Gyms across the country were forced to shut their doors when the country was thrust into lockdown in March 2020.
For some Tauranga gyms, the drop in business meant they were unable to open their doors again, while others used the time to get the cogs moving on new business ventures.
Tauranga's Vanita and Reece Spee had to make the tough decision not to reopen their local gym S.P.E.E Training in Mount Maunganui after lockdown and more than 20 years in the industry.
Vanita said the feeling had been "surreal" and they had been "stunned at first" but quickly jumped into action to come up with ideas to not let down their customers, and offer them an online gym option.
After being out of the game for almost a year, the pair jumped into a new opportunity at Tauranga's Flex Fitness, which Vanita says was "exactly what we were hoping for".
"After being away from the gym environment for so long, we missed it and our members. Upon reflection, there were a lot of things we enjoyed and some we didn't. So we put it out to the universe."
Soon afterwards they were offered positions at a "conventional gym", which she says allowed the pair to home in on their drive and passion for the industry and community without the business stuff they did not enjoy as much.
The gym currently had 900 members and Vanita said their involvement would be "huge" and the future was looking "very exciting".
On the other side of the coin, Mount Maunganui's Fit Nation opened its doors in October last year after planning for the new gym began in lockdown.
General manager Nic Haldezos said he began talks with Pato and Monique Alvarez throughout the nationwide lockdown as the pair both had a dream of opening a "one-stop-shop" gym in the city.
"Judging by researching, we were expecting a different kind of surge in the fitness industry post-lockdown."
He said people would have a new awareness of their health and expect more from their gym.
People who did not undertake physical activity were more susceptible to getting sick, he said, and Covid-19 gave many the jolt they needed.
The gym had four functional fitness classes, boxing, yoga and wellness workshops, massage and saunas, a cafe and even childcare, along with its everyday gym machines.
"More than ever gyms need to provide a community for people so we worked hard to make sure that was a priority.
"We are always looking to go two steps further for our clients."
After many years in the industry, he said concentrating on members on a personal level was vital and any gym that went bust in lockdown had failed to do that.
Bout Fitness owner Estelle Baigent said the gym community they had created and not being a franchised operation made all the difference for them during and after lockdown.
"We work out with our members, they know us well. If they didn't, I think things would have been a lot different."
She said these relationships meant many members chose to continue paying their full membership fees of about $45 a week to support Baigent and her husband through the hard time.
"They didn't have to pay but they wanted to."
She said they got innovative and kept a strong online presence with two live workouts a day for both paying and non-paying members, and worked to provide support and online promotion to other members who owned local businesses.
Local business owners were also offered a free month of membership post-lockdown to help them through the rough time, she said.
She said they had come out "stronger" post-lockdown, with new member numbers "flourishing" as people realised how vital exercise was for both their mental and physical health.
Sport Bay of Plenty's communication team leader Danene Jones said during lockdown there was a noticeable increase of people utilising their local environment to keep active.
Jones said Sport Bay of Plenty wanted to remind people of the importance of being active for a person's overall wellbeing and that being active could be as simple as swinging on a swing, enjoying a swim or taking a leisurely walk in your neighbourhood.
According to Sport New Zealand's Active New Zealand Survey 2019, Bay of Plenty adults spent an average of 5.5 hours a week in organised and informal fitness activities compared to 11.7 hours a week for young people aged 5 to 17.
Chief executive of Exercise New Zealand, Richard Beddie, said the fitness industry had bounced back "very well" post-lockdown and most gyms had seen a 90 to 95 per cent return of members by the time level 2 restrictions came in.
He said most gyms that shut their doors had been facing problems pre-Covid and it was not the catalyst to the closure, but instead a likely factor.
They had expected "mass gym closures" of around 10 per cent nationwide when lockdown hit but this did not eventuate, he said.
He said the industry had diversified a lot in the last 10 years with either some gyms charging 10 times more than others for different, more personalised services.
"In the past there were more gyms that were the same than different but that is constantly changing."
A gym community was something that was really important in a post-Covid world, he said.