The New Normal of Fitness

  • December 21, 2020

  • Eyes4Research

2020 has turned the fitness industry on its head. With quarantines and state restrictions amidst the pandemic, many Americans have found themselves without a gym. With this, active consumers have adopted at-home and outdoor workout routines to maintain an active lifestyle while abiding by social distancing guidelines. Below, Eyes4Research dives into a few popular at-home fitness trends that are shaking up the industry. 

Online Fitness Classes

As gyms shut down due to safety concerns, consumers have begun looking towards online fitness classes to stay in shape. Through virtual workouts, consumers have the flexibility to attend classes by themselves or with others from the comfort of their home through either live and pre-recorded sessions. According to Forbes, 73% of consumers use pre-recorded videos to workout, up 56% from 2019. Also, 85% are attending weekly Livestream classes, a 78% increase since last year. The rapid influx of people participating in at-home workouts has led to a spike in the home gym equipment market, which is expected to reach revenues of USD 31 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2019-2025, as stated by Arizton Advisory and Intelligence. Drivers of this growth include advancements in equipment technology, the continuous growth of e-commerce, and brand licensing. 

Smart gym equipment from Peloton, Tempo, Mirror, and Tonal have seen surges in sales amongst consumers who prefer fitness classes and guided workouts. These pieces of equipment provide workout classes through a monthly subscription at the cost of a gym membership. Through intuitive digital interfaces, users can virtually join workout classes with a trainer in real-time. This provides consumers all of the elements of a fitness class without visiting the gym. For those wanting a virtual workout class without needing new equipment, many personal trainers and gyms have implemented on-demand virtual workout classes, providing members and clients real-time programs from their computers. For those who prefer pre-recorded workouts, sites such as YouTube, ClassPass, and Obe, contain hundreds of videos, giving consumers the freedom to choose their workout regime. According to Mindbody, the most popular way to find online workouts is through social media profiles or websites of local gyms and fitness studios. By offering virtual classes, studios, and fitness centers have an opportunity to find new members who they can recruit into in-class clients as restrictions begin to lift. 

Outdoor Sports and Recreation

From April to June of 2020, Americans flocked towards outdoor recreational activities, with running, cycling, and hiking being amongst the most popular, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. According to NPD, sales of sports equipment in June of 2020 skyrocketed, with bicycle sales increasing 63%, paddle sports sales growing 56%, and golf equipment sales going up by 51% compared to 2019. For 2020 as a whole, the sports and outdoor fitness industry is projected to reach more than USD 21 million, increasing 26% from the previous year with a projected CAGR of 8.1% from 2020-2021, as stated by Statista. Sales of outdoor sports equipment will continue to grow, carrying over to winter sports as consumers continue to look for ways to occupy themselves during the pandemic.

The Future of Fitness

The at-home fitness craze shows no signs of slowing down. According to a survey by Beachbody on 1000 adults who exercise regularly, 87% said they will continue working out from home even after they feel comfortable enough to return to the gym. 85% of these respondents also agreed that there are convenience and accessibility benefits to at-home workouts that they can’t get working out in a gym.  For those who decide to return to in-person fitness classes, one can expect increased gym health standards aimed to limit direct contact with other gym-goers and promote the regular sanitation of equipment and communal areas. In a year where health has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the pandemic has provided a myriad of new fitness solutions to live an active, healthy lifestyle from the comfort of home.