The rise of online fitnessThe Social Media Company
A survey done by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal predicted that wearable tech would be the top fitness trend in 2020 – but that was before we knew how the year would ultimately unfold. Even the most forward-looking health and fitness professionals could not have foreseen that online fitness would see the boom it has in the first few months of the new year, and how could they have?
The arrival of the coronavirus has forced trainers to think innovatively, and in its wake, the world of fitness and sports may forever be changed. To keep their heads above water, many, if not most fitness pros have taken their workouts into the online sphere, and the rise of web-based streaming exercise programmes may even be beneficial to financially pressured trainers in the long run.
In the US, for example, the megaformer studio Solidcore’s decision to move towards Zoom-based workouts have enabled the company to hire back at least 50 of the trainers who were laid off when studios closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Similarly, many personal trainers are now opting for donation-based online classes, which enable them to expand their personal brands while still making a living. Considering the high fees associated with presenting classes at bigger gym groups, many PTs might consider continuing presenting their classes online when things go back to normal.
As traditional gyms and personal trainers move online, those platforms that had already offered streaming and video classes are thriving, while many programmes that had reached cult status are in dire straits. For example, as studios across the US closed, SoulCycle has been forced to sell their bikes for $2500 in order to compete with Peloton, who already used a streaming model pre-corona.
Indeed, those with gym subscriptions may also be wondering if the large amounts of cash they fork out to stay fit are really worth it if there are so many more affordable online options out there.
One thing seems to be sure, though: the forecast that the global digital-fitness market would be worth an estimated $27.4 billion in 2022 is very likely to be adjusted upwards, as this pandemic leaves an indelible mark on the way we keep our bodies in tip-top shape.