Another unexpected lockdown fitness hero is the dance class. Just ask fitness influencer Maddie Lymburner of the YouTube channel MadFit, whose popular Noughties dance party workout has racked up 16 million views since last April. Now restrictions have eased, expect in-person classes to follow. “There wasn’t much fun going on in lockdown so to spend 45 minutes dancing to a brilliant soundtrack and losing your inhibitions can make you feel great,” says Pip Black of Frame, whose Eighties Aerobics dance class has been popular during lockdown.
If you want to don your legwarmers and give it a go, visit AtYourBeat – there’s something for everyone, from jazz to latin to RnB. Alternatively, The Jungle Body offers beat-driven workouts that are a blend of dance, boxing and HIIT, while BLOK in London and Manchester offer a cardio dance class called BLOKBeat, which is a good workout for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros.
‘We hope May 17 will mark a boom time for the fitness industry’
By Fritz Lanman, CEO of ClassPass
A year ago, the fitness industry was flipped entirely on its head when almost overnight, fitness studios, gyms and salons were forced to close their physical locations. At ClassPass, a fitness and wellness membership that offers access to classes from 40,000 businesses, we paused billing for our members and scrambled to help over 5,000 studios to launch livestream and on-demand fitness classes waiving our commission as we worked to keep the fitness industry afloat.
When restrictions lift, thousands of UK studios will open their physical doors again, desperate to welcome people back to their community-based, in-person experiences. With the pandemic highlighting just how important health and human connection are, we believe classes focused on shared experiences will be more popular than ever before. No other workout compares to the experience of studio fitness; in fact, we’re seeing members who have returned to in-person classes in other cities booking at 110 per cent of their pre-Covid usage. We, along with our fitness partners, are hopeful that May 17 will mark a boom time for the fitness industry, and an improvement in our collective mental and physical health.
Exercising allows us to escape from other stresses and doing so in a gym or studio, being surrounded by people doing the same thing, increases motivation and accountability. Exercise can also be much easier – and certainly a lot more fun – when we have an instructor telling us what to do and holding us accountable.
I believe that’s why, as soon as it was allowed, we saw a new outdoor fitness trend emerge in Europe and then spread to other countries. Studios began converting any available outdoor space into outdoor studios, realising that people missed the sense of accountability that in-person classes offer. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a 400 per cent increase in the number of outdoor classes being offered by studios on the platform, and the main reason we believe they are so popular is because of people’s need for connection. After multiple national lockdowns, it’s more important than ever to feel a strong sense of community and gyms allow just that by offering a place for Covid-safe social interaction.
We have all come to recognise the value of exercising with others in a space that allows us to take a break from the outside world. As we’ve seen from our subscribers, once people go back to studios and gyms, they keep going back – and this can only be good news for our businesses and hopes for life to return to normal again.