New Year’s sequel: should people in Munich go to the gym again?

Munich – Would you like to get rid of the fat roast and the sweet cookies from the Christmas season? Follow the happy new year resolutions and finally be more sporty? The perfect summer body is trained in the winter, they say. And then January has always been a popular month to sign up for the gym for many. It was canceled last year: the studios had to remain closed. Some may have been happy to let “the good intentions” rest a little. But what does it look like this year? AZ looked around.

Corona reduces the number of fitness memberships

The 2G-Plus rule, the Omikron variant, only a limited number of guests: All this does not make it exactly easy for Munich’s gyms this year either. Throughout Germany, membership is even declining.

The German Industry Association for Fitness and Health (DIFG) reported 11.6 million members in fitness studies two years ago. Today, the association counts about two million fewer.

The municipal utilities, which run two gyms in Munich, can also confirm this trend: “The number of new registrations is significantly lower than in the January months before Corona or compared to the autumn of 2021,” explains a spokeswoman. But it’s not only new members who are holding back, existing ones are also coming less frequently since 2G Plus came into force. A bad start to the year for Munich’s gyms? Not quite! Because they obviously exist, the motivated people in Munich.

The Munich studios are convinced

“The new year has started well at Fitness First, and we are confident that the numbers will continue to develop positively,” explains Johannes Maßen, Germany’s CEO of Fitness First, a chain that runs four studios in Munich. . “Our data show that the trend in new registrations is on a par with 2019 and 2020.”

But even Maßen has to admit that some members prefer to stay home because of the current developments. Nevertheless, he explains optimistically: “We believe in our industry and that we can increase the number of study guests significantly over the next few years.”

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A similar situation in the “Elements” gyms in Munich. “Fortunately, we are on target in terms of our internal planning,” explains one here in response to an AZ request. “The new year will not be significantly different than every year at the beginning.” Of course, the internal processes are more difficult due to the Corona rules, but the new customer business is not suffering from it at the moment.

Strict rules keep those who refuse to act away

Also gratifying: the rules are now being better complied with: “The introduction of the 2G-Plus rules means that the intensive talks with those who refuse to take action are almost over,” the municipal utilities explain.

And most of the studies that AZ asked about have something else in common – the wishes of those who make the rules: “Our desire is that politicians recognize the contribution that fitness studies make to keeping our society fit and healthy.” , explains Maßen. “We want the social relevance of gyms to be recognized,” Elements says.

The corona crisis has shown how important health is. Apparently also some study guests: “I have been training regularly since the shutdown,” says Katharina Schumacher when AZ meets her while she is training on Einsteinstrasse. “First at home and since October in Fitness First.” The advantage of the gym is that you can “turn off the steam” more than at home.

Get out of the apartment and just let off steam: This wish that many Munich residents have certainly had over the past few months is likely to accommodate the gyms this year.


Rebecca Reischer (27), school lifeguard: “My decision to work out in the gym is: keep going, two to three times a week. I want to build even more muscle. It makes me mentally stronger, and fitness is generally good for strengthening “The immune system. It’s also great to be able to use the wellness area with sauna after a workout in the gym.”

Katja Otto (41), teacher: “My decision is to train in the studio four to five times a week, and I prepare for the European Championships. I want to defend my place and definitely win. At home I can not train so well. I swim regularly and strength trainer. I’m so glad the gyms are open again. “

Nicolas Areco (33), chef: “I want to be very strong, so I train five times a week in the gym and have firm decisions for the new year that I hold. The best way to train strength is in the gym. It requires good machines for effective muscle building. I train everything. I also run regularly. “

Jay Camargo (37), graphic designer: “I would prefer if the pandemic was over. I exercise regularly in the gym and at home, every day. I enjoy playing sports. Without exercise I would lack something. It is important to do something for your body and for yourself. It’s worth staying on the ball and doing something for your own fitness. “


Hygiene rules – how the gyms do:

The fitness centers are open – but strict hygiene rules apply. For example, there may not be too many people in the studio at the same time. In addition, the 2G Plus rule applies in gyms as well as in swimming pools. So anyone who wants to train here should either be double-vaccinated and tested or double-vaccinated and boosted.

“It’s safer,” explains personal trainer Danilo Lima from “Fitness First” in Haidhausen. Many members would also see it this way: “Many feel safe because we also abide by the hygiene rules, it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.”

Ventilation systems and hygiene concepts create safety

“Fitness First” has also developed a hygiene concept tested by Dekra, which will make the training safe through hygiene measures and a special ventilation system. All in all, these rules are now all well received, assure the fitness studios that AZ asked about.

“In the meantime, everyone has gotten used to the rules,” Elements explains. “While we should still pay close attention to compliance a year ago, it now appears that it has become a standard of living,” the spokeswoman said. You should only have “principle discussions” with a few members. “Most of them have understood that training in the studio is only possible if the hygiene rules are observed.”

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