This Is How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Fitness Industry, Based On 3 Different Gym & Fitness Centres

by Michelle Anne Kam

For the fitness industry, it’s not a surprise that they had major setbacks once MCO was implemented. Most of the community members regularly go to the gym to exercise, compared to working out at home.

Now that gyms and fitness centres are allowed to operate, the question is – will these businesses be able to regain their revenue or maintain their business after 3 months? Based on the article by The Star, certain Malaysians have found working at home cost-effective and prefers to exercise at the comfort of their home. 

We got in touch with 3 gymnasiums and fitness centres to find out how they were able to cope during the pandemic and post-MCO. 

  • Mathan, Founder of Cobra Gym 
  • Billy, General Manager of Babel
  • Christian, Co-Founder of Tribe Boxing Studio

Revenue Streams Came To A Complete Halt

Since most of the gym and fitness centres rely on memberships, their main source of income was completely cut off. 

How exactly did it impact them?

For Cobra Gym, unfortunately, they had no choice but to close down one of their branches, which is the Kelana Jaya Branch. 

“The landlord insisted we pay for rental despite MCO. We couldn’t sustain, so we had to close down that branch,” said Mathan, founder of Cobra Gym.

Aside from rental costs, the majority of the revenue goes to covering salaries for their staffs. Not all hope is lost, which can be seen for Babel and Tribe. 

“We made a commitment early on to look externally for cost reductions ensuring that our team felt as minimal disruption as possible. On top of that, our paid-for digital offerings were built with our team’s variable income in mind, providing opportunities to earn more from commission-based services,” Billy shared. 

Christian explained how they managed to sustain their business by prioritizing the resources that needed the most commitment while also taking a look at the financial position of the company. 

Maintaining Their Business

With almost every business jumping on the bandwagon of going digital, we wondered if this helps the fitness industry. 

Most of them resort to giving free online classes at the start. Even with online live classes, members expected them to be free, so they weren’t getting any revenue from these classes. 

Mathan shared that they did try to share some workout tips and provide online classes, but it wasn’t sustainable as they were mostly free. 

However, for Tribe, in the beginning, the classes were free. Once they realized they had an overwhelming response from their community, they were able to earn a decent income from there. 

Source: TRIBE Facebook

Personal training sessions did not stop during MCO. With Babel, they introduced a new segment called Babel Live which provides members access to over 75 live and on-demand classes. Aside from that, they also provided VPT (Virtual Personal Training) sessions which received a great response from their members.

Viewing The Pandemic In A Positive Light

One of the sole reasons how these businesses were able to stand tall was due to the support of their community members. It was a difficult time for all, but the continuous support from the members helped them to go through this hard time together. 

Source: TRIBE Facebook

“Doing our IG live classes was something that really motivated me and the rest of the team. To know that we could impact a lot of people outside of our studio and bring people closer together than before. It was really amazing to see so many people coming together, and as much as it helped them, it probably helped us even more,” Christian shared.

To some, this pandemic may have been a negative situation. However, there are also positive sides to it. 

“The one thing that helped the situation a lot for me was that I was able to reconnect with friends, family and the TRIBE community. Getting caught up in our daily activities pre MCO, you can forget about the things that matter most when you are so busy,” Christian shared.

Throughout this difficult time, everybody came together to support one another. Unity can be seen during this trying time. Babel also mentions that the whole fitness community did a great job supporting one another to keep fit and active. 

Will Working Out At Home Be The New Norm? 

Most of them beg to differ. Sometimes, people are more motivated to work out when they are surrounded with the proper atmosphere. 

Whether they are inexperienced or experienced, they would still want to exercise with proper gym equipment while also receiving real-life personal training. 

Source: TRIBE Facebook

“I personally believe that once MCO is over people will come back to fitness studios and gyms to workout as you can’t replace the in human experience,” Christian said. 

Mathan also shared how their gym members are itching to go back to the gym. This shows that no matter what the circumstances are, exercising in a fitness studio or a gym will always be an option to most Malaysians. 

If you’re ready to hit the gym or fitness studio ever since MCO was lifted, check them out below!

Cobra Gym
Several branches in Selayang, Alam Damai, Shah Alam, SG Udang Klang, Seremban, Senawang, Bukit Tinggi.
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Rooftop Menara Ken TTDI, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Website | Facebook | Instagram

TRIBE Boxing Studio
Lot LG5-3 Arcoris, Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Website | Facebook | Instagram

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