Monday, January 17

The fitness center may reopen, but only 20 may attend group classes

Barry’s bootcamp can open the doors again, but when they can only let in 20, they will run at a loss.

Linn Herland, co-owner of Barry’s Bootcamp in Norway, does not understand the logic behind the number limit.


From Friday, the gyms can again fill the group gyms with a maximum of 20 people who are one meter away.

The fitness center chain Barry’s bootcamp has studios in Bergen, Oslo and Bærum where they offer group lessons. The participants stay at their station where the lessons are completed on a mill and with weights.

Since December, the members have been able to train in their studios, but instead of the instructor standing in front and leading them through the class, they have received an audio file on the phone. They can now move away from that, explains Linn Herland, co-owner of Barry’s Bootcamp in Norway.

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– We are of course very happy that we can go back to running groups, that’s what we do, she says.

And adds a clear but:

– A limit of 20 is very inhibiting for us, she states.

– Loses money by staying open

They charge per visitor per hour, now they are only allowed to have 20 members per hour. Regardless of whether it is small halls or the largest of over 100 and 200 square meters.

– I must honestly say that I do not fully understand the logic of it, she says.

– It does not quite hang in my head, she adds.

If the requirement was only that they should have a distance of one to two meters between the participants, they could use 70 percent of the capacity, but with a number limit in addition, they are down to 35-50 percent of the capacity, depending on the size of the studios, according to Herland.

– Then we lose money by staying open, but we will of course stay open to keep the employees working and not least get our customers going and back, she says.

In January last year, Barry’s Bootcamp in Bergen was able to complete group lessons with a distance of two meters.

At Sats, they opened up for members to book a place for group lessons tonight, and the hours are already being filled up, says national manager of Sats Norway Wenche Evertsen.

– First and foremost, we think this is very good, she says that it opens for group lessons again.

Now the members who are not as comfortable with their own training at the gym, or for various other reasons prefer group lessons again to come back to training.

– We are now looking forward to seeing the visit increase even more, she says.

– The most important period

Because there is no doubt that January is important for the fitness chain.

– It is the most important period in the whole year, says Evertsen.

These winter weeks with the New Year’s resolutions fresh in mind are the period when they have the highest influx of visitors, and the fitness industry often has its best quarter in the first year, Evertsen explains.

– We have growth, and it has gone well so far, but it is clear that it will be important when we have full breadth in our offer, she says.

Batch can again hold running hours for up to 20 people with a distance of one meter.

The fitness center chain with 250 centers in Norway has not had “very many fewer” visitors in January this year compared to before the pandemic in January 2020, according to Evertsen.

Overall, Sats has had fewer visitors during the period without group training, but they have 20 percent more visitors in the studio, and an increase of 44 percent among women. At the same time, the distance rules affect how many people can be accommodated at the centers.

– We are ready to help people deliver on their New Year’s promises through the rest of January and beyond, she says.

– Marked huge decline in the customer base

January and February are traditionally the best recruitment months for both Barry’s, and Herland predicts this applies to most people in the fitness industry.

This year, Barry’s loses a little extra, because Herland believes the restrictions create an unfortunate competitive situation for those who specialize in group training, compared to those who offer self-training as well.

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During the pandemic, the gyms in various parts of the country have experienced restrictions and been closed several times, and Barrys’ marks this on the customer base.

– We have noticed a huge decline in the customer base, says Herland.

50 percent of the customers have disappeared during the shutdowns, she says, but now she is looking ahead.

– Now we hope that we motivate many to get started, and get to know how good it is, she says.

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