Home Exercise Equipment Brands are Getting in Shape

With gyms across the country closed down and strong demand from consumers who may have put on their own “COVID 19” while in lockdown, home exercise equipment brands are facing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For example, two of the largest names in adjustable dumbbells, Core Home and Bowflex®, have both been completely sold out since June.

Third party sellers who still have some of these dumbbells in stock have marked them up by hundreds of dollars, unsure of when they’ll be able to replenish their inventory. Used products have also been in very high demand, with Kantar analyst Amar Singh noting that “social markets have been flooded with supply,” and that he’s even seen some companies “go straight to Facebook Marketplace because they can get better value out of it.”

This is one pandemic trend that seems like it has major staying power even after lockdown restrictions are eventually lifted. According to the Future of Fitness survey conducted by Wakefield Research, nine out of ten Americans who exercise regularly have said that they plan to continue working out at home even after it becomes safe to return to the gym.

Expensive, high-tech equipment has seen particular growth. Sales of the rowing machine Hydrow®, which provides users with “a full-body workout and immersive experience that takes you on waterways around the world,” jumped 400% in April. The machine itself retails for $2,200 and requires a membership subscription that costs $456/year. Peloton®, perhaps the most well-known name in premium home exercise equipment, saw their own revenue surge 66% in the third quarter of this year.

With their suite of home workout classes led by expert instructors, Peloton® is very well-positioned to bring in new consumers who miss the gym experience – especially members of luxury gyms like Equinox, who have already demonstrated that they are willing to pay a premium price for access to a quality workout.

Even Apple is getting ready to enter this growing field of high-tech home exercise products. Reportedly, they are gearing up to release their own “subscription that provides access to a content library of virtual fitness classes,” which sounds a lot like Peloton®.

Weightlifting brands are evidently scrambling to become “the next Peloton®” . One contender here is Tonal, a $3,000 “smart strength training device” that offers a range of workout options that replicate several different types of gym equipment in one product. There’s also Tempo, which uses AI and 3D sensors to track specific information about a user’s form and abilities and makes tailored recommendations. The idea in this case is to not only replace the gym, but also the personal trainer.

Home exercise equipment is a booming industry with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, when the next few months deliver dropping temperatures and earlier sunsets, we may see even more consumers migrating to premium fitness products as outdoor workouts become less attractive and feasible. With major tech companies like Apple already eyeing the space, there could soon be even more advancements for consumers to take advantage of to get the best possible workout experience.  

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