COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Drinking more water, reading more books… as people ring in the new year some are setting resolutions to get in shape for 2022. Gyms in Columbus took a financial hit during the pandemic, but they are now working to bounce back — as they encourage people to make fitness a priority in the new year.

When it came to fitness regimes in the pandemic, people either adapted or put their routines on the backburner. For Darrel Wright, owner of Wright Way Fitness, it was either “think out of the box” or risk falling victim to the pandemic’s impacts.

“We stayed engaged with our clients. We did a lot of video calls and video training with our clients to stay in touch with them. Once it opened up again, it was wonderful.”

Darrel Wright, Owner of Wright Way Fitness

For Wright, adapting to the times paid off. The same resilience he built as an athlete, as Middle Georgia’s track and cross country champion and four-time Georgia Golden Glove champion, helped guide him during a time of uncertainty for the fitness industry. As many businesses went under, Wright was able to expand his gym to a second warehouse. 

For most people, setting New Year’s Resolutions is easy… sticking with them is the hard part. 

Another Columbus gym, 9Round Fitness, is using their unique scheduling model to attract customers that otherwise may feel pressure to commit to a set workout time each day. 

“We’re not on schedule. You can work with your schedule and get in here, get a workout…  that’s what helps you stick with your workout plans and new years resolutions. Not having to be at class at a certain time. Come in whenever you want.”

Lee Stephens, Owner and Operator of 9Round Columbus

9Round was hit with a 30% revenue loss during the pandemic, but the gym was bustling with clients in the first week of the New Year. Obesity emerged as a strong risk factor for severe infection and death due to COVID-19; pandemic also heightened the importance of cardiovascular health. 

“We love to see people get in shape. We love to see people feel better about themselves, look better. Looking better is great but when you feel better about yourself that’s a win.”

Lee Stephens, Owner and Operator of 9Round Columbus