Fitness studies: a lot of extra work, almost no new registrations

Oberberg – Gyms is in danger of running out in the face of the collapse in membership.

By Peter Notbohm

“Opaque” and “complicated” are the first concepts that Patrick Kielgast comes to mind in connection with the new corona initiatives. He runs the two sports studios ‘FitnessLounge’ in Derschlag and ‘fit +’ in Marienheide. Like many operators nationwide, he is in the same situation: the months of lockdown and the many restrictions on admission of members have left their mark. Instead of pursuing their real task, the members’ educational support, new rules should be read, understood and, above all, implemented over and over again. “Instead of concentrating on our core business, we have to deal with control constraints. It is not only time consuming for us, but also very annoying for our customers,” he says.

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[Foto: Fit & Fun —- Nicht nur Marcus Laegner hat mit den fehlenden Neuanmeldungen in der Fitnessbranche zu kämpfen. Corona-Fälle hat es laut ihm in zwei Jahren Pandemie noch keinen einzigen in seinem Studio gegeben.]

An impression that Marcus Laegner, owner of the fitness studio Fit & Fun in Waldbröl, can confirm: “Initiatives are often announced at very short notice, but our customers also want to be able to plan at some point. It always encounters a lack of understanding.” The fact that there were sometimes different interpretations even within the NRW was also not very conducive to the public’s trust. Both noticed the introduction of 2G-Plus in their studies. even to stop.The abolition of the daily rapid tests for those who have been boosted has at least eased a bit in that regard in the last few weeks.

However, the main problem for many studies is still unresolved: Thanks to the many new decisions for the year, January is actually an optimal time for many to start playing sports and is therefore one of the months with the highest sales for the industry. “But this New Year’s company completely breaks us for the second time now,” says Kielgast, who everywhere in conversations hears the same experiences from colleagues from the initiative ‘Fitness for Oberberg’: The far too few new registrations in the past. few months can in no way compensate for unusual cancellations.

[Foto: Fit & Fun —- Unmittelbar neben seinem Fitnessstudio hat Laegner im Mai 2021 eine Corona-Testzentrum eröffnet- für viele seiner Mitglieder ein echter Vorteil.]

This is also confirmed in a study recently published by DSSV’s employers’ association of German fitness and health facilities. Therefore, check-ins have been reduced by an average of 44 percent compared to 2020. An even more dramatic picture emerges when it comes to new registrations: In the period compared to January 2020, they fell by 67 percent. “If 2G-Plus continues to exist in our industry, and the government does not want to recognize the common goal in fitness and health training, namely to keep the population healthy and prevent disease, then the newly introduced bridge support IV must also curb this 100 percent. , “says Birgit Schwarze, chairman of DSSV. The association calls for an adjustment so that membership fees are not to the detriment of the bridge help, or that they are paid out if sales fall by 15 percent.

[Foto: Leif Schmittgen — “Wir wollen gewährleisten, dass Menschen etwas für ihre Gesundheit tun”, sagt Patrick Kielgast.]

Laegner does not currently allow extraordinary dismissals in his study due to lack of evidence of vaccination. Although consumer advice centers would partially confirm the loss of the business foundation, a model judgment on this does not yet exist. Laegner assesses the legal situation differently anyway: “Unlike in the lockdown, we can offer our service.” However, he and Kielgast emphasize that one always tries to act customer-oriented, mostly through rest periods of the contracts. “We have been proactive in reaching out to our members. We want to find solutions,” says the gym’s operator, who fears a rat tail for the entire industry: “I expect this year and 2023 to be very difficult months, especially for those “Some operators have to come up with something,” says Kielgast.

For the future, both study leaders stand together in the hope that as many as possible will continue to train and go into the study despite the controls that are supposed to provide reassurance. Because the entire industry makes a major contribution to keeping citizens healthy. “A healthy body is essential for a good immune system. We help to ensure that people have a longer quality of life, ”says Kielgast.

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