Other industry representatives see it the same way. “Many people’s awareness of their own well-being and their willingness to work to preserve it have been reinforced by the pandemic,” said a spokeswoman for the FitX channel. And a McFit spokesperson believes many people’s desire to exercise has increased after the quarantine experience. Both companies report a promising first quarter.
Fitness First Germany Managing Director Johannes Maßen is also happy with the quarter, many members have returned to the gym and the new contract goals have started well. “However, the necessary ‘recovery effect’ is still outstanding so that lost limbs can be compensated again.”
Depending on location, Kieser Training has lost between 13 and 17 percent of its customers during the pandemic. Over the past eight weeks, however, things have improved considerably, says operational director Patrik Meier. “We can already see that people are having more problems with their musculoskeletal system, despite home exercises, online offers and fitness apps.” Targeted and health-oriented strength training is the solution to actively prevent or combat back and joint pain. Customers are happy to finally be able to train in the studio again, says Meier.
Corona pushed the sale of home fitness equipment, and online deals were also in high demand. Have some consumers gotten used to it and won’t be coming back to studios – so has the market gotten smaller? Not only Kieser Training, but also other gym companies are very relaxed about such a question and deny it. It makes a difference whether you’re motivated and supported by trainers at a club and have access to the right equipment – or whether you’re home alone, according to Fitness First, for example. And McFit’s spokesperson says, “Neither parks nor home workouts can replace working out in a fully equipped studio.”
The FitX studio chain has identified a change in motivation among its customers. In a member survey, over 60% of respondents said they wanted to do something for their health first and foremost – the percentage was significantly higher than in previous surveys where muscle building or weight loss were the main motivation.
In addition to the DSSV, there is a second industry spokesperson with the German Industry Association for Fitness and Health (DIFG) – the two associations have different priorities. DIFG President Ralph Scholz also talks about a recovery in the studios, but he still sees the industry in a critical phase. The cost of ballast has increased significantly due to rising energy prices, for example. He also warns that rising inflation could have a negative impact: “If other day-to-day costs rise, consumers may wonder if they can still afford the monthly gym fee.”
DSSV representative Kündgen sees things differently: “The willingness to invest in your own fitness is higher than before – so you won’t start saving in the gym now.”
This article is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa). It will not be edited or checked by the idowa editorial team.