West Wood Clubs Ireland Invests $600,000 in Outdoor Fitness
West Wood Clubs Ireland has invested $600,000 into their new OutFit Studios in order to continue offering members an outdoor fitness area.
Originally, outdoor fitness classes at West Wood were in response to the Irish government’s decision to ban indoor fitness classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is still in place in Ireland, and will likely remain in place for the next few months.
“After the first lockdown in March 2020, we did a piecemeal job of providing classes outside,” said Alan Leach, the CEO and director of marketing and sales at West Wood Clubs Ireland. “People were loving the group fitness classes outdoors, they just couldn’t get enough. We decided immediately that if anything was going to remain after COVID, it was going to be outdoor fitness.”
The OutFit Studios are mainly used for group fitness classes such as Les Mills, yoga, Pilates, circuits, Spinning and group personal training — basically, everything except AquaFit.
Of West Wood’s six locations in Dublin, four will have an OutFit Studio which can accommodate up to 75 participants at a time. Two of their smaller clubs will not have an OutFit Studio, as they are city based and don’t have the space.
Leach explained when they have a vision for something new, they start by asking themselves, “What do we want the experience to be?” They blueprinted everything like a stage play and organized focus groups to ensure they could get it right.
Each OutFit Studio is being decked out with sound systems, lighting systems and full stages for three trainers leading up to 75 people. Each studio is a permeant picture and constructed out of steel — like a rock concert stage show.
“I believe, more than anything, outdoor fitness options at clubs will be the one thing that will remain after COVID,” said Leach. “Particularly outdoor group fitness. I believe you will see clubs who are progressive will invest as much in their outdoor studios as they do in the indoor studios. I believe it will be even more popular than online fitness.”