Brad Olson, Peloton’s chief membership officer, believes that the shift to at-home fitness is comparable to how the gaming industry evolved. “We once played video games in malls, but then people discovered they could play at home and experience the same connection. Now everyone is asking for an Xbox or PS5 for Christmas,” he says. “The same is happening for fitness.”
Some 59% of Americans don’t plan to return to a physical gym after the pandemic. What will fitness look like then?
In March, when my Orangetheory Fitness studio shuttered, I went into a funk, swapping out my afternoon workout for wine and cheese hour. It was fun at first, but I quickly realized I was spiraling into unhealthy habits. I explored other ways to get in shape—from getting 10,000 steps in with my Fitbit to testing some home gym equipment. Nine months later, I’m hooked on working out at home on my elliptical machine and with weights. I doubt I’ll ever renew my gym membership.
It turns out I wasn’t alone on this fitness journey. A survey of 3,500 Americans by The New Consumer and Coefficient Capital found that 76% of people have tried working out at home during the pandemic—and crucially, 66% prefer it. Among millennials, the number is even higher: 82% made the switch and 81% like it more.
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