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.

Recommended Videos

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…
Your complete guide to parquet flooring, an elegant and intricate feature
What you need to know about this timeless, sophisticated flooring option
Person in sneakers standing on parquet floors

Are you on the hunt for flooring that seamlessly combines practicality with elegance? Look no further than parquet flooring! This timeless option adds a touch of sophistication to any space while offering durability and versatility. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about parquet flooring, from its origins to design options, cost considerations, and maintenance tips.
What is parquet flooring, and what is its history?

Parquet flooring is a type of wood flooring characterized by its geometric patterns. Dating back to the 17th century, parquet flooring originated in France and quickly gained popularity across Europe for its intricate designs. Traditionally, it was a symbol of luxury and craftsmanship, adorning the floors of palaces and grand estates.
Is parquet flooring real wood?

Read more
Read this before you install an outdoor kitchen
These ideas will help inspire your next home improvement project
Small outdoor kitchen on a patio

It's springtime and time to remodel. One of the most popular remodels is the addition of an outdoor kitchen. If you’re among those considering upgrading your backyard space, it’s essential to first do your homework and research specifics such as the cost of your kitchen, the amount of space needed, and any electric or plumbing considerations. While it may sound like a big undertaking, constructing your outdoor kitchen is easier than you might think. With these few tips, you'll create a space that's sure to be the talk of the whole neighborhood.
Choosing the right setup

When it comes to outdoor kitchens, choosing the correct setup is crucial. Whether you want a grill and prep station, a wet bar and wood-fired pizza oven, or a full-out kitchen with refrigerators and stoves, it’s essential to pick a type that works for you. The decision comes down to three main choices: moveable, prefabricated, or custom.
Moveable
A moveable setup is perfect if you don’t have a ton of space or don’t want to invest a lot of money in this project. To begin, all you need is a portable gas or charcoal grill and a rolling cart with shelves. These compact additions are easy to maneuver and store, plus, you can take both with you if you move. Basically, you can't go wrong with portable prep tables, and they can double as side tables when you're not cooking.
Prefab
The prefab option is the typical all-in-one setup, including a 5-foot island with a tile counter, drop-in gas grill, and cupboard doors to hide the propane tank. From there, you can usually customize your design by adding additional pieces such as a fridge, oven, sink, wine cooler, and more.
Custom
Whether you make it a DIY project or hire professionals, custom outdoor kitchens offer the most flexibility but definitely cost the most. The possibilities are pretty much limitless, with many upgraded setups, including smart appliances, extra storage, extensive lighting, and additional counter space. Custom designs also allow you to match the outdoor kitchen with the interior of the home or patio decor for a more cohesive design.
Choosing the style

Read more
21 rules for arranging living room furniture, according to the experts
With these rules, the layout for your living room will look amazing
Living room furniture

Figuring out how to design a living room or how to arrange furniture in your oft-used space can be a daunting task -- especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with interior design. However, setting up your living space on your own is totally doable, especially with these tips from some of the top interior designers in the country. This is what you need to know about the layout of your living room.
Start with a clean slate

When considering how to arrange living room furniture, the best way is to remove everything from the room and start fresh, which is what Michelle Harrison-McAllister, one of San Diego’s premier interior designers and owner of Michelle Harrison Design, told us.
Build your room around your lifestyle

Read more