HOME WORKOUT: Offering online workouts and training tips could give gyms an edge over the competition.
HOME WORKOUT: Offering online workouts and training tips could give gyms an edge over the competition.

Online workouts could be here to stay after COVID-19

HOME workouts and online coaching could become permanent features of gym business models with people having shaped their lifestyles around COVID-19 restrictions, some in the Central Queensland fitness industry believe.

Gyms were forced to close during the pandemic, and many offered online coaching and fitness education for their members.

PCYC Queensland launched its digital program, Activ8 @home, to promote exercise and health during the lockdown.

PCYC operations general manager Kel Clarke said that the program attracted thousands statewide and helped keep gym-goers in touch with one another.

"Community connection remains crucial especially in this isolating time," she said.

"Almost 2,000 members from more than 41 towns and cities have joined the group from across the state, including 400 members from Indigenous communities.

"The group members positively support and interact with one another as well as having access to professionally developed high intensity interval training workouts, nutritional advice, exercise tips, healthy recipes, and more."

Ms Clarke said the PCYC would keep the program going even once its gyms opened on June 15.

"PCYC Queensland intends to continue the Activ8 @home online group to keep the fitness community connected and engaged," she said.

CQUniversity's motivation of health behaviours lab director Dr Amanda Rebar said gyms that adapted well during COVID-19 would grow once restrictions are lifted.

"The traditional way in which gyms serve their patrons has shifted immensely and people are having to effortfully consider whether and how to get their exercise," she said.

"It may be that once this is over, people will realise their new routine of not exercising, exercising outside of a gym, or by guidance from online sources works better for them and ends up overriding their old gym-going habits.

"If gyms do this pivot well and are able to integrate online sessions within people's regular routines, it may indeed be a new revenue stream for gyms that are not reliant on physical presence."