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At the beginning of November last year, the RSG Group responded to the officially ordered closure of its fitness studios in Germany with a temporary solution and an innovative concept: with its McFIT brand, it is now also giving members in Germany the opportunity to train outdoors – at 10 selected locations. In collaboration with renowned infectious diseases expert Prof. Dr Klaus-Dieter Zastrow, the brand has developed its own hygiene concept as a responsible approach to the virus. The conclusion of Professor Zastrow’s assessment of the outdoor gyms: “Coronavirus particles are unlikely to be transmitted during physical training activities outdoors if specific operating and organizational procedures are observed.”

Fitness as an important building block for maintaining physical health
Scientific studies show that good physical fitness is an important foundation for successfully managing diseases and offers crucial protection from a higher risk of severe symptoms in the case of infectious diseases. Preventative endurance and strength training helps us to stay in balance both physically and mentally and supports the body’s ability to deal with internal and external stressors such as COVID-19. Studies even suggest that just one training session per week can reduce the risk of depression. “People not being able to exercise poses a fundamental problem. To help strengthen our physical mental health, fitness is more important than eve right now,” says Rainer Schaller, CEO and founder of the RSG Group, which gym brand McFIT belongs to. “For many active athletes, the training options at home aren’t enough. Our goal is to continue supporting our members, despite the gym closures and to remain their partner on a daily basis – albeit in a new way: both digitally at home and also outdoors in the fresh air,” adds Schaller.

A comprehensive legal, safety and hygiene concept
The RSG Group is attaching particularly great importance to the adherence of all applicable legislation and the current provisions of Germany’s Infection Protection Act. To decide on the locations, the group of companies had a specially prepared legal opinion drawn up to evaluate the legal situation in Germany’s various federal states and to safeguard its concept. “Thanks to our careful preparations, today we are in a position to open 10 outdoor gyms in 10 different states. Additional locations in Germany and Austria are already in the pipeline,” said Hagen Wingertszahn, General Manager of McFIT Germany. “We are delighted to be able to offer our members in Hamburg, Bremen, Rostock, Braunschweig, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Magdeburg, Neunkirchen and Berlin a place where they can finally work on their own fitness, far removed from their own living rooms,” Wingertszahn adds.

Economic repercussions for the fitness industry
Since the forced closure of gyms and fitness centers, the fitness industry has experienced a drastic reduction in members and overall turnover, not only last year, but also in the current year. As things stand, it’s hard to say how devastating the economic and health repercussions of the second lockdown will be for the fitness industry. “But one thing is sure: saying that we are “too big to fail” just won’t cut it anymore. The industry’s big players are also meanwhile affected. Fitness studios will be forced to disappear from the market due to cashflow problems. This disastrous scenario has already been experienced by numerous gym operators in the USA. I am sure that this wave will also hit Europe—and the longer lockdown lasts, the more dramatic it will be,” is how Rainer Schaller summed up the current situation of the fitness industry.

Rules for training in an outdoor gym
To train in the outdoor spaces, members need to pre-book a time slot online. All slots are limited to a length of 45 minutes. This ensures that the maximum capacity is not exceeded and that members can be tracked and traced afterwards if necessary.
Depending on the weather, the choice of the right sportswear is important and members are encouraged to get changed at home rather than on site. Due to the statutory regulations in place, the changing rooms and WCs remain closed. Portable toilets are available at every location. In all locations where there is currently no nightly curfew, it is possible to train in the outdoor areas between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm.

Find out more at www.mcfit.com


About RSG Group:
With 6.4 million members in studios and digital offers, the RSG Group is the world’s No. 1 when it comes to fitness. Our strong brands and future-oriented concepts include the world’s most well-known fitness brand Gold’s Gym, fitness studio chains McFIT, the JOHN REED family (JOHN REED Fitness Music Club, JOHN REED Women’s Club, JOHN & JANE’S, THE REED) and High5, online workouts CYBEROBICS, fitness planner app LOOX, the unique training experience Master of Enthusiasm, our own sports nutrition Qi², our in-house model agencies McFIT MODELS and PEARL Management, artist management agency TIGERPOOL that represents fashion label MARCELL VON BERLIN and street artist RON MILLER, exclusive cake brand Steven Baker and THE MIRAI, where we motivate millions of people to get more active while having fun. With our varied portfolio, we ensure we remain a key component of our customers’ active everyday lives.

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