With Homes Turned Into Fitness Studios, Gyms Look to (Free) Online Classes


If Gym Doors Are Closed, How Do You Engage Gym-Goers Online?

Who’s Pulling the Plug on Gym Memberships?

It’s not surprising that most gyms and fitness studios have shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. A group of sweaty people in one place makes it difficult to ensure safe social distancing. And, while many people have continued to let their memberships run during this time, there is a significant group that is looking to cancel or put their memberships on pause until gym doors reopen.

Note: we are seeing in some of the states beginning a phased reopening that gyms are among the first businesses to get the go ahead.

In the Resonate Ignite Platform, we see 4.5 million people nationwide have been researching the safety of their gym and whether or not to cancel their membership during the COVID-19 crisis. In this group, we see that they over index by 57% for considering their gym membership to be a necessity. Their eating habits are similarly health-conscious and, when they travel, they prefer an active vacation. This audience clearly prioritizes fitness, however they also value safety in their community –– so it’s not surprising they were concerned for the safety of a public space like a gym.


Making the Switch to At-Home Online Workouts

If you did a search online in March or April looking to buy weights, jump ropes or even a fitness band, you probably encountered sold out items and backorder notices. It seems everyone is turning their home into a fitness studio.

When gym-goers can’t get into a fitness class or hit the weight room at the gym, many have turned to at-home online workouts. We saw an audience of 997K U.S. adults searching for information on online workouts and this is a group that takes their fitness seriously. 73% report working out 2X a week or more, while 34%, or an over index of 56%, say their gym membership is a necessity. Similarly, this group, who values a life full of excitement, also follows other health conscious behaviors in eating and travel.


With options ranging from local gyms streaming online classes to nationwide boutique studios taking to Instagram Live and brand name gyms offering online class platforms, this group may decide to go with the most budget friendly option.

We know that 21% of virtual gym members may cancel within the next 90 days due to the tightening budgets that have come as a result of coronavirus-related economic uncertainty. And, this is further confirmed as we see that 63% of this audience cites cost-effective as a major purchasing driver and 51% say price is the most important factor when making a purchase decision.

So, in order to be competitive for this audience’s attention, you need to lure them in with budget friendly options. Many fitness studios, including Orangetheory, seen below, have offered previews and short classes for free via social media. Fitness buffs who may not have tried Orangetheory previously are now looking at a lower barrier to entry and could find themselves hooked on this workout long after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.


Another fitness company looking to connect with new gym-goers online, while also providing beneficial offerings to their current members, is CorePower Yoga. They’ve populated their YouTube channel with free videos available to all. For a group that values novelty and equality for all, this universally available channel of videos during an uncertain time will, no doubt, strengthen CorePower’s connection with both its members and those that utilize these free videos during this time.  


As the country begins reopening over the coming weeks and months, we’ll carefully watch how gyms –– and online workouts –– continue to play on the minds of the U.S. consumer. And, in the meantime, should you want to dig further into the data, contact us for a Resonate Ignite Platform demo today.

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