Gyms were one of the sectors most affected by closures, first to suffer and last to reopen: it is unthinkable to allow dozens of people to sweat and jump in close physical contact as long as there is still a danger, even slight, of contagion. And they are also closed places where the use of the mask is more complicated, since it is often uncomfortable and annoying during training. The trainers moved outdoors when they could, but to a large extent they also began to rely on online tools, organizing classes in videocall. Once again, the preferred platform was Zoom. And if in the past the gyms were a place to focus on workouts without external distractions, while those who wanted to train from home equipped themselves with equipment, from the treadmill to the exercise bike, with built-in programs, or followed pre-recorded lessons on YouTube channels, now the two worlds they touch and intertwine more and more often. There are many reasons why people choose not to go back to training face to face. On the one hand, first of all, the fear of contagion has not yet abated, and people prefer to keep their distance by continuing with online classes from the refurbished living room at the gym: a way to feel safe without abandoning training with a live trainer. And then the new rhythms and ways of work, in which smartworking still dominates and promises to remain present for a long time. It is easy to choose the convenience of a training that does not require you to leave the house but allows you to reduce downtime when traveling to a minimum.For gyms, on the other hand, the advantages are considerable. A professional zoom subscription costs less than twenty euros a month, and allows you to connect a much greater number of people than the capacity of a room. And in addition, given the uncertainty of intermittent reopening, it gives way to sell subscriptions knowing that, even in the event of new precautionary closures, subscribers will not have to be reimbursed who will be able to continue training online. Even assuming you pay for the Zoom lessons less than live, you can immediately sense the economic return. And so there are many who offer online and on-site lessons in parallel. The trainers had to adapt, learning to manage connections and shots, and to interact with the students both in presence and through a screen, motivating them during the relaxation and correcting the movements in real time. new ways of working and changes in how the city is lived, is the opening of small studios in residential areas, to meet those who do not want to give up the gym in presence but are at home in smartworking. This is happening, for example, in London, where the 1Rebel gyms chain is reviewing its geographical distribution, opening “boutique gyms” outside the central areas. In this way, members will be able to continue to attend the gyms of the chain even working from home, finding them within walking distance.
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