Noida resident Atia Imam was as restless as the sea during the first few weeks of the lockdown. The fitness disciplinarian, who used to jog a few miles in the mornings and hit the gym in the evenings, Imam was unhappy confined to her home before she had a Eureka moment. The owner of the gym she frequented was a family friend, and she requested him to open its doors for her exclusively.
He obliged. “For me, life is synonymous to hitting it out in the gym and staying fit,” confides Atia. Ditto for another exercise enthusiast, Amit Jha, who utilised the park in his residential society to exercise during lockdown as he couldn’t visit the gym. “Once Unlock 2.0 began, I started visiting the Deer Park in South Delhi to use the open gym. I carry a sanitiser to ensure all equipment and installations are sanitised before using them.” However, both Imam and Jha now plan to invest in indoor gym equipment.
The idea is neither to take favours nor having to drive down a few miles to reach the gym. Public indoor gyms are a big no-no for them. “We have seen a sharp increase in the home gym equipment category in the past few months. On an average, 20-25 individuals call us or request on our social media handles about treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, multi-gym etc,” says Prateek Sood, Director, Grand Slam Fitness, adding that multi gyms, treadmills, ellipticals, dumbbells plates, rods, resistance bands etc., are most in demand.
The fitness industry has, during COVID-19, witnessed a boom in online training sessions, live and pre-recorded classes for performing workouts with or without equipment to make sure clients stay fit at home. But wise clients have gone a step ahead and have started purchasing equipment so that they don’t have to go to public gyms. The surge in the purchase of indoor gym equipment began in March, when Lockdown 1.0 was announced. According to IndiaMart, 229 per cent of leads increased in the month of June as compared to April 2020.
These numbers are going to witness an upward trend in the next few months too, experts from the organisation opine. Beginning August 2020, they expect 3,000 more leads as people have started working out at home gyms more than ever before. Delhi-NCR, in fact, has become the hub in demand of indoor gym equipment with 30.4 per cent leads in comparison to the other states. Safety, privacy, flexible timings and convenience are the major reasons why Ajmer Kuhar went ahead and purchased a set of dumbells in March. “I need to keep fit and stay healthy. With social distancing and the chances of infection still looming large, I next plan to buy an elliptical bike,” he says.
Diwakar Mishra bought a treadmill just before the lockdown hit the country. “I was a regular at the society gym as I am a sugar patient and exercising is a must for me. With the gym closed and morning walks not advisable for diabetics, I decided to exercise at home on the treadmill,” he says. Gurugram resident Sanjay Chhibber too doesn’t want to visit the gym without the vaccine. Therefore, the first thing Chhibber did after Unlock happened is to purchase weights as he didn’t want to lose out on his habit of frequenting the gym.
“The pandemic has taught me that spending one time on a machine is better than the recurring cost of gym fees. It was during this phase that I realised the gym can be done away with. So, now with an investment of Rs 10,000, I can workout at home and forever remain stress-free,” he says. As the cascading effects of COVID-19 continue to spread, gym owners and fitness solutions suppliers remain worried. But Sood is hopeful of the industry revival. “The demand for home gym equipment will not stay for long. With things opening up with relaxations and safety measures, gyms will become operational.”
In a nutshell
The fitness industry has, during COVID-19, witnessed a boom in online training sessions and classes to make sure clients stay fit at home. But clients have gone a step ahead and started purchasing equipment so that they don’t have to go to public gyms.