SUNDERLAND fitness trainers feel confident about people coming back to the gym after lockdown.
GYMS were forced once again to close their doors for the third time in the last 12 months, but some trainers have managed to keep their customers engaged during online classes and remained optimistic.
The pandemic has badly affected the industry, but despite the popularity of home workouts, it is expected to see a rise in the number of people returning to the gym.
Stacey Porter, personal trainer at PureGym in Sunderland, said: “After the first lockdown there was an increase in gym members as it made people want to be active and not train at home. I think [when the gyms reopen] people will like a balance of gym and home.
“I have members doing the online classes who I haven’t really spoken to in the gym, so I’m getting to talk to and meet new people. It’s a lot less pressure online and much more social. You can be less serious and professional and be more experimental.”
A survey by Savanta ComRes, in partnership with Sports England, found that 87 per cent of gym members are likely to resume their membership when facilities are allowed to reopen.
Personal trainer and assistant manager at PureGym Sunderland, Hayley Porter, believes that returning to the gym will be beneficial, especially for those who struggled to keep training during lockdown.
She adds that: “I would encourage people to do whatever they feel is better for them, but a change of scenery with different equipment and friendly faces could make all the difference.”
As the largest operator of gyms in the UK with five centres in the North East, PureGym worked to ensure they would come through the pandemic stronger, spent millions to put in place new protocols and now is offering free classes online.
The chain managed to keep their staff and supported a national petition demanding that the gyms remain open during lockdown. However, unlike large companies, local businesses are at high risk.
“I feel lucky [to be part of a gym chain]”, says Hayley. “I am really sorry for the smaller local gyms, as unfortunately I don’t think they are all going to survive.”
Find out more about online classes at home on Instagram at @staceyporterx and @haylestormfitness.