As much as I was able to focus on anything while being tossed around by the wind and rain during yesterday’s ride, I spent a good part of it thinking about content for my next cheesy fitness video. I’ve been doing one video each morning since the Timeout Grande began.
I’m not able to work right now, so doing the videos has given me a sense of purpose, as well as helped me stay connected to the skill-set that earns my keep. The videos are cheesy, I’m not very good on camera, and most people scroll right past them. That’s cool, but doing them gives me a reason to roll out of bed and run a brush through my hair each day.
While riding yesterday, and while I was thinking about ideas for the next video, I got to thinking about the fitness industry in general. Many gyms and fitness facilities will go out of business as a result of the global shutdown. Some larger chains will survive, but will be forced to change, adapt, and reduce the number of facilities they operate. Some smaller chains, as well as many independent gyms, will go under completely.
As a result of this, many who’ve depended on their gym as an outlet for their physical and mental wellness, will learn to workout from home and never look back. Others though, will quit exercising altogether. For them, not only will there physicality suffer, but their mental health will also.
There are certainly going to be fewer options. My guess is that the home fitness equipment industry is going to have a boon. One of the more common pieces of home exercise equipment, and one that I own and use daily, is the Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set. They are central to any home workout space.
Three weeks ago, these were available via Amazon and retailed for roughly $265. Today they can be found on eBay for nearly $1500, though the price is dropping, and I’ve seen some as low as $800. For their part, Bowflex has them back ordered on their website, but has already upped the retail price to $365 as of yesterday.
There’s this old joke I tell people when buying a lifetime gym membership…
Before you make the investment, I suggest, you should consider whether you’re buying the membership for your lifetime, or for the lifetime of the gym. That’s a question thats going to be answered for millions of people in the coming weeks.
My guess is due to the addictive nature of exercise, some portion of the population will run back to the gym as soon as the doors open. However, those hardcore enthusiasts, gym rats as they’re often called, don’t pay the bills for the gyms.
There’s a rule in the fitness industry called the 75/25 rule. That is, 75% of the people who join a gym never use it — their monthly dues though, which are auto-drafted from their bank accounts, support the 25% of the members who actually use the facility regularly.
In simple terms, that suggests that 25% of the members who use the gym will be back as soon as the doors open. The 75% that cover the overhead and pay the salaries of the employees, may be gone for life. That’s just speculation on my part, but with millions of people out of work, the gym industry needs to prepare for a large number of membership cancellations. They also need to prepare for a large percentage of their devoted members being afraid to return due to concerns over the spreading of germs, as well as having figured out how to workout on their own.
This is just one aspect of the many things that will change, culturally, in the coming weeks and months. I would look for the fitness industry in general, and how people exercise, to change for forever.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
Bike: Tobio Obsession
13.5 mph avg
Yesterday’s earworm: Yonder, by Donna The Buffalo