What Clients Say About Going Back To The Gym

// Are your clients ready to return to the gym?

With some states across the country starting to ease COVID-related restrictions for gyms and in-person personal training sessions, we’re entering a new phase of the pandemic’s impact on our industry. 

We recently posted a series of questions to the @TrainHeroic Instagram stories, asking our 25 thousand followers how they feel about returning to the gym. Polls from major news outlets indicate that about 50% of those surveyed say they don’t feel comfortable doing so, but what about our specific set of Heroes?

// Here’s what our followers had to say

Q1: How soon will you feel comfortable returning to a gym?

  • Within 2 weeks 42.6% 42.6%
  • TBD 32.4% 32.4%
  • 3 months + 13.9% 13.9%
  • 1 Month 11.1% 11.1%

What have you missed most about your gym?

  1. Having immediate, actionable feedback from my coach
  2. The relationships and support
  3. Friends and being fully equipped
  4. All of the equipment
  5. The people and pushing myself
  6. Overhead space
  7. Heavy barbell lifting
  8. Free weights and stationary bikes
  9. Socialization
  10. The atmosphere of those going hard
  11. My friends and gym dogs

Did you invest in home gym equipment while not able to go to your gym?

%

YES, I DID INVEST IN MY HOME GYM

If yes, how does that change how you plan to train in the future?

  1. I’ll continue to develop my home gym as my primary training facility
  2. Love the garage gym life, will support my local gym still but many more lifts will be at home
  3. I will train more at home
  4. Gonna be much more home gym focused
  5. Transitioning to home gym workouts
  6. Not much
  7. I’ll do more accessory work and second workouts at home but still go to gym

// Takeaways

Look, we’re not trying to be alarmists. But these numbers could mean a lot of money left on the table for gym owners, strength coaches, and personal trainers. So what can we learn from these polls to help set you up for success?

 

Gym-goers’ comfort levels vary:

53.7% of those polled indicated that they would be comfortable returning to their gym within a month. The other 46.3% plan to wait three months, or are still unsure when they will feel ready to go back. 

 

Home gyms are on the rise:

On top of that, nearly half of respondents purchased home gym equipment, making it easier for them to train at home at some level. Many suggested they’ll make their home gym their primary training ground. 

 

People miss more than the equipment at their gyms:

More than 63.6% of open-ended responses mentioned missing their friends and coaches, as well as the accountability and support they provide.

 

Don’t expect your clients to flood back to the gym just because your local or state authorities give the OK:

Welcome back the clients that return to your gym immediately, while continuing to serve those that don’t. It’s easier—and less expensive—to keep an existing customer than it is to sell to a new one. So plan on extending your stay-at-home-era services for the more hesitant half of your members, rather than risk losing them entirely.

 

Change the way you think about community:

Your clients miss the community and connection at your gym. How can you replicate that remotely?

Take advantage of teams and TH Chat inside TrainHeroic to keep your clients connected with you and each other. Use leaderboards to encourage friendly competition. Reward their participation by giving them an in-app fist bump.

Encourage and respond to training feedback in the session comments. Use it to personalize your programming and strengthen your coach-client relationship.

 

Home gyms are here to stay:

So what if your clients now own all the equipment they need? They still need you—their coach. How can you keep them paying for your service? Check out this guide for turning your coaching services into an online business.

// What we recommend for reopening

We’re not going to claim to be experts on social distancing and sanitization protocols, so we encourage you to seek out guidelines put out by the CDC, as well as state and federal governments. 

But beyond that, talk to your clients. What will help them feel comfortable returning to your gym? Ask, listen, and adapt accordingly. Don’t grow too attached to your plan before you consult your customers.

Sound easier said than done? Watch this video about leading through change with TrainHeroic Founder Ben Crookston and Dr. Cara Miller for tips on asking for and receiving feedback.

Finally, maintain new diversified revenue streams for long-term success. Reopening your gym shouldn’t mean abandoning the digital products/services you built during the pandemic. How can you market your remote coaching offerings to earn additional, passive income? Diversifying your revenue increases your financial stability and reduces your risk, helping keep you and your business better prepared for future challenges. 

Stay safe, Heroes. We’re continuing to learn and innovate together.

READY TO TRY  TRAINHEROIC?

Our powerful platform connects coaches and athletes from across the world. Whether you are a coach or trainer looking to provide a better experience for your clients, or you’re an athlete looking for expert programming, click below to get started. 

Want more training  content?

More coaches and athletes than ever are reading the TrainHeroic blog, and it’s our mission to support them with the best training & coaching content. If you found this article useful, please take a moment to share it on social media, engage with the author, and link to this article on your own blog or any forums you post on.

Be Your Best,

TrainHeroic Content Team

HEROIC SOCIAL

TRAINING LAB

Access the latest articles, reviews, and case studies from the top strength and conditioning minds in the TH Training Lab