Gyms see push for more individualized workouts

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jan 08, 2021

The COVD-19 pandemic has shifted the way some gyms operate on the Central Coast. And now, more and more gyms are seeing fewer people who want to work out in large groups, changing the way they go about their business.

“I’ve definitely seen a decrease in group training,” said Mike Robinson, owner of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo.

Robinson is used to seeing groups of 15-20 at a time, but the COVID-19 pandemic is altering how some look at working out.

“Our groups have been more like 3-5 people outside. We did a lot of Zoom classes earlier in the pandemic,” said Robinson. “They’re more weary of being around other people, just mainly because people don’t want to be around a bunch of other people working out. That’s the whole idea– not be around a bunch of people to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Robinson says he saw an increase in more individualized, one-on-one workouts before the stay at home order was put in place, but even when that’s lifted, he’s not expecting an immediate change to the way group workouts were prior.

“I think you have to stay tuned. I think you have to stay flexible as a business owner, especially during this time,” said Robinson. “The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to be more creative.”

For Victoria Hartt, owner of Vitality Fitness Delivered, an online personal training organization, she’s seen a major uptick in people straying from physical gym memberships and signing up for online classes since the pandemic started.

“We had to suddenly take that whole business model that was usually a brick and mortar, in-place in a studio, to online, so all these people could continue to use group exercise as a way of getting good exercise,” said Hartt.

Hartt has a quick tip if you’re looking to actually stick with your new year’s resolution to work off that “COVID-19 15.”

“It’s the whole year, not just the month of January,” said Hartt. “Work with a buddy. Work with a personal trainer or work with a friend or coworker; somebody that will hold you accountable, and you’re both going to show up.”