Gyms to Add Strict Operating Procedures After Reopening

Major gym chains are outlining future cleanliness and social distancing requirements after they are allowed to reopen.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Safer At Home Order forced gyms across California to close for weeks now, with no specific date for when they can reopen.

“It’s been, obviously a little bit scary. We are all in the unknown,” said Hunter Seide, the owner of The Nomad Gym in Toluca Lake.

Seide now posts daily YouTube videos for his clients. He has not seen any of them in person since mid March.  Seide says when he is allowed to reopen, his customers will see smaller class sizes and a lot of cleaning.

“We’re going to do some of our first group classes all outdoors where we have plenty of distance,” said Seide. “We will not be doing any work that brings us in close proximity, so nothing that requires close spotting or any kind of hand to hand contact. We won’t be sharing any equipment within sessions between people.” 

Meredith Poppler, the Vice President of Communications for the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association says the future will look very different. Her association represents almost 10,000 gyms, including some of the big chains like 24 Hour Fitness.

“Clubs will probably open at only 50-percent capacity,” said Poppler. “I’m hearing that other studio-type facilities will only open at 20 to 30-percent capacity.”

The reopening plan of 24 Hour Fitness gives an idea of the changes ahead.  Below is a full statement the company sent to the NBC4 ITeam:

The following are some steps 24 Hour Fitness is taking to ensure a club environment with the health and safety of our team and members in mind:

  • Touch-free check in that can now be accomplished in the club through the 24 Hour Fitness free 24GO® personalized fitness app just by using your phone and the 24GO app
  • Social distancing will be promoted throughout our clubs with signage, spacing indicators and more. This may include temporary closures of amenities that cannot be used under social distancing guidelines, and decommissioning select cardio and strength equipment throughout the club to ensure proper spacing
  • Signage at the club exterior and throughout the club’s interior will help remind members and our team members of important safety protocols
  • Personal training and studio classes may meet in carefully chosen club areas where members can safely maintain social distancing
  • Our clubs will initially be open for 60 minute sessions throughout the day, followed by a 30 minute closure for club cleaning between sessions, in addition to our already stringent cleaning procedures
  • And, while our clubs are temporarily closed as well as after some clubs are able to reopen, we encourage everyone to utilize our 24GO app for a selection of over 1,500 workouts that can be conducted anywhere with or without equipment and based on the time you have available.  We also encourage everyone to visit 24GO LIVE, our new 24/7 workout experience broadcast on the 24 Hour Fitness YouTube Channel, among other virtual fitness solutions
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