Hyderabad gym trainers, owners run into losses due to lockdown

The operational cost of a gym per month, lies anywhere between 1.5 lakhs to 4 lakhs, which includes rent and electricity.
Hyderabad gym trainers, owners run into losses due to lockdown
Hyderabad gym trainers, owners run into losses due to lockdown
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Just when the gyms in Hyderabad were gaining some of their clients back, the second wave of the pandemic has hit, crumbling the fitness industry from all corners. While the gyms are closed due to lockdown, the high operational cost of the gyms which includes the rents and electricity bills are pushing the gym owners into debts.

“Most of the gym owners and trainers are currently unemployed. The clients have reduced drastically after the onset of COVID-19 and many people have quit the industry due to family pressure,” says Dawood Khan, who runs Platinum Fitness club and has been in the industry for the last 14 years. “Who would like us to work in an industry which does not give you financial stability. It's like how it was almost a decade back,” he asks.

Dawood Khan says that the operation cost of gyms lies anywhere between 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs depending on the area of the gym. “In areas like Banjara hills, the rent for the gym would be anywhere between 3 to 4 lakhs and the power bill would be around 50,000 to 1 lakh. In some other areas, the rent would be less comparatively as it would be around 1.5 lakhs. How can any gym owner bear such a high cost of maintenance without clients,” laments Dawood.

With the gyms running in losses, several of the gym trainers who were working in the gyms have also lost their jobs. “There are about 10,000 gyms in the Hyderabad city alone and easily each gym used to have about 5 people working in it, be it the trainers or maintenance staff. And after the first lockdown, the staff was reduced to two people in most of the gyms, as owners were not in a position to pay the salaries,” says Jeevan Paul, a head trainer in one of the city gyms. Jeevan has been in the fitness industry for the last 18 years now.

Before gyms were reopened in the month of August in 2020, gyms were closed for about five months due to nationwide lockdown. After the first lockdown was lifted, it was not an easy task for the gyms to get their clients back, as many have opted to stay home in view of the safety concerns due to COVID-19. 

Jeevan also confessed that not all the gyms were maintaining hygiene standards. “Some of the gyms were also running as if there was no pandemic, without taking proper precautions,” says Jeevan.

With people backing out from coming to the gyms, several gyms have been coming up with various packages for the online classes, however there are not many takers. There are also gyms that are offering these classes for free and at half the rate, however, the business seems to be still dull. 

“People are still not ready for the online gyms yet. Basically there won't be enough motivation for people to work out at home, even if they do in most cases, there won't be enough space or equipment. Besides, it's not possible to provide the posture correction properly in the online classes,” says Dawood.

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