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Are Monthly Gym Membership Models Flawed Under Distancing Guidelines?


Last updated on August 14th, 2020 at 08:32 PM

As gyms prepare for a 4th July opening date, with new social distancing measures in place, a sports business professional warns that the monthly gym membership model is flawed under distancing guidelines.

Anthony Franklin is founder and managing director of fibodo, the award-winning e-commerce platform, which is the only booking management platform included within ukactive’s Fit Together reopening digital toolkit.

The booking platform also powers the campaign, fit4thefight, an initiative that helped maintain the cashflow of hundreds of self-employed PTs during lockdown, with profits supporting the NHS and key workers.

As we have seen with digital providers, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky, clubs and operators will now have to adopt ‘personalised membership’ models, which will include pay-as-you-go options to optimise facility usage, as they cannot rely on the free anytime use of their facilities model they once did.

This means that the current monthly gym membership model is flawed under social distancing guidelines.

“Booking a time slot online is the new normal”

“With the number of people allowed in gyms at any one time being impacted, clubs, operators and their customers will have to embrace technology to manage their capacity and payment processing, in order to comply with government guidelines on social distancing and gym and class capacity.

“Technology will prevent queues outside gyms like we have seen from high street shops”

“Booking a time slot will be the new normal, and customers will have the convenience of attending at the specific time chosen – this is the only way that gyms will be able to prevent queues outside like we have seen at high street shops, maintain member confidence and maximize facility usage.

“Fitness classes and PT sessions in the park will help gyms manage capacity, engage the community, and keep personal trainers in business”

“We’re encouraging gyms big and small to engage their clients in the community and take some of the capacity away from the gym itself, and into gardens, parks and public spaces. A personal trainer can manage their time and bookings through the same app and platform as the gym, and customers will be able to exercise more freely, and maintain their fitness and goals.

“Science has proven that outdoor group sessions are safe, and it also helps reduce pressure on gyms indoor facilities. With the added bonus of opening up fitness to a new audience, as sessions take place outdoors, increasing visibility on their doorstep.

“This is also the key to survival for fitness centres of all sizes, as they can maximise their revenue opportunity by selling all available time slots, classes and sessions at time where capacity is limited.

“Technology to manage capacity and access can be implemented within hours”

“A technology platform like ours can be implemented within hours, and fast-track individuals and organisations to a prosperous post-COVID future, so gyms and trainers need to act now to avoid being left behind.”