Fitness classes pick up the online pace

Posted on May 05, 2021 | Atlantic Business Magazine | 0 Comments

U.S.-based Peloton is not the only business to find success offering in-home exercise options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Nova Scotia, Evolve Fitness co-owner Matthew Benvie says pre-pandemic he had yet to offer group workouts online. And yet, when speaking to Atlantic Business Magazine in early March, his company had reached 75 virtual sessions a week.

Evolve emerged from Benvie’s one-to-one work as a personal trainer, alongside twin brother Mitch Benvie. The company launched a gym on Clyde Street in downtown Halifax in 2009, moving to a new location on Cunard Street in 2013. In 2018, Mitch came aboard as a co-owner and there was another expansion, with a move to Strawberry Hill Street. The twins opened a second gym in Bedford, Nova Scotia in fall 2018.

The day-to-day and repeat expansions kept them busy, until stay-at-home orders hit in 2020. Right away, the brothers opted to tap into some audio-visual expertise within their close-knit client pool and transformed their “bootcamp” rooms to online studios.

Their virtual classes drew new members from throughout Atlantic Canada. Then they increased their service offering with corporate wellness services developed in response to pandemic anxiety and demand. More people logged in from further afield, including Nova Scotians now living in the United Stated, France, Brazil. Word spread from there.

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