The Future of Gym Design Post-Covid

To open in line with government guidelines, clubs will have to change the operational structure of the business to accommodate limited access, restricted equipment sharing, clear social distancing guidelines and increased hygiene.

These changes will also need to remain flexible enough to evolve with governmental advice.As interior architects and designers, the focus of our outstanding design lies in future-proofing space to ensure its longevity and relevance, which is why, when it comes to design solutions, we focus on long-term goals.

At zynk, we have been advising clients to utilise this period of club down time and take a step back from the daily demands of running a business to re-evaluate their brand and its proposition. This time of lockdown has altered the value system of consumers so aligning a brand to these new motivating factors will be key to attracting members back into the gym.Understanding this new post -Covid market will help to define the brand value and proposition.

Communicating brand values throughout a venue can be achieved using a variety of design tactics including bold statements, subtle design elements and carefully chosen materials; this reinforces the proposition at every key touch point.

It is this successful synchrony between a brand and its interior space that creates an engaged member experience, creates loyalty and differentiates a Club from its competitors.

Community

People will be returning to the gym with a much better sense of community. Most will have been working-out in a virtual community and enjoying the interaction during this time of lockdown. Outside of the gym, there has also been an overwhelming shift towards solidarity within the general public.

This sense of community should be capitalised on and maintained post-lockdown. It can easily be achieved through design by enhancing the initial meet and greet elements, revising entry point communications and telling the story of how members, staff and trainers adjusted to lockdown. All of these will enhance the connection between a brand and its members, further enhancing the sense of belonging to a tribe.

When social distancing measures are lifted, Clubs can think about creating additional interaction points, seating areas and socialising hubs to encourage further community cohesion. Such areas can be just as effective outside of studios and on the gym floor as they are in reception areas and Cafés.

Technology

Consumers have embraced technology during this time; they have adopted new ways of accessing virtual workouts, embraced wearable technology to monitor participation levels and they want this to continue. Operators need to find ways of incorporating this into their Clubs, connecting members back to instructors and the community.

Creating virtual environments within a Club will also be crucial to maintaining engagement and retaining members. Pre-lockdown, indoor cycling had already successfully shifted towards delivering virtual workouts. Lockdown has just accelerated the wider introduction of this element into other exercises.

This shift towards virtual training will prompt an emergence of new ‘Chameleon environments’ within clubs. These accented zones can easily adapt their ambience to suit different exercises classes using enhanced Audio-Visual technology to change light and sound.

Hygiene

It is essential that members feel safe when they return to the gym. Communicating cleaning regimes clearly and consistently through the Club will encourage better hygiene and re-assure members that it is safe.

Cleaning equipment after use is already common practice within indoor cycling studios, so members will adapt to this concept relatively easily. The key to its success will be the installation of enough cleaning stations to make it easy and quick for members to keep themselves and the equipment clean.  These stations will not be removed after Coronavirus.  Members will expect and demand easy access to cleaning products from now on.

There is no doubt that Coronavirus has put a massive strain on the health and wellness industry. However, it is also renowned for innovation, so the zynk team is excited to see how it responds to current events and comes back stronger than ever.

zynk’s designers are currently working on an exciting Blueprint for the ‘Club of Future’. If you would like to receive a copy of this, subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.

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If you would like to know how zynk can help you business, contact managing director and founder, Stavros Theodoulou on 07866556610 or email stavros@zynkdesign.com.

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