Maybe it was the quarantine months that sent you on a quest to finally find a workout routine that works for you, or maybe it was the lack of routine in the world that inspired you to change your habits or -for some- keep them and make an effort to maintain your health. If gyms were not already evolving with the new needs of the 21st-century gymgoer, they are undoubtedly evolving now with the lifestyle mindset that Covid-19 has left many of us with — a desire for a plan for a positive change seeing that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
The experience that an individual gets out of going to the gym should feel worth their time, energy, and should meet their specific fitness journey goals. If you do not already have a reason to go to the gym, here are ten genius effective implementations that will inspire even the couch-iest potato.
1. A system-wide app that customizes your progress
Yes, there are third-party fitness apps out of the wazoo available to download, but it would be smart for gyms to launch their own user-friendly app that syncs with other gyms alike with simple logging features that can be used not only for in the gym but outside as well. These features would include equipment connected technology that would analyze your digital gym behavior and establish and store "presets" for future use.
2. "Isolation" pods where you can experience the gym environment while reducing the threat of COVID-19.
Social distancing is in full swing at Inspire South Bay Gym in Southern California as pictured above. Luckily, working out is more often an individual practice, so being blocked off from others' space is actually a relief to many. With concerns of the Corona Virus spreading in places common for congregating, these plastic pods are what you might soon expect to be implemented in a gym around you especially since the use of a face covering is up to the exerciser in most places.
3. Musically synced treadmills
Picture this — "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister is synced to your heart rate of 150 bpm, giving you a personalized treadmill experience. Gyms should add some flavor to the mundane treadmill run by having queued music for the speed chosen or music that syncs with your heart rate that treadmills already tend to monitor and display.
4. Meal prep stations and lounge area
A space with counters before you enter the gym where you can throw together your pre-workout supplement, or come after you workout and put together your post-workout meal. Essentially a positive, open-concept space where exercisers can get the nutrition they need in a space that fosters the ability to do so.
5. Different rooms for different uses
Most gyms have a centralized weight lifting area where they have the various equipment accessible for use of all types, but some gymgoers are there to target a specific skill either in preparation for a competition or just to strengthen a weak spot. By offering a few side rooms tailored just for sleds, running, or cool down conditioning, gyms would be providing their clients with more options that would likely keep client retention at an all-time high.
6. A little popup shop for those who forget earbuds and water bottles
A little corner glass "shop" with gym staples from protein powder, headbands, and workout apparel to reusable water bottles, and simple equipment such as resistance bands and dumbbells would be attractive to any exerciser in any target market. Convenience is everything, and gyms have the prime opportunity to take a chance on providing more than a workout experience, they have an opportunity to provide what it takes to have a successful one.
7. Collaborative workout rooms
A minor contradiction to the topic of stopping the spread of Covid-19, but gyms could offer a separate conference-type glass room made for 2-3 people which is optimal working out with your gym buddy.
8. Interactive, built-in iPads on the walls
Gyms must not forget about visual learners. It would be like online ordering at a McDonald's kiosk, but make it gym style. You could select the type of workout plan you want to follow, or customize one for yourself, and from there follow step-by-step instructions all the way to the end.
9. A Planet Fitness lunk-esque alarm
We've all seen the commercials of an intimated gymgoer sounding the alarm on a "gym lunk" in their midst. This concept is a great idea, but you should be able to do this in anonymity through your mobile device, or certain discrete locations throughout the gym if an individual feels threatened or suspicious of any activity at any time. A gym worker at the front would then be notified and can make their way out on the floor to be a deterrence or a positive interference for inappropriate behavior.
10. Natural lighting and calming views
The desire to be active is much more easily achieved if one has a good view. Windows overlooking your city, trees, streets, or a scenic view in general is a curb appeal for many who are tired of "staying in the zone" while looking at a white wall. A feeling of Vitamin D and a change of scenery from home is a motivation that should be accessible to harness an effective gym environment.