Active Californians turned to exercising outdoors or at home when Gov. Gavin Newsom directed gyms to close on March 16. Many fitness centers debuted live-streamed classes during the coronavirus pandemic; sporting equipment sales boomed as living rooms and garages became makeshift gyms.
As gyms started reopening in June, business owners and customers sought a new normal that may point to lasting shifts in the industry. Prior to the pandemic, many frequented the gym for access to specialty equipment, but some people have now bought their own gear, and online options have emerged as a viable alternative for group fitness businesses.
Austin Walsh bought new dumbbells, resistance bands and running shoes since his gym closed. His home setup — in the bedroom, since his wife does barre workouts in the living room — isn’t perfect, but it seems safe.
“The most elusive piece of equipment is an Olympic bench press