NATIONWIDE POLL: Working Out From Home More Relevant than Ever

December 1, 2020 by
Photo Credit: Mat Fraser
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A large percentage of CrossFit athletes continue to use their homes as workout facilities, and have no intention of stopping anytime soon. This trend was revealed in the first nationwide poll of CrossFit athletes powered by Morning Chalk Up, Triib and TrueCoach and conducted by 0ptimus Analytics, a Washington D.C.-based political data firm, from September 18 — October 19, 2020. 

Key takeaways: The poll asked athletes to select all of the ways they’re currently working out during the COVID-19 pandemic. NOTE: Athletes could select multiple options to best describe their weekly workout behavior. 

  • 72% said they’re still working out at a gym.
  • 42% are working out at home by themselves. 
  • 7.4.% are working out at home via online classes. 
  • 1.1% are not currently exercising. 
  • 6.7% said they’re working out in a different way. 

One big stat: Nearly 50% of athletes said they’re doing at least some workouts from home, even if they’re still going into the gym. 

  • To support the rising trend of working out from home, 58.2% of all respondents have reported purchasing equipment in the last three months to do workouts at home. 
  • Regardless, 54.4% of athletes still don’t feel that their home gym allows them to get in as good of a workout as they can at the gym; 36.4% believe that can. 

Among athletes who primarily workout at home, a plurality (41.3%) are working out 5-6 days a week, suggesting that athletes are still maintaining a high frequency despite not going to their gym.  

  • 4.3% are working out 7 days a week. 
  • 41.3% are working out 5-6 days a week. 
  • 26.2% are working out 3-4 days a week. 
  • 28.1% are working out 1-2 days a week. 

In context: Being a CrossFit affiliate or small gym owner can be a tough financial gig at the best of times, and it can only be assumed that losing clients to home gyms is already, or will soon affect, the business’ bottom line. The financials from this poll certainly indicate this to be the case.

  • Twenty two percent of respondents said they’re currently spending less than $100 on their gym membership, well below Zen Planner’s 2019 annual Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report that pegged average monthly client value at $160.09. 
  • Also relevant: In an August article about gym business metrics, experts from three gym mentorship business companies, Two-Brain Business, the Madlab Group and OPEX fitness, all agreed for a gym to be financially successful long-term, average monthly client value needs to be at least $200. Top Madlab group gym’s average client value is around $265, while OPEX coaches aim for an average client value of $275. Further, Chris Cooper, the founder of Two-Brain Business, said gyms need to aim to charge at least $200 a month.
  • Only 9 percent of our respondents said they’re currently spending between $176 and $200 a month on their memberships, while 6.5 percent are spending more than $200. 

One big thing: If you’re thinking Zoom classes are a way to increase average client value, think again. 

  • Only 7 percent of respondents said they’re still doing online classes at home, suggesting  Dr. Sean Pastuch’s March prediction might be correct: “Zoom classes will get old. Right now, they’re a great way to buy good will, but they will get old,” said Pastuch, the Founder of the Active Life Rx. 

One bright spot for the gym owner: Though people seem to have adjusted to home workout life, perhaps even embraced it as the new order, 54 percent of respondents also say they’re not getting as good a workout at home as they do at the gym. This could potentially be a card for gym owners to play when attempting to bring clients back into their brick and mortar facilities.

The big picture: Most gym owners and coaches got involved in coaching to help people transform their lives — to help make fitness and healthy living a habit. In this sense, CrossFit coaches and owners can pat themselves on the back, as their clientele are dedicated to their fitness, even during a worldwide pandemic. In fact, 58 percent of respondents said they’re working out as much now as before COVID, while another 19 percent are working out more. 

  • Unfortunately, home gyms don’t pay the gym bills, so now, more than ever, might be the time for gym owners and coaches to find new innovative ways to continue servicing their clients from home.  

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