Gyms and fitness centers around the world have been forced to close down indefinitely, resulting in unprecedented job losses for millions of health and fitness professionals. Even as the country enters Level 3 of lockdown and people are free to exercise outside at any time of the day, playing sports or attending a physical gym is prohibited.
Most gyms have attempted to offer some form of ‘virtual classes’ to a varying level of success but with the need to support large overheads, this is not sustainable for traditional bricks and mortar gyms.
JEFF Fitness took a different approach. At the start of lockdown, they launched their live daily workouts to help people connect and stay fit and healthy in the face of the global pandemic. Within a few short weeks, the JEFF Together Facebook group membership has grown to over 40 000 people from over 99 countries.
Founder, Johno Meintjes explains what he believes to be the secret to their success: “We have managed to build a virtual gym, based on the power of true, authentic connection. We exercise in order to get fitter, stronger and healthier, in order to see results. But everything associated with those results comes down to connection.”
The community provides constant support to each other, sharing their progress and cheering each other on. “This is unique in the fitness industry and something I’ve never seen before. It’s incredible,” adds Johno.
Live classes on offer include daily HIIT classes, Yoga, Kids classes, guided runs and even cooking sessions. Members can take part live or complete any workout whenever it suits them, from their homes at a monthly subscription of R200. All classes are streamed from the JEFF Together Facebook group and are free to take part in to try before subscribing.
“What makes this all worthwhile are the heartwarming and vulnerable stories that our community share with us, be it a weight, fitness or mental issue that they have overcome. The messages of positivity, hope and strength have overwhelmed us and this is what keeps us going,” says Johno.
The company hosted South Africa’s Biggest Online Workout on 13 April date where over 17 000 people from around the country tuned in live, to sweat it out from the comfort of their own homes. With over 300 000 workout views later, JEFF Fitness is redefining the ‘new normal’ of the fitness industry.
“The results our community has shared with us are unbelievable,” says Johno. “Not only are they telling us about how they are reaching their health and fitness goals, but how we are helping them place routine, structure, and connection at the center of their lives.”
Discovery Vitality has partnered with JEFF Fitness to host special workouts where all Vitality members can register to earn 300 points for their workout. The next Vitality workout, #HeartCoreWorkout, in support of World Heart Rhythm Week, is taking place on 6 June. All are welcome to join!