From Monday 12th April, gyms and fitness studios will be permitted to open again across England but indoor group exercise classes aren’t expected to be given the green light until 17th May.
Despite the prolonged wait, boutique brands have already started to announce how they’ll be adapting their offerings to enable them to operate in the interim, and industry experts are confident that consumers will be itching to return once doors open.
“Our 2019 Global Consumer Fitness survey revealed that 45 per cent of gym-goers gave group exercise as the main reason for attending their gym, and those who attend group exercise classes go to the gym twice as much as other members,” revealed Martin Franklin, CEO Les Mills Europe at Les Mills, recently.
Elsewhere, Robert Rowland, Co-Founder of Boom Cycle told Welltodo, last month, that he was confident London’s boutique fitness scene would bounce back post-COVID — based on consumer behaviour during the last lifting of lockdown restrictions.
A study recently conducted by ClassPass also shone a positive light on the recovery of boutique studios, with 92% of respondents saying they hoped to return to fitness studios and gyms in 2021, 40% planning to return exclusively to in-studio workouts when they feel safe to do so. And almost nine in 10 saying they would go back as frequently, or more so, to future indoor fitness classes.
With that in mind, here we take a look at how some of London’s leading boutique fitness brands are redesigning their offerings to cater to consumer demand as they navigate the roadmap out of lockdown.
Taking the lead from its US studios, SoulCycle will be launching SoulCycle Outside from Monday 12th April.
Located behind Selfridges on Edwards Mews in central London, the concept aims to mirror the indoor experience as closely as possible. However, music will be played via individual headphones for each participant.
“Our goal with each opening is to give as many of our riders as possible the opportunity to ride with us, even if their home studio is temporarily closed,” SoulCycle’s Vice President of Global Operations, Rachelle Lamothe told Travel + Leisure. “Our riders are looking for the unique mind-body-soul experience that they can only get from SoulCycle. Our ‘SoulOutside’ classes give them the opportunity to work out, ride to the beat and reconnect with their SoulCycle community out in the open overlooking beautiful views.”
As of Monday 12th April, Barry’s studios in London and Manchester will be offering an open gym concept meaning customers can book in for 75-minute slots in which to complete a workout. After scanning a QR code, individuals will be sent a pre-recorded audio workout, which they can listen to via their own device.
There will be QR codes in the studios for both Tread + Floor or Double Floor workouts. Alternatively, guests can do their own exercises using Barry’s weights and equipment.
To ensure the safety of everyone in the studio, Barry’s has implemented a set of safety precautions to follow.
In addition to reopening its personal training service, from the 12th of April KXU will also open its medi-spa up for treatments.
Personal Training sessions will be available to book on Monday to Friday from 12pm to 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm. The studio will also be offering small-group PT sessions for those from the same household.
Opening for in-club audio sessions coined ‘Rebel In Your Ear’, 1REBEL will be offering consumers the ability to participate in 45-minute sessions, which it says will provide the almost-full Rebel experience.
A trainer will guide guests through workouts alongside the brand’s recognisable nightclub-style music and lighting, with bikes, bags, treadmills and boxes available for individual use.
Elsewhere, REBEL Outdoors will offer 45-minute outdoor sessions at Shoreditch Park and Cardinal Place in Victoria, which according to the brand are already generating high demand.
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Again, offering an open gym style model, BLOK’s adapted offering will provide consumers with a safe space to complete its ‘Workout of the Day’, which will be posted on its walls. Instructors will also be on hand to keep guests safe and to offer encouragement and coaching during every session.
The 50-minute sessions, running from 7am through to 7:30pm, will enable individuals to work out on their own training mat with a selection of weights.
At least 2 sessions a day will also be dedicated to boxing, where customers will have their own boxing bag, alongside a personal set of weights.
From 12th April Core Collective studios will also be operating an open gym model. This means individuals can book in for private 60-minute slots for either Erg, Cycle or Strength sessions.
Guests can do their own workouts at their own pace in-studio and Core Collective will be writing up new workouts each day for each type of exercise slot. A trainer will also be in each location to assist with questions and to keep motivation and energy going.
From 12th April, BXR members will be able to return to BXR’s Marylebone location via
Bubble Classes. Sweat members will have the option to book household, work or bubble classes, including SweatBox and VersaClimber.
BXR Parks — socially distanced outdoor group classes, which launched on 29th March will also continue. Located in Paddington Gardens, next to Marylebone BXR they currently include three different classes: SweatBOX, Cardio Conditioning and Core and Strength and Conditioning.
F45 will be also be offering socially distanced outdoor workouts. F45 Track — 45-minute sessions combining HIIT with functional and resistance training, will take place in local parks across the UK, allowing people to enjoy a variation of their favourite F45 workouts in a group environment, whilst staying safe.
Studios in the UK currently offering F45 Track include Fulham, Blackhorse Lane, Holloway, Streatham Hill, Blackwall, Vauxhall, Peckham Rye, Bristol Central, Shepherds Bush and Cambridge Station.