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Since 2016, influencer-driven workout brand Gymshark has been high on Fast Track’s list of 100 fastest growing UK companies, reporting a turnover of £200m in 2019. During the COVID-19 quarantine, Gymshark continues to grow by expanding their online presence, offering online personal training and virtual workouts.

In a YouTube update on Gymshark’s response to the coronavirus, founder Ben Francis emphasized that his top priority is the safety of staff, athletes, and the Gymshark community. He encouraged viewers to follow public officials’ guidelines to stay home and explained headquarters staff are working from home. He also explained distribution centers are taking safety precautions so that online orders can continue as usual.

Francis also explained that while the brand’s Lifting Club has had to close under quarantine, the Lift Club’s coaches are now offering home workouts for lifters to follow along with at home. In addition to online personal workouts, the Gymshark team has also shared information on how best to work out from home and announced an online workout festival to boost morale within the fitness community.

Like any good e-commerce brand, Gymshark has been growing with the new COVID-19 consumer. This workout apparel retailer once boosted their brand with online influencers. Now, they are using their online presence to expand their company into a virtual gym.

Personal Training Goes Virtual

With gyms closing to prevent the spread of the virus, many fitness professionals have been laid off or seen reduced hours. In an effort to expand Gymshark’s services online and connect personal trainers with needed work, Gymshark has been live-streaming workouts to their nearly two million followers from their Facebook page.

Francis explained, “We realized that gyms were closing globally, and PT’s would be struggling for work. So, what we did is we put out a post and said, ‘You know, anyone who’s a PT and who’s struggling, please get in touch with us. We’ll pay you an hourly rate and, essentially, you will go on our Facebook and do live streams and live stream workouts globally so that people watching from home can take part and keep mentally and physically fit from home.’”

Additionally, within the company, employees have continued their weekly Gymshark 66 Challenge from home. Each week, staff publish a new fitness challenge to YouTube and nominate different people in business to take part, inviting viewers at home to do the same.

Continuing this challenge from home has allowed Gymshark to expand their visibility during the pandemic while offering people under quarantine a way to participate in a workout community.

Gymshark Shares Tips for Working Out from Home

In addition to offering online personal training and fitness challenges, Gymshark has provided clients with tips on how to set up a personal fitness space at home.

They explain essential success factors like emphasizing effort over equipment, the difference between outdoor and indoor workouts, and the importance of designating a workout space. They also discuss ways to find motivation, the types of workouts that are most easily done from home, and how to structure a workout for optimal results.

Offering their customers a way to optimize their home workouts has allowed Gymshark to keep their customers connected to the Gymshark community, albeit from a distance.

Lift Online Festival

Another way Gymshark has grown during the quarantine is by expanding their athlete influencer presence with the Lift Online Festival.

Long before the pandemic, Gymshark’s influencer partnerships and storytelling had changed the playing field in fitness retail. Their innovative marketing strategy of sending fitness apparel to niche YouTubers gave the brand its start in 2012. Now that the brand’s consumers are stuck at home, Gymshark’s influencer presence has become a way for Gymshark to virtualize an “online celebrity gym.”

During the festival, Youtubers, Instagram influencers, and Tik Tok personalities including singer-dancer Nicole Scherzinger, YouTube boxer KSI, YouTube athlete Behzinga, and makeup artist Ariel stream live workouts and tutorials. Gymshark has even added dancing and makeup tutorials their evermore innovative reconceptualization of the fitness world.

The announcement for the festival explains, “We can’t come to Lift The City in your country right now, so we thought we’d Lift The Sofa in your living room instead.”

By developing their already innovative online presence, Gymshark has found a way to grow its advertising and online workouts during a time when most companies are shrinking rather than expanding.

Gymshark Conditioning Workout App

People generally find that they experience time differently during the quarantine. Things are less structured, and it is especially difficult to meet personal fitness goals from the living room.

So, in addition to providing online workouts and events, Gymshark also offers an app for strategizing working out from home. With over 900 exercises, customizable routines, and five, three, and one-day training plans, clients can track their progress and goals.

The app also allows users to share their custom workouts and plans, providing Gymshark a way to reach new consumers as well as stay connected with the original Gymshark community.

Sales are doing good, but this could go on a long time.’

In his YouTube update on Gymshark’s response to the quarantine, Ben Francis explains that with low fixed costs and the company working from home, things are looking good for now.

However, it is important for brands like Gymshark to continue to look for growth in these times of uncertainty. Building a multifaceted online fitness community is allowing Gymshark to not only sustain but expand their company during the pandemic.

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