When COVID-19 hit Manitoba, The Community Gym had to choose between shutting down their entire business or creating something new. They quickly opted for innovation, expanded their motto to ‘Your at-home workout doesn’t have to suck,’ and launched COMMUNITY365, an online program they plan to continue forever.
“People want to be able to access their workouts at home on their own schedule. [Community] is by-the-people, for-the-people, and I’m really proud of it,” says owner Amie Seier.
Amie says Community experimented for months before finding the best fit for their customers. Two of their biggest changes were reconstructing their physical location to provide gym goers with more space to distance during workouts and buying high-quality camera equipment to record their workouts for an online platform.
“We did it because we wanted to survive,” she says.
COMMUNITY365 now has over 100 workout videos with new workouts added weekly, six different class types, and 13 instructors. Amie says their classes are all modified to be online-friendly and do not require equipment. If you have it, you can use it — but Community doesn’t let a lack of equipment limit their customers.
“Different people like different things and you’re going to find something you like with us, so I encourage all Manitobans to sign up for COMMUNITY365 and keep moving because it’s so important,” says Amie.
She credits Community’s fitness instructors for the successful switchover to online.
“Our instructors are the best in the city, so I want them to be able to share their talents with people.”
The Community Gym stands by accessibility and community, and their new online platform represents those values. Their main goal is to keep Manitobans moving and healthy, while reminding them they don’t need a lot of equipment at home.
“People think you need all this elaborate stuff to have a really good workout, but you could do so much from home, and it doesn’t have to suck. You don’t have to go on YouTube and find some boring workout. We’ve put a lot of thought behind all of our classes,” says Amie.
Community had customers in mind while designing the entire program, including the price point. For $38 per month, members have access to the entire program and can stay connected through an online community. To motivate people even further, the program currently offers the first two weeks free.
Amie says she’s glad the gym has maintained its tight knit community throughout the shutdowns, and she anticipates a busy return to in-person classes in the future.
“It really reaffirms that people value Community. I could go out and buy a whole fleet of bikes and push selling them, but we decided to focus on being accessible. That’s what we are at Community — we’re an accessible business. People of all shapes and sizes can come here and find a good workout, just like they can find a good workout online with little to no equipment and still feel really good about it,” says Amie.
Along with the new program, Community has also launched multiple workout challenges, branded equipment, and a clothing line in collaboration with Lululemon.
To join the online Community, visit thecommunitygym.ca.
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