New Zealand – Global group fitness brand Les Mills has just released its global study on fitness consumers’ attitudes and perceptions post-pandemic, and interestingly, it found that even if social restrictions are gradually being lifted, exercisers won’t be dropping their home workouts anytime soon, where majority, or 59%, favoring a 60:40 ratio between doing gym and home workouts.

If there is one major shift in consumer behavior during countries’ lockdowns, it’s that everyone maximized their creativity to continue their daily activities within the corners of their abodes. The household trend has now become a phenomenon, and in the fitness world, enthusiasts and professionals alike leveraged today’s digital-heavy lifestyle to continue fulfilling their regimens with fitness brands pivoting to providing services virtually.

In the 2021 global report by Les Mills which examined the insights of over 12,000 consumers across five continents, it was found that majority has seen the benefits of home workouts and are planning to stick with it, where 80% of those that are gym members plan to continue using digital workouts post-pandemic.

The report now refers to ‘Omnichannel Fitness’, which is a blend of in-gym and digital home workouts. The said type of fitness engagement is tipped to gain traction as we emerge from the pandemic, notes the report.

Of those that are raring to go back to in-person fitness classes, the reputation of instructors has been identified to be the top-most important factor for gymgoers when choosing a live class with 28% favoring it, followed by quality of music (24%) and type of class (21%).

“Quality instructors are cited as a key component of the ‘live revival’, meeting strong consumer demand for added motivation and deeper connection in their workouts,” the report noted.

Les Mills Founder and Executive Director Phillip Mills, said, “After months of being stuck at home, people can’t wait to get back to fitness facilities and enjoy their favorite workouts with familiar faces.”

According to the report, gyms worldwide are making strong recoveries since reopening, with class occupancy at 120% of pre-Covid levels in markets where capacity restrictions have lifted.

After a year of enforced home workouts, appetite for live fitness experiences in groups is soaring, with 85% of gymgoers interested in trying live classes in their facility.

Amid inspiring accounts of fitness enthusiasts adapting to the current socially constrained situation, the lockdown has also given birth to a new group of fitness consumers, the ‘beginners’.

The new generation of fitness fans may be attributed to how the bandwagon of home workouts made it friendlier for those that aren’t into fitness before to take the first step to a workout regimen. According to the report, 27% of regular exercisers in this period describe themselves as ‘absolute beginners’.

The report finds that 82% of consumers now regularly exercise or soon plan to, while 75% of this group do gym-type activities, making fitness the world’s biggest sport. With the type of class, HIIT is the most popular favored by 32%, closely followed by indoor cycling (30%) and dance classes (29%).

“Much like bars, restaurants, and sports events, fitness is experiencing a real ‘live revival’, as people make up for lost time with a renewed appreciation for real-world social settings,” said Mills.