The world was very different when we published our 2020 Fitness Trends. With COVID-19 changing the way we all do, well, everything, the fitness industry has had to quickly pivot like all other industries.

Many consumers have said they are not yet comfortable with returning to the gym—and some have said they may never return to group fitness. Changing schedules, digital offerings and a lack of access to equipment are all affecting workouts and will continue to have a lasting impact going forward. Here’s some of the fitness and studio trends we might look forward to:

While there is still much we don’t know about the pandemic, one thing that seems widely accepted is that outdoors is more safe than indoors, and so many studios have been getting creative with outdoor workouts, using parks, rooftops or sidewalks. (One Toronto yoga studio even set up workouts within giant socially-distancing safe bubbles!) Plus, being confined to one’s home more than usual introduced many to the joy of getting out into nature to get your workout in. 

If you’re looking for more information about outdoor classes, you can check out our launching outdoor fitness classes webinar to chat about common questions or read our article on how to host outdoor classes

For fitness junkies, the Great Dumbbell Shortage is right up there with the Great Toilet Paper Shortage. As gyms closed for lockdown, gymgoers clamored for equipment, and the demand far exceeded the supply. But many are learning that you can get just as effective a workout with the heaviest weight you already own—your body!

Branching Out
If you want to see results in fitness, you need to stick to a schedule or plan, but sometimes that can lead to feeling like you’re stuck in a rut instead. While everyone has their favorite studio, the disruption to life as we knew gave us all time to take a collective pause and figure out what was and wasn’t working for us—including workouts. And a new workout and challenge can be a great way to break up the monotony of living through a pandemic, so expect to see a lot of new faces as people experiment with the workout formats that really work for them.

Changing Workout Times
The elimination of many people’s commutes for the foreseeable future has also changed the times of their workouts. Prior to COVID, we found that 5:30 p.m. was the most popular time to work out, with clients attending classes after their work days were over. But no morning commute means more time to squeeze in a morning workout. Plus, with more flexible schedules, lunchtime becomes a popular time to sneak in a workout (or even a second one, for some.) 

Digital Offerings
This one may seem the most obvious, but with the confluence of people being nervous to go back to the gym—and having become accustomed to at-home workouts—smart studios will stick with some digital offerings. A bonus to digital classes is that your studio may be physically located in New York, but you could be reaching clients anywhere in the world that you might not otherwise have access to!

If you’re interested to kick this off but don’t know how, we also have a webinar that covers how you can maximize revenue with digital classes. Become a ClassPass Partner easily and start adding digital classes. 

As we looked at this year, we predicted community would be a major factor this year, and this has only become more true. Community is the reason that people come to group fitness classes—to feel that camaraderie, that energy in the room, the motivation from instructors. As many hunkered down in physical isolation, one of the key things missing was that connection with others in the fitness community who “got it.” Many planned events went online, instructors and studio owners developed even deeper relationships with clients, and Instagram Live became the place to be for interaction with your fitness community. As studios slowly open, perhaps ahead of other places people would gather in person, community will stay more important than ever.

Body & Mind
Going into 2020, we saw that meditation was our most popular wellness genre. And living through a pandemic that has disrupted our lives in ways big and small makes that mind-body connection even more important to downregulate our nervous systems. Emphasizing meditation or mindfulness practices—even if they are just for a minute or so—will become more important than ever, as well as lower-intensity practices like restorative yoga.

Fitness studios, like most other small businesses, have faced a lot of adversity through the pandemic, but keeping up with your clients’ needs will help you weather the storm.

Check out other COVID-19 partner resources or become a ClassPass partner and learn about how you can grow your business as a ClassPass Partner.

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