Local Gym Celebrates Anniversary & Wellness Amid Industry-Changing Pandemic
Long before virtual workouts were popularized out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Flex Force Training owner, Katey Smyth, was revolutionizing how wellness could be prioritized out of one’s own home. Her training and nutritional programs were ahead of their time when she launched this new kind of gym in 2014 and now Flex Force Training will be marking its three-year anniversary in their brick-and-mortar location in Hulmeville, PA on October 1st.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all industries, but gyms in particular have been hit by business closures and physical distancing requirements to help mitigate the spread of the virus. According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the fitness lobbying group, 15% of gyms have closed their doors for good since September of last year. The industry has been hit with an estimated loss of $15 billion in revenue and 480,000 jobs.
The $32 billion industry has suffered declining memberships across the board since the start of the pandemic, and yet, once again, Flex Force Training managed to set itself apart from the rest, to not only survive through the pandemic, but to actually show growth over the past year and a half of unforeseen obstacles.
“I feel really proud of how we’ve chosen to handle the challenges of this time at Flex Force,” said Smyth. “Since I started this business seven years ago, I’ve held myself to higher levels of ethical decision making, from my hiring process to the services I offer my clients, and how we weathered this storm of the pandemic was no exception.”
With a combination of creative accounting through payment reimbursements, informed decision making and guidance from federal and state health officials, and mutual trust between Smyth and her clientele, Flex Force Training never even had to consider shuttering their doors permanently.
The same cannot be said of some of the larger brand-name gyms, many of which have been forced to file bankruptcy since the start of the pandemic, such as 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and Town Sports International.
So, how exactly has this newer and smaller local gym managed to thrive when others have not?
From the beginning, Smyth knew her gym was not going to be a facsimile of the corporate gyms she chose to leave behind. Hers would be a more personal approach. Flex Force offers a high-end experience at budget-friendly pricing, more affordable and intimate than what can often be found at warehouse-style facilities.
As such, Flex Force has been the catalyst for lasting friendships. The gym has served as a haven of sorts, where a diverse clientele of all walks of life, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, and ages come together in the pursuit of personal wellness.
“We’ve made sure our clients feel really safe when they’re in our facility,” Smyth continued. “One of the many things this past year and a half has taught people is that we always need to be prioritizing our health. Flex Force allows everyone to do that in a supportive and positive environment. That’s something we all need in our lives.
“Our mission at Flex Force Training is pretty simple: We are a place where people can come on their good days and on their bad days. That’s why we’re here.”
Flex Force Training will be kicking off their anniversary commemoration with an open house on Saturday, September 25th at 8:00 AM and a class workout on Saturday, October 2nd at 9:00 AM. Members and non-members are invited to join the celebration at 3 Hulme Avenue, Floor 2, Hulmeville, PA 19047.
Flex Force Training offers private training, small group training, group classes, such as kickboxing, TRX, barre, and yoga, as well as nutritional programs, and team/ sports training.
To learn more, visit http://flexforcetraining.com.