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Distress of owners mounting as gyms remain closed despite ease of lockdown

Distress of owners mounting as gyms remain closed despite ease of lockdown

Suraj Iyer

Published: 17 Jun 2020 6:18 AM GMT

Fitness industry is booming in India thanks to initiatives like Fit India Movement by the government. However the recent worldwide pandemic has led to a lot of losses in various sectors of which gyms have been hit the worst.

In an interview with News9 Live, a gym owner spoke his mind on the resumption of many services except gyms. Many trainers have no other source of income as this is their livelihood. The owner has expressed concerns over mounting rents ranging anywhere from Rs.60,000 to Rs.1 Lakhs. Staff and trainers are yet to be paid their salary which is not possible due to gyms remaining shut. Gyms require frequent maintenance to keep the machines running smooth and ensuring that dumbbells, barbells and weight plates are not affected by rust or other forms of damage. There’s also the ethical issue of users wanting an extension in the gym membership due to the lockdown.

Trainers in local gyms are not paid ludicrous amounts. According to the interview, gym trainer earns Rs.15,000 a month, which looks like a meager amount for the trainer being the only breadwinner in the household. There are over 2000 gyms established all over Karnataka over which 400 face permanent shutdown if the extended lockdown doesn’t permit use of gyms. Contrary to many other businesses, gyms remain shut with no special relief packages or resumption of businesses in the fitness industry.

Despite gym owners appealing to the state government for opening of gyms, the only known notice is that gyms have a possibility of opening in the third phase of the lockdown. This will result in many gym owners having to shut their business down and explore other avenues. Personal trainers are already struggling with employment due to no opportunities and the road for gyms and people of the fitness industry might have a long struggle ahead if there is no government assistance.

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