The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how we all lead our daily lives. Among these changes is how we now approach our fitness. With gyms forced to reduce capacity or shutdown altogether, many have found ways to bring their gym routines home with them.
Now with months of home workouts under our belts, Coronavirus vaccinations and the loosening of social restrictions, there seemingly may be a light at the end of the 2020 tunnel — including the long-awaited reopening of gyms.
We wanted to learn just how people’s attitudes towards going to the gym, home workouts, and personal fitness have transformed during the course of this year.
In a recent commissioned nationwide survey, we found that 70% of respondents would never return to the gym, even when it’s safe to go back to them.
Attitudes towards the gym have clearly changed since the onset of the pandemic and that’s even more starkly seen in those aged 35-44, where 80% of these respondents said they’ll be ditching their gym memberships for good.
We see this trend reflected back in our Tempo community with a 20x growth in our membership since April, as the pandemic has dragged on and the possibility of returning to the gym seemed less and less tenable. And within this growing number, nearly 30% of them are in the 35-44 age range.
While it may seem shocking to some that so many are ready to never go back to the gym, our survey found that 50% of respondents were already working out gym-less. As membership in Tempo would indicate, since COVID-19 became a pandemic, 75% of respondents now say they’ve brought the gym into their living rooms (and they’re going to be keeping it that way).
It may seem counterintuitive that many are willingly staying at home to get their fitness needs met, especially when equipment has become increasingly scarce during the pandemic; however, with the increase in home fitness equipment on the market — and with the ability to avoid close quarters with strangers — the convenience of a non-existent commute may be keeping people more consistent than ever.
With your home as your gym, a contributing factor to increased consistency could very well be having natural accountability partners in the form of family, roommates, and a more flexible schedule.
And beyond that, with home smart fitness equipment becoming more, well, smart, former gym-goers may find that accessibility to expert training and technology-backed accountability are keys to success.
On average, active Tempo members workout 5x per week which is nearly double the average of than Tempo’s built in reminder system and calendar are tools that demonstratively aid in remaining consistent in one’s training regimen.
What Else are We Seeing?
It’s obvious that people are feeling the necessity of training in a gym may not be so necessary, but other attitudes and fitness habits are changing too.
As many of us continue to work and spend more time at home, the flexibility of both having no commute and a home gym has shown us that now most any time of the day is game for a workout. Where morning used to be the most popular time to train (ostensibly before having to go into the office), many people are varying their daily workout times.
In fact, in Tempo’s own community we see an even spread among all hours of the day with 24% percent in the morning, 35% percent in the afternoon, and 37% percent in the evening.
Having access to a library of classes that you can take whenever works for you, seems to help quite a bit.
Not only are people working out differently, their reason for working out has shifted as well.
Quarantining during this pandemic has not only left us with less physical stress outlets, but mental ones, too.
Survey respondents noted that while they still choose to buy home fitness equipment for reasons you might expect — muscle gain, toning up, etc. — an additional 15% of respondents said they’re working out for mental health, which wasn’t a priority before COVID-19.
While there isn’t a clear solution for every single person when it comes to home training, it is clear that people want a bit of everything.
Respondents slightly favor price and quality, but that only edged out motivation and other qualitative factors by a small margin.
People may not want to go back to the gym, but they definitely want elements of it at home, whether it’s the equipment, the coaching, or the motivation and community.