More people are saying goodbye to their gym memberships than ever before – and turning to the Internet for help with their fitness routines.
An article in Entrepreneur Magazine pointed towards the trend in online fitness programs. For many, joining an online fitness program is not only cheaper, but it’s much more convenient. Instead of driving to and from the gym and trying to fit in certain classes or a workout with a trainer, online fitness programs offer home-based workouts and flexible time schedules.
A previous article in The Guardian also pointed to this trend. The gym dropout rate within the first eight weeks of joining a gym is about 80%. Many people just stop going when they can’t form a consistent plan that works with a busy or changing schedule. And when they do manage to get there, they often don’t know what equipment or techniques to employ to achieve the results they want without also hiring a personal trainer, which can get very expensive, very quickly.
This “drop-out” model works out well for gyms, it turns out, so they can focus on attracting new members without worrying too much about how many people will be using the facility at once. Research shows that almost 67% of members don’t actually go to the gym, and even more don’t go on a regular basis.
The appeal of working out from home is in large part thanks to the availability of online fitness programs. Many celebrity trainers and popular exercise programs offer online courses, and don’t require the expensive gym equipment, making it much easier to plan a regular workout routine. And if someone wants to work out but is not sure where to start, there are plenty of online fitness packages offering variety.
The popularity of wearables is another important contributor to the growth of online fitness programs. Many trackers like FitBit or Jawbone not only keep record of steps and workouts, but sync with popular apps like MyFitnessTracker and Strava, which help you track diet and exercise over time. Wearables also provide features for you to share with social media friends, other workout buddies, or even an online trainer, so you can be better aware of your eating and exercise habits and turn to others for motivation and support. Wearables help people stay focused and on track with their fitness goals.
So where does this leave gyms? Many people are still paying memberships, but this may change as the trend continues to shift online. Some people will always prefer in-person coaching and personal training, or the in-class environment. But for others looking for a routine they can adhere to, online programs like Daily Burn and Beachbody on Demand are a good answer.