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Gyms will move to a 'hybrid model': celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels

Alexis Christoforous
·Anchor
·3 min read
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Working out has looked a lot different during the coronavirus pandemic, with many of us searching for creative ways to stay fit outside of the gym.

From affordable dumbbells and yoga mats to pricey treadmills and stationary bikes, health and fitness equipment revenue more than doubled to $2.3 billion from March to October, according to NPD retail data.

“I think that all of the at-home fitness people have invested in is going nowhere. And I think they've gotten used to using it,” celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels told Yahoo Finance Live.

Some people took the money they would spend on a gym membership and splurged on a $3,000 Peloton bike or Tonal fitness machine. The surge in demand catapulted Peloton (PTON) to a profit in 2020 and sent it’s stock soaring more than 400%, while privately-held Tonal reported a mind-numbing 700% year-over-year increase in sales.

A projection of a desert scene is casted onto a wall near a Peloton fitness bike in a basement home gym, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lutherville-Timonium. Home gyms have picked up in 2020 with sales of exercise bikes going up during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A Peloton fitness bike in a basement home gym in Lutherville-Timonium, MD. Sept. 2020 (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Gym memberships dried up amid pandemic-induced closures. Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness and Town Sports International, which owns New York Sports Clubs and Lucille Roberts chains, all filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020.

Michaels said there’s still a place for gyms in our everyday lives, but it will most likely “shift to a hybrid model” post-pandemic.

“I've gotten so used to skipping rope in my bedroom or riding my bike outside the house for 10 miles up the hill and back. I've gotten used to doing yoga in my living room with the kids,” she said. “And I love it. And it's effective, and it's efficient.”

But Michaels admits she misses the gym and her classes.

“So maybe I won't spend a couple hundred dollars a month on that expensive gym membership, but I will take my favorite yoga teacher's yoga class, or I will take that one spin class out of the house. And then I'll probably do a couple workouts at home or around my home. I'll save money. I'll save time. I'll get that social component.”

Michaels is cashing in on the fitness app craze with her subscription-based fully customizable Jillian Michaels: The Fitness App.

From January through November of 2020, approximately 2.5 billion health and fitness apps were downloaded globally, a 47% jump from the same period in 2019, according to data from Sensor Tower. The top fitness app of the year was “Home Workout - No Equipment,” which was downloaded 43.5 million times.

DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 16: HIIT class with personal trainer Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser at the first day of the Wellness Your Way Festival at the Colorado Convention Center on August 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival)
HIIT class with personal trainer Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser at the first day of the Wellness Your Way Festival at the Colorado Convention Center on August 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival)

Michaels said there’s plenty people can do for free to stay fit. The trick is finding something you like and, as Nike says, “Just Do It.”

She recommends three simple things we can do starting today to make a difference in our overall health — and they won’t cost a dime.

  • Don’t drink calories. “No sugary coffees, no kombucha. That's 150 calories of sugar. No juices. Water, coffee, tea — that's it. You'll cut tons of calories without even thinking about it.”

  • Create a 12-hour window minimum where you finish dinner, and you don't eat again until breakfast. “It cuts out a ton of late night snacking, and it's better for your overall health and wellness.”

  • Commit to 10 minutes of activity five days a week. “Do the basics, things like do 20 squats, do a 20-second plank, and do 20 crunches.”

“It doesn't have to be perfect,” said Michaels. “You don't have to eat perfect. You don't have to train every day. Just get up and move your body.”

Alexis Christoforous is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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