Will gyms survive the pandemic? Image: StevePB / Pixabay.

COVID-19 restrictions have hit the fitness industry hard, leaving thousands of employees and fitness professionals jobless.

A new survey from Fitness Australia has revealed about 35,000 fitness professionals have lost their jobs nationally since the pandemic began.

Up to 80 per cent of sole traders in the industry have been hit financially and 100 per cent of fitness studios and gyms have lost income.

According to the survey, all gyms have cut hours and let staff go.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee has released figures that show employment in the industry dropped by almost half last year from 117,800 to 61,200.

Anytime Fitness 2IC Annecke Mans said her gym moved many classes online when the pandemic hit.

“We have Facebook live classes to allow our members to stay active from home,” Ms Mans said.

“We have to keep members encouraged to push past setbacks such a gym closures when they are working towards a specific goal.

“We post workouts members can do at home and we try and keep them engaged as much as we can.”

Personal trainer Nathan Peterson said his work has been significantly impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has directly affected business for me as all my revenue is earned training clients in the gym, no gym, no income,” Mr Peterson said.

“I was one of the lucky ones as I kept a backup job at Woolworths knowing the possibility of another lockdown and I can’t afford to lose income entirely.

“Those without income protection insurance have been relying on savings and government funds to live off.”

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