Each week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: At Core, Fitness Industry Is About the People [VIDEO]

Helping people has always been what the fitness industry is all about. This week, Brent shares some examples, including the response to multiple crises, a push to strengthen the industry’s voice, and more.

  • February 24, 2021

From its inception, the fitness industry has always been about helping people get healthier, stronger, and more confident.

Now, as we live through a pandemic and increasingly common weather disasters, fitness facilities are stepping up to serve their respective communities—underlining their importance.

In this week’s Take 5, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden thanks fitness centers in Texas and surrounding states for serving as warming stations after a winter storm devastated the region.

Brent also shares news from ClassPass, which has incorporated a vaccine tracker to its platform, Oikos’ grant program to strengthen the fitness industry, a GYMS Act update, and calls on you to join an industry-wide action event.

Watch the full video above, read the full transcript below, or jump to a section by topic:

  • 0:29 - Gyms Step Up During a Crisis
  • 1:31 - ClassPass Launches Vaccine Tracker
  • 2:09 - Oikos Pro for Pros: Deadline Approaching
  • 2:43 - GYMS Act Update
  • 3:45 - United We Rise, Stronger Than Ever

Full Transcript

At its core, the fitness industry has always been about helping people. And that's what we're talking about in this week's video: How gyms and the industry partners are stepping up to help their communities, how people outside of our industry are rallying to offer relief, and how all of us in the industry are coming together to help each other.

It's time for another IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

Gyms Step Up During a Crisis

For those of you who don't know, I'm actually located in Texas. And this last week, as many of you have seen, has been especially difficult for many across our state.

I want to say thanks, first of all, to all of you that checked in on me personally, and also to the gyms and fitness facilities across Texas that opened their doors to community members, offering to act as sort of warming stations when so many people were without power. Even though many of these clubs are already operating at reduced capacity, they shut down or reduced operations further to help those that were really in a desperate situation and needed a place just to simply get out of the cold and get warm.

This is just another example of how immersed clubs are in their communities. Clubs around the world have really demonstrated and reinforced their role as leaders in their individual communities over the course of the last year throughout this time when it's been absolutely the most needed. And from all of us here at IHRSA, I just want to say thank you for that.

ClassPass Launches Vaccine Tracker

The fitness industry continues to do what it can to be part of the healthcare solution. ClassPass has announced that people can now use their platform to search for vaccine centers. Members can easily determine the closest vaccine center to their home and obtain information including the hours of operation and contact information for nearby clinics and health offices. If you haven't been aware that there's really a huge discrepancy in the effectiveness as the vaccines are rolled out across the U.S. and worldwide.

Oikos Pro for Pros: Deadline Approaching

In a recent Fitness Industry Roundup, we shared the NFL running back Saquon Barkley teamed up with Oikos on their Oikos Pro for Pros grant program. The program is giving away 100 grants of at least $1,000 each to trainers and gyms affected by COVID-19. It's kind of fun, and the deadline to apply is February 28. So be sure to visit the link on the screen and don't miss the latest news IHRSA shares on our website.

GYMS Act Update

Speaking of industry relief, as of this morning, the GYMS Act, which would create a $30 billion fund to provide grants to the fitness industry, has 24 sponsors and continues to gain bipartisan support. This wouldn't be possible without the help of everyone who's already used our one-click campaign to ask their representative to support the bill. So thanks to all of you who've already taken action. People like Tiffany from World Gym in California, Tony from Fitness EMS in Georgia, and Keli from the Dailey Method in Illinois, and so many others. Keep up the great work. So far, over 4,500 letters have been sent to Congress. And nearly half of those letters have come from gym-goers and everyday people who want to help save their gym. So please share the campaign not only with your friends and family, but also with your members.

United We Rise, Stronger Than Ever

Finally, I want to share something I'm really excited about. IHRSA will be holding an industry-wide action event called "United We Rise - Stronger Than Ever." This free event will bring people from all aspects of the fitness industry together. As all of you know we face multiple public health crises right now including COVID-19, but also the ongoing problem with inactivity and chronic disease. Well, the need for a strong and united voice for the health and fitness industry has never been greater. And it's time to harness the collaborative spirit of our industry. Together we really can change the narrative about health clubs, as well as drive business outcomes that will positively impact the inactivity and chronic disease health crisis. IHRSA and industry partners will be sending invites to this event shortly. And I sincerely hope that you'll join us there.

Well that's it for this week. Please help spread the word about all that our industry is doing to help our communities by sharing this video. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you next time.

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Author avatar

Rachel Valerio

Rachel Valerio previously served as IHRSA's Digital Content Editor—a position focused on collecting and reporting on fitness industry news, staying on top of IHRSA's social media accounts and website, and hatching new plans to expand the association's digital footprint.