Zoom Fatigue? Not at Morgan Bungerz’ Flourishing, 100-Percent Virtual Affiliate
When COVID-19 first hit in the spring of 2020, like thousands of other gyms and coaches around the world, Morgan Bungerz transitioned to virtual coaching.
Three-and-a-half years later, however, unlike the rest of the world, the former head coach at CrossFit New England in Natick, MA, is still rocking Zoom classes. In fact, he now owns his own affiliate and it operates 100 percent virtually.
The details: Bungerz—who started CrossFit when he was in high school in 2009 and has been coaching since 2010—owns and runs Gym Bungerz out of his home gym, where he hosts four live CrossFit classes a day on Monday to Friday, one on Saturday, and posts a pre-recorded stretching class on Sundays.
- Bungerz has 70 members who pay $99 a month for unlimited access to all the live classes and workout recordings if they can’t make a live class time, as well as a handful of clients who pay for individual design and remote personal training. And he also offers a household membership for $135 a month, meaning anyone from that household can attend classes or access recorded classes, “which is significantly cheaper than bringing your whole family to the gym,” he said.
- Finally, he’s about to roll out a new project, where he will take on 10 people who are brand new to fitness. “One of the pain points is that fitness is scary,” Bungerz said, adding that he’s hoping his introductory program will help them overcome their fears of the gym.
Zoom fatigue? Bungerz insists Zoom fatigue isn’t a concern at his gym, where convenience is king.
- “During the pandemic, when all we could do was Zoom, people were unhappy about it, but the best fitness program is the one you can do the most consistently, and the more convenient that program is, the more consistent you’ll be,” he said.
- “It’s a 45 minute class. People (sometimes) sign in in their pajamas. For a lot of them, it’s just much more convenient,” he added.
This is certainly the case for Gym Bungerz members David Foley, Karen Hayes and Megan Taylor.
- “I find it very easy to roll out of bed and hit the basement gym to begin a workout,” Foley said.
- “It is hard to put into words how incredibly convenient and inclusive Gym Bungerz is. We still have the community of a CrossFit gym without having to leave our houses. Some of us have a lot of equipment and others a few dumbbells. Morgan can make it all work,” Hayes offered.
- “Coach Morgan has created such a great environment at Gym Bungerz. I love being able to workout at home, but also with other members who are quickly becoming my friends…Without Gym Bungerz, I probably wouldn’t be exercising at all right now,” Taylor added.
One big thing: With very few overhead costs to run his virtual affiliate, Bungerz said he’s able to earn more money coaching remotely via Zoom than he was when he was a full-time, in-person coach at CrossFit New England, “and I’m saving a ton of money on deodorant,” he joked
- “The workload is probably the same (hours wise), but there’s no more scrubbing toilets and mopping floors…Now there’s more time spent on programming and marketing so it’s just different,” Bungerz said.
Further, the earning potential is greater, he said, adding that he’s about to launch a $20 a month membership for access to his class recordings, “so I can be coaching people while I sleep.”
The big picture: When the world reopened after the pandemic, many people couldn’t get back to the gym soon enough; however, not everyone felt that way. Some had purchased their own gym equipment, or had even built full home gyms and found that Zoom classes worked for them. This is what Bungerz has been capitalizing on today.
- “Yes, the world opened up, but some people wanted to keep doing the online thing,” Bungerz said.
Bungerz, too, was still enjoying coaching remotely and he realized it could help him make fitness accessible to as many people as possible.
“I want people to be able to celebrate their abilities and have access to fitness even if the brick and mortar facility is maybe cost prohibitive or too far away…That’s one of my big goals,” he said.