Gyms seeing more membership cancellations as people turn to safer alternatives

Published: August 4, 2020 6:08 PM EDT
Updated: August 4, 2020 6:18 PM EDT

Exercise is good for your health, but is going to a gym right now?

People keep canceling memberships, gyms are reducing the number of classes they offer and temperature checks are the new normal. So are signs with COVID-19 information and disinfecting wipes everywhere.

So what’s missing? Most of the gym members.

“For about two weeks, I felt like it was January. The gym was hoppin’, people were coming in and signing up,” said Michael Pacheco, owner of Health and Strength. “It was fun and exciting, but that didn’t last long.”

Jake Maulin, owner of Cycle Bar, can agree, as he says his gym has seen a decline, just like most other gyms.

People are filling out forms, and canceling their memberships has become routine.

“We’ll do like 30 or 60 or 90-day freezes, but we tell people like if you want to do an indefinite thing, go ahead and cancel it,” Maulin said.

“They say, ‘Mike, I really don’t feel comfortable coming in. Is there any way I can put my membership on hold?’ And what we do with them is we just put a no-cost and put them on hold,” Pacheco said.

Some people have discovered a new way of staying fit.

Kayla Diamond, owner and creator of Evolve Performance, is having more and more people sign up for her online classes.

“I can’t even tell you how liberated I feel and just how much better I feel that I can do this at home,” she said.

As for the gym owners, “We don’t want to rush you,” Pacheco said. “When you’re ready to come back.”

A new study ranked routine activities we used to do before COVID-19 according to their health risk level on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the riskiest. The researchers ranked going to the gym at an eight.