The Gym Industry in COVID-19

December 13, 2020
Antonio Flores

Establishments across the world have had to close down over the past eight months due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Whether it be restaurants, hotels, offices, or commercial properties, none can use their spaces anymore in the way they thought they could, and because of this, their businesses are frequently losing money or going out of business. Some businesses have managed to adapt; others have not. Small businesses in particular have been very hard-hit, even as many huge corporations gain billions. In particular, in this article we will focus upon the gym industry and how the lockdowns have affected gyms’ ability to stay open. Gyms are one major source of commercial mortgages, and any trends in this sector will affect lending patterns accordingly.

Gyms have faced some of the most stringent legal policies out of any establishments. In many states in the USA, they were closed for months after everything else opened, staying closed in states like Michigan even into September. Even after opening, many of them have been forced to implement restrictive policies, such as making patrons wear masks while exercising and wipe down all equipment after use, that significantly hamper the experience for everyone. 

Because of this inability to legally function, gyms have faced very difficult economic circumstances. Many chains, such as Cyc Fitness and YogaWorks, have filed for bankruptcy. These chains often have dozens of locations in many states and employ tens of thousands of trainers, corporate employees, and staff. Others, to stem the losses, are moving their classes outside and investing in remote fitness classes, but it still is very difficult to make money off of this. The gym industry is severely threatened by the lockdowns. Many gyms have already closed, and many others are on the verge of doing so.  

Gyms are dealing with a very tough environment in the post-coronavirus world. For even major chains such as Planet Fitness, huge percentages of all gyms could close, leading to the loss of many jobs. It remains to be seen how further waves of the pandemic will affect the economy and the gym industry. Hopefully the economy continues to recover so that gyms can come back. The irony of all of this is that the average person who dies of COVID-19 is significantly overweight or obese: closing the gyms where people work out will likely result in greater obesity, hence greater COVID-19 impact.

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