Outdoor fitness in lockdown: McFit pumps in the parking lot

Outdoor-Fitness im Lockdown
McFit pumps in the parking lot

The fitness industry has been idle since November and an opening of the studios is not in sight for the time being. McFit founder Schaller has had enough of it. He comes up with a sports concept for outdoors. If you are not afraid of the freezing temperatures in winter, you can swing your dumbbells outdoors.

All hopes of the fitness industry to finally be able to reopen were disappointed at the lockdown summit on Wednesday: The studios in Germany must remain closed. However, the McFit company no longer wants to remain inactive and has developed a concept that, according to its own information, complies with the Corona restrictions: outside in the parking lot in front of the studio doors.

McFit boss Rainer Schaller lets his customers train in front of the studios.

(Foto: picture alliance/dpa)

On the online page it says: “With McFit Outdoor we create the opportunity to do a hard workout with heavy weights and the right pump even during lockdown, while still offering you maximum safety.”

Rainer Schaller, head of the McFit parent company RSG Group, explains that people are going on the offensive now, of all times, with the fact that people would have to move again after 15 weeks of lockdown. “It is a fundamental problem when people cannot do sports. Right now fitness is more important than ever to strengthen physical and mental health,” quotes the “Bild” newspaper, Schaller.

The aim is “to continue to accompany the members despite studio closings and to remain their partner in everyday life – albeit in a new way: both digitally at home and when training in the fresh air”. The outdoor training is scheduled to start this Saturday at 1 p.m. in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Rostock, Braunschweig, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Magdeburg and Neunkirchen. In the federal states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony, McFit has dispensed with outdoor studios due to the current Corona rules.

In order to give the members a touch of the studio feeling outdoors, fitness equipment was set up in specially rented parking spaces in areas of 200 to 300 square meters. “We set up tents in the parking lots of 10 studios and brought out free weights and equipment,” McFit informs on the online site. Where there is no curfew, you can train until 10 p.m.

According to the “Bild” newspaper, the Berlin infectiologist and hygiene professor Klaus-Dieter Zastrow is responsible for the hygiene concept. As a precaution, the group also had an expert report prepared to analyze the legal situation in the federal states and to secure its concept, it says.

Offer for die-hard people

About distance rules, disinfection measures and a face mask (which must be worn at all times – even during training) McFit also informs online. Members who want to take advantage of the offer must book an appointment online. You can train for a maximum of 45 minutes. Changing rooms and toilets remain closed due to legal regulations, but there should be Dixi toilets at every location.

It remains to be seen how the authorities will evaluate this action. It is also unclear whether the customers will accept the offer and want to strain their muscles outside and lift weights when it feels like minus ten degrees. It is not known whether the tents are heated.

One motivation behind this winter offer could be the decline in membership. There is no information on this either. Most recently, many fitness studios simply extended their customers’ contracts or did not accept timely terminations, which caused a lot of trouble. The Consumer advice centers have asked not to accept that. Ordinary dismissals were still possible, even in Corona times.

The corona crisis and the lockdown are hitting companies and their employees hard. There have already been attempts with alternative offers, such as how fitness studios can continue to be used under pandemic conditions. An operator from Lower Saxony, for example, has developed a presence concept that allows for the hourly subletting of her studio to individuals or their households.

The contract is concluded in advance and access is made possible by means of QR codes, which are activated for the respective period of use. The administrative court of Hanover decided in an urgent procedure that the operation in this form according to the Corona regulation.

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