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Hygiene Will Never Be The Same

Hygiene Will Never Be The Same

March 26, 2020

Mar 23 – 5min read

I always felt like 2020 would be the year I would never forget.  My wife and I had started trying for a family, we had moved into a new place in a great neighborhood and our professional careers were taking off.  I am sure most of you started 2020 with the same anticipation.

Then, without warning, out of nowhere came a scenario that none of us could have foreseen or had previously lived through.  We have all felt the impact of the outbreak of Covid-19 in some way.  Yet, as challenging as this time has been and will continue to be, it will come to an end. 

I wanted to share some thoughts over a series of blogs that can hopefully inspire us all to focus on the potential of the future.  There is a business context, but my absolute hope is that our value system will shift towards a deeper concern for each other and taking responsibility for our combined well-being. 

“Make no mistake though; excellent hygiene is now, and, will forever be a service expected by your members”

With the outbreak of Covid-19, hygiene will never be the same.  To be honest, I thought I was a clean person and so are you I’m sure, but I think from now most of us will be re-assessing our personal hygiene practices and agree we have been coming up short. 

The response by fitness boxing and boxing gyms to combat the situation has been nothing short of extraordinary.  How the industry has pivoted to still offer their members’ value remotely and instituting a whole range of new hygiene measures has been incredibly motivating.  Witnessing this through social media platforms has made me re-think the way I go about offering value.

Make no mistake though; excellent hygiene is now, and, will forever be a service expected by your members.  Hygiene will also be a high priority in the decision making of your future prospects.  In other words, hygiene is a new competitive advantage and to the degree that you approach this you can separate yourself from the competition.

The focal point of today’s blog is the concept of having boxing gloves for rent.  To do that we need to nerd it up for a bit so that we can understand what’s in our sweat.

“Bacteria takes innocent, non-smelly chemicals and turns them into our human stank!”

Sweat is an acidic liquid secreted through the body’s 2.5 million eccrine glands.  It is choc-full of nutrients including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium.  Most people, as I did, would assume that sweat is the cause of body odor, smelly clothes and of course stinky boxing gloves. 

In actual fact, as a recent study undertaken at the University of York, England confirms, “bacteria takes innocent, non-smelly chemicals and turn them into our human stank!” Interesting isn’t it?  The vast majority of the bacteria that inhabits us is good for us and needed in order to be healthy.  However, like I am towards gelato and dark chocolate, bacteria can’t get enough of sweat! 

“Would you borrow your flat mates’ socks after he had finished his five-mile run?”

Boxing is the only sport I can think of where participants are given the option to use second-hand equipment.  Think about that for a minute.  Would you use someone else’s towel at the gym after their session?  Or, would you borrow your flat mates’ socks after he has finished his five-mile run?  Worse, would you use communal towels and socks after they had been used time and time again without being cleaned to a hygienic state?

You wouldn’t, and now, neither will your members. 

We are now all enlightened with regards to the transmission of infectious disease.  How simple does it seem now to catch something through the bacteria shared in the loaning of boxing gloves?  Whether we are talking about a cold, flu, or a simple exposed cut on your hand.  It now seems all too easy to transmit. 

Trust me when I say that whether you offer equipment to rent or not, from this point on it will have no positive bearing whatsoever on whether your prospect chooses your gym as their place to exercise or not.  Especially if that prospect is a female.  Women simply won’t accept putting their hand in a smelly, stinky, pre-used boxing glove.

Things are beginning to look up

So, let’s bright side this to finish things off.  What serendipities can you expect to come as a result of a new way of looking at hygiene?

No longer offering gloves to rent will reinforce to your members how committed you are to your new-found hygiene philosophy.  My suggestion is to explain this to them but honestly you will have no trouble in them accepting this.

Not having to purchase and replace rental boxing gloves will also relieve you of the financial burden of buying and maintaining the equipment.  It was never your responsibility to supply equipment to someone for an activity someone else chooses to do.  Let me repeat that.  It was never your responsibility to supply equipment to someone for an activity someone else chooses to do.  If I swim, I have my own goggles.  If I play football or soccer, I have my own ball. If I play cricket, I have my own bat and whites.

Losing the smelly rental gloves will also relieve you of the risk that one of your members contract anything that could compromise their health.  It will also remove some of the bad odor that inhabits the gym. 

It’s also helpful to remember that we have an endless supply of the best disinfectant on the planet at our disposal, the Sun.  Yes, disinfect your gloves and wash your hand wraps or quick wraps but nothing beats the Sun when it comes to killing bacteria.

It’s amazing how quickly your attitude can change when you start looking forward to the possibilities. 

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