Skip to main content

Is home fitness killing the gym industry?

The pandemic turned the world upside down, completely changing the regular routine of people across the world. If you were a regular gym-goer, the beloved place you went to exercise and improve your health was suddenly closed. You, like millions of others, may have decided to invest in home fitness equipment and now find yourself in the convenient and inexpensive routine of working out at home. Do you find yourself itching to get back to the gym or do you prefer to stay the course with your home gym?

There’s a chance that traditional gyms may not have the same levels of membership as they did prior to the pandemic. Approximately 9,000 health clubs (22 percent of the total nationwide gyms) have closed since the pandemic began, and 1.5 million workers found themselves out of a job, according to the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association.

All that being said, is the gym industry dead? It all depends on a few key factors.

Home gym room
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The convenience factor

Home gyms afforded millions the ability to get their workout in at home without wasting time driving back and forth, changing clothes, filling water, and getting ready to leave the home. With all the fitness equipment available today, you can get the same quality workout you did at the gym and save a ton of time that you can devote to other daily activities. Millions of people saw the benefit of creating a home gym, leading to serious backups in the supply of home fitness equipment. Some even found it took months to receive a back-ordered Peloton.

For traditional gyms to grow and retain their membership, they need to deliver full-service offerings, competing with the convenience of working up a sweat from home. “Monthly memberships will now have to include far more than just workouts, like one-on-one instruction, nutrition coaching, and virtual check-ins with clients,” Alex Hormozi, founder of Gym Launch, told Men’s Health. “They must overdeliver on a client’s experience outside the four walls of their facility.”

woman working out home
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The health factor

Another pro of working out at home is you are in charge of your health. You’re not packed into a room with a bunch of maskless people, worrying about sanitation or ventilation. That’s been a big deal for many as the Delta variant swept through much of the country this summer. Eric Roza, CEO of CrossFit Inc., told Men’s Health, “Because COVID-19 spreads through the air, we’ll see more virus- filtering HEPA systems and CO2 meters. If the CO2 level in a gym stays under a certain level, that means the air circulation is excellent and comparable to being outside.” For members to feel comfortable returning, fellow gym-goers and employees alike need to make commitments to cleanliness, ensuring all shared equipment and spaces are as sanitized as possible.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The socialization factor

Of course, for those who loved being able to work out with groups in person, meet new people, and get out of the house, the gym is hard to replace. It provides a chance for people to get together and encourage each other to meet personal and mutual goals. Even with advances in equipment like the Peloton and MIRROR that offer communal workouts in the form of live classes and leaderboards, it can’t always replace the real thing. Since personal at-home fitness cannot quite replicate group classes (yet), gyms can double down on their community offerings to invite the neighborhood back in. Group fitness classes are a start, but so are friendly competitions, referral bonuses, and open door programs.

Whether you’re hoping to return to the gym for all your exercise needs or want a place to work out with friends every once in a while, there’s a gym for you. Big gyms aren’t going anywhere, but they are becoming more flexible. With these facilities transforming to meet post-pandemic expectations, you’re likely to find programs that are convenient, safe, and fun.

Whether you have one multi-use piece of equipment that does it all or a fully decked-out mini-gym in your home, it’s difficult to beat the camaraderie that comes with working out around others who are equally committed to reaching their personal goals. At the end of the day, your personal health is entirely up to you. Do your research, explore the options available, and make the choice that works best for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
These coffee table Christmas decor ideas put a modern spin on old favorites
Try these simple holiday decor ideas to modernize your seasonal design
Candles and glass vase on coffee table for Christmas decor

As Christmas nears and holidays encourage us to deck the halls, you may be wondering what to do with your coffee table. It’s easy to add pieces that are too big and make the space feel clunky. Or, you add something too small, which makes your coffee table feel bland and empty. Here are some of the best Christmas decor ideas to add to your coffee table that honors the season while maintaining a modern feel.

Try a simple wood bowl filled with ornaments
Modern home design favors the sleek and simple, so this year, take a cue from the modern book and use a simple wood bowl for your decor. Place a wooden bowl in the center of the coffee table and fill it with stunning gold and silver ornaments for a gentle yet elegant look. This is best done on a glass coffee table. However, if you have a wooden table in your home, add a small plaid or winter-themed placemat underneath to break up the look of the space. For a more rustic look, layer two placemats beneath the bowl and swap out the ornaments for pine cones.

Read more
6 festive, eye-catching ways to decorate your front porch for Christmas
Try these ideas this holiday season
Outdoor holiday tree

The holidays will be here before you know it, and if you're already in the mood to decorate your front porch for Christmas, you're in good company. The holidays are a time to go all out decorating, and your front porch sets the tone for the rest of your home's awesome Christmas decor, so it makes sense to spend some time thinking about its design.

Some of the decor elements depend on the size and design of your front porch and your overall budget to deck the halls. Then, consider what you have to work with — like the windows, railings, front door, and steps — to come up with a plan. You don't need to spend a lot to get a final product worthy of St. Nick himself.

Read more
5 outdoor Christmas decorations that will make your house stand out
These outdoor holiday decorations will be the talk of the neighborhood
Christmas front door and porch decorations

The holidays are almost here, and that means it's time to Ho-Ho-Ho your way into some serious outdoor Christmas decorations. If you're a die-hard Christmas enthusiast, it's been a long year waiting for the festive season, and you don't have to hold back anymore. Now is the time to treat yourself by finding some new holiday decor for the outside of your home that makes it really stand out from the crowd.

Our favorite festive outdoor Christmas decorations
Many festive designers concentrate their efforts on decorating the inside of the house, which makes sense given it's a season of hosting friends and family for holiday events. That being said, the exterior of your home can benefit from more than just a string of lights. To take your outdoors to the next level, check out some of our favorite yard decorations for this season!
1. Outdoor topiaries
We're obsessed with these colorful outdoor topiaries from Grandin Road. They make such a statement and work perfectly in a corner by themselves or as a pair book ending your front door.

Read more