The hard business lessons Covid is about to teach


I have very few friends who could plausibly be described as gym fanatics.

But I do have one in London who has been working out with weights since he was 14, up to six days a week, most recently at a nice health club that costs him £30 a month, thanks to a corporate discount.

He’s in his early forties and when he told me last week he had cancelled his membership and was never going back, I was shocked.

It turned out life in lockdown had led him to consult YouTube, where he had discovered callisthenics — exercises you can do at home without barbells or fancy equipment.

Out went bench presses in the gym. In came chest dips at his kitchen bench, with results he had never thought possible.

“In the six months I’ve been doing callisthenics, I’ve reshaped my body and got so much stronger,” he said, a note of wonder in his voice. Everyone at work had dumped their gym memberships too, he added, as had his wife. And just think: but for the pandemic, he never would have thought of doing something he wished he had started years ago.

Listening to him talk reminded me of a question that keeps recurring as the Covid crisis goes on.

Will my friend’s discovery — and others like it — end up leaving even deeper scars on some business sectors than the lockdowns and social distancing that are…

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