During COVID-related shutdowns, many fitness businesses were forced to turn to creative new ways to bring revenue through the door. One strategy? The implementation of fitness equipment borrowing programs. Here’s a closer look at this trend, along with a few things fitness businesses should know about going this route.

Gyms and Workout Equipment Borrowing Programs

Streaming workouts took off in a big way during the coronavirus pandemic. But what about for gym members who didn’t have the equipment they needed to continue working toward their fitness goals? 

Many gyms responded with equipment rental programs for everything from weights and resistance bands to exercise bikes. Some, like Washington DC’s Cut Seven, offered comprehensive at-home training equipment packages for a flat fee containing everything a home exerciser needed to keep up with the group’s at-home workouts, while others, like DC’s Balance Gym, allowed current members to borrow larger equipment like rowers and spin bikes for rental fees, according to a Washingtonian report on the trend. Others still have included smaller rentals as a perk of maintaining an active membership while the gym’s physical doors are closed. 

The Benefits of Equipment Rentals

Equipment rental programs turned out to be a win-win for many fitness businesses and their members. In addition to providing a new revenue stream for gyms from equipment that was otherwise sitting there dormant, it also supported member engagement in several key ways. These include maintaining a feeling of connection with the gym, supporting their regular workout routines, increasing the workout options available, and showing that the gym was still there for them — even if not in the bricks-and-mortar capacity to which clients were accustomed. 

Getting a Fitness Equipment Program Up and Running

In concept, an equipment rental program is relatively simple. However, some basic practices can help fitness businesses keep things running smoothly. This starts with deciding which equipment you’ll rent and the terms of the rentals. Will arrangements be daily, weekly, monthly, or variable?  Will you offer delivery and pick-up of the equipment, or will members be responsible for those aspects? 

After you’ve hashed out these details, it’s time to put them in writing by designing a rental agreement. This will not only be used for signouts, but also to ensure that members understand the terms of equipment rentals, including expectations and instructions. 

Terms and conditions document.

Also, be sure to have an organized system in place for tracking the details between each equipment rental, including what was rented, to whom, the date of the rental, and the agreed-upon return date. 

Lastly, don’t forget to advertise your fitness equipment rental program. In addition to getting the word out to your members via email, social media, and other channels, you explore other channels as well — especially if you’re considering extending the program to non-members. 

While implementing a fitness equipment rental program does take some work, the upsides of making your equipment continue to work for you makes it worth the initial investment in many cases. As wearables and fitness monitoring technology continue to dominate fitness industry trends, you may also consider renting out fitness monitoring technology, if you’ve already implemented it into your operations. If not, what are you waiting for?  Download the catalog to learn more about the AccuroFit System today.