HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – When the pandemic swept the nation, it shuttered many businesses.
COVID-19 forced Gold’s Gym to permanently shutter all its company-owned gyms in Alabama. Even the smallest of gyms are struggling to survive. But now they can finally reopen.
It’s been 24 hours since the amended Safer at Home order took effect.
Just like every other business, the fitness industry is coming with changes too. The mindset is this — you can work out, but space out and clean up after yourself. Local gyms say they’re doing more than that.
Close-contact businesses are sweeping into their new normal.
“You’ll see athletes coming in and retuning equipment that they’ve been using over the past several weeks,” said Iron Tribe Fitness Operations Director Matt Wheeler.
Wheeler’s team allowed its members to borrow equipment so they could workout at home, but they didn’t reopen Monday when the amended Safer at Home order took effect.
“We had already planned on the 15th,” said Wheeler. “We had already set our equipment returns.We already scheduled a cleaning service with the spray cleaner to come in.”
Iron Tribe already planned to cut its group fitness classes in half, and limit how often equipment will be shared.
“We haven’t has a chance to do it yet, but we got some pretty good tape that we are going to be marking six square foot boxes,” said Wheeler. “So people have their designated area with plenty of space around them where they know they’re going to be safe and socially distant.”
Workout anytime — safely
But gyms like Workout Anytime is already prepared. Maximo Cantu reopened his gym Monday.
“We wipe everything down,” said Workout Anytime Manager Maximo Cantu. “We just did that an hour ago. Every handle, everything’s been sprayed.”
Cantu is looking to add sanitation bottles at every machine. Even though this is a 24 hour gym, he said it will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for now.
“A lot of gym didn’t know what to expect,” said Cantu. “Were we going to get a rush like New Year’s?”
Cantu said no one’s rushing in right now because of COVID-19.
He said, “I have friends at other health clubs here in town and they all say yeah it’s hurting business.”
Gyms around the globe
Big box chains like Planet Fitness remain closed. CEO Chris Rondeau recently announced on its website that Planet Fitness will beef up its sanitation efforts and implement physical distancing.
This is an email from the Planet Fitness media relations team about gyms reopening in our area.
In accordance with local officials, we have worked closely with the franchisee in the area and expect to reopen our locations there at the end of May with more to follow. At Planet Fitness, the safety of our team and members is our top priority, as we begin to execute a thoughtful and phased reopening approach. In doing so, we are taking a number of steps to protect the health and well-being of our team members and members, which include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, physical distancing measures, reducing physical touch points in the club, and more. Now more than ever it’s important to stay active, in order to stay healthy, and we look forward to safely and responsibly welcoming our members back to Planet Fitness.Planet Fitness Media Relations Team
Planet Fitness and Iron Tribe will continue to offer virtual fitness classes. Many gyms want to make sure you’re staying healthy and strong.