‘Omnichannel fitness’ set to be a big post-Covid workout trend - is it for you?

We all got used to exercising alone during the pandemic but it now looks like we can enjoy working out in a group at the gym or from home

Group of women stretch together
(Image credit: Getty Image)

 Workouts have evolved in various ways since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and a major new workout trend to emerge since gyms reopened in 2021 is ‘omnichannel fitness’.

The term refers to a mixture of both working out in the gym and home workouts and is predicted to take off as a popular approach to post-pandemic exercise.

A new ‘Global Fitness Report’ from exercise brand, Les Mills suggests most people (59%) now favor a 60:40 split between working out in-person at the gym and working out at home, most likely using one of the best fitness apps

Just as many workplaces have introduced a ‘hybrid’ work set up where employees can work in the office some days and from home other days, it appears people are adopting this approach when it comes to working out too. 

The approach could suit those who are either still easing themselves back to gym life or for those who have found they like a bit of both gym and home working out.

The report found that gym classes have seen a 120% increase in occupancy compared to pre-pandemic levels, with 85% of gym goers interested in trying live classes at their gym facility.

Christopher Barker is a personal trainer who offers one-to-one training and group training. The fitness coach agrees that people are excited to be back exercising around others. 

He says this could be for multiple reasons such as, “The equipment they missed having access to, the companionship of gym friends, or their favourite class instructors or maybe it's just a chance to get out of the house.”

According to the report, HIIT workouts are the world’s most popular fitness class, favored by 31% of participants. Hopping onto one of the best exercise bikes proved to be popular too, with 30% favouring indoor cycling (e.g. spin class), whilst 28% said they favored dance classes.

The company’s founder and executive director, Philip Mills, referred to this shift as a ‘live revival’.  He added that people have missed out on the buzz of live classes, which are made even more motivating with the presence of what he calls ‘rockstar instructors’. 

However, this increased hunger for group workouts doesn’t mean online fitness classes are out the window. In fact, 80% of gym members plan to still use digital workouts post-pandemic.

Mills noted: “The digital fitness boom and the growth of home working means consumers are taking an omnichannel approach to their training to stay more active, mixing thrilling live workouts at the gym with the convenience of digital workouts at home.”

Lockdown also appears to have encouraged a new fondness for fitness, with 27% of respondents calling themselves ‘complete beginners’.

If you fancy being a jack-of-all trades kind of exerciser and can’t pick just one then investing in a pair of best cross training shoes could help you remain flexible across the different classes.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.