How can your fitness business overcome the coronavirus outbreak?

Is the outbreak of COVID-19 affecting your fitness business? As more gyms and studios are forced to close down, we have been working hard on solutions to help you overcome the situation and keep in touch with your community.

How your fitness business can overcome the coronavirus outbreak

Is the outbreak of COVID-19 affecting your fitness business? As more gyms and studios are forced to close down, we have been working hard on solutions to help you overcome the situation and keep in touch with your community.

Join our webinars

A lot is changing in the fitness industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are hosting bi-weekly webinars to discuss and clarify the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Don’t miss our upcoming webinars!

Listen to our podcast

Our official Virtuagym podcast, Grow Your Fitness Business, is live and ready for listening! Tune in while exercising, on the go, or at home to know more about the latest news and trends in the fitness industry.  This is a series of episodes featuring industry experts and entrepreneurs dedicated solely to running your fitness business amid COVID-19.

Hacks for your business

Are you already using Virtuagym’s platform? There’s a lot you can do to adapt it to your new needs during the pandemic. Here you can find a few guides on the most useful features.

check in icon
Check-in
Limit the number of clients at your facility at any given time and ensure that max capacity is never surpassed. Set a limit of visitors per day – adjustable anytime.
schedule
Schedule
Let clients book attendance and classes in advance. You can track gym capacity and enable timeslots. Enable COVID-19 triage questions whenever a client books.
credit
Credits
Limit the number of bookings or entries that can be done for a period to ensure your gym is in compliance with restrictions in terms of capacity and frequency.
livestream
Livestreams
Livestream workouts on your Virtuagym Community page or in private groups and share news and updates on the latest corona-related regulations.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • In which areas are the fitness facilities closed? – US
    Lockdown measures started easing around May 20th in North America, and gyms slowly began opening with adherence to CDC guidelines. Some states remain more affected than others, and certain gyms and studios may require the use of face masks when working out.

    The states most affected by the spread of COVID-19 currently are:

    • North Dakota
    • South Dakota
    • Wisconsin
    • Guam
    • Montana
    • Idaho
    • Nebraska
    • Rhode Island

    For the most up-to-date information on your state, please check the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker.
  • In which areas are the fitness facilities closed? – UK
    The UK fitness market has discerned three alert levels when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus: medium, high (tier 2), and very high (tier 3). For medium, exercise classes and organized sport can take place (outdoors or indoors) with compliance to the 1.5-meter social distancing rule.

    For high (tier 2) and very high (tier 3), activities can only take place outdoors, and indoors if it is possible to avoid mixing households or support bubbles. Consideration is also given to youth or disability sport.

    Currently, all areas in the UK are on medium alert level, except for the areas mentioned in this PDF (last updated 23/10):
  • How can I remotely monitor the progress of my members?
    You can track members’ at-home workouts and improve your client experience via the coaching mobile app. Cover everything from exercise and nutrition guidance, progress tracking, scheduling and booking, managing goals, and mobile coaching from one intuitive and powerful platform!
  • Can I broadcast classes live?
    Yes, we've got you covered! Use this link to find all the steps to set up livestreaming.
  • How can I provide content to my members remotely?
    Video on Demand and Club Community are your best bet if you want to provide content to your members remotely. With Video on Demand (VOD), clients can stream workout videos directly from the web or through their Virtuagym mobile app (they can even cast it to their TV!). Find out more about VOD here.

    Club Community allows you to livestream classes from an event in your schedule. You can also livestream directly in the ‘Community’ feature. Use it to interact with your clients and share relevant updates on the latest C0VID-19-related rules and regulations for your facility. Find out how to livestream using Club Community here.
  • Is a hybrid business model the solution to my problems?
    We recently conducted a study that showed the importance of switching to a hybrid business model. Switching to a hybrid business model will help your business to withstand the uncertainties of this pandemic, such as closures and restrictions. Look into areas of your business model that need some sprucing up and boldly capitalize on your shortcomings. For more information on this, read our blog on going hybrid.
  • How can I keep my members engaged remotely?
    You can create workouts that your clients could do from home. So if you don’t want to livestream your classes, consider making individual and group workout plans to be mass distributed to your clients. You can combine these workouts with challenges and special community groups to keep motivating your clients from afar.
  • How can I manage safety distances in my facility?
    1. Implement a check-in feature: Either on your website or via a custom app to track visitors and maintain capacity. With a check-in feature, you can set a rule that any clients without a reserved timeslot will be denied entry to ensure safety.

    2. Ask COVID-19 triage questions: Set up a system that allows you to ask triage questions before clients can book a timeslot to enter your facility. These questions can be:
    • In the past 24 hours, have you had a cough, a cold, a fever (above 38 degrees), or shortness of breath?
    • Do you currently have a roommate with a fever and/or shortness of breath?
    • Have you had the coronavirus and has it been diagnosed in the past 7 days (in a lab)?

    Clients will need to tick a box to ensure that they have read these questions before a reservation is confirmed. For more information on how to get your gym through the second coronavirus wave, refer to this article.
  • How can I limit the risks of spread in my facility?
    1. Stay informed: Only get your information from trusted sources (WHO, your country’s health departments, credible news sites) and avoid clickbait titles and private message chains. To be informed on what’s happening in the fitness business, sign up for our webinar series!

    2. Keep your members up-to-date: Update your social media accounts with everything your business is doing concerning the coronavirus outbreak. Inform them of any and all virtual workouts or livestreams you’re working on!

    3. Check government support initiatives: Many countries are working on measures to relieve financial pressure on SMEs, including tax exemptions or delays in tax payments, reduced support loan interest rates, etc. Make sure you’re informed of what is being offered and how to apply for it.

    4. Comply with health recommendations: In the event of another wave of the coronavirus, ensure you have a system in place to provide frequent cleaning and freely available hand sanitizer. Track the number of visitors and place restrictions on how many people are allowed to simultaneously train at your gym. Communicate guidelines for facemasks, dressing rooms, etc.
  • What do we know about the coronavirus and how it affects fitness businesses?
    Unfortunately, uncertainty is currently the only certainty. There's perhaps still a long way to go until we see an end to this outbreak, but until then, find inventive ways to keep your members engaged and your business afloat. To learn more about the coronavirus's impact on the fitness industry in 2020, check out our e-books that contain curated reports on the pandemic and fitness businesses.
  • Can I have my own mobile app?
    Absolutely! Virtuagym's custom mobile app enables you to engage your clients across all touchpoints with one easy app. To create a custom mobile app, make sure you meet the requirements:
      1. You have up to 50 clients
      2. You're not the sole proprietor
      3. You have an Apple or Android device (Apple will use this to verify your identity)
      Please contact our Client Success team to get started. Read more about the custom mobile app and how to get started.
  • Can I pause all of my clients' contracts?
    Yes, it is possible to pause your members’ contracts. You can follow this guide on how to pause contracts individually. To mass pause all contracts for your entire facility, please reach out to us (also retrospectively) by emailing support@virtuagym.com. While contracts are paused, you could consider charging your members a special monthly fee for online digital training services using Virtuagym's software services. This way, you can still keep things running for less!  
  • How can I apply a discount for my memberships?
    You can follow this guide to understand how you can apply discounts and adjust the price per membership. By adjusting membership prices, all invoices created by the assigned memberships for the next invoice period will reflect the new price. This only works for renewing memberships. At the moment, it is not possible to adjust the price or apply a discount to all memberships simultaneously.
  • What’s the difference between Video On Demand and streaming?
    Video on Demand is a service Virtuagym provides, powered by Fitness on Demand. This service lets you give your members access to streaming exercise videos directly from the Virtuagym mobile app. To stream your own content through the Virtuagym app, you can read this guide on how to go live with Virtuagym and this guide on how to embed videos in your app’s home screen.
  • My payment provider Mollie changed their payout time, what can I do?
    Recently Mollie announced that they will in many cases delay the payout of Direct Debit and Credit Card payments for April by 15 days, and for May by 30 days due to the COVID19 outbreak. Mollie is afraid that a lot of your members will ask for a chargeback since they cannot visit your club during the pandemic. We are surprised and very disappointed by their decision and understand this has a big impact on your business. We are here to help.

    After contacting Mollie, they let us know that they are willing to make exceptions for Virtuagym customers on a case by case basis. We advise you to contact Mollie to see if they can make an exception for your company.

    In the meantime, we understand that you’re in need of a trustworthy alternative. We advise you to take action and we wrote an article with all the options you have to avoid this situation. Please read our Helpdesk article carefully and make your decision on how to proceed. We advise you to act quickly and get in touch with our Client Success team for more information.

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