As a community with a truly global footprint, F45 Training is acutely aware of the widespread fear and anxiety individuals across the world are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With thousands of small businesses under pressure and many gyms, health clubs, and fitness studios having to temporarily close their doors, we’re committed to providing our community with every means of support possible. The health and wellbeing of our F45 family is top priority, and we are stringently following the World Health Organization’s guidelines and the legislation of the individual countries and markets to ensure this.
While disrupted lives and routines make it difficult to find the time and space to train, the truth is that training and healthy living will boost immune systems and provide a much-needed outlet for people struggling with cabin fever and stress. Something as simple as sticking to a daily 45-minute workout will help provide stability and combat anxiety caused by upheaval and uncertainty. More active, engaged members will also result in better customer loyalty and retention for franchisees and help ensure that the sense of community we work so hard to create isn’t negatively affected.
To date, we have taken a phased approach—designed to make things safer for studios that are still open as well as offering alternatives to franchisees and members needing to deal with closures and shutdowns. By thinking innovatively and being proactive, we will be able to play our part in helping keep people safe and healthy as well as minimizing the economic impact for our franchisees.
For studios that remain open, we’ve shifted operating hours to allow for extra cleaning as well as adjusted the workouts themselves. Changing between stations has been reduced, rest periods increased to allow for sanitizing, difficult to clean equipment removed altogether, and more space created between members. We’ve also added extra hygiene steps before and after workouts and are actively encouraging members to stay home if they feel ill or believe they’ve been exposed. Toe taps have replaced high fives for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to offering support to closed studios, F45 Training is fortunate in many ways because we have always looked to use technology to support and enable our franchisee network and members. As a result, it’s been relatively simple to use the F45 Challenge app and F45challenge.com to bring the world’s best in-studio workout right to members’ homes. Our new At-Home Workouts offer a challenging and fun bodyweight workout that changes every day. Of course, we are looking to add to this while making sure we keep standards and quality high.
For franchisees worried about studio closures and pressure on their business, we recommend that they actively push the At-Home Workouts and make sure to get as many non-attending members to participate as possible. Doing this will not only keep members engaged and F45 top-of-mind, but will also reduce the possibility of cancelled memberships and ensure that paying customers feel like they are still getting value and support from their studio—even if they aren’t actively attending workouts.
So far, the response to the at-home training has been overwhelmingly positive and the content generated is a good indication of the power of our team and the love people have for the F45 brand. By encouraging members using the At-Home Workouts to share their sessions and tag #F45SweatCheck and #F45AtHome on their social channels, franchisees can generate further awareness for the initiative and help keep people fit and healthy during these challenging times. Franchisees should make sure that they are 100% up-to-date with the home training offering and are able to assist members with access and troubleshooting as they need it. Updates and builds will also give them a reason to keep in touch with members and drive that all-important sense of community.
Clear and early communication should be a priority for all franchisees. While we always caution against over-communicating and spamming members, this is a time when we need to make sure everyone in our network is up to date with all our latest news and developments. Let members know early if a closure is planned and share any information that will help keep people safe, immediately.
By staying informed, keeping in touch and sharing facts and information instead of drama, we’ll be able to get through this and ensure we come out of it stronger, together.