What does the future hold for gyms?

What does the future hold for gyms?
We're in unprecedented times, and we're all doing our best to protect our family and friends until the vaccine has been widely distributed, but what does this mean for gyms that have been closed for so long now?
Are we seeing the demise of gyms perhaps? Or maybe a shift to exercising more at home with the exponential rise of products such as Peloton and virtual training platforms? Or are we now more attuned to having personal trainers shout at us from the telly in our living rooms, or taking us for training in the great outdoors?!

Perhaps the answer is yes to some, or all, of these points however it's highly unlikely we'll see gyms disappear completely of course, but without question they'll have to change and adapt to this new landscape.

At KYAK we work with a wide range of clients within the fitness industry from gyms through to personal trainers. We don't profess to have all the answers but we see many of the problems and concerns that are currently being faced and feel that perhaps this is a great opportunity to reflect, plan, change and move forward.

One thing we do think is important to explore is what the new gym of the future looks like and what it offers. As always customers will be looking for value for money but this doesn't mean being the cheapest, uniquely in this industry it's mostly defined by seeing the results of having a regular workout whether that be physically, mentally or even socially.

Given that everyone has been forced to consider alternative ways of keeping fit (and sane!) you could argue that gym customers have become much more savvy and that gym owners are going to have to compete with a greater array of options and alternative solutions than ever before. So what do you do about it?



Variety and motivation is the key. This has undoubtedly always been the case and often why gyms see a considerable drop off in attendance after the first few months of the year, as the novelty of joining the gym wains and perhaps initial results have flattened off.

But perhaps there's a way of keeping the interest going, offering additional value for money and standing out from your competitors?

How about combining a range of solutions for your customers to suit a variety of wants and needs? You could create an environment that isn't just about spending an hour bench pressing or doing your lateral raises in front of the mirror. How about creating a membership that allows the development of groups to explore different facilities / locations / workouts / routines and yet also creates a social element to being a gym member - you can't get that from a solo workout in your living room!

Join your [local gym] network group and go on a voyage of discovery organised by your personal trainers/lifestyle managers. Explore nutrition, health, a wide variety of workouts and group activities, new and unusual sports, both indoors & outdoors, locally, nationally or even organised trips abroad.

I can already see the (beautifully designed by KYAK) poster now!

As a gym member if you could choose the type of group you want to join - the age range, level of difficulty and ultimate goals, from cycling to weights, aerobic to mixed sports, online or in the gym then it becomes a very different proposition. If there’s a group for everyone (without excluding the option for individual training of course) then I'm joining a club not just a gym, I'm part of something, I'm enjoying myself and I'm definitely coming back next week - it's become a lifestyle not a chore.

This sort of set up would primarily be aimed at likeminded individuals who enjoy working together and motivating each other to achieve their goals. Led by experienced trainers / lifestyle managers who keep things fresh by adding and changing activities and locations on a regular basis so that the member can experience new and challenging activities. It may be a trip to the National Watersport Centre for a day of white water rafting, an afternoon bike ride around Sherwood Pines, an open water swim once a fortnight or how about a fitness focussed holiday once a year (when we can go away once more of course!!) all wrapped up with standard gym routines, wellness activities and even social events. And if you can't make it to a particular activity because you're a new mum or perhaps working away for the week, then no problem - join the groups online and keep in touch with your friends and trainers until such time you can be in the same room once more.

Sure this takes a lot more work than just letting members turn up, do their thing and go away again but perhaps thinking outside the box and looking at the mix of solutions is one way that gyms can fight back? Most importantly it provides freedom, choice, flexibility and fun. Plus it may also be a way of actually increasing membership prices if you can demonstrate to the customer that they're going to be getting so much more bang for their buck?

KYAK Director