapt to the new changes?
Disadvantages of the new standard
The first and simplest adaptations that fitness studios have to make are to comply with the new rules and regulations put in place by Sport Singapore.
The rules which include the maintenance of the mask at all times, except during intense activities, inevitably have disadvantages for the activities of the fitness studios.
A sense of community
Each fitness studio has managed to build a unique community around its brand, which is essential for members to return.
In conversations with fitness class enthusiasts, many have agreed that the responsibility that accompanies part of a community is what motivates them while working.
According to Ritual Gym member Jon Seow, group exercise is “a key aspect” that drives him during workouts, and exercising at home would “loosen” him instead.
Due to the rules of social distancing, the interaction is surely limited, which could reduce the attraction of taking classes in fitness studios.
Individuals are currently expected to keep a distance of 2 meters from each other and in the case of HIIT or group lessons, no more than five individuals are allowed in each session.
Fitness studios have also cordoned off areas where people can congregate. Participants are also asked to bring a fully filled water bottle to avoid mixing with the water coolers.
These developments have made it more difficult to regain the sense of team spirit and community that has traditionally been present in fitness studios and group classes.
Lusi Gao, member of F45, believes that the sense of community has slightly diminished during lessons.
“Much of what we used to have was groups of two to three people training at the same station and cheering each other on, but now everyone is confined to their own” box “and doing sessions different training. ”
That being said, the fitness instructors and coaches have gone to great lengths to ensure that their members are properly assisted, whether in physics or online.
During the breaker, The Garage continued to engage its members online by constantly connecting with them. The team also provided services such as bulk order weights for home workouts, so members can continue with their diets and “not feel the disruption.”
Reduced capacity and commercial prospects
In accordance with SportSG guidelines, each establishment is limited to a maximum of 50 people. Thus, even if the demand for physical lessons persists, it is unlikely that the studios, especially the smaller ones, will meet the demand.
According to Ruchdi Hajjar, founder of The Ring Boxing Community, the number of students attending on-site courses has dropped by 30%, mainly due to expulsion measures.
His sentiment was echoed by The Garage co-founder Yen Wong: “Sales have certainly been affected due to the limited class size. Unfortunately, our strategies are not able to bring companies back to where we were. This can only minimize the impact. ”
Is Zoom the future of fitness studios?
Most studios now provide members with videos, and members can choose to attend virtual classes over physical classes.
Evolve MMA vice president Wesley de Souza said that even if physics classes had resumed, the gym’s online offerings “will remain a large part” of its programs.
Despite online developments, Yen believes that online courses are just an “instinctive reaction” to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Garage surveyed over 100 people, and the results showed that people still prefer going to the gym because of “community and motivation”
“The future of fitness is about empowering people more effectively using technology, but not within the confines of home walls,” said Yen.
Featured image credits: The Garage via Facebook
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