As consumers settle in to working-out at home, The Drum speaks to gym brand Fitness First on how it adapted to keep its members engaged.
At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, work waasn't the only thing Singaporeans brought home with them. With gyms shut during circuit breaker measures, many began working out at home amid hybrid home office set-ups.
And even though restrictions are gradually being lifted in Singapore, which has entered Phase 3 of its coronavirus response, fewer fitness enthusiasts have returned to gyms. Fitness chain Fitness First has seen a drop in check-ins to its clubs in the central business district, while witnessing increase in some of its clubs in the suburbs, such as Westgate, Paya Lebar and Ang Mo Kio.
Anil Chugani, the managing director at Fitness First Singapore, believes the fitness-at-home shift is here to stay. Chugani notes that many of the gym’s members have developed new workout routines at home, through online workouts or at the park.
To cater to this new normal, Fitness First has launched a new customisable membership plan called MyFit, which allows members access to their preferred Fitness First club in Singapore.
This new membership plan allows for the flexibility to choose a gym near to either their homes or office and reduces the need for its members to travel between home and workplace.
“MyFit also enables members to tailor their fitness and regime based on their personal fitness goals and needs,” he explains.
“We rolled out this plan in Fitness First Tampines as a pilot test, and officially introduced the MyFit plan at all the clubs island-wide in December, to cater to the increased demand for clubs situated in the heartlands due to work-from-home arrangements since April 2020. The numbers have been highly encouraging, and the percentage of new signups who chose a MyFit plan increased from 10% in October to 38% in December.”
Chugani predicts gym operators will transform their traditional business model to a hybrid one post-pandemic, with a greater emphasis on hygiene, wellness and tech.
With the option to work from home, he says fitness should also become more accessible, so that people can squeeze in a workout in between meetings or during lunch hour – at home or at the gym close to home or office.
“We continue to see demand for our Fitness At Home series even as we stepped into Phase 2 and 3 of safe reopening, and we hope that with the launch of our Virtual Studio in Q1/2 2021 and its integration with the membership plan, this online content will run alongside our club operations and continue to help those who are unable to access the gym to stay active from wherever they are,” he explains.
Fitness First recently launched H20 Flow and H20 HIIT, two new aqua fitness classes that focuses on core strength and endurance through a series of yoga sequences.
It will also introduce MyZone, a wearable heart rate based system that uses wireless and cloud technology to monitor physical activity, with a focus on rewarding effort rather than fitness, in the first quarter of 2021.
The Myzone App also provides real-time feedback during each workout to encourage effort in the moment. Fitness First has designed it to be a user-friendly and intuitive platform that allows members to see their results anywhere and anytime.
“We also foresee that wearables and fitness tech will play a big role in shaping the fitness industry in the near future. Consumers are becoming more aware of the relationship between their health, fitness level and consumption habits, and there’s a rise in demand for more data and information on health, as well as personalization in data,” explains Chugani.
“Wearables and fitness tech will allow our members to take greater control of their health by providing access to information and statistics on their workouts and habits, allowing them to identify gaps in their routines and work towards better workouts.”
Personal health is becoming increasing important amid Covid-19. The Drum previously looked at how businesses are tackling the subject with their employees and consumers.